March 10, 2016

Today's Hotness: What Moon Things, Family Video

What Moon Things' 'Party Down The Street'

>> Last week brought the first official new sounds from What Moon Things since the trio moved from upstate New York down to Brooklyn, the compelling darkwave number "Party Down The Street." Sure, there was the nice short stack of spacey jams casually and digitally released at the end of 2015 entitled, well, Space Jams, which fans shouldn't overlook and which also offers some indication as to which label might release the three's planned sophomore full-length. For sheer drama and major hookage, "Party Down The Street" -- which will likely feature on said forthcoming LP -- can't be beat. The song's arrangement comfortably sprawls through breathy verses (that exhale apparent reverse reverb), and anthemic, noisier sections where guitars swirl over the song's mechanical rhythm track. In said verses, Mr. Harms' vocals are impressionistic and emotive, but when he bellows "my face lit up like a question mark" the narrative focuses and the song catches fire. It also doesn't hurt that "Party Down The Street" echoes not just a little vintage and celebrated sounds from bands including The Cure. The tune closes with a tasteful, downbeat denouement, pulsing kick and boxy electro-snare into a roomy reverb while guitars slowly unwind the melody. No release date or title for What Moon Things' next record have been announced, but the band is presently on tour and we expect fans are hearing some new songs out there in the rock clubs of the American South as the Things venture to and from the annual SXSW music confabulation (Arkanas tonight! Full tour dates below). Hot Grits released What Moon Things' self-titled debut full-length in June 2014 as a vinyl 12", CD and digital download; that LP is presently in its second pressing. Stream "Party Down The Street" via the Soundcloud embed below.

3/10 -- Maxine's -- Hot Springs, AR
3/11 -- Denton 35 FEST -- Denton, TX
3/14 - 3/20 -- SXSW -- Austin, TX
3/21 -- Gasa Gasa -- New Orleans, LA
3/23 -- Blind Mule -- Mobile, AL
3/24 -- TV Land -- Tallahassee, FL
3/25 -- 1904 -- Jacksonville, FL
3/27 -- Will's Pub -- Orlando, FL
3/28 -- Tin Roof -- Charleston, SC
3/29 -- Brookland Tavern -- Columbia, SC
4/1 -- Slingshot FEST -- Athens, GA
4/4 -- The Camel -- Richmond, VA
4/6 -- Songbyrd Cafe -- Washington, DC
4/7 -- Old Mogul Theatre -- Montclair, NJ

>> The persistence of bass player jokes is one of those modern mysteries. After all, examples of notably talented bass players that can write songs aren't all that hard to come by: there's that McCartney guy, that Tweedy guy, and locally in Boston, just off the top of our head and only picking one, there's Jenny Mudari from Feral Jenny and Bent Shapes (whose album release show is tonight in Allston Rock City, doncha know?). As it turns out, Clicky Clicky faves Fog Lake have a talented, songwriting bass player as well. Her name is Jen King, and her project Family Video last month issued an understated but fierce set of indie pop songs called Places To Sleep. Sure, the St. John's, Newfoundland-based act's music isn't as deeply haunting as that of Fog Lake, but it is similarly affecting and occasionally even as downcast. Family Video's 11-song set features scruffy, guitar-centric songs that bash and pop through spare arrangements and echo in places the confessional songwriting of Liz Phair and the fizzing verve of Tiger Trap. Asymmetrical opener "You In The Night" morosely plods through pretty, chiming verses in the first 90 seconds, but soars for the final two minutes on the strength of spiraling, melodic lead guitar and steady synth tones. The cracking album highlight "My Sister's House" showcases buoyant bass playing and glistening guitar jangle, and escalates into a proper rave-up spangled by an urgent quarter-note cadence on the snare in its final third. "Winter Shadow" -- as well as its more poignant, delicate, acoustic iteration "Winter Shadow (Revisited)" -- presents Ms. King voicing the unguarded, forthright request "won't somebody smack me and make me feel realize..." The song's emotional heft compounds as its lyrics cast in different directions for deliverance from loneliness (it also references listening to the radio, which always gets songwriters a check-plus from Clicky Clicky's executive editor). Places To Sleep was recorded to and mixed on a four-track machine, and Fog Lake's Aaron Powell contributed synth to three cuts and vocals to the tune "Empty Bed;" he's also mentioned in the song "Aaron In The Basement." Family Video self-released Places To Sleep to the wilds of the Internerds Feb. 16. Stream the entire collection via the embed below and click through the purchase it as a paywhutchyalike download.

No comments: