deathcrash - Less - March 17, 2023
London quartet deathcrash have climbed to the top of the ranks among contemporary slowcore acts, largely due to last year's beloved LP Return, one of my favorite records of the 2022. Less than a full calendar year later, the band has returned with a slightly tamer, more refined and unique sound, whilst remaining true to the slow burning, deeply melancholic sentiments fans of the subgenre will be all too familiar with. Many artists throughout the years, from Johnny Cash to Phoebe Bridgers, have noted how much easier it is to write a sad song as opposed to a happy one, but there is something truly remarkable in just how sad a song can be. Deathcrash, like slowcore predecessors Duster, Low, and Codiene, have taken just a few years to reach the top, or perhaps more accurately the bottom, of depressing songwriting. Certainly, the sub-100 BPM and faint, twinkling guitars assist in creating the sparce, skeletal ambience, but it's frontman Tiernan Banks' vulnerability in his songwriting that truly entrances me. While I appreciate the louder moments on their last record more than those on Less, its the melodic improvements and the distance that this album puts between the listener and the rest of the world that make it something truly special.
Favorite Tracks: "Pirouette" ; "Duffy's" ; "Distance Song"
Yves Tumor - Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume - March 17, 2023
Experimental singer-songwriter and producer Sean Bowie, better known as Yves Tumor, has spent most of the last decade travelling the world and accruing a cult-like fandom, all the while pumping out some of the most eclectic and progressive music to achieve mainstream success. Their latest record, which according to the title can be simply referred to as Hot Between Worlds, picks up right where they left off with 2020's success Heaven To A Tortured Mind, blending that experimental electro-pop and unique production with more of and 80's post-punk blend poking through on many of the tracks. With this LP, Yves seals the deal on becoming one of modern music's most important and most talented artists who is not scared of any traditional genre boundaries. There is a shoegaze-esque density to this record, largely thanks to producer Alan Moulder, one of the most famous engineers of guitar sounds in modern alt-rock. Yves ability to gracefully pair this with his noir-R&B flavor and glam-rock aesthetic has yielded a one of a kind record that will remain in my rotation for a long time to come.
Favorite Tracks: "God Is A Circle" ; "Lovely Sewer" ; "Echolalia"