Thursday, March 6, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
|Wedding Bells EP was released on Feb. 11 on|
Høiberg was no stranger to the electronic scene prior to Cashmere Cat, the 26 year old Norwegian producer was a DMC World DJ finalist for years until he turned towards crafting his current style of music. In 2012 Cashmere Cat burst onto the scene with his debut EP Mirror Maru, introducing the world to his brilliantly juxtaposed styles. Cashmere Cat's textures are build around perfectly pitched vocal samples, blissful keys and harps, obscure percussive hits and an R&B inspired swing that makes you want to slow dance as much as throw bows. Høiberg's styles are versatile, allowing him to seamlessly switch between the standard EDM tropes of bass-laden bangers and intricately woven takes on cloud-rap. Remixes of Lana Del Ray and 2 Chainz gave Høiberg a slew of attention and he most recently produced a Ludacris track "Party Girls," substantially upping his production creds.
This rich and diverse background is important to take note of when jumping into Wedding Bells, as it contains bits of every previous endeavor that Høiberg has gotten into. The EP's opener "With Me" opens with a plaintive piano line before slowly unfurling with sharp synth lines, reverb washed vocal samples and bright, bouncy keys. All of this reaches a precipice before falling out of the mix and introducing a pitchy vocal sample that fades away to lend way to primal drumbeats, distorted synths and glimmering harps. "With Me" is a wonderful snapshot of Cashmere Cat's aural stylings and takes the listener on a brief but bountiful journey through rich soundscapes of various backgrounds. Tracks like "Pearls" dig even deeper into this established array of sounds, meshing unconventional percussive samples with smooth, pitchy vocals. It's all an immensely enjoyable listening experience, especially the title track "Wedding Bells," which obviously meshes the titular bells into Høiberg's typical structures.
While there's certainly an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality that can apply to this, it's a bit disappointing to see that Høiberg didn't delve deeper into the proverbial rabbit hole here. There's a lot of things on Wedding Bells that could have easily been found on Mirror Maru, which is a shame since Høiberg's live show contains a lot more diversity than found on Wedding Bells. It's clear that Høiberg has a lot of interesting tricks up his sleeve that he can pull out within the future of Cashmere Cat, and make no doubt, Wedding Bells is still a fantastic release, but it'd be a bit more enjoyable to see hints of some sort of aural development coming along.
Standout Tracks: "With Me", "Wedding Bells", "Rice Rain"
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Wild Dreams glides along and clocks in at just around 30 minutes, but it's the perfect amount of time to digest these blissful bursts of subdued Americana energy. Warm basslines help these songs trot along with a downtempo pace, rich organs flesh out the textures and soothing vocal melodies with rich lyrical content top it all of brilliantly. The album starts off with a smooth-sailing track "About You," tightly packed with sparse guitar lines, subtle harmonies and contemplative lyrics that sucks the listener in like a rising tide. Following that natural ebb and flow, the album's mood is set by an excellent pacing that spaces out the catchy and anthemic tracks while nestling the slow-brooding experimental tracks in between.
It'd be easy to write Wild Dreams off as your standard Americana leaning pop record, but there's much more to it than that. "No Flowers" sets a darker and more expansive tone, dreamy dark vocals croon about "endless pillows" and rich, yet desolate imagery over a simplistic yet embellished soundscape. "No Flowers" displays the artistic breadth of Colleens, soft strings build upon the heightened tensions while a quaintly finger picked guitar provides the baseline for this fantastic mid-way track. As "No Flowers" slowly fades out you're snapped out of your trance and thrust into the rambling "Sun Before I Set," one of the album's bright songs characterized by bouncy piano lines, distorted guitars and a chorus of backing vocals.
There's a lot to love about Wild Dreams, and while there's nothing that sets the band out as groundbreaking, there's a lot of potential for the band to truly move into uncharted territory in future releases. There's a lot of prominent influences on display here that are masked by the Harter brother's obvious talents and originality, but some of the album feels plagued by comfort. It's a fun and easy listen through, especially given its short duration, but there's not a ton of replay value found within most of the tracks. Tracks like "About You," "Maybe We'll Fall In Love," "No Flowers" and "Second Century Home" lend themselves to multiple run throughs and seem to have tons of live potential, but the remainder of the album tends to feel like filler. There's nothing wrong with the tracks, but there's nothing really stopping you from skipping them to get to the more exciting endeavors. All in all Wild Dreams is a wonderful entrance from Colleens and leaves me waiting anxiously for future releases.
Standout Tracks: "About You", "Maybe We'll Fall In Love", "No Flowers"
Thursday, January 23, 2014
|Dad Claps at the Mom Prom was released on|
Jan. 21 via Goodnight Records
Dad Claps... kicks in with the boisterous "Beauty Meat," a track that serves as a pacesetter for the rest of the EP, brimming with anthemic wordless choruses, jaunty guitar lines and punchy percussion. Frequently devolving into a brief burst of frenetic rhythms and world-music inspired drum beats, it's not hard to find the influences of acts like Animal Collective bleeding in to Sun Club's music. Each track on Dad Claps follows an overarching theme of push and pull, whether you're starting with a balls-out blast of tight guitar lines and shouted vocals or slowly building with driving rhythms and spacey soundscapes you're guaranteed an exciting musical adventure.
While many of this new spring of psych-pop acts rely heavily on the standard structures of pop music, Sun Club isn't afraid to deviate from the norm. Tracks like "Repulsive Chocolate" rumble along with a slow-churning intensity that erupts with viscerally shouted lyrics. It's one of the finer points of Sun Club's music, the fact that they can so easily tear down this lush and ornate soundscape that they've created and build it back up upon entirely different rhythms and refrains. It makes each track feel unique while still fitting within the EP's aural spectrum.
There's a lot to fall in love with on Dad Claps at the Mom Prom, but that's mostly because Sun Club draws from a lot of different influences. There's bits of caustic pop music, the intensity of hardcore pop-punk bands and the expansive nature of psychedelic rock. Whether you're honing in on what you like best or soaking in all of layers, Sun Club is a group that you should certainly look into. They've got an uncontainable energy that makes for a joyous listening experience, and I can't even imagine how incredibly hyped their live sets are. The group just embarked on an East Coast tour in support of Dad Claps at the Mom Prom, check the dates below along with a preview of the EP:
Sun Club Tour Dates:
Jan. 23 - Washington DC - 930 Club with Los Campesinos
Jan. 24 - Boston, MA - TT The Bears
Jan. 25 - Brooklyn, NYC - Shea Stadium
Jan. 26 - Philadelphia, PA - Kungfu Necktie
Jan. 28 - Wilmington NC - Orton's
Jan. 31 - Nashville, TN - The End
Feb. 01 - Blacksburg, VA - Gillie's
Standout Tracks: "Beauty Meat", "Cheeba Swiftkick", "Summer Feet"