Monday, January 31, 2011

31. TORO Y MOI "STILL SOUND"


here is another funky track from South Carolina electro-pop artist Toro Y Moi {Chaz Bundick} called Still Sound, it's the first single from his new album "Underneath the Pine" (2011).

Still Sound is a fantastic psychedelic nu-disco track, featuring a stunning funked out bassline hook, dreamy, fuzzed out vintage electric organ, 'live' drums et gentle rattle of a maraca all keep the track upbeat et groovy. there is a soulfulness to Bundick's voice, his lyrics are tinged with melancholy, which is contrasted with the upbeat disco-funk layered instrumentation. his stuttered, dizzying echo-effect vocal delivery on the choruses effectively add to his sense of longing et alienation.

"It's hard where you're living / 
Any way to make it balance / 
Saying it could be too much."

a watery, rippling jazzy electric organ solo leads us into the blissed out psychedelic bridge section, which acts as a kind of dream sequence, this is pure Toro Y Moi. Bundick's soulful, moaning harmonies echo around us, reminiscent of the Floyd, his vocals almost drowning in the oceanic reverb.

this is one catchy, funky, soulful track, with a keen sense of rhythm et repetition, Still Sound really captures the 70s disco-funk sound, but Bundick firmly stamps his unique ambient, psyched-out signature sound on it.


MP3: Still Sound

check out the brilliant new music video for Still Sound shot on super 8 et directed by Steven Daniels. this is an amazing clip with a tricksy, playful tone, cool vintage 70s styling, that is totally appropriate for the song! this is one of my favourite clips in a long time!


the "Underneath the Pine" is out now through Carpark Records et itunes.

31. MY ...

31.
My sensations had, by this time become distinct, 
and my mind received every day additional ideas.

{Mary Shelley, Frankenstein}

Sunday, January 30, 2011

30. BOY FRIEND "LAZY HUNTER"

 
next up is a great new track Lazy Hunter, from Austin dream pop duo Boy Friend {Christa Palazzolo & Sarah Brown former Sleep∞Over members}, from their new self-titled "Boy Friend" EP (2011).

Boy Friend are cloud-mongers, they create pure unadulterated ambient dream pop akin to the Cocteau Twins. Lazy Hunter is a blissed out, weightless journey through the clouds. a warm Eno-esque ambient synth-scape envelopes us like a thick fog, while a drum machine gently pounds out a muted kick drum, snare beat, Palazzolo’s ethereal vocals drift out of the clouds, caressing our ears.

halfway into our flight a bell synth drenched in reverb rings out a hallucinatory melody which spirals around us dizzily, the kick drum/snare beat crescendos, breaking free into an epic fist pumping breakdown, Palazzolo’s vocals grow stronger, more impassioned et urgent, the dream is coming to an end, the song quickly fades out et we fall rapidly back to earth, we have just experienced a fleeting glimpse of a blissful existence amid the clouds. alone in a darkened room, surrounded by deathly silence, all we long for is to be floating amongst the clouds again. 

Lazy Hunter is the perfect soundtrack for the cinematic climax/montage sequence of an epic Miami Vice double episode.


MP3: Lazy Hunter

the "Boy Friend" EP is available online from bandcamp here.

you can find the Boy Friend band camp page here / et their rather random tumblr site is here.
 

30. THERE ...

30.
There are those who need to write, those who need to dream,
those who need to talk .... it's all one.

{André Malraux, Man's Estate}

Saturday, January 29, 2011

29. RAINBOW ARABIA "WITHOUT YOU"


i'll continue my rainbow theme with the great new lead single Without You from LA synth-pop duo Rainbow Arabia {Danny et Tiffany Preston} off their upcoming debut album "Boys and Diamonds" (2011).

Without You deftly mixes up voguish tribal percussion with pounding drum machine beats et euphoric waves of polyphonic synth sounds. starting things off with a barrage of congo drumbeats while a low pulsing drone surges underneath, a saccharine melody blissfully chimes away on a bell synth which segues into an epically euphoric 80s new wave club anthem. Tiffany's forlorn vocals are filled with torment et passion, she has an almost sneering punk delivery, like a kid trying to act brave, evoking the raw spunk of Siousxie Siousx as she belts out lines like: "They'll be what they are / and I'll be / so lonely / without you".

filled to the brim with cascading layers of constantly evolving rich synth melodies et hooks, fat pounding snare drum hits ricochet, echoing around us, keeping things upbeat, dropping out et kicking back in to epic effect, the dancing congo drums return in a ripply processed form, drenched in reverb. meanwhile Tiffany maintains her unrequited devotion, declaring "I'll wait for you", repeating it over et over, wanting desperately to believe s/he will return, a residual melancholy lingers as her voice dies out et the music fades.

Without You is a tantalizing insight of what's to come from Rainbow Arabia's forthcoming debut album, the release date is set for around March, the 7" for Without You is coming out Feb 22nd.


MP3: Without You

you should watch the awesome music video for Without You, this is an absolutely stunning clip, Tiffany Preston gives such an incredible performance here, mesmerising stuff! directed by Milica Jovchic and Aleksandra Milenkovic.



check out Rainbow Arabia here: myspace | bandcamp | wordpress

29. IF ...

29.
If only she could put them together, 
she felt, write them out in some sentence,
then she would have got at the truth of things.

{Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse}

Friday, January 28, 2011

28. READING RAINBOW "EUPHORIA"


this is a great lo-fi track i found recently called Euphoria from Philly indie garage-pop duo Reading Rainbow {Sarah Everton vocals/drums et Robbie Garcia vocals/guitar} off the recently released "Reading Rainbow/Coasting" split EP (2010).

Euphoria appropriately starts with a kick-ass ecstatic surging guitar wailing away, then big fat stomping, spacious garage drums kick in, followed by hazy droning female/male unison vocals that fight to break through the leaden wall of noise. this is a thundering, scrappy lo-fi garage pop track with canyons of reverb et warm harmonies. the song ends with the declaration: "Euphoria / is over", which they chant repeatedly, like a dystopian mantra. euphoria is overrated anyways!


MP3: Euphoria

check out the awesome lo-fi hi-8 music video for Euphoria, directed by Aaron DeBruin, it's sooo great! totally reminds me of 80s Flying Nun videos.



you can buy the "Reading Rainbow/Coasting" split EP 7"from the French label Atelier Ciseaux.

if you like what you hear then i recommend you definitely get your mitts on Reading Rainbow's "Prism Eyes" (2010) album which is available online at itunes.

you can find Reading Rainbow here: myspace | lastfm | bandcamp
 

28. EVERYTHING ...

28.
Everything is gestation and then bringing forth.

{Rainer Maria Rilke, Letter to a Young Poet }

Thursday, January 27, 2011

27. LADY LAZARUS "THE EYE IN THE EYE OF THE STORM"


here is a stunning dreamy lo-fi pop track The Eye In The Eye Of The Storm, from ambient folk artist Lady Lazarus {Melissa Ann Sweat} off her new album "Mantic" (2011). this is an older track, but i really wanted to put up here for those not familiar with Sweat's music, et also to highlight the fact that she has just released her brilliant debut album.

"In the eye of the storm / it's so quiet / so unbearably quiet"

Sweat is a self-taught musician which strongly characterises the raw, tentative, naturalistic style she has, her music possesses a simplistic, artless quality that makes it all the more endearing et heartfelt. The Eye in the Eye of the Storm has an intimate, lo-fi quality, full of room tone et hiss, it is a bare-bones track, very prudent in its rendering, the simplicity is what makes it such a devastating song.

the sole instrumentation is a haunting, murky, cavernous sounding piano, the luminous ringing notes reverberate while a thudding sustained note resounds somberly. this contrast creates an endless conflict between the ringing/light notes et thudding/dark note, a rising et falling, only to be repeated again, producing a sense of inner torment et forlornness. the minimalist looping piano melody creates a whirling, disorienting sensation, as if we are caught inside a tornado, but it also evokes the agitated mind of the artist, preoccupied with the same depressing thought which is going round et round in her head. it is all the more engaging that the piano loop is not perfect, it is delightfully human, slightly wonky et off-kilter, it falters, each repetition not quite the same as the last, adding to the unsettling emotional tone of the song.

The Eye in the Eye of the Storm is a stark confessional song, you really feel the weight et isolation of each word, each drawn out syllable has tremendous emotional resonance. this strong feeling of solitude is intensified by the simple looping piano melody. Sweat’s bare, dispirited vocals drift forward out of the dizzying melody, her voice seems to get more leaden et sluggish as the song progresses, the burden weighing down on her becoming almost unbearable, yet she manages to gain enough strength in the end when she resolves "I will not retire".

"Who's gonna sing it / but me /
and who's gonna live it / but me."

these lyrics really encapsulate for me Sweat's attitude as a solo artist/poet/musician, you can tell right away that making music is something she is compelled to do, this is not just for fun or to live out some Joni Mitchell fantasy, she actually has something very personal to say, there is a strong need to express/confess her own intimate thoughts et feelings about herself et the world, et like all good music, it is the simple emotional truths that always resonate the loudest.

Sweat procured her rather apt musical pseudonym from the Sylvia Plath poem, Lady Lazarus.


MP3: The Eye In The Eye Of The Storm

check out the mesmerizing et haunting new music video for The Eye In The Eye Of The Storm directed by Austrian visual artist Katharina Lackner.



if you like what you hear you should definitely check out "Mantic", available online from the Lady Lazarus bandcamp page along with her "Home Recordings" EP (2009).

you can find Lady Lazarus here: myspace | lastfm | facebook

27. SUDDENLY ...

27.
Suddenly, and without warning, the pictures disappear, or they're chased 
away by some interference - someone or something that irretrievably 
cuts off the fragile desire to capture an observation, an insight.

{Tove Jansson, Fair Play}

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NOBODY EVER HAS ...

here is a devastating lyric that always resonates for me from Warpaint's epic Undertow track, off their sublime debut "The Fool" (2010).

Nobody ever has to find out
what's in my mind tonight.

26. BEST COAST "WHEN YOU WAKE UP"


if you've played your "Crazy For You" album to death et have been pining for something new from Best Coast then look no further, here's a new track When You Wake Up from the recently released "Summer Is Forever" EP (2011).

When You Wake Up is more of what we love about Best Coast, dreamy, lovelorn, sundazed, beachgazing pop music to mellow out to in the fading afternoon sun. jangly, fuzzed out, strumming guitars, big spacious pounding drums, soft cooing, dreamy harmonies, et yearning, lovesick vocals from Bethany Cosentino. "It's always 11:30 / When you wake up" she laments in the refrain, this sounds like yet another relationship that isn't going to work out, oh well, it's good material for a pop song.


MP3: When You Wake Up

here's another great new Best Coast track Sunny Adventure that just got released on the "Sunny Adventure/Bummer Split" split EP (2011).

MP3: Sunny Adventure 

you can check out Best Coast here: myspace | lastfm | bestycoasty  

26. THIS ...

26.
This is the squalid, or moving part of the story,
and the scene changes.

{J.D. Salinger, For Esmé - with Love and Squalor}

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

25. THE BABIES "MEET ME IN THE CITY"

 
here's a welcoming upbeat track, Meet Me In The City, from Brooklyn-based garage pop/rock revelers The Babies, it's from their just released self-titled album "The Babies" (2011). this is an old single dating back to 2009, but it's so damn good i wanted to share it with those who haven't had the pleasure yet!

Meet Me In The City is a rowdy, foot stomping, psychobilly, garage-pop romp, with a stripped back lo-fi 'roomy' sound, reminiscent of Beat Happening. lead singer/guitarist Kevin Morby {bassist from Woods} wastes no time, ripping right into it, his raspy voice bellowing out the lyrics with real gusto, drawing out his syllables to great effect on the choruses "Heeeeyyyy! / meet me in the citttyyyyy". Morby's gravelly cracked-notes are contrasted nicely by the warm sundazed backing harmonies from Cassie Ramone {from Vivian Girls}.

the song is filled with jangly guitar riffs et exuberant strumming, fat spacious thumping drums keeps things upbeat along with the jingling of a tambourine, there is even time for a great little twangy guitar solo, performed by Ramone, before the raucous, thumping refrain kicks back in to take us home in a drunken, hazy revelry.
 
Meet Me In The City is a ridiculously catchy, upbeat, rowdy song, you'll be left humming it all day long with a smile on your face!


MP3: Meet Me In The City

here is another great single off the album:

MP3: Run Me Over


this is a great lo-fi garage pop album with blissful, sundazed backing harmonies, recommend listening, "The Babies" is available from Midheaven Records on cd, mp3 or vinyl! or online at itunes.

check out The Babies here: myspace | lastfm | thebabiesband

25. ON ...

25.
On a pattern like this, by daylight, 
there is a lack of sequence,
a defiance of law, 
that is a constant irritant to a normal mind.

{Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper}

Monday, January 24, 2011

24. GLASS VAULTS "NEW SPACE"


here's a great dreamy tropical flavoured track New Space, by Wellington ambient/dream pop duo Glass Vaults {Richard Larsen et Rowan Pierce}, it is from their debut "Glass" EP (2010).

well, these guys are ridiculously talented, the "Glass" EP was a massive discovery for me {yeah i know, 8 months after the fact, i'm on 'island time'!}, this is a truly inspired work, et Wellington is certainly the logical/perfect breading ground for producing this distinct sound, a sublime amalgamation of rich electronic/percussive experimentation et blissed out introspective dream pop, the result, a unique blend of chillwave et tropical/roots music.

a stream of garbled/piercing digital noise washes over us like sea spray, we have arrived, a simple looping synth melody slowly builds momentum, ebullient yelps echo out of the hazy mist, the pulse of the synth acting like a beacon, guiding us, vaporous, ethereal harmonies swirl around us, "I moved into a new space," a voice wistfully intones, Larsen’s chanting vocals float toward us, they become more abstracted, hallucinatory, trance-like, conjuring up American Indian tribal chants.

the pathway opens out revealing a vast euphoric soundscape before us, we are greeted with layers of exuberant percussion, live et programmed, bass-heavy, thumping, tropical big beats pound away rhythmically, synths drone et jangle out playful melodies while icy atmospherics encircle et flood over us, the chanting grows more upbeat et jaunty, cries of "hey" ring out, trailing off, dissolving into the endlessly lush tropical expanse.

the driving, tribal big-beat sound makes New Space a totally addictive et catchy atmospheric pop song. New Space is a euphoric sonic journey, evoking a rapturous psychedelic ceremonial gathering in some lost-in-time tropical jungle setting, this is the perfect auditory getaway.


MP3: New Space

check out the experimental music video for New Space.



you can get a hold of the "Glass" EP from the Glass Vault's bandcamp, name your price, so be generous! et it is now available on glorious 12" vinyl from Sonorous Circle or Jukboxr.

you can find the Glass Vaults here: myspace | facebook | glassvaults

24. MUSIC ...

24.
Music is a language related to the invisible 
by which nothingness suddenly is there in a form 
that cannot be seen but can certainly be perceived.
 
{Peter Brook The Empty Space}

Sunday, January 23, 2011

23. SURF CITY "AUTUMN"


i thought i'd better start representing some local antipodean music, so here's an awesome psyched out noise pop/"shoewave" track, Autumn from New Zealand's greatest band Surf City, this is from their debut "Kudos" LP (2010).

Surf City are certainly trying their best to revive the once internationally recognised et highly regarded "Dunedin Sound", et we should be truly thankful to them, they have painstakingly transplanted the distinct sound 1061.02km north to Auckland, deftly mixed it together with a myriad of other musical influences to create a formidable new blend of psyched out noise pop for a new appreciative generation!

Autumn is an ecstatically experimental pop track, chock full with layered instruments et effects, starting with the opening Beatlesque {Tomorrow Never Knows} backmasking/reverse looping on the cymbals et droning guitars, rim hits patter away before being engulfed by an oscillating wah-wah guitar effect, reminiscent of Johnny Marr on The Smiths How Soon Is Now?, then finally big fat spacious sounding drums bang out an upbeat rhythm with ultra crisp cymbal splashes that keeps your feet stomping for the duration.

frontman Davin Stoddard chants out lyrics with mantric repetition, the words barely decipherable, they become just another layer in the mix, rather than being at the fore, they are buried, soaked up, drowning in the swirling wall of sound, they echo around us dizzily. Stoddard's lazy, almost slurred delivery is reminiscent of Thom Yorke or Stephen Malkmus.

Autumn has that blissful hazy spacious roomy sound, that sublime fuzzed out wall of guitar noise that makes the music of My Bloody Valentine et The Jesus and Mary Chain so iconic, yet Surf City's sound is denser et cleaner, it's a more 'present' sound, reminiscent of Sonic Youth, but also revealing of contemporary digital recording methods.

Autumn is a one way ticket to shoegaze heaven, lie back, crank it up et let the euphoric wave of noise wash over you.


MP3: Autumn

i highly recommend getting yourself a copy of the excellent debut "Kudos" album, it is available from Arch Hill records on cd or vinyl! or you can get it from itunes along with the mind-blowingly good self-titled "Surf City" EP (2008).

you can check out {Kill} Surf City here: myspace | lastfm | facebook

23. A ...

23.
A kind of almost Belgian humming gave each sentence
the aspect of a sad refrain.

{Maruerite Yourcenar, A Coin in Nine Hands }

Saturday, January 22, 2011

22. BRYANT K "DAISIES GROW"


here is a brilliant new lo-fi/soul track called Daisies Grow from New York artist Bryant K {aka Bryant Steward} from his "Daisies Grow/Stars" 7" (2011).

"It goes from the mind / to the spine / enters the heart / 
ooh yeah / I love you ..."

Daisies Grow is a declaration of love, a tormented et cracked confession of unrequited devotion, recollections et imaginings stumble out with raw, awkward, heartfelt emotion. Bryant K certainly fits into the current wave of bedroom pop artists with a strong penchant for soul et r&b, characterised by pained, lovesick crooning, reverberating, distorting over minimal beats, esoteric samples et washed out hazy atmospheres, artists like How To Dress Well, James Blake et Autre Ne Veut. but it's Bryant's unique, spontaneous delivery style that makes his music so interesting et fresh.

this is a stripped back lo-fi track, a simple percussion clap loops while a droning synth buzzes away, Bryant's raw et soulful, stream-of-conscious vocals sound like they were recorded on a dictaphone when he was tripping out on hallucinogens. his hesitations et repetitions add to the rambling, spontaneous, improvised quality of the song, the lyrics feel like they are flowing out of his mind as he lies on his bed thinking about the girl he met that night, inspired by her, he commits his feelings to tape.

love does crazy things to people, Bryant K's Daisies Grow is proof!


MP3: Daisies Grow 

check out great new music video for Daisies Grow directed by Justin Powell.


you can get a hold of the "Daisies Grow / Stars" 7" online from the Stones Throw site.

check out Bryant K here: myspace | facebook | lastfm 

22. I ...

22.
I would rather sit in a barrel under a closed sky, 
rather sit in an abyss without a sky,
than see you, luminous sky, 
defiled by passing clouds!

{Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra }

Friday, January 21, 2011

21. MODERN WITCH "NOT THE ONLY ONE"


here is a dark et broody track called Not The Only One from a darkwave/'witch house' band i've only recently stumbled upon, Modern Witch {Mario Zoots, Kristy Foom and Kamran Kahn}, the track is from their album "Disaro" (2010).

a drum machine pounds out a hissy snare beat metronomically, while 80s Italian horror film sounding synths pulse et drone away eerily, a murky bassline throbs et growls, vampiric, incantatory vocals {strongly evoking German chanteuse Nico} chant out oblique lyrics, drawing out syllables, creating an almost robotic delivery style. air traffic control chatter filters in et out randomly. intentional down-sampling creates some interesting watery digital ghosting et garbling effects on the ambient washes et synth riffs, further adding to the overall muddy, hazy et slightly nauseating atmosphere. there is a real numbness to Modern Witch's music, it induces a trance-like daze in the listener, you feel lethargic et groggy, as if you've been drugged.

“I was not the only one / to believe what you said to me / 
I was not the only one / that day.”

a lone car prowls around the deserted city streets aimlessly, cigarette smoke escapes out of the windows. Not The Only One is an aftermath pop song, something sinister et horrific has occurred, the cryptic, guilt laden lyrics are like twisted, hallucinatory memory fragments, scrambled, confused, filtering through a traumatised mind. trying to remember, but never getting to the core, always evading the critical event, distracted by the small, banal details ... the sun starts to rise, the car continues to haunt the city streets, we will never know what really happened ... that day ... some things are best left unsaid ...

 
MP3: Not The Only One

check out the great experimental music video for Not The Only One.



you can purchase the "Disaro" album online from the Modern Witch bandcamp.

you can find Modern Witch here: myspace | lastfm | modernwitchmusic

21. CONJECTURES ...

21.
Conjectures as to the meaning of it, rapid and wild,
hurried into her brain; but she was satisfied with none.

{Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice }

Thursday, January 20, 2011

20. AIAS "LA TRUITA"


here is a great track from spunky Barcelona indie-pop three-piece girl group Aias {Gaia, Laia et Miriam} called La Truita from their debut album "A la Piscina" (2010).

Aias proudly sing in their native Catalan {not Spanish}, their homegrown blend of twee pop is greatly inspired by the lo-fi lollipop-punk songs of Beat Happening, et the reverb-drenched harmonies of Phil Spector-produced 60s groups.

La Truita is a catchy carefree twee pop song with wonderful dreamy vocals full of reverb et sundazed breezy harmonies. this is endearingly simple, authentic lo-fi indie pop, with a real DIY home-made recording aesthetic, even the loud buzzing hum from mains power becomes a musical texture blending in with the fuzz-laden, groaning guitar, muffled, foggy snare, tinny hi-hat heavy drums, et hazy blissed out echoing vocals.

regardless of the 'foreign' language, Aias' breezy pop music is sooo catchy et delightful you can't help but tap your foot, hum along et make up the words to sing along with them! anyway, twee pop is universal it transcends language barriers!


MP3: La Truita

check out the great music video for La Truita. 



the "A la Piscina" album is available from Captured Track on cd/mp3 et vinyl! 

et you can find there myspace | lastfm | capturedtracks

20. THEN ...

20. 
Then he hastened back to life again, mixing with the crowd,
and frequenting the cafés and dramshops.

{Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment }

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

19. THE SOFT MOON "BREATHE THE FIRE"


here is an impressive track from San Francisco's The Soft Moon {one-man-band Louis Vasquez} called Breathe the Fire off the recently released self-titled album "The Soft Moon" (2010).

one could be forgiven for thinking "The Soft Moon" album is a re-release of some obscure post-punk/dark wave album from early 1980s cold-war era Europe. the slightly worn, De Stijl design influenced LP cover certainly helps to sell the 'authenticity' of The Soft Moon's sound.

from the first distinct bass note on Breathe the Fire it is clear Vasquez has studied the Joy Division/Martin "Zero" Hannett produced recordings meticulously, he has captured the trademark sparse, eerie, spacious sound mix perfectly. the dizzying, pounding reverb/delay on the drums, droning/echoing guitars, driving/growling bassline sound is so hauntingly familiar yet Vasquez manages to put his own unique stamp on it.

Vasquez builds the track up masterfully, starting with a throbbing, prowling, relentless bassline hook, then dominant, pounding reverb laden drums echo around us, the guitar drones et wavers in the distance, slowly becoming more prominent, Vasquez's vocals stay at an icy, serpentine whisper, which then gives way to an epic hallucinatory, jangly, shoegazing guitar solo that continues through till the end. Vasquez lets out an anguished cry of despair into the indifferent void, before the song slowly extinguishes itself.


Breathe the Fire is the perfect soundtrack for a suicidal joyride, tearing full throttle through desolate city streets in the dead-of-night, running into trashcans, knocking over anything in your way, not a care in the world, you've got a death wish, accelerator hard to the floor, you unleash an anguished primal scream as you drive headfirst into a concrete wall, slow-motion impact ... metal, glass, flesh become one ... welcome to J.G. Ballard's dystopian vision of the new crash-body. 


MP3: Breathe The Fire

the "The Soft Moon" album is available from Captured Tracks on cd or vinyl! otherwise you can grab it digitally from itunes

you can check out The Soft Moon here: myspace | lastfm | facebook

19. THEY ...

19.
They all took fright, like little birds and ran away.

{Anais Nin, Little Birds }

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

18. ADVENTURE "FEELS LIKE HEAVEN"


here's a great new track, Feels Like Heaven by Baltimore electro-pop artist Adventure {Benny Boeldt} from his forthcoming album "Lesser Known" (2011).

Feels Like Heaven is a fantastic anthemic new{chill}wave pop song, this totally sounds like the epic climax et closing credit music to an 80s teen film, guy gets the girl in the end, he walks off down the street, pumps his fist in the air, freeze frame, the lyrics kick in "This feels like heaven", the credits roll, everyone makes their way out of the cinema feeling invigorated et uplifted, the catchy pop song stuck in their heads as they drive home, it becomes their theme song, they begin to sing it unconsciously, repeating the words "This feels like heaven" ...

this is the perfect track for chasing the blues away, it's an incredibly catchy, pure escapist track, it washes over you like crisp ocean waves, leaving you feeling reinvigorated, ready to face the day!


MP3: Feels Like Heaven


the "Lesser Known" album comes out March 22nd on Carpark Records, it will be available on cd et lp/mp3!

you can find Adventure/Benny Boeldt here: myspace | lastfm | facebook

18. MEANING ...

18.
Meaning does not inhere in a text; it resides in 
the interaction between the text and the reader.

{Pauline Marie Rosenau, Post-Modernism and the Social Sciences }

Monday, January 17, 2011

17. THE DØ "SLIPPERY SLOPE"


here is a fantastic new track by freak folk/avant-pop Franco-Finnish duo The Dø {Dan Levy et Olivia Merilahti}, called Slippery Slope, it is the title track from their forthcoming album "Both Ways Open Jaws" due out early 2011, but it is currently available on their "Dust it Off" EP.

Slippery Slope is a deliriously innovative genre bending experimental pop song, mixing tribal percussive beats et jazzy poly-rhythms with folk rhymes et hip-hop vocal styling, add to this a sublime amalgamation of eclectic instrumentation, intricately woven et blended together to produce a jubilant cacophony of sound.

starting off with a sparse, striped back percussive rhythm on kettledrum, with wood block hits/claps, Merilahti's incantatory, breathless vocals drone out hypnotically, reminiscent of childrens jump-rope rhymes, with her taunting, nonsensical et playfully sadistic lyrics, she also has a lazy hip-hop drawl going on et even puts on a twangy British accent as she brashly hollers: "Shut your mouth, analyse".

the song opens out into an exuberant, bombastic, dizzying, poly-rhythmic refrain, a deluge of layered rolling percussive barrages, tribal percussive rhythms et eclectic instrumentation, including maracas, a psyched-out recorder et kazoo et other body-percussion sounds create one rapturous, carnivalesque pop song.

Slippery Slope builds to a frenzied euphoric lunacy, a maddening cacophony of repetitious vocals et pounding, rattling, hooting percussion crescendoing et finally vanishing into thin air, leaving a ringing, reverberating tone in ones ear.


MP3: Slippery Slope

check out the cool new Slippery Slope video. there are definite influences from Kaneto Shindô's cinematic masterpiece Onibaba (1964).



the "Both Ways Open Jaws" album will be released March 7th, it will be available from Fnac on cd and vinyl! et if you missed The Dø's brilliant debut album "A Mouthful" (2008) you should definitely get your hands on it! you can find it online at itunes, amazon.

you can check out The Dø here: myspace | thedø | lastfm | facebook

I WOULD ONLY ...

here is a great lyric from Who's Afraid Of Elizabeth Taylor? by Joan of Arc, just one of the countless brilliant lyrics from the unique et idiosyncratic mind of Tim Kinsella(s):

I would only wanna make a film
if it was in French
and I don't speak French.


17. HE ...

17.
'He means nothing to me,' I thought; 'he bores me, 
I'm indifferent to all this, I am nothing, absolutely nothing!'

{Françoise Sagan, A Certain Smile }

Sunday, January 16, 2011

16. TORO Y MOI "BLESSA"


here's a slightly older track i've pulled out of the library for this hot summers day, i wanted to highlight it here for anyone not aware of its existence, Blessa is by South Carolinian synth pop artist Toro Y Moi {Chaz Bundick}, from his debut album "Causers Of This" (2010).

this is one lush, blissed out synth pop tune with a splash of sundazed psychedelia, great for a summers day lying by the pool drinking a tall glass of ................ {insert drink of choice}. Blessa captures the feeling of staring hypnotically at the suns reflection dancing on the rippling surface of the pool, it is a fleeting moment of bliss, too good to last.

the beginning sounds like someone jumping into a pool, the wonky reverb caused by the waters surface being disturbed, the rest of the song plays out like we are hearing it underwater, the guitar has a quivering, swelling, ripply sound, the vocals haunting at first filter up to us from the depths, calling out, come deeper, the sunlight shimmering above rippling et refracting ethereally, familiar harmonies drift et echo around us, Bundick's gentle vocals beautifully fade in et out like a faltering radio transmission from another time et place.

Blessa meanders dreamily between a funked-out bassline et catchy snare beat, wonky shimmery guitar et warped synths before it skips like a broken record into a crackly, glitchy guitar et percussion outro.


MP3: Blessa

check out Toro Y Moi here: myspace | facebook | toroymoi

et you can check out Chaz's artist profile at the Carpark Records site here.

«QUOTABLY» GOOD LYRICS

i thought i would start randomly posting interesting/clever/poetic song lyrics that are worth quoting ...

starting off with a very pithy commentary by M.I.A. from The Message:

Headbone connects to the headphones
Headphones connect to the iPhone
iPhone connected to the internet
Connected to the Google
Connected to the government

 

16. I ...

16.
I insist on knowing the names; on being interested only in books left ajar,
like doors; I will not go looking for the keys.

{André Breton, Nadja }

Saturday, January 15, 2011

15. JJ "NEW WORK"


here's a great track from Swedish synth-pop duo jj {Elin Kastlander et Joakim Benon}, the track is called New Work, it's from their latest mixtape "kills" (2010).

"When we were 17, the sky was always tangerine."

these are my favourite lyrics at the moment, so dreamy, a perfect mantra for lost youth! the lyrics in New Work have actually been taken from Swedish indie-rock band Broder Daniel's Work et When We Were Winning, but like any good cover/remix jj totally transform the original 'angsty' material, deconstruct, mash it up, et create a catchy-as-hell dreamy synth pop anthem, which they aptly name New Work.

Kastlander's voice moans lackadaisically as the track opens: "I wake up everyday, feeling the same way, gotta go to work", you can almost hear her thinking, should i call in sick again! New Work washes over you, it's like daydreaming in the shower, eyes closed, water running down your face, blissed out, your mind elsewhere, anywhere but the thought of work. New Work totally captures this feeling, it segues from the agonizing thought of work to wistful reminiscences of youthful, carefree times.

the piano sample has been lifted from Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind, it creates a catchy hook et gives the song a whimsical feel, but it also sounds like an alarm clocking going off, a reminder to wake up et get ready for work.

there is a real sense of time dragging, the chopped and screwed beats, slow everything down, gives it an oppressive weight, reverses, winds back, stops, stutters, syllables are drawn out et repeated, re-emphasized, brilliantly evoking the lack of enthusiasm, the soul crushing thought of working 9-5 everyday. the track then opens out into a hazy, washed out daydream, Kastlander's voice lightens, becomes blissful, her lyrics take flight et swirl around us, as she reminisces about her youth, the music fades in et out, stops, starts, as if she is fighting to hold on to these precious memories, she doesn't want to let go of the euphoric feeling, she tries to lose herself in the music, the hazy, wonky synths et stuttering beats dissolve her. the cover image says it all!

New Work ends with a self-reflexive dialogue sample that puts a sobering et critical perspective on jj's 'post-modern' approach to remixing their "favourite" {et "least favourite"} artists.


MP3: NEW WORK

jj "kills" mixtape/album is still currently available for free download from the Sincerely Yours site, found here, along with numerous other jj related stuff.

15. SUDDENLY ...

15.
Suddenly, there is nothing I remember that doesn't contain a clue.

{Miranda July, I Kiss A Door}

Friday, January 14, 2011

14. SLOW ANIMAL "theFUNsun"


here is something to liven up your day, a great little track i heard recently, theFUNsun by New Jersey indie/garage/surf pop duo Slow Animal {Alexander and Daniel} from their "theFUNsun" 7" (2010).

i love how this track jumps straight into it, almost mid sentence, hard cut, no fat, no jangly guitar intro, it's as if they just got home from school, knowing their parents {along with everyone else's in the neighborhood} will be home just after 5:00, flick on the amp, no time to check levels, hit record, et tear into it, unleashing their angsty lo-fi surf/garage fuzz-core into suburbia.

theFUNsun is exploding with zestful reverb et distortion, reminiscent of Wavves s/t debut. this track is loaded with twangy, fuzzy, screechy guitars, stomping, thumping, splashing drums, along with the mandatory ranting foggy, spazzed-out vocals mixed with 50s style harmonized "whaaaaooo's", but it all works. the track perfectly captures the duos raw, infectious youthful energy, you can feel the thudding, wailing sounds reverberating through the garage doors et spilling out into suburbia.

there is nothing earth shattering or original about Slow Animal's sound, it's just a great blast of infectious lo-fi garage pop mixed with fuzzed out jangly surf-rock guitars et catchy do-wop harmonies. theFUNsun transports you from the two car garages of suburbia to endless sun drenched beaches of southern California.

i really dig the cover artwork, suburban surrealism! i don't know what is more 'surreal' though, that they have no heads, or the Robert Palmer t-shirt! it's definitely a nice touch.


MP3: theFUNsun

you check out the entertaining split-screen 'performance' video for theFunsun, directed by Vice Cooler and Who ate My teeth.



"theFUNsun" 7" is available from Jaxart Records, otherwise you can find it digitally on bandcamp as part of the "Demo" EP for free!

you can find Slow Animal here: myspace

14. WHEN ...

14.
When I have wept and made love enough, I seek out 
some other poet, and I again set out for another world.

{Xavier de Maistre, Journey Around My Room }

Thursday, January 13, 2011

13. GLASSER "HOME"



this is a track i just rediscovered in my library et was reminded of its brilliance, Home is by Brooklyn-based avant-pop singer/songwriter Glasser {Cameron Mesirow} from her debut album "Ring" (2010). 

Home is a masterfully layered track, with amazingly textured et catchy percussive rhythms, the refrain is epic et uplifting, embroidered with a mixture of rolling organic percussive/instruments et swelling digital/midi instrumentation. Mesirow's voice is enchanting, full of depth, the sparse drifting verses are contrasted with a rapturous et confident operatic refrain, harmonized with playful a'cappellas. Home is one epic pop song!

the clambering/trickling marimba riff et hand-clap loop evoke a horse galloping, the hooves pounding into the earth, creating a driving rhythm, a strong sense of movement, it sets the pace at a trot, Mesirow's ethereal voice rides in on a black horse, her poetic lyrics, like memories flowing through her mind. there is a real sense of expansiveness in the music, conjuring up a vast wintry tundra, the song opens out into an exhilarated gallop, with a vision of Mesirow riding fearlessly through the monochromatic landscape, rain pouring down on her, huge regal sounding synths et midi-strings swell et surge to dramatic effect.

although Mesirow is singing about "home", we get the strong feeling she has left it all behind et is now on an epic nomadic quest for some new meaning in her life. she is at one with her surroundings, thriving on the isolation, she has come here to forget. Mesirow loses herself within her own song, out there on the endless tundra, she unleashes an epically cathartic refrain: "ho-o-o-o--o-ome" backed with gentle cooing a'cappella "oh-ohhs", her wind-swept vocals soar, resounding into the desolate landscape. for Mesirow, "home" represents a nostalgic idea of that once safe place, but it no longer has relevance for her, she is a nomad now, with nothing holding her back except memories, which are already starting to dissipate ...

Glasser's sound is reminiscent of the epic 'romanticism' of Bat for Lashes et it has a similar playfulness et sense of rhythm heard in Feist. Home also evokes the epic 80s pop anthems like Pat Benatar's We Belong. there is also similarities with the Lia Ices track Grown Unknown that i posted recently. their experimental mixing of unique percussive instruments et ethereal vocals put them more in line with Scandinavian indie-pop, like Fever Ray et Björk {Joga certainly comes to mind}. both Lia Ices et Glasser's music has a timeless/placeless quality that allows it to transcend the confines of more faddish indie/synth pop. their music will continue to resonate long after the party is over.

Home is an incredibly cinematic sounding track {in a good way}, the song boldly finishes with an epically long instrumental refrain/outro worthy of the climax/resolve in a Michael Mann film.


MP3: Home

if you like what you hear you should definitely buy Glasser's "Ring" album, it is available online from itunes et True Panther ... 

go here to see a recent live performance Glasser gave of her new single Mirrorage.   

check out Glasser's official site here / or go to her myspace here.

13. TRAINS ...

13.
Trains take you to the end.

{Janet Frame, Owls do cry }

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

RAYA MARTIN "TRACK PROJECTIONS" (2007)

this is a film i greatly admire, Track Projections (2007), by independent Filipino filmmaker, Raya Martin.
 {2007, 6mins, hi-8, colour, Philippines} 

it is hard to put into words the emotional/sensory experience one has while viewing Raya Martin's beautiful short Track Projections, but i feel compelled to at least attempt to share my impressions/observations as a form of appreciation for his work.

Track Projections is an abstract poetic film, dreamlike, a meditative train journey through a wintry countryside et into a city at dusk. it is simultaneously an exploration of seeing/observing et a study of the medium that records what is seen/observed, of video itself. Martin presents us with a new way of seeing the world, he gives us a unique perspective of our surroundings.

 
  

Martin subtly transforms et renders the everyday landscapes et objects into abstract shapes, colors, textures, weaving rapidly, they blur et merge, smear into each other then break apart, sometimes we get fleeting glimpses of familiar images, the chimney of a house, a corrugated fence, iron railway structure, graffiti on a wall, cars in the street, pavement stones, pop into focus momentarily, then vanish again into the stream-of-consciousness.


we are also made aware of the materiality et structure of the images that have been captured on analog video tape. Martin creatively includes the imperfections et defects; stretchmarks, drop-outs, static, tracking glitches, he incorporates them into the film rhythmically, as another texture, but he is also making us aware of the videos construction et fragility.


the limitations of the camera itself are also used innovatively, Martin is using a hi-8 consumer camera that has a built in auto-iris, the camera struggles to expose high contrast images, between strong highlights et deep shadows causing the iris to open et close continuously. Martin uses this restriction creatively, he renders the pulsing dilations et contractions of the iris as a rhythm, a heartbeat, but it also has a blinking quality, like a sleepy eye, slowly opening et closing, the intervals getting longer, slower, heavier, before finally remaining closed.


Martin significantly rotates his continually moving/train-tracking images, reorienting the horizontal nature of the landscape/horizon so that it becomes vertical. in doing so he makes the images flow upwards, as if they are streaming out of a film projector. the abstracted landscape made up of vertical lines, shapes, forms et textures appear more like scratches, bleach et paint marks, evoking the direct, hand painted/collage films of Len Lye et later Stan Brakhage.


the film is left silent, Martin has consciously chosen to go without any sound or musical accompaniment, this also evokes the films of Stan Brakhage, who boldly omitted any form of soundtrack to his films. they allow the images to speak for themselves, it is a purely visual experience {which is not to say one does not imagine sound}. it also significantly takes us back to the beginning of cinema before the invention of sound.


one of the final images in Track Projections reveals a child on a train, staring out the window, transfixed by the ever-changing landscape. one begins to think perhaps the film has all taken place in his mind, this wondrous vision of the passing landscape that we have been experiencing is being filtered through his youthful et innocent eyes. Track Projections is a delightful commingling of reality et imagination.


great news, you can watch Track Projections below:

12. ZOO KID "OUT GETTING RIBS"


this is an outstanding track by 16 year old South-east Londoner Zoo Kid {Archy Marshall}, called Out Getting Ribs from his 7" single "Out Getting Ribs / Has This Hit" (2010).

"Recessions, depressions and sociology lessons."

Marshall's voice is raw et direct, 'unedited', emotionally resonant, he lays himself bare. Out Getting Ribs is an anguished confession, recalling fellow bedroom pop singer/songwriter Perfume Genius, but this is uniquely et undeniably British. we get a strong sense of weight et desperation, this song needed to be sung, it has a reason for existence, it is pure catharsis. yet it is indisputably a pop song, a devastatingly good pop song.

"Don't break away, I'll waste away ..."

the echoing forlorn strum of a guitar, plucking away thoughtfully, slowly building momentum, courage, each chord change weighted with memory et anguish, a tortured wail, followed by a pained declaration: "Hate runs through my blood", this is a damaged love song, Marshall gruffly croons/vents, his bleak lyrics grounded, real, youthful, his wounds palpably fresh, his vocals hold our attention the entire song, this heart-wrenching confession from a stranger is riveting, we are compelled to listen, we can't ignore him, we let him get it off his chest, then part company, each going in opposite directions.

Ribs is a deceitfully sparse track, subtle layers of abstract/digital textures, layered guitar playing, picking notes one moment, strumming the next all key us into Marshall's emotional head space. the inclusion of ambient studio noises, coughs, clicks, bumps {usually edited out} only adds to the songs heartfelt sincerity giving it a raw 'kitchen sink' quality. one such moment occurs near the end of the track, we hear Marshall apologize for stuffing up a chord change, its inclusion expresses his emotional investment in the song, making it all the more compelling.

curiously the song title takes it's name from a work by Jean Michel Basquiat, the words "Out Getting Ribs" are written on a paper napkin.


MP3: Out Getting Ribs

check out Marshall's great performance in the video for Out Getting Ribs.


the "Out Getting Ribs / Has This Hit" 7" is available from House Anxiety Records. you can also check out his bandcamp to hear more tracks, Ocean bed is a standout.

you can find Zoo Kid here: myspace | facebook | lastfm

12. DECIDING ...

12.
Deciding he could not think and write at the same time,
he put down his pen.

{Orhan Pamuk, The Black Book }

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

VERONICA SAWYER

this is an awesome track title from British indie-pop duo Summer Camp, off their "Young EP" (2010). pop references usually rub me the wrong way, but i can make an exception for a Heathers reference, et besides this is an awesome song, they reference Teen Wolf as well!

Veronica Sawyer

11. ZACH HILL "THE SACTO SMILE"

no this is not a still from the 80s film version of Stephen King's Firestarter, it is a frame taken from prolific indie lo-fi/thrash artist Zach Hill {drummer in Hella} music video for his song The Sacto Smile. this image was so punk he had to use it for the cover of his new album "Face Tat" (2010).

The Sacto Smile sounds like it was recorded at a sound check by someone standing next to the loudspeaker on a cellphone, the music keeps phasing out, clipping, distorting into all kinds of fuzzy/glitchy electro-noise-feedback! this is a good thing!!!

Hill unleashes a maelstrom of torrential beats, they obliterate everything in their path like an atomic bomb, leaving a devastating trail of destruction in its wake, his vocals which are drowning in distortion et reverb explode heads like in David Cronenberg's Scanner, the guitars sound like electric chainsaws running amok in the mosh pit, chopping peoples feet off. this is not for the faint-hearted! there is something cathartic about listening to this track though, perhaps you are just thankful having made it out alive, et being able to tell the tale, not that anyone will believe you.

i feel like this is a track best appreciated when experienced live, we need to see Zach going apeshit on the drums, but the next best thing is experiencing it through the awesome music video made by Sean Stout et Zach Hill, it is like watching a Harmony Korine video while your brain is exploding from a cranial aneurysm!

this is music to set your alarm to, a nice refreshing wake up call! this is morning maniac music {or afternoon maniac music if you sleep late}! you'll be full of energy et angst for the rest of the day!


MP3: The Sacto Smile

check out the video for Sacto Smile.



you can buy "Face Tat" online from itunes or bandcamp

et here is Zach Hill's myspace, which conveniently has all his videos too, among other things!

11. IT'S ...

11.
It's the thought of all those dreamers dreaming and what they're dreaming
wears me down till I sleep the sleep of forever.

{Sylvia Plath, Johnny Panic  and the Bible of Dreams }

Monday, January 10, 2011

10. FOXES IN FICTION "FLASHING LIGHTS HAVE ENDED NOW"

this is a track i've been obsessed with for quite a while now, Flashing Lights Have Ended Now by Canadian bedroom pop artist Foxes in Fiction {Warren Hildebrand}, it is from his awesome album/tape "Swung From the Branches" (2010).

"Only found in photographs/ This feeling haunts the past/ The silence walks between us/ The silence seems to last."

Flashing Lights Have Ended Now is such a beautiful song, it paradoxically manages to be melancholy et uplifting at the same time. Hildebrand's lyrics et delivery are inflected with despondency but there is a quiet optimism in the music, it's like his head is saying one thing et his heart another ... this is bedroom/dream pop at it's finest!

the beginning of the song has a levitating effect, our bodies rise up off the bed, we begin to float around the room ... hazy, out-of-focus, lilting vocals echo around us, the gentle familiar strum of an acoustic guitar, followed with warped, wonky guitar riffs, bringing with them a warm wave of nostalgia as it opens out into a solo reminiscent of Lindsey Buckingham et late 70s Fleetwood Mac. a catty dialogue sample jolts us back to reality momentarily before an ocean of fluttering synths swell over us, swirling et sparkling until slowly fading away into the night sky, our bodies gently touch down on the bed, the dream is over ... for now ... 

Hildebrand is a master of writing wonderfully transporting dreamy pop songs, like impressionistic water colour paintings of clouds. he definitely manages to capture something of the feel of 80s British twee pop, as defined by the iconic Sarah records. his music is only going to get better with age!

ah, that album cover! man i really dig the tinted/duotone photographic look, nostalgic yet very contemporary, just perfect ... very "Smiths"  ... this really needs to get a release on vinyl!!!

let the wonky hazy reverb gently cascade over you ...

MP3: Flashing Lights Have Ended Now
  
you can buy the "Swung From the Branches" album online from itunes

check out the Foxes in Fiction myspace here, or go to his official site/blog here, where you can presently download his new "Alberto" ep for free, definitely worth grabbing!

or check out his tumblr site here, which has loads of goodies too.

BORN ON A DAY ...

this is another song title i really dig by psych-pop band Black Moth Super Rainbow from their album "Eating Us" (2009), it's a fuzzy post-apocalyptic mantra for the ill-fated, makes you wonder why you even bother getting out of bed in the morning! 

Born On A Day The Sun Didn't Rise.

10. WHEN ...

10.
When you've left life behind, can you forget?

{Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening }

Sunday, January 9, 2011

9. LED ER EST "PORT ISABEL"


here is one of my favourite tracks of present, Port Isabel taken from Led Er Est's brilliant debut album "Dust On Common" (2010). like labelmates Automelodi, Led Er Est's sound is achingly familiar, yet very contemporary. their unique blend of British new romanticism et obscure European synth wave make this an incredibly catchy et danceable track, this would have been a #1 hit in the 80s!

Port Isabel is decadent et intoxicating, throbbing with youthful angst et intense melancholy, filled to the brim with intricately sequenced/fluctiating digital et analog goodies, thick, driving, hypnotically pulsing synths, icy guitar riffs, metronomic drum machine hits et splashes, spacey electro flourishes swirl et encircle us. lead singer Samuel Kklovenhoof repetitively incants, like a hypnotic mantra, "her eyes, they feed us, forever orange days ..." the throbbing music et psychedelic lyrics create a euphoric, cultish devotion, we are enraptured. this intoxicating music really should be worshiped on the dance floor like all great synth wave music!

this is damaged-love-pop / this is as authentic as it gets / this should be compulsory listening for today's disaffected youth / this is the new sound!
  
let's all be thankful for the existence of labels like Weird that are supporting et promoting bands like Automelodi, Frank (Just Frank) et Led Er Est among others!


MP3: Port Isabel

i strongly recommend getting Led Er Est's album "Dust On Common", it's available from Wierd Records et itunes.

you can find Led Er Est here: myspace | lederest | facebook

9. OVERBURDENED ...

9.
Overburdened, submerged, she becomes a stranger to herself
because she is a stranger to the rest of the world.

{Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex } 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

SAUTE MA VILLE (1968)

next up is Saute ma Ville (1968), Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman's brilliant first short.

{1968, 13mins, 35mm, b&w, Belgium}

greatly inspired by Jean-Luc Godard et the joyful verve of French New Wave cinema, Akerman set about independently funding et making her first film, Saute ma Ville {Blow Up My Town} when she was only 18 years old. the result is an anarchistic, absurd, tragicomic, et exuberantly satirical film, it critiques the emptiness et unfulfilled domestic life of a young woman {a theme she will return to in her masterpiece Jeanne Dielman (1975)}.

the title of the film aptly expresses youthful angst, wanting to rebel, to destroy, to "blow up" the place you are forced to live in, nearly everyone can identify with that. Akerman enthusiastically attempts to live out this fantasy, Saute ma Ville is her film, her declaration to society as an 18 year old woman living in Brussels in 1968, that things need to change.


Akerman sets up the film in true Godardian fashion with a large title announcing RECIT {a small story, or personal account}, she then establishes the films location, a high rise apartment building {representative of mass cramped modern living}, we are quickly introduced to the young protagonist, Akerman herself, who rushes into the building carrying flowers, checks her mail, then frantically makes her way to her apartment, as if late for something. all the while on the soundtrack we hear her voice zestfully humming a tune, which uniquely plays out as the opening 'theme' music. once home she literally locks herself in the kitchen et begins to make herself dinner.

"Scotch!" a harsh voice repeats tauntingly as the main character begins to make dinner. this word is at first quite cryptic, just another crazy sound, but it is in fact a very significant word, the only word in fact that is spoken in the entire film. this is her inner-voice, jeering at her, to get on with it. Scotch significantly means; put an end to, smash, destroy, et we could go as far as blow up, et of course it also means cello-tape.

the main character then matter-of-factly begins to tape around the door frame, sealing it, scotching herself into the kitchen, a gesture that signifies she is in the process of putting an end to her own life, she is obeying her inner voice. but Akerman puts a brilliant comic touch to this disquieting sequence, as she tapes the door frame, she repeatedly pauses et takes large bites from an apple, the loud crunching sounds add to the absurdity of the situation.


Akerman discerningly portrays the act of suicide as just another banal ritual, like having to make dinner or polish shoes. her character indifferently goes about her preparations for suicide while making dinner et mopping the floor. it is reminiscent of Godard's treatment of torture in Le Petit Soldat (1963), he de-dramatizes it to shows torture as a banal everyday process for the torturers. here Akerman elicits humor from the absurdness of her characters awkward preparations to asphyxiate herself in her kitchen, as well as blow up her apartment for good measure, after having just cleaned it!

Saute ma Ville is a very 'performative' film, it is a solo performance, et significantly, Akerman places herself in the lead role, this is something she will subsequently do throughout her career, effectively affording her films a level of authenticity et keen sense of self-examination.


the film is staged critically in one location, a cramped kitchen, which acts as a kind of 'domestic theatre'. the camera takes an observational approach, it regards et follows the main character as she performs her domestic chores within the tight space. there is often an ungainliness to Akerman's performance, a clumsiness, mixed with her constant horsing around, gives the film a slapstick nature, reminiscent of Chaplin et Tati, which only adds to the absurd et tragicomic tone of the film.
 
her exuberant spontaneity mixed with the films slightly unpolished quality give Saute ma Ville its youthful charm. this is something Akerman would dispense with in her subsequent films, establishing a more formal et rigid aesthetic.

throughout the film the main character grows more et more unstrung, her movements et gestures become frantic, her behaviour more erratic. something has clearly snapped, the overwhelming thought of a lifetime of domestic servitude is too much for her.

in one such sequence Akerman deftly turns the daily ritual of polishing her shoes into a devastating feminist critique. she begins to polish her shoe, then her sock et finally her leg, absent-mindedly at first et then gleefully with broad manic scrubbing gestures. the main character is like a child who refuses to stay within the lines of a colouring-in drawing, she refuses to adhere to societies outmoded routines any longer. Akerman's performance in this sequence et much of the films themes et attitudes evoke feminist performance et body art of the late 1960s-70s.
it is impossible to talk about Saute ma Ville without addressing its highly effective soundtrack. Akerman uniquely dubbed most of the film with her own voice, utilizing any et every sound that pops into her head; humming, murmuring, babbling et other child-like sound effects.

Akerman's child-like wordless singing, produces a unique form of 'sound' music, there is even a 'theme' tune of sorts. humorously at times her voice gets overexcited et falters, sounding almost out breath, other times it becomes bored, et takes on a more agitated tone. the sounds are usually synchronised with the drama, relating to what the main character is doing. it reflects her unstable personality, at times it is innocent et whimsical but then it becomes irritated et taunting, signally the characters growing agitation.

in many ways Akerman's use of her dubbed voice allows her to represent the solitude et loneliness of the main character, humming is usually done when you are alone, or you're excited about something, or when performing menial tasks as a way to distract yourself.


the mirror has a strong symbolic role in the Saute ma Ville, as a device that enables self-awareness, et as a symbol of 'beautification', the mirror is where women make themselves beautiful et 'presentable' before they go out into society. Akerman is critiquing the role of the mirror in women's lives, she makes its indifferent reflection complicit, a witness to her characters actions et subsequent suicide.


there are three important moments in the film that occur in the mirror, the first, Akerman's character sitting on the floor, abruptly catches sight of herself in the mirror, there is a moment of uncertainty, she is asking herself if she is really going to go through with it, then resigned to the fact, she breaks the gaze et proceeds to tape up the windows frames.

the second time is when she is dancing about hysterically, rubbing lotion on her face et laughing deliriously, Akerman once again catches sight of herself in the mirror, but this time she makes direct eye contact with the camera, with the audience, it is as if she is saying, you could stop this. she slaps herself, then disgusted by her reflection, she angrily writes something on the mirror {which we cannot make out}.

thirdly when she ignores the mirror, breaking the spell, she goes over to the stove, sets a piece of paper on fire, then turns the gas on, a voice on the soundtrack disturbingly makes the sound of gas hissing as it leaks into the room, this is mixed with the crackling of burning paper.

the film ends with a long shot filmed in the mirror, as a reflection, slumped over the gas stove, flowers grasped in her hand, a symbol of beauty et innocence. we wait with her, forced to watch her in the mirror, waiting for the inevitable ... bang! all goes black, interestingly rather than an explosion, Akerman chooses to unleash a hail of gunfire on the town, a possible reference to Godard's Masculin Feminin (1964) which also used gunfire sound effects metaphorically/politically.

the films 'explosive' suicidal ending also evokes Godard's Pierrot le Fou (1965), a film Akerman has cited as being the reason she became a filmmaker, so in many ways the ending is an homage, but comically, one that happens "off" camera. after the gunfire subsides, the films closing credits are cheerfully read aloud by Akerman, this is effectively her final nod to Godard, a reference to his opening credits in Le Mépris (1963).

******

you can watch Saute Ma Ville below, it is in two parts however.