Dream pop dominates alt.rock these days, as well it should. Anyone who felt shoegaze—dream pop's baby daddy or kissing cousin, depending on who you ask—just came and went (not with a bang but a whimper) should be tickled by the resurgence of this jangly, intoxicating soundscape. An outstanding new exemplar is Los Angeles trio Dark Furs, which features London-born singer and keyboardist Suzanne May along with two Yanks, guitarist Chad Philipps and drummer Garrett Henritz. Their eponymous five-song EP was a staff pick on Bandcamp, and they made Deli Magazine's Top Ten list. After one listen, it's easy to see why. You can definitely hear the LA and UK influences at work in equal measure here—like Ride with a surfer's tan. This is a must-download for 2013. (M. Brianna Stallings)
I once quipped about Coldplay, “If personality could be distilled from a bowl of plain oatmeal, then supplied with a back beat, they would be the end result.” I had that reaction again recently, while listening to 19-year-old UK wünderkind George Barnett's four-song EP. The title track is so much like a Coldplay song that I think Barnett owes Chris Martin partial writing credit. The remaining three tracks all smack of Mick Ronson-esque Northern soul, indie folk and sappy balladry. For some lucky record exec, the inevitable signing of super-young, talented and familiar-sounding Barnett will be like finding that last golden ticket in the Wonka bar. Long story short? Model-gorgeous multi-
Coyote Clean Up’s latest post-house release mixes oil and water into gasoline rainbows direct from the asphalt of Detroit. Self-transforming machine rhythms wiggle beneath whispered sing-songs. The rhythms of “Rompy Exxtreme” are as playful as Ice Cold Chrissy’s voice is ambivalent. “Sowet Soset” and “Grrlfriend Plz (acid)” cop the sound palate of a '90s Buick commercial to sleek effect. The propulsive beats are sophisticated like a high-end salon, but low-pass filters and echoes upon echoes give the groove a sticky steam stirred up from dubwise depths. CCU’s work is nearly witchy in its darkness, but the magic at play is grey, not black. (Ehren Salazar)
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