MORE SWEETLIFE NEWS! Our friends at All Things Go are throwing a party tomorrow at U Street Music Hall on 5/9 to celebrate the upcoming Sweetlife Festival (more HERE) on May 11. Set includes our favorites MS MR, with Sir Sly and newcomers Magic Man backing ‘em up. Get tickets to the UHALL show HERE and be there!
Pay attention to disco in the coming months because it’s about to have another moment. As EDM is spiraling off into a thousand digital redundancies, back comes Daft Punk who rather than riding the cash wave of corporate ravers have released a disco single and are about to release a disco album. Live instrumentation is about to replace Skrillex. It’s not just the right moment musically, I agree with Manchester DJ legend Greg Wilson,
“Get Lucky has dropped at just the right moment. At a time of recession and austerity, the uplifting nature of Disco is at its most potent, as proved in the past. What must be remembered is that this was a movement that flourished in New York at a point when the city was on its knees, only just avoiding bankruptcy. Disco thrived through the hard times, the release it provided from the stresses and strains of the everyday…”
That’s not to say that the many forms of disco ever really went away. The line between house and disco is often very thin and in the last 10 years great disco has come from two places: New York City and Norway. Norwegian producers like Lindstrøm and Todd Terje have been releasing euphoric underground disco tracks and edits for almost a decade. New York’s disco output centers around James Murphy’s DFA records and a handful of NYC artists. DFA’s sound is really reflected in their motto, “Too old to be new, Too new to be a classic.”
DFA’s lineup includes Holy Ghost!. The duo have been releasing synthy disco-pop tracks since 2007 and have a serious knack for grooves. They use mostly live instrumentation and actually feel like a continuation of New York’s Disco heritage. More importantly, they are the perfect antidote to EDM’s aforementioned digital cliches and might become a centerpiece of the upcoming Summer of Disco. Check out their nearly shot for shot remake of New Order’s Confusion music video above and they put on a super fun live show so be sure to check them out at Sweetlife (more HERE) on May 11, and keep your disco eyes open in 2013.
Caveman’s new self-titled album, which was released on April 2nd, is their follow up to 2012’s CoCo Beware and sports tracks that are decidedly more single friendly. The top single off the album, “In The City,” is low-key and dream inducing, with a small dose of synth to keep you on your toes. The band will be at the Black Cat on 6/19 so BE THERE. More singles from the album are available to stream on their soundcloud. If you’re in for a shoe-gazey time that won’t put you to sleep, the show is worth checking out. words by Leah Norod
Brooklyn-based Swear and Shake deliver the kind of indie folk that makes you want to do cartwheels in a field of flowers. The quartet blends excellent female vocals with an easy banjo infused sound, and manages to give off a natural vibe while still well produced and professionally crafted. The lyrics are sweet and occasionally sorrowful, and the duets only add to the vulnerable yet powerful image. “These White Walls” is the EP’s highlight (and upcoming full length release Maple Ridge), but the whole thing could be the soundtrack to your humid DC summer picnic. Listen up and watch out for their show at The Hamilton on May 9th.
Indie rockers the world over have given a great big bear hug to Foxygen. The cuddly young group, masterminded by Sam France and Jonathan Rado puts on a kind of wide-pupilled, Haight Ashburye-style carnival show for the 21st century. Their sound is a sincerely ironical pastiche of late 60s psychedelia. Think Village Green Preservation Society-era Kinks helmed by a twee-o-fied Mick Jagger who occasionally finds himself possessed by the shrieking, hysterical ghost of Mark Bolan.
Some folks (HATERS) think Foxygen should apologize for not being as groundbreaking as bands like Boris or Sigur Ros or some other such shit, but let’s all stop and think for a moment about how dreadfully fucking serious indie rock would sound if every new group was determined to be the next Radiohead. Thank bejesus we don’t live in such a dance party-free dystopian nightmare, am I right?
And thank Foxygen, too, with their paisley pants, and Dylan ‘fros, and gleefully shambolic stage act. Thank ’em in person on May 11 at the Sweetlife Festival in [whatever the fuck city], Maryland, where they’ll be appearing along with a million other artists you want to see. In the meantime scope the Take Away Show featuring Foxygen above, and listen to No Destruction below. Go!
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are back after a hiatus following 2009’s It’s Blitz!, after which our only doses of Karen O were her collaborations, most notably with David Lynch on Crazy Clown Time. April 2013 has seen the release of their 4th studio album Mosquito, and it’s a bit of a departure from the atypical Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound that drifted in and out of our collective adolescence. Honestly it’s easy to imagine that the collaboration with David Lynch continued on some of these tracks, since a few are downright bizarre. Still, the new album is sure to win new converts, as they’ve changed their sound to reflect the changing nature of the indie music scene.
Listen to the single “Sacrilege” below and for those who miss the old high energy, “Slave” and “Area 52” are good places to start when trying to find hints of Fever to Tell. It’s not as sexy as their older stuff, but Mosquito is a new, experimental direction for a band that has been in our lives for over 10 years. See ‘em live at Sweetlife May 11th, 2013!
Though Sweetlife (happening May 11) may only remove festival goers approximately 30 miles outside of the District, Youth Lagoon possesses the hypnotic power to transcend its audience light-years away from Merriweather Post. The concert experience makes for a metaphysical voyage floating atop electronic waves of warbly guitar tunes and introspectively poignant lyricism. The captain of the ship, and Youth Lagoon front-man, Trevor Powers, channels bands like Animal Collective and the Beatles circa Sgt. Pepper.
Youth Lagoon shines, especially on tracks such as “Mute” (listen below) and “Pelican Man”, when Powers highlights his ability to create music that is simultaneously ethereal and discordant. The band comfortably calls upon dissonant guitar coils to juxtapose Powers’ crisp yet soft-spoken vocal performances. Most songs journey into an electronic mash up of jarring, unearthly tones along side capricious, rhythmic synths. Markedly, within Youth Lagoon’s overall composition lies a maturity that adds to the minimalist aesthetic of their quietly profound ambiance.
The band is set to play the Treehouse Stage at this year’s Sweetlife Music Festival. Festies should nab tickets HERE and prepare for an awesome ride.