Every Friday, we’ll bring you a round-up of what the staff here at Wondering Sound has been digging throughout the week. We hope that it will help you craft your weekend playlists and start your Friday off on the right note.
The 18-year-old singer, who performs as SOAK, gives off serious Lorde vibes in her earnest reminder that you don’t have to feel so alone when everybody’s a nobody. Monds-Watson’s innocent high-pitched vocals are disarming, especially when she sings lines like “I watched, I saw/ your mind fall out of your head.”
J. Edward says:
The sound of kickoff track “Be Cool” is gloriously scuzzy, a roaring mudslide of riffs rolling to a sudden halt just in time for Ella Kaspar’s tiny voice to deliver the song’s perfectly-pitched opening line: “I know it’s weird for you/ The things we’ve done and the things we do.” The rest of the song operates according to the time-tested, gut-proven loud/soft/loud formula, and the results are bright and barnstorming.
Bill Gillim’s clear, untroubled voice, located in a conversational spot between baritone and tenor, moves against a glowing shape made by a few sustained keyboard notes. The notes loom like shadow puppets cast against a bedroom wall while Gillim offers a plainspoken eulogy for something lost: “I forgive all fears, and I forgive all my worries/I forgive all my tears, even though one’s still falling.”
Tamborello’s upcoming Leaving Records debut (Human Voice, September 23) sheds the guest singers of his past efforts for an avant-dance bent that chews — and promptly spits out — bits of footwork, techno and (in the case of “Ashby”) murky house music that’d sit right alongside rising producers like Huerco S and a random sampling of L.I.E.S. alums.
The band’s sophomore full-length is about to hit the stands and title track “Tropical Jinx” feels like it could’ve been pulled straight from Sadie Dupuis’s songbook. Michelle Zauner’s gritty vulnerability is in the spotlight, spiked by screwy guitar chords and layered, echoing murmurs. Zauner’s voice fluctuates between whispery and crystalline, making it a slow-burn track that dips into melodic pop-punk without sounding cliche.
Given the gothic gloom of Spx’s work, it only makes sense she’d be drawn to the erstwhile Grinderman leader — recent Spx collaborator Moby told Rolling Stone she “grew up obsessed” with [Nick] Cave. Her colorfully expressive voice, amid foreboding organ stabs and guitar trills, recasts the song as her own: As unpredictable as a creepy Cave cover might be in some contexts, here it’s comfortable. All of which Spx’s bandmate probably could’ve predicted.
For “Wut’s That,” a sampling from his upcoming debut album Smoke Machine (January 2015), Catchdubs unleashes rascally Bronx trio B.I.C. (Bitches Is Crazy) to rap acrobatically over a mobbing-primed beat. While the song is brimming with punchy one-liners (and is possibly the first time the word “cunt” has felt acceptable since Nicki Minaj’s “Roman’s Revenge”), my personal favorite is, “What’s that, ignoramus?/ Talking shit won’t get you famous/ Put your opinion in your anus/ And your name is, I don’t give a fuck.”
And I’ve been listening to Karen O’s “Rapt.” Check out my description below:
When she croons that last line, “I really need/ Do you need me too?/ I believe/ It’s gonna feel like new,” it’s a bit of a gut punch, isn’t it? Her epiphany forces us to recollect all the times that we’ve had to tell ourselves a lie or two; where we’ve had to make ourselves believe that a current romantic situation will not end in the same result as our past entanglements. So yes, the track’s sparse and stripped down with only the ukulele to accompany her. But Karen O still retains all of her grit.