I’ve been living off the meager pickings from the Wooden Shjips krautrock side-project Moon Duo for almost a year now. And though the pulsing synth of the lunar couple get my head nodding and my brain throbbing, the news that the mothership themselves, the aforementioned Wooden Shjips, would be landing a new album in the early weeks of September has me toe-clenched with anticipation. If “Lazy Bones” the reverberating sound barrage that is the first single off their forthcoming release sets any precedents, than I can only expect 7 minute psych-prog jams and enough fuzz to make my ultra-baked head silently implode.
There are more than a handful of reasons to enjoy the new single from Wet Hair:
1. The sound is reminiscent of Moon Duo. Crashing waves of Kraut-rock influenced bass and guitar. Repetitions upon repetitions upon repetitions of sound and noise and melody that bucks and starts in to a beautifully cohesive bit of weirdness.
2. The band did a recent split with Australia’s Naked On The Vague, another fantastic dirge of heady rock music that has appeared once or twice on this here little site.
3. The video above is put together by two guys from the band Black Vatican, and the results are indicative of the bordering-on-experimental psych rock they create. Black Vatican, also a DCed band.
You have no reason not to love this music.
Pick up the most recent Wet Hair release, In Vogue Spirit, from De Stijl.
The earlier tunes by Moon Duo (off their absolutely amazing EP Escape) are prog-rock ramblers. Bursts of repeated bass and fuzz, pushed in to a tightly contained chaos of movement. ”Mazes” from their forthcoming album of the same name, presents an entirely new Moon Duo sound, a sort of road-trip surf-guitar feel buoyed by the crystal notes of a keyboard. The presence of the Moon Duo of yore are not completely excised though, the road trip seems to go off track, the surfy riffs expanding and complicating. I am biting the sharp nubs of my nails in eagerness.
Sharon Van Etten “Love More” ::: photo by Josh Lovseth
If my 2010 was a mix tape (or a couple mix tapes as it were), these would be the tracks. These were the songs that were my most frequent and adored companions of 2010. They’re the songs I’ll know the words to for the rest of my life. They’re largely local, though my favorite song of 2010 hands down, no questions asked, comes courtesy of Sharon Van Etten. I’ve listened “Love More” at least a hundred times more than any other track. I still think in just over 5 minutes, Sharon Van Etten manages to accomplish what most artists spend a lifetime trying to attain: perfection.
This list only covers my favorite songs released in 2010, though many of my most cherished discoveries and companions weren’t born of 2010. (A list not specified by date of release would include a lot of Carissa’s Wierd, Baptist Generals and early Damien Jurado.) Speaking of Damien Jurado, he’s noticeably missing from this list, despite releasing one of my favorite records of 2010. Why? Because Saint Bartlett is an album, in full and despite a hundred listens, I couldn’t single out one song as a favorite and saying “all of them” seemed like a cop out. Also, you won’t see “Airplanes” by Local Natives, “What Took So Long” by The Moondoggies or “Vanderlyle Cry Baby” by The National on this list, though they were doubtlessly favorites. That’s because they made my listsfor 2009 … that’s what you get for being ahead of the curve.
p.s. I say “favorite” because I can’t say these are the best songs of 2010, my listening isn’t broad enough to make such a statement, but I hope you find something you love all the same.
From our perspective today brings us a bunch of great new releases. Here’s a few we’re spending our dollars on:
The Local Natives long-awaited LP Gorilla Manor is finally out in the U.S. The gentlemen have been kind enough to allow us to stream it right here for you (above) in case you’ve neglected to see for yourself yet what we’ve been losing our minds about.
Portlander (and former Bellingham resident) Kasey Anderson sings with surety and a gravel of a man much older than himself, a man whipped by the winds of life and still hanging onto hope no matter what. If that sounds romantic, all the better; Anderson isn’t shy about his romanticism on his new record Nowhere Nights. “All Lit Up” find’s him acting true age though, pounding out an anthem you probably thought you heard a young Springsteen do first, and in the son after “Sooner/Later” he pours the workingman’s tale on even thicker.
MP3:“Sooner/Later” by Kasey Anderson from Nowhere Nights via Red River Records
Anderson starts a West Coast tour this Friday in L.A., and is having a release show for Nowhere Nights on February 28th at the Sunset Tavern in Seattle with Matthew Ryan and Shasta Bree. You can find the full list of Winter and Spring Kasey Anderson tour dates below the fold.
Dave Bazan performs “Bad Diary Days” – 1/08/10 in a Seattle Living Room
These are the songs, bands, and sounds that I’ve started off my 2010 with. Lots of new bands I’d never listened to before 2010, many who I think we’ll be sharing much of the year with. Take a listen and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find your first favorite new band, album or song of the new year! Thanks for starting 2010 with Sound on the Sound, we’re looking forward to sharing another great year of local music with you.
Sometimes I want to listen to the thrusting pulse of good, deep psychedelia. I want to lose myself in a fog of wailing guitars and reverb-dipped vocals. I want to close my eyes and see waves of color and sound and feel as if I’ve just soaked myself in a sonic jacuzzi.
And sometimes I want to do so while sitting in a bathtub full of ice cubes. I don’t want warmth. I don’t want the crackle of vinyl. I want the cold icy tones of electronica fused with my warbling psychedelia. So I flip on Moon Duo, the side project of Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson.
A heat packet wrapped in a cold-pac. Foreigner would be proud.