Ωracles is a group formed by Roosevelt bassist Joshua Gottmans, plus Dennis Jüngel, Niklas Wandt, and Nils Herzogenrath. Together the Berlin/Cologne outfit make progressive pop, built on jazz staples and flashy doses of psych. “Gazing From Without”—a track from their debut EP, Standford Torus—circuits Toro Y Moi-style funk, acid-washed and always looking ahead.
London’s Álauda could possess a backstory about being raised in a mountain by snow leopards and it’d be believable. Her magical, twisted take on conventional pop results in twinkling percussion and otherworldly atmospherics—it’s a cocktail that shouldn’t be sipped by average joe’s, that much is clear. New track “Honey Priest” is a self-produced, far-out reminder of her potential, with synth work being twisted and skewed until it’s a distant reflection of normality. Daring to the extreme, it’s like a fairytale being strung out and expressed in song.
Law Holt is an Edinburgh soul-pop experimentalist. She’s recently been in the studio with Young Fathers, and in “Haters” she’s unveiled the first song from her debut EP (out as a free download in February). “Haters” is a crazed collision of old-school samples, like Shabazz Palaces suddenly turning their attention to a chart-worthy endpoint. There’s a hell of a lot going on here, but every second affirms LAW’s potential as one of Scotland’s breakout talents.
Yumi Zouma is a project spanning two different countries, all amounting to a debut EP, due for release via Cascine on February 11th. Lead track “The Brae” is a strutting, sweet-as-it-gets pop song, dripping with nostalgia. The three friends—all from New Zealand and currently living between Paris and New York—keep it minimal, on a track that mimics a stroll through a Brooklyn park, a sedated journey through a new city.
Primitive Parts is a band consisting of members from Male Bonding and Sauna Youth. On paper, that sounds like some kind of scientific concoction made in factories devoted to scrappy garage punk. As it plays out, the project proves even better than my wildest imagination. “Open Heads” is a bratty, cocksure brute force that doesn’t waste a single second during its riff-heavy routine.
“Open Heads” will be available as a 7″ single on February 10th via Sexbeat.
FOOT are a band from Philadelphia who named their first EP FEET. About as grubby as a worn-out pair of brogues, brown leather leaking through the seams, their first collection of songs is a sore, strangely beautiful prospect. Best of all is “STAPLER,” a track that boasts so much more heart than its concrete noun titles might suggest.
Familiar sounds open up Washington, D.C. hip-hop newcomer Johnny Dillinger‘s first mixtape Pretty Much. Its title track—showcasing the rapper’s sticky flow and celebrity-referencing approach—samples Youth Lagoon‘s gorgeous “Raspberry Cane,” bringing a sugar-sweet contrast to Johnny’s audible nonchalance. It’s a clever opener, one that actually precedes a darker heart that gradually opens up throughout the rest of the mixtape.
Baltimore musician Austin Tally sinks in and out of consciousness on a new collection of songs titled In G. It’s a “mini-album” recorded in Pennsylvania and showcases a sweet, blissed out sound that’s simple on the outside but full of complexity on the inside. The vocals on “Ready To Be Cold” swerve in and out of consciousness, coming from all angles and never settling into one constant groove.
Newly signed to Canada label Boompa, DRALMS has released a debut lovingly dedicated to everyone, “from lovers to neighbors,” but it spits and curses below the sweet top layer. Below, in the miserable underbelly, sits something built to explode under the weight of its own industrial misery. The project of Christopher Smith, Shaunn Thomas Watt (Siskiyou), Peter Carruthers (Siskiyou) and Will Kendrick (Failing), “Divisions” leaves a sour taste, one that’s rarely been expressed with such potency.