So continues my summer of not really listening to very much new music. I think I've actually reached the point where I prefer it.
Moon Duo: Mazes
I've become a bigger Wooden Shjips fan this year, picking up Dos a few months ago and listening to that pretty regularly ever since. I was getting psyched for their new album, West, to come out, but then got distracted by Moon Duo, a sjide project. A few voices on the internet were claiming that Mazes, released earlier this year, was better than West. So I got this instead. You never really know what to expect with side projects, but in this case you're basically getting a Wooden Shjips record. It's the same repetitive psych, totally on par with all the other WS stuff I've heard thus far. I'm still keen on West and will probably pick it up before the year is over. I can foresee hitting my quota with this band/sound sooner or later, but for now I'm still eating it up.
- Moon Duo: Scars
Unknown Mortal Orchestra: s/t
I ran across a couple of Unknown Mortal Orchestra tracks last month and put "Thought Ballune" on my mix of favorite downloads for August. That song has continued to burrow its way into my head to become one of my favorite new songs of the year so far. The rest of their new album is right in line with that track. And I say that as a for-better-or-worse statement. Unknown Mortal Orchestra's production aesthetic is some strong stuff: the experience of the record is almost like tuning in to some far-off, static-addled radio station playing vaguely identifiable cuts from the 60s, 70s, or maybe even 90s (or, heck, maybe they're just Ween fans?). The retro songcraft filtered through the mangling distortion makes all of the songs here feel well-worn and perfectly on trend at the same time (again, for better or worse). I like all of this record, though by the end the aesthetic starts to take away from the songs themselves. For a debut this is fine—the sound is fresh, compared to many of their 80s-plagued peers. I'd hope that by their next album, the songs truly rise above the sound.
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Jello and Juggernauts