New Music Tuesday: WILD NOTHING

Artist: Wild Nothing

Album: Gemini

Release Date: May 25, 2010

Record Label: Captured Tracks

 

Wild Nothing is the solo-project of Jack Tatum, whose music is inspired by a longtime love affair with nostalgia. His debut full length album, Gemini, released through Captured Tracks, is full of dreamy, carefree synth-pop songs that linger with an inexplicable sense of regret.

Prior to embarking on this recent solo-project, Tatum sang and played guitar with the Abe Vigodaish, tropical punk band Facepaint and the singer/songwriter project Jack and The Whale. In the summer of 2009, the Virginia tech-college student decided to embark on his first creative-solo project playing bass, guitar, synthesizer and drums while recording in his home-studio. He soon emerged with a unique brand of dreamy pop-songs influenced by bands like My Bloody Valentine, Shop Assistants, Go-Betweens and Cocteau Twins. In 2009 he delivered a memorable cover of the Kate Bush song Cloudbusting, making it clear that Wild Nothing transcended the lo-fi pop-mold.

On his debut album, Gemini, Tatumʼs frail vocals come warped in an oozing neon haze. Carefully orchestrated synth-pop arrangements, trebly guitar riffs and tattered drum machines blend together to create an intriguing,texturally rich glo-pop album that could come only from the young at heart.

The official video for the single Chinatown gathers footage from a 1969 short film called Clown, from director Richard Balducci. The result is a re-contextualization that’s striking and surprisingly apt: Guy Suzuki’s cinematography shifts the focus from Chinatown to the terraces of Montmartre in Paris. The song’s smeared sunlight pairs with the yellowed clips perfectly, resulting in a nostalgic and beautiful video that evokes memories of childhood.

“One of a kind
I need to keep you here
I need to picture you still
I need to clear the fog”  – Chinatown by Wild Nothing

 

New Music Tuesday: NIKI & THE DOVE

Artist: Niki & The Dove

Album: Instinct

Release Date: May 14, 2012

Record Label: Sub Pop Records

Niki & The Dove is a band from Stockholm, Sweden with two members, Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf. Getting together in February 2010, Malin and Gustaf have spent the time since writing together, figuring out just how pop music works and then discovering new ways to break it.

Their first single “DJ, Ease My Mind” b/w “Under the Bridges” released on leading UK independent Moshi Moshi, was one of the most striking debuts of the year, catching the attention of everyone from Artrocker and NME through to The Sunday Times who declared the single could “be the two greatest alt-pop songs of 2010.” And if “DJ, Ease My Mind,” revealed a band with a precociously fully-formed sound, their self-released follow up “Mother Protect” shows that Niki & The Dove are truly poised for great things. A riotous collision of barely constrained electronic pop overlaid with Malin’s distinctive, glacial vocals, “Mother Protect” confirmed Niki & The Dove as a truly unique talent and ones to watch.

Despite being only available through the band’s website, “Mother Protect” was heavily supported by the likes of John Kennedy on XFM, Radio 1’s Annie Mac (who played the track during both her specialist evening and daytime shows), NME, The Observer and The Independent who said the track “grows brilliantly into a low-key epic.”

Niki & The Dove’s songs are full of magic and light but with an unsettling darkness hidden beneath the surface. It’s pop music but a world away from the production line aesthetics of much modern chart music.

Not just a great studio act though, Malin and Gustaf’s background working with theater and dance productions means that playing live is integral to the band. Drawing upon their wide circle of talented friends and collaborators, no two Niki & The Dove shows are the same, but they are always a spectacle as a sold-out North London crowd discovered last November on their UK live debut.

With their first-ever full UK tour in May expect the band to cement their place as one of the most exciting new bands around. As The Sunday Times said Niki & The Dove is a “…band who you felt could knock off a chart-pop stunner with ease if only they could be bothered. Luckily for us, they clearly can’t.”

With alternative trance-pop bands like M83 and Gotye experiencing recent success in mainstream music, Niki & The Dove have the stage set to become the next big thing in pop music. After signing with Sub Pop record label, the original home of groundbreaking alternative bands, Niki and The Dove have readied their debut album Instinct, due out later this year on May 14.

The video for their single The Fox from Instinct was edited and shot in an atmospheric animation style, with reality and fantasy blurring throughout the visuals. An animal-human hybrid base-jumps into spectacular transformations. The Fox merges fantasy, sci-fi and slippery synth-pop into a rewarding head-trip. Fans attuned to Bjork’s synesthetic explorations should feel right at home with the Stockholm-based duo’s mood music and this CGI translation, directed by the self-described creative content engineers at Wintr.

While they might be just a duo, their background in theatrical and dance productions promises to flesh out their synthetic soundtracking with flair. Screen the video below and let us know in the comments section if you think The Fox is sly in the right places.

 

 

“I want to see what the sky looks like… from your view.”  –  Niki & The Dove, The Fox


Instinct will see daylight on 5/14.

Catch Niki & The Dove on tour this summer.

Source: Sub Pop Records

New Music Tuesday: WASHED OUT

Artist: Washed Out

Album: Within and Without

Record Label: Domino

Graphic Designers: Ernest Greene and Jeff Kleinsmith

 

Within and Without is the debut album by 28 year-old Atlanta-based songwriter and producer Ernest Greene, AKA Washed Out. Long adored and critically lauded in the blog world, Greene first came to prominence in the summer of 2009 after unassumingly posting a handful of bedroom-recorded tracks to his Myspace page from his family home in the seclusion of the tiny rural city of Perry, Georgia. “I’d been writing music on my own for three or four years previous to that,” Greene explains, “mostly as a way to experiment with songwriting processes. Those were just the first I ever shared.”

Despite such modest intentions however, those first songs (many of which would appear on the acclaimed Life of Leisure EP of later that year) were about as complete an opening statement from an artist as imaginable. A heady, psychedelic concoction of what Pitchfork’s Mark Hogan termed “romantic nostalgia and homespun textures,” songs such as “Belong” and “Feel It All Around”—Greene’s biggest hit to date—artfully match the glossy melody of ’80s synth pop, the widescreen scope of early ’90s Balearic dance music and the slowed, heavy bounce of southern Hip Hop production to gorgeously wistful vocals with results as undeniably idiosyncratic and original as they are deeply accessible.

Within and Without is a summer record to span the seasons; a collection of songs as comfortable sound-tracking moments of peaceful relaxation as they are lighting up a party, and a strikingly mature next step from a uniquely focused, sincere artist.

Source: Sub Pop Records