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AntisocialitesAntisocialites is the much-anticipated follow-up to Alvvays' 2014 self-titled debut. Across its 10 tracks and 33 minutes the Toronto-based group dive back into the deep end of reckless romance and altered dates. Through thoughtful consideration in basement and abroad, Alvvays has renewed its Scot-pop vows with a powerful new collection of manic emotional collage.
The album opens with the excellent strum-'n-thrummer 'In Undertow,' a hi-amp breakup fantasy that is both crushing and charming for its level-headedness. You find a wave and try to hold on for as long as you can, you made a mistake you'd like to erase and I understand, sings Rankin, her voice full longing not for another person necessarily, but for what to do next. Meditate, play solitaire, take up self-defense, Molly continues, laundry-listing some strategies for moving on. What's next for you and me? I'll take suggestions, she deadpans under crashing waves of feedback and Farfisa.
Replete with more songs about drinking ('Forget About Life,' 'Hey'), drugging ('Lollipop (Ode To Jim)'), and drowning ('Already Gone'), Antisocialites is a multipolar period piece fueled by isolation and loss. Perversely enjoyable dark drama springs from Rankin's phonetic twists, quick-sung rhymes and irreverent syllable-play. So morose for me, seeing ghosts of me, writing oaths to me, the self-described introvert sings on the Cocteau-pop stunner 'Dreams Tonite,' the song from which the album's name is derived. In fluorescent light, antisocialites watch a wilting flower.
Antisocialites details a world of ice cream truck jingles and radiophonic workshop noise, where Rankin's shining wit is refracted through crystalline counterpoint. 'Not My Baby' is a centerpiece, a meditation on the rapture of escape following the sadness of separation. Elsewhere, 'Plimsoll Punks' is the band's answer to Television Personalities' 'Part-Time Punks' and a winking surf opus indictment of the self-righteous who intend to condescend. Molly wrote the rapid-fire sugar stream 'Lollipop (Ode to Jim)' after singing 'Just Like Honey' with Jesus and Mary Chain. 'Your Type' is a beautiful primitive stomp about running around Paris with vomit on your feet post-Louvre ejection.
The record concludes with a movement that is at once stark and celebratory. On 'Forget About Life,' the apartment stands in disarray as undrinkable wine is inhaled: When the failures of the past multiply and you trivialize the things that keep your hand from mine, did you want to forget about life with me tonite? The resonant freaks in Rankin's tales don't find much resolve, but with equal doses of black humor and heartstring-tugging, Antisocialites rings a truer tone.1. In Undertow
2. Dreams Tonite
3. Plimsoll Punks
4. Your Type
5. Not My Baby
7. Lollipop (Ode To Jim)
8. Already Gone
9. Saved By A Waif
10. Forget About Life$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
180-Gram Electric Blue Vinyl
"'Adult Diversion' is a whimsical dream jam and brings "feel-good" to
a staggering high." - Consequence of Sound
"...a complete collision of everything we already love: singalong
lyrics, a guitar-driven backbone, and a sun-drenched vibe..."
"Alvvays make wistful, jangly, Brit-tinged indiepop."
"...somewhere between the sun-drenched shores of California and
the preppy Scottish countryside."
Alvvays are two women, three men, a crate of C-86 tapes and a
love of jingle-jangle. Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan grew up
as next-door neighbours in Cape Breton, lifting fiddles and folk-songs. Heartbreaks of different shades soon entered their lives, as
did the music of Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian. Similar
noisy melancholy drifted over to Prince Edward Island, finding
Alec O'Hanley, Brian Murphy and Philip MacIsaac.
Convening in Toronto, the group have been making music since
since dusk or maybe dawn, when stars were appearing or fading
off. As a result, their debut self-titled album is both sun-splashed
and twilit -- nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death
in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass.
With needlepoint melody and verse, Rankin and O'Hanley's songs
were recorded at Chad VanGaalen's Yoko Eno studio and mixed
by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and John Agnello (Sonic Youth,
Dinosaur Jr., kurt Vile). The resultant album is loud and clear and
sure. Flood your ears.1. Adult Diversion
2. Archie, Marry Me
3. Ones Who Love You
4. Next of Kin
5. Party Police
6. The Agency Group
8. Atop a Cake
9. Red Planet$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
CongratsA cyborg dance party for a broken future that's closer
than you think - Pitchfork
Off Your Face Euphoria - The Line of Best Fit
hypnotic, electronic climax-rock - SPIN
scuzzy, funk-fuelled energy - FACT Mag
Holy Fuck took the world by surprise around 2005 because there was
just nothing like them-a hardcore thrift-store found-object punk
band with a relentless commitment to rhythm and a sense for
atmosphere better matched to a close encounter of the third kind
than a simple rock concert. Think EinstÜrzende Neubauten re-inspired
by Fela Kuti with Brian Eno working as keyboard tech and every
channel on the mixer set to max power. It was the best ride out there
while it lasted, up to and including their 2010 full-length Latin,
recorded largely in too-brief breaks while on the road. That album
cemented Holy Fuck's sound and reputation for unapologetic
instrumental noise but at the end of yet another insane touring cycle,
it was time to take a break which turned into a hiatus which turned
into a chance to explore other projects and production work. (Like the
bands Lids, Dusted and Etiquette, or production for Metz, Alvvays and
They'd been moving faster than they'd ever expected, especially after
a 2007 sophomore release that came close to securing Canada's
prestigious Juno and Polaris Music Prize. (Not to mention festival slots
at All Tomorrow's Parties, Glastonbury, Coachella and more-plus Lou
Reed said they were the best band he'd seen at SXSW.) The strategy
was just to stay busy, says founder and noisemaster Brian Borcherdt,
but soon they started to feel like Indiana Jones running from that
boulder: "He had to step aside and let things settle!"
But there's nothing Indiana Jones does better than the shock reveal, is
there? And so in 2016 Holy Fuck suddenly announced the release of
Congrats, a surprise full-length two years in the making that is by any
scientific measure their holiest fuckiest release ever: "When you're
sitting still in a van and staring out the windows, you start to dream
about all the other things you want to do," says Borcherdt. "This album
is exactly what we couldn't do then."
Checking into a "proper" studio, rather than the barn in rural Ontario
where most of Holy Fuck's records were made, Congrats was
recorded by the same lineup that recorded Latin: Borcherdt, Graham
Walsh, Matt "Punchy" McQuaid, and Matt Schulz. As they worked, they
discovered that Congrats was a process of refining things, Walsh
says-both physically and philosophically. Their ad hoc arsenal of
low-budget hi-tech toys has been streamlined down to what he calls
the nervous system of the band: "What gets run through our system is
the seed of the idea for our music, and the system is what we play. This
record is almost a beginning-the first stage of a new way for us."
So consider those previous albums prelude to Holy Fuck's true
breakthrough, and recognize Congrats as the moment when Holy
Fuck take the chaos and craziness (and charm) that have always been
at the heart of their band and not so much control it as concentrate it.
Now they're heavier, wilder, leaner, sharper, more daring and more
unpredictable than ever before, on fire with the power of inspired
outsiders like Suicide, Silver Apples, Can, Mission of Burma or the
Monks or even Sun Ra, says Borcherdt, whose pursuit of his own kind
of musical purity is exactly what Holy Fuck are after. Yes, it took them
a few years, which in 2016 is supposed to be the career suicide, but
they took that time to take chances. "We were told we did everything
wrong," Borcherdt says now, laughing-but really Congrats is the
sound of a band doing absolutely everything right.1. Chimes Broken
2. Tom Tom
4. Xed Eyes
5. Neon Dad
6. House Of Glass
10. Crapture$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Light InformationNobody cared about their old heads, because the new ones work just fine now, don't they?.... they have the same size mouth and eyes.
The song Old Heads is a sci-fi space anthem to technology that constantly replaces itself, proving both necessary and unnecessary at the same time. It's also a jangly pop gem, a trip through the fantastical that is ultimately warm and relatable. This remarkable coexistence is one of many achievements of Chad VanGaalen's Light Information, his sixth record on Sub Pop.
For an album that's about not feeling comfortable with really anything, as VanGaalen says, Light Information is nonetheless a vivid, welcoming journey through future worlds and relentless memories. The rich soundscapes and sometimes jarring imagery could only come from the mind of a creative polymath--an accomplished visual artist, animator, director, and producer,VanGaalen has scored television shows, designed puppet characters for Adult Swim, directed videos for Shabazz Palaces, Strand of Oaks,METZ, Dan Deacon, and The Head and the Heart, and produced records for Women, Alvvays, and others.
While alienation has always been a theme of VanGaalen's music,Light Information draws on a new kind of wisdom--and anxiety--gained as he watches his kids growing up. Being a parent has given me a sort of alternate perspective, worrying about exposure to a new type of consciousness that's happening through the internet, he says. Throughout the dark-wave reverb of Light Information are stories of paranoia, disembodiment, and isolation--but there's also playfulness, empathy, and intimacy.
The product of six years' work, going back even before 2014's Shrink Dust, Light Information emerged from the experimental instruments that fill VanGaalen's Calgary garage studio. As always, VanGaalen wrote, played, and produced all of the music on Light Information(save Ryan Bourne's bass part on Mystery Elementals and vocals onStatic Shape from his young daughters Ezzy and Pip), and designed the cover art.1. Mind Hijacker's Curse
2. Locked in the Phase
3. Prep Piano and 770
4. Host Body
5. Mystery Elements
6. Old Heads
7. Golden Oceans
8. Faces Lit
9. Pine and Clover
10. You Fool
11. Broken Bell
12. Static Shape$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now