Archives for posts with tag: Pixies

drahlaI love the random acts of discovery that come via Bandcamp and people doing the simple act of sharing a link to something new. Sometimes what you hear invades your brain so quickly and completely that resistance is futile and you click ‘buy’and pay more than the asking price just because it is that good. Like Drahla and “Fictional Decision”:

It’s a simple idea. Bass, drums, voice and that quiet/loud dynamic we are familiar with from Pixies songs. Part spoken/ part sung/ part chanted words and phrases that are strange, mysterious, threatening (and also as artfully abstract as cut-up Broadcast song lyrics), are a familiar concept to minds perverted by years of the free-form imagination of Mark E Smith in The Fall.

But on this song by Leeds based trio Drahla these components – familiar concepts from post-punk and noise rock – are assembled and delivered in a way that allows them to take on new life and provide an an electric shock.

Maybe it’s the way that when the guitar comes in LOUD it’s just a blazing storm of dissonance and beautiful abstract fury. Maybe it’s the way that bassist/ guitarist and vocalist Luciel Brown maintains an air of indifference to the setting in which her incantations are delivered. Classic tension and release.

Either way, I’ve played this a dozen times tonight and all I can conclude is that I’ll be playing it another dozen times tomorrow… and after that as well.

Postscript: There’s a wonderful lo-fi synthpop/ artpop split release with Swords from a year ago which has two songs from Drahla. “Stereo Maze” gave me flashbacks to an old Amos & Sara cassette tape from a long time ago. The post-punk art-pop spirit is clearly strong in this band.

And then there is this enigmatic “teaser” for something I’d love to hear more from:

Cross Record

Cross Record is the imagination of Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski who are based in the wonderfully-named Dripping Springs, Texas. “Steady Waves” is a track from Cross Record’s remarkable new album “Wabi-Sabi” out on Ba Da Bing! Records.

“Steady Waves” is reminiscent of some of the affecting songs of place and being on Mt Eerie’s fantastic “Clear Moon” album, drawing you in to something intimate and magical before confounding with an unexpected payload of a noisy guitar riff.

This approach on “Steady Waves” sets out the Cross Record stall with all the attractions on offer throughout this magical album. You’ll find evocative, unconventional music, Emily’s distracted yet intimate voice drawing you in, then the catharsis/ release of unexpected noise and unconventional/ experimental textures that place this music at some unlikely cross roads between post-rock, dream-pop, experimental sound installation and neo-folk.

If you need convincing about that description check the other song streaming on Cross Records bandcamp, “High Rise”, which combines delicate vocals with thunderous drums and a Joey Santiago-like squalling guitar line.

The rest of the album is just as hard to pigeonhole or categorise but also just as thrilling and satisfying as these two tracks. As well as the aforementioned reminders of Mt Eerie, you may find songs evoking the spirit of Broadcast or even This Heat.

“Wabi-Sabi” is an entrancing album and it is worth investing time in listening to it repeatedly: it reveals it’s truth in layers.