Christian Peslak and Steve Marion of the psych-rock band Delicate Steve have known each other for years. You can definitely hear their fluidity and familiarity in the group’s best tracks—standouts from 2011’s Wondervisions such as “The Ballad of Speck and Pebble” or “Butterfly” are bursting with a warm energy that only intimate friends can create. And their band’s success—through two great albums and incessant, devoted touring—has allowed them to slow down and pursue new musical experiments.
Peslak and Marion are now also known as Saint Rich, a rambling rock duo that flirts with more conventional, lyrical pop structures than any Delicate Steve songs have. Their debut album of 2013, Beyond The Drone, is bigger and louder than Wondervisions or Positive Force, yet just as intimate and woozy with love and affection. Peslak’s voice is both playful and heartfelt, while Marion’s guitar melodies have just the right amount of twang to tear into your nostalgia. The epic ascent of “Officer” juxtaposed the quiet strumming of the project’s nascent track “Dreams” represents Saint Rich’s best qualities: they are both acolytes of the American rock canon and true masters of emotive, earnest music.
Forever devoted to their live presence no matter what band they’re representing, Saint Rich is travelling down the east coast this summer in support of Beyond The Drone. They’ll be making a stop on Sunday (7/27) at DC9, with Rusty Maples as their opener. Get ready for the show with singles from the debut album below. We’ll see you there!
Here is a song to improve summer road trips from my top secret collection of ‘Best Driving Songs.’ It’s archetypal Krautrock from Neu!, who practices understated idyllic German psychedelia. My prescription: play this song while driving home with the windows open after a long day at the beach, lake, river, etc. Enjoy.
We’re right smack in the middle of the warm months, smiles and beach songs time. Here is a track to elicit summertime joy tears, a sped up version of MJs 1979 classic “I Can’t Help it.” Shaped by the Norwegian God of Disco Todd Terje, this is about as good as music gets. Enjoy.
Presumably in an attempt to console himself after Chile’s loss to Brazil in the World Cup (the latter of which, let’s face it, could use some major consolation of their own right now after their embarrassing defeat to Germany), American-Chilean producer Nicolas Jaar recently released via twitter this fantastic edit of The Helen Hollins Singers. Featuring a heavy bassline and a series of looped drums, his sick revision entitled “Consolation” of the soul track from the 1980’s gospel group is one for the ages. Alternating emphasis between the vocals and the instrumentation, Jaar creates a compelling and modern twist on the original. As for Chile’s chances in the Cup, there’s always 2018.
I wonder who Jaar will be rooting for in the final match on Sunday? Whomever it is, let’s hope his musical offerings continue to be inspired by athletic events on the world stage, win or lose.
Alongside L.I.E.S Records, the boys from White Material Records are one of NYC’s crown jewels of underground electronic music. White Material are a few buddies who met at the Rhode Island School of Design who then moved to NYC and began self-produced records. The label’s style is a cross pollination of grungier noise music and straight up house/techno forms, a style that is now fairly common in NYC… as if all the hardcore kids bought 808s. Anyways, enjoy this fantastic track from Galcher Lustwerk and keep an eye out for more White Material releases.
If you’re in the mood from some solid indie-folk, check out The Paper Kites at Jammin’ Java on Friday, July 18th. The Australian natives flaunt their melodic proficiency and eye for the creative in the music video for their single “Young.” It features a pretty cool visual effect that evokes the similarities between us all while you try and count how many faces flicker by within the span of 3 1⁄2 minutes. Wouldn’t it be great if as many people showed up to the show? Make it happen! Doors are at 7 and The Paper Kites are on at 8, with tickets priced at a modest $15. If you’re lucky, maybe they’ll ask you to be in their next time lapse.
word by Leah Norod
There are those songs that reduce the strongest willed and most emotionally stable people in the world to tears and an overflow of feelings. For anyone who grew up in the wake of millennial indie culture and proto-Tumblr sincerity, The Shins’ early singles had this kind of effect for many. The tambourine sway and woozy coos of “New Slang” will forever be the band’s master class example of swelling emotion through a folk and pop filter. It was also an incredibly poignant dedication to middle class, American life and the pains of moving away from places, people and memories.
James Mercer’s voice in “New Slang” became an influence for a new generation of songwriters and musicians in alternative music. Well over ten years after its release, the track is still a muse for young musicians who are in the throws of the same transitions and unsettling, anxious moments that the Shins occupied on their first albums. Jack + Eliza’s debut single “Hold The Line” is both a sonic and lyrical brother to The Shins’ most classically emotive tracks. Still in college, the New York duo must be intimate and familiar with mental and physical distances—the track is a warm duet about a relationship and a set of voices that are separated by space and experience. Its eloquent guitar melody and uncannily familiar tambourine rattles, as well as the vocals are wonderfully reminiscent of the unique sadness captured by early millennial indie music. Yet “Hold The Line” is singular in its collaboration of voices and minds, which bodes well for Jack + Eliza. With a debut EP out soon, this new city act is an exciting example of young musicians learning the language of music through raw experience and perceptions of the world around them.
Check out “Hold The Line” below, and check back soon for more details about the duo’s debut EP!