By M. Brianna Stallings
Twentysomething Indiana native and former ethnomusicology student Haley Fohr launched Circuit des Yeux in 2008. Her latest release, Overdue, is a breathtaking slice of lo-fi experimental neofolk. The opening orchestration on “Lithonia” strikes a Postal Service/Andrew Bird chord, while perfect harmonies vein the woodsy, minor key “Hegira.” Guitars on the instrumental “Bud and Gin” conjure Tim Buckley or Nina Nastasia. Fohr’s is a precocious and melodramatic contralto, with vocals featured more prominently than on 2011’s Portrait. Her voice often plumbs the depths with a pained warbling androgyny, especially on “My Name Is Rune.” “Acarina” is a creepy down-tuned loper. It’s exquisitely painful, like listening to a trio of Nico, Yoko Ono and Diamanda Galás.
Denver indie-pop duo Tennis follow up 2012’s Young and Old with Small Sound, the last drop of summer light squeezed from a lemony sun. Each song is clean, easy listening, polished to gentle perfection by producers Jim Eno (Spoon) and Richard Swift (The Shins). Singer/keyboardist Alaina Moore (Nina Persson meets Stevie Nicks) harmonizes perfectly with herself on “Timothy.” “Mean Streets” kicks off with a “Bennie and the Jets” piano line and Moore’s trumpeted “eh eh eh’s.” Patrick Riley’s deft guitar work, coupled with James Barone’s drumming and some sweet horns, gives “Cured of Youth” a breezy nonchalance. “100 Lovers” is 100 percent blue-eyed soul. Soft rock for sweatered hipster thirtysomethings, this is what you queue up on a Sunday morning drive to the growers’ market.
Burque-bred Ehren Salazar releases music under the name s l e e p d e p t h. His debut album, R F △ I I T V, seamlessly marries downtempo, drone and witch house. Dank echoing vocals scratch to the surface of “Clinic ’76.” “d e e p s l e e p d r a g” sounds like a dual tribute to Massive Attack and Angelo Badalamenti. “Miraflores,” “Lines and Roses,” “Riot ’80” and “Ecco” are damn near perfect electronica. Dense, trippy and demanding of headphones, R F △ I I T V teeters between a bedroom record and a psychedelic 1970s sci-fi film soundtrack. Note: The download features five exclusive remixes not available on the cassette release.
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