Here’s part two of my odds and ends list, which focuses mostly on 7-inches, but also sneaks in a purely digital single and one entry that is a bit more difficult to categorize. Coming up soon: my five favorite EPs and twenty five favorite albums of 2008. Until then, have a happy new year!
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Can’t Hear My Eyes” / “Evolution’s a Lie”
This single from lo-fi pop wizard Ariel Pink came as a late surprise this year, announced and released just this month, and has me really excited for more new material in 2009. A-side “Can’t Hear My Eyes” is pure melancholy on a worn out 8-track, lulling and soothing like an off-kilter easy listening gem. Check that out down below and stream “Evolution’s a Lie” over here. Can’t wait to see Ariel open for Animal Collective in January.
Download: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Can’t Hear My Eyes
Buy: Limited to 500 presses, this may be tough to find. But, check this list of retailers or pick up it from Ariel Pink at his upcoming shows.
WAVVES – “Beach Demon” / “Weed Demon”
San Diego’s WAVVES (Nathan Williams) certainly lived up to his name in 2008, his music rippling out across the blogosphere and beyond, swelling and crashing hard onto your brain. The “Beach Demon” / “Weed Demon” 7-inch, offered on vinyl through Tic Tac Totally! and as a lossless download on Williams’ own blog, served as a nice companion piece to his noteworthy self-titled debut. Both tracks provide satsifying helpings of saccharine-doused noise, but the sparse guitar riffs and jagged falsetto croons of “Weed Demon” are especially addicting. [Original Post]
Fever Sleeves – “Futuristic Killings” / “Tigers for Hire”
Fever Sleeves were busy in ’08. This past year saw them record their upcoming debut record (Soft Pipes, Play On) and put out their first official release (the “Futuristic Killings” / “Tigers for Hire” 7-inch), not to mention their premiere music video for the A-side of said single. I’m really not sure if I can shower “Futuristic Killings” with enough praise; the track’s surging monolith of hooks is Fever Sleeves’ accessibility incarnate, while “Tigers for Hire” compacts layers of dense riffage atop thunderous drum work until it completely collapses under its own weight. I’ve said quite a bit about this San Diego band over the last six months and I guarantee that you’ll be hearing a lot more about them from this blog and elsewhere in 2009. [Original Post] [#2]
Dilla Ghost Doom – Sniperlite (“Sniper Elite” / “Murder Goons”)
Stones Throw Records hit us up with a sweet offering from this (unfortunately) one-off hip-hop supergroup Dilla Ghost Doom. Jay Dee, as you know, was lost to complications from Lupus in 2006, but this “digital 12-inch” finds the towering figures MF DOOM and Ghostface Killah taking two sequential tracks from J Dilla’s influential Donuts LP and laying down a pair of perfectly suited accompanying flows. Of course, this also smacks of the oft-mentioned, yet-to-materialize MF DOOM/Ghostface collaboration. Here’s hoping that 2009 will see this project realized or, at the very least, a return of the conspicuously absent Dumile/DOOM/Viktor Vaughn/King Geedorah. [Original Post]
Buy: No download link, but this is available over at the Stones Throw Records webstore. Each track as a standalone with the bonus mixed version, as heard above, for just under $3.
Girls – “Lust for Life” / “Morning Light”
San Francisco’s Girls haven’t released much at all yet, but have seen the few songs recorded to their name inspire a fit of attention on the internet, even becoming a pretty regularly featured item over at Gorilla vs. Bear in 2008. The “Lust for Life” / “Morning Light” 7-inch was released by True Panther Sounds back in July and sold out in about a week. And with good reason, both tracks solidify Girls as one of the more exciting up-and-comers right now. Plus, we should expect to hear a full-length debut sometime next year… so get even more excited. [Original Post]
Justice – “Planisphère”
This last item is not a 7-inch, digital 12-inch, record, or proper single at all. In fact, Justice‘s “Planisphère” was never officially released in any form, but rather was commissioned by Dior Homme and composed by Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay for their Spring/Summer 2009 runway show. The results are a stunning 17 and a half minute track, a four-part epic built around various permutations of one basic melodic progression. Kind of a collision of minimalist and baroque electronics, this was one of the best surprises from 2008. With this no longer available on their myspace, no discernible plan for release, and links everywhere… just download and enjoy. Available as a single mp3 over here (zshare link). [Original Post]
Download: Justice – Planisphère (Part 1)
Download: Justice – Planisphère (Part 2)
Download: Justice – Planisphère (Part 3)
Download: Justice – Planisphère (Final)