January 5, 2013
Today's Hotness: Fleeting Joys, Mona Elliot
>> Northern California-based shoegaze heros Fleeting Joys work slowly, methodically and largely out of sight. It can be frustrating for fans; indeed, social media appearances are almost as infrequent as new music is released. However, our near-vigil waiting for new sounds from the now-trio has finally been rewarded, as yesterday Fleeting Joys announced the release of a digital single titled "Kiss A Girl In Black," which the band promises is taken from a long-awaited third full-length record. The act -- which according to its Facebook page now includes presumed drummer Matt McCord alongside the founding duo of John and Rorika Loring -- released the transcendent Occult Radiance in 2009 [review]. We deemed the record to be "a masterpiece of sculpted guitar and angelic vocals," and it made Clicky Clicky's 2009 year-end albums list, and Fleeting Joys followed it up in 2010 with a third reissue (this one Japanese) of the band's amazing debut Despondent Transponder. So it's been nearly four years since we've heard anything new from the band, but "Kiss A Girl In Black" is certainly worth the wait the single boasts massive, bending guitars and dreamy vocals, Fleeting Joys' stock-in-trade. The slowly spiraling buzz-saw six-strings are a delight on the ears, and if the rest of the planned third full-length is even half as good as this, it will certainly be one of the best of the year. And yes we know it is only the fifth day of the year. Stream "Kiss A Girl In Black" via the embed below, then click through and get the track in exchange for a cool 100 cents American. Highly recommended.
>> Indie rock lifer Mona Elliot is probably best known for her time in the acts Victory At Sea and, more recently, Travels. But over the last year Ms. Elliot has been slowly trickling out solo songs via Bandcamp, and the most recent two have particularly set fire to our imagination. Last July she released the tune "Heart And Mouth," and the accompanying image at Bandcamp immediately caught our eye because it is a map of Block Island, and more likely than not we were on Block Island when she released the song, right above the letter "o" in the word "Rodman's" on the map. Weird, huh? Earlier this week Elliot made available a new track, "Invisible Ties," a beautifully spare, characteristically haunting ballad about connection and loss accented with dynamic backing vocals and mournfully shaded by ambient noise. We don't have any idea whether "Invisible Ties" or any of the other recent solo tunes are leading up to a lengthier collection of songs, either under her own name or with Travels, but we are certainly eager to hear more from Elliot. Travels' Bandcamp page refers to the band in the past tense, we just noticed, although a Facebook status from last May states the act was writing a concept record and looking forward to recording. The duo's most recent release was a limited edition 7" single featuring a cover of Daniel Johnston's "The Sun Shines Down on Me" on the A-side issued in December 2011; Travels third long-player Robber On The Run was released in 2010. Victory At Sea, incidentally, played a one-off reunion show as part of a benefit Nov. 7. Catch the stream of Elliot's "Invisible Ties" below, and click through to get the tune as a free download: it's most definitely one to cherish.