September 30, 2013

Today's Hotness: Chambermaids, White Laces, The Weaks

Chambermaids -- Whatever Happened Tomorrow (crop)

>> Based on the full-length it just dropped, seemingly out of the sky, long-running Minneapolis-based dream-pop quartet The Chambermaids know exactly what they're doing. Cataloged with the too-clever "post-shoegaze" badge on Bandcamp, and sporting influences like Yo La Tengo and New Zealand indie label powerhouse-turned-all-encompassing-genre-tag Flying Nun, the band's got a firm grip on that dreamy, dreamy sound Clicky Clicky adores, as evidenced by a terrific sophomore full-length issued just last week. The collection, titled Whatever Happened Tomorrow and released by Guilt Ridden Pop Sept. 25, abounds with wonderfully realized dream pop tunes highlighted by its centerpiece, "China Blue." The tune is pushed by a bouncing rhythm built on strident strumming and crash cymbal bashes, over which The Chambermaids layer distorted and reverbed guitar leads. The confection is iced by fronter and co-founder Neil Weir's murmured vocals, with bassist Martha Weir's voice providing a gentle, ethereal foil, playing the Butcher to Mr. Weir's Shields, if you will. There's something to be said for channeling influences as well as The Chambermaids do, but it detracts from the richness of the band's songwriting, and the compelling blend of gloss and rough edges to the sparkling production work here, to belabor the point. The foursome's painstakingly created and strongly presented material (just listen to the sunshiney fun of the catchy cut "Electric Sky") certainly stands up on its own. Whatever Happened Tomorrow is available on limited edition vinyl, CD and as a digital download, all of which can be procured via the act's Bandcamp yert right here. The Chambermaids, now a 10-year-old concern, previously issued a self-titled LP in 2006 and an EP titled Down In The Berries in 2009. -- Dillon Riley

>> Richmond-based minimalist space-pop juggernaut White Laces are poised to release a cassette single via Philadelphia's Treetop Sorbet next week. The hunk of plastic and magnetic tape contains the stellar tunes "Ascend" b/w "Deep Moves," two dynamite tracks that speak to the foursome's admirable focus and composition chops. Guitar lines intertwine around fronter Landis Wine's dreamy, echoing vocals, his lyrics like incantations falling through the characteristically crystalline ambient atmosphere conjured by the band. White Laces, as we previously reported over at Facebook, will begin recording an as-yet-untitled sophomore full-length LP in December in Philadelphia with Jeff Zeigler of Uniform Recording. Mr. Zeigler's production work on records from The War On Drugs and others is well-known, and the pairing of this engineer and the band is something we're unreservedly excited about. If you don't habitually read our Facebook page, then you may have missed our posting last week of a fresh video clip for White Laces' "Incantation," which we certainly continue to recommend to your attention. The cassette single of "Ascend" b/w "Deep Moves" will be released in a limited edition of 100 clear purple chrome tapes by Treetop Sorbet Oct. 7 and you can purchase one for $4.50 right here; it is the final installment in a cassingle series put out by the label that also included released from The Young Sinclairs and Alpine Roses. Stream the whole jawn via the Bandcamp embed below.

>> Speaking of Philadelphia, exciting things are afoot with The Weaks, the long-running and prolific collective helmed by all around cool guy Evan Bernard. One of these exciting things, and perhaps the most exciting of these things, is that The Weaks, heretofore a studio concern only, announced today that it will play a debut live show in its hometown Nov. 7 at the new venue Boot And Saddle. The act is also preparing the release of an EP titled The World Is A Terrible Place & I Hate Myself And Want To Die, and the first track from the 7" collection is already available for streaming. The tune is called "Nietzsche's Harvest Song," and it is filled with all of the elements that make The Weaks great: punk-pop energy, some cock-rock lead guitars, massive emo vocals (the bellowed opening line is "lately I've been having a lot of bad ideas...") and hooks galore. There are some particularly clever, more delicate touches, too, like the classic bridge, and the tinkling, tremeloed guitar in the chorus. The Weaks have felt a bit like a secret for the past year or so that we've known about them, but that should change in a big way once people can turn on to these cats live. The World Is A Terrible Place & I Hate Myself And Want To Die will be self-released by the band Dec. 22, just in time for you to purchase it and throw it in a Christmas stocking. However, it doesn't appear you can buy the 7" just yet, but in the meantime the band is selling rad t-shirts with the art for the single emblazoned on the front. Get into it! And stream "Nietzsche's Harvest Song" via the embed below.

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