So Ive had another boring weekend of writing. Well, not boring - I enjoy it - but its not the hard living lifestyle that Sonic Masala espouses. Lots of liquid drunk and spilt - coffee. Lots of music listened to - through the shitty speakers of the laptop. Lots of "relations" - also courtesy of the laptop... Yet the writing has been fruitful. I will go all Hemingway on your arse in good measure, but for now, let's have another Hits From The Box, shall we?
Extra Happy Ghost!!! is an experimental pop group from Calgary, Canada that apparently like overusing exclamation marks. In late 2010 they entered Chad VanGaalen’ s Yoko Eno studio to record their first full length, Modern Horses. The project, conceived of almost a year prior, was spurred by a chance meeting at a 2009 Vic Chesnutt (RIP) show. The album is named for 9 horses that panicked and jumped off a Calgary bridge in 2005 while being corralled toward the city’s downtown. Modern Horses is concise, consisting of nine sparse and anxious pop songs, functioning as a whole and flowing seamlessly. It isnt out until late next month, but this track here provides us with something to really look forward to...
Extra Happy Ghost!!! - So At One
Australian multi-instrumentalist Mark Tulk moved to the US some two years ago. Im sure he has been up to a lot of things in the last 24 months, but musically he is preparing to display the fruits of his labour in the form of LP Central State. There is some musical acumen behind the scenes too, with the mastering engineer being the resident of Abbey Road Studios. The album sounds like moody Americana folk with classical leanings - it doesn't necessarily require the knowledge that Tulk is a foreigner in a strange land to relate to the songs at all. Though maybe it helps... Whether you like the spectral title track, or the distorted guitar/violin/piano combo on 'Rain', there is a lot to hear and take in - rich rewards to be gleaned also. You can stream/purchase the entire album here - it comes out July 1st.
Who's up for some Swedish psych rock that is more akin to Ted Nugent or Black Sabbath? Gordon Fights will ably fit that bill. Having just finished recording their debut LP, Gordon Fights looks set to take on the world with their brand of classic 70s rawk n roll. They are pretty straight ahead, no frills, they know what they want and they know how to get it. Want any more proof? Their influences, from the horse's mouth, are Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, Jimi Hendrix, Free, Captain Beefheart, The Who, Buddy Miles, AC/DC, Wolfmother, Graveyard, The Movements, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band..." And the music, of course. Let the music speak for itself...
Gordon Fights - Time Machine
EDM stands for Early Day Miners. Just call em EDM. The Indiana band used to be on Secretly Canadian (home of Antony & The Johnsons and Yeasayer, amongst many more) for the past decade, yet they have jumped ship to Western Vinyl. This brings the band full circle, as WV brought out their debut album of 2000, Placer Found. The new album, Night People, (out July 5 - preorder here) is heavily influenced by singer/songwriter Daniel Burton's experience recording the likes of Songs:Ohia. Its an attempt at rebirth - and on the whole it works well. Burton's vocals evoke The Frames' Glenn Hasnard, and even opening track 'Hold Me Down' echoes their warmth and pop sensibilities. THe majority of the album though harbours stranger instrumentation, more akin to the spikier moments in Mew's back catalogue. But as always we here at Sonic Masala are drawn to long, brooding numbers, and the penultimate track, instrumental 'Milking The Moon', fits that bill perfectly.
EDM - Milking The Moon
The last two entries are child-related - so their monikers maintain, anyway. KidCity are a Toronto based indie pop duo who have just released their self-titled EP. Whilst their self-styled genre - "clip-hop" - sounds derivative at best, the tracks on display do not, especially on the below track that juxtaposes a vocoder voice with Kelly Ann's angelic vocals. Well worth a listen - you can grab it for free here.
Kidcity - Blackened
A new member to the Slumberland fold, Oakland pop pranksters Kids On A Crime Spree are punching above their weight with their debut EP We Love You So Bad, 8 tracks of sugar-coated fuzzy guitar pop. Its not setting the world on fire, but it shows potential to do so. They arent attempting to reinvent the wheel - they just wanna take you by the scruff of the neck and make sure you have a good time. OK then...
Kids On A Crime Spree - Sweet Tooth