Archives for posts with tag: New York

Bailter Space

Bailterspace is back in 2020. Mysterious emissions via a Bandcamp account. Old songs. New Songs. Live stuff. The latest offering is Delta. “Is this new as well? What could it all possibly mean?” they ask. Well, if they don’t know, how are we meant to know…?

“Delta”, like the other new tunes, is kind of minimal, but everything feels dangerously coiled, as if it could explode at any time. Possibly demo-ish, unfinished, work-in-progress, or maybe fully-formed. Who knows? *

It has all the component parts of Bailterspace songs though. Clanging mechanical guitar chop, pneumatic drums, ominous earth-moving bass chords, a searing blast of distorted, saturated guitar noise, and sweetly melodic, drifting, sleepy, enigmatic vocals.“It’s like a turquiose dream, that’s just what it seems”. Post-industrial dream-pop psychedelia?

A reminder, if required, that for all the crushing sonic intensity of the Bailterspace sound, it’s the melodies that are the heart and soul of their songs.

[* Turns out “Delta” was a track from a new album called “Concret”… the original track this post initially linked to was removed by the band so the link about now goes to “Delta” on the album now. It’s a great collection of typically crunchy noise, but also a bit more of a post-punk edge. Enjoy.]

Bailterspace 1997


ela-minusThere’s a brand new (out yesterday) digital EP by New York based electronic musician Ela Minus and it is wonderful intimate small-scale electronic pop excellence. Standing out in its own strange electro-psychedelic universe is “I Wish I Had a Hat”

I first discovered the music of Ela Minus (real name Gabriela Jimeno, and originally from Bogota, Colombia) last year and everything I’ve heard since has had a rare quality.

We’re talking well-crafted melodic songs which pack pop hooks, yet don’t sound formulaic. The songs are constructed within skeletons of electronic sounds, programmed beats and miniature sonic detailing. Voice and lyrics add a compelling human connection.

Where it sounds different to my ears is the electronica is soft toned and playful, there’s plenty of adventure and the spacey minimalism is action-packed: full of tiny subtle details. Not sure if that’s a good explanation. In short: it just sounds right and good!

Anyway, this track “I Wish I Had  A Hat” is perfect. One of the most psychedelic sounding electronica pop songs I’ve heard. Fifty years have passed since Syd Barrett’s songs were recorded for Pink Floyd’s “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” and Ela Minus inhabits a different universe of sound altogether. Yet, for me, this song somehow captures the same playful psychedelic rapture as some of Syd’s “Piper…” songs. Love it.

Psychic Ills

Psychic Ills – Tres Warren & Elizabeth Hart

Psychic Ills is a duo based in New York – Tres Warren and Elizabeth Hart. I’ve somehow missed hearing them before, but tuned into ABC Radio’s Inside Sleeve show today as “I Don’t Mind” was playing & thought “hmm, that sounds like Hope Sandoval…”

Turns out this Psychic Ills track from their new (and apparently 5th) album “Inner Journey Out” is indeed a pairing of the inimitable voice of Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star, Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions) and Psychic Ills’ Tres Warren.

“I Don’t Mind” and other tracks streaming on their bandcamp page for the album demonstrate a blissful use of drones and repetition in sparse mid-paced songs. The relaxed/ relaxing meditative feel is reminds me of Spacemen 3 (try their fabulous The Perfect Prescription album) filtered through influences from astral Americana, gospel and sun-bleached desert psych-blues-rock.

Very good indeed… time to check out more of the Psychic Ills catalogue now!

Mercy_ColoursSundays seem designed for Jazz. Particularly a Gloomy Sunday in winter. A recent PopLib turntable favourite has been the classic 1963 album Getz/ Gilberto by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim and vocalist Astrud Gilberto.

Mercy is a contemporary duo from New York with a recent EP of beguiling atmospheric pop-via-jazz. “Love Dust” from the EP is perfect understated and seductive Sunday jazz for underground pop lovers.

Mercy is vocalist Mercy Weiss in collaboration with Christopher Pellnat. Her voice is warm, full of distinctive character, with tone and phrasing eerily reminiscent at times of other characterful and natural contralto voices in jazz – for example long-time favourites Astrud Gilberto and Billie Holiday.

“Love Dust” has a sleepy sway and a somewhat creepy undercurrent of latent menace, like a soundtrack song for a hallucinatory dream sequence in a surrealistic French film (thinking Amelie in particular).

Mercy EP

I am probably the only alternative music listening New Zealander who has somehow missed hearing any Shocking Pinks up until today. My loss really. Everything you need to know is on Wiki here.

I’ve read a lot of references lately to the new 33 track Shocking Pinks triple album ‘Guilt Mirrors’ released on Stars and Letters – a label run in New York by NZ/ Christchurch musician Mark Roberts (Enright House). Stars and Letters has released some wonderful music in the past year (like Misfit Mod) hence my interest.

I played ‘St Louis’ (featuring guest vocalist Gemma Syme) randomly and I loved that so here’s one 33rd of the album. It is the best new song I’ve heard so far this year. I’ll put this on loop for the rest of the afternoon now…

Turns out the triple album is actually a single LP of the ‘best 11 tracks’ from the trilogy. ‘St Louis’ is one of the 11 tracks on the LP. The LP comes with a digital download of a 33 ‘triple album’. Confused? I was for a bit, but that is nothing new.