the latest between the weird and the conventional

BEVERLY : careers : Kanine Records (01.07.2014)
Seven: Ex-Vivian Girls member Frankie Rose took a break from her solo-project to team up with Drew Citron for this excellent girl group extravaganza. Judging by the fuzz and hooks and nonchalance this album offers, titular Beverly seems to be part troublemaker and part melancholiac. Looking forward to find out about future adventures of hers. 8/10


WHITE FENCE : for the recently found innocent : Drag City (22.07.2014)
Dars: Garage rock mainstay White Fence (aka Tim Presley) re-teamed with hair-homie Ty Segall, who took over production duties for the fifth album, which steps forward as a stunning culmination of kind of abstract, driving psych-rock and vaguely indebted weirdo pop. Recorded in a proper studio this time around, Segall also played drums on this LP consisting of 13 brand new bubblegum poppies of 60's inspired garage tunes. Inevitable at least for me, since the way him and Segall are operating right now is quite unique. 9.5/10
Seven: True. Why these record-making machines’ almost inflationary output isn’t lacking any kind of flimsiness or randomness remains a magical mystery that hopefully will be solved by future generations. 8.5/10


TO ROCOCO ROT : instrument : City Slang (18.07.2014)
Dars: Berlin electronic trio To Rococo Rot's eighth album comes as a little surprise, with some of the tracks even featuring vocals for the first time. On the whole, 'Instrument' emerges as a partially beautiful (experimental) album, which here and there probes into pop spheres with its clear and focused sound, but is refreshing at the same time, throwing back to the simplicity and warmth of the early days. 7.7/10
Seven: They’re back on City Slang, and even though they continue their quest to explore the boundaries of the musical universe they’ve created, this one here feels strangely crisp and rebuilt and, yeah, fresh. It’s like meeting an old friend after many years only to find out that he’s actually a lot cooler than you remembered him to be. 8/10


DIGITARIA : night falls again : Hot Creations (21.07.2014)
Seven: I’m actually surprised that an album which is almost stoically filled with dance tracks only is able to persuade me that this is the most fun and essential thing ever. 7/10
Justine: This July Digitaria will release their third studio album “Night Falls Again”. The great Brazilian trio reunited again to deliver an assortment of candy-coloured house tracks that aren’t shying away from big pop moments. Without a doubt, this album is clearly designed for the dance floors of this planet. Some of the songs - I’m thinking of “Golden Leave“ in particular - seem strongly inspired by those famous 90s hits, while others have an oriental curve. In any way, this ridiculously melodic house album remains a great soundtrack to late night summer parties, which will give you a great opportunity to show off with your aerobic dance skills. 7.5/10


PAUME : transalpine EP : Melodic (out now)
Justine: French producer Paume released his latest EP on Manchester’s always surprising Melodic Records... and “melodic” is indeed an appropriate term to describe those four dreamy songs. “Transalpine“ is a delighted compilation of sweet-sounding tracks that automatically makes people want to dance in their living room... you know, the kind of music that generates a feeling of youth. Jeu de paume is the French translation for palm game, but it can also refers to jeu malin or jeu coquin - which simply means a childish mischievous attitude, and this is exactly the mindset of this EP:  the track “Follies” makes you dream of summer days where nothing matters, and where everything leads to some kind of utterly irrational things. But don’t get me wrong, the songs remain complex and incredibly well-made. A great EP. 8.5/10 


TRANS AM : volume x : Thrill Jockey (15.08.2014)
Dars: Trans Am’s 10th album plays like a highlight reel of the band’s best facets. Over the years, they’ve been happy to appropriate elements of just about everything they’ve ever heard: classic rock, electronica, new wave, heavy metal and krautrock... just to begin the list. “Volume X“ tries to shoehorn all of these influences into a single muddled heap of songs. While the plaid and polka dots juxtaposition is clearly intentional, it’s hard to tackle the album as a coherent whole, even though the individual tracks are pretty good. 7/10
Seven: But then again, the last album that felt fairly coherent was “Surrender to the Night“, which was released back in 1997 already. I’m actually seriously grateful for “Volume X“ because it simply reminds me what a rad and pretty much one-of-a-kind band Trans Am is. Get ready to be blown away by them during their European tour this forthcoming fall. 8.5/10


KING CREOSOTE : from scotland with love : Domino Records (18.07.2014)
Seven: Is Kenny Anderson ever taking a break from recording? Well, hopefully not, since his output isn’t only deeply impressive in terms of the sheer quantity, but high on eye-opening songwriting skills and the desire to fuck around with the rules of specific genres as well. 7/10 
Dars: Originally composed to accompany a 70 minutes-long poetic documentary film created entirely from archive film material, King Creosote found himself writing the stories and perspectives of other people for the first time. The result is a sweepingly charismatic set of powerful and cinematic songs with themes of love and loss, war and resistance. Largely acoustic in nature, it ranges from skiffle to krautrock, from disco strings to bingo wings! 7.6/10

SÓLEY : krómantík : Morr Music (18.07.2014)
Dars: Actually being a member of the Icelandic indie acts Seabear and Sin Fang, Sóley Stefánsdóttir performs delicate electronic pop on her own as just Sóley. “Krómantík“, her second effort, arrives elegant and well constructed and draws us into a magical spell of piano sketches that perform completely without any percussion or even vocals. All gloomy, cryptic and sometimes melancholic, this eight delicacies feel experimental and unpolished and clearly sweeten out the wait for her next full length album to come in 2015. 7.4/10
Justine: After the release of her last 2011 debut album “We Sink”, Sóley took a little parental break. She is now back with a complete different genre: unlike her last girly pop album, “Krómantík“ is a darker, almost voice-less, compilation of piano tracks. She has played the piano for a long time, and has always embraced the thought of releasing a piano-only album... therefore it isn’t too surprising really, that some of the tracks here were composed years ago, when she was still in college. "I wrote a lot of music for piano back then, and I had so many long compositions that I included some short piano chapters, which I later realized could actually stand on their own. Some of the pieces on Krómantík were written while studying -- and the first track 'Stiklur,' for example, was originally part of a bigger composition for piano that I wrote. However, in the end I didn't use that many pieces from school, just because I liked doing new songs, and so a lot of them were written for a bigger art project I worked on during the summer after I finished We Sink.”


SEAN PINEIRO : saved once twice : Ki-Records (23.06.2014)
Justine: The first album of Sean Piñeiro gives the delightful impression of being under water. As if this (electronic) melody was creating a bubble around you that absorbs every noise. “Saved Once Twice“ is an ambient, abstract, electronic and melodic album all made from samples., which he finds in the most unpredictable places such as movies, commercials, Youtube videos, cartoons and different types of music such as jazz, folk, and classical. He likes to fill his composition with anecdotes and short stories that he wrote between Barcelona, Brooklyn and Berlin. His work is like a musical diary. “It makes me happy that my Ableton session is the meeting place of so many different pieces of music and other samples that have seemingly nothing in common” says the artist. The oldest track of the album is “Reaper” and was produced in a small closet in Brooklyn, but somehow neither makes you feel claustrophobic nor trapped. Lovely. 8.5/10