Wallpaper: “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted”

Wallpaper

Don’t call it a side project. Eric Frederic may have started Wallpaper as a spontaneous novelty while recording the debut full-length of his band Facing New York, but now — with many of FNY’s original members gone and a continuously rising interest in Frederic’s infectious and often hilarious pop-satire — his focus seems to be increasingly centered on Wallpaper. And why not? This has been one hell of a summer for the project. Garnering attention from MTV, Pitchfork, The Village Voice, Idolator, and Perez Hilton (!?), it seems to be straight blowin’ up at this point.

Like most good pop music, Wallpaper is built on fun and escapism for listener and creator alike, allowing Frederic to transform from his thoughtful and soft-spoken self into the cool, conceited, and audacious Ricky Reed. This alter-ego exudes excess in all respects, leaving room for all sorts of satire, mockery, and comedy in general. And it comes in many forms: voicemail messages (pager # y’all: 510-493-7835), YouTube video blogs, Twitter, his Cool Genius blog, stage banter, and of course the music itself. But between all the jokes, absurd posturing, and overindulgent use of autotune, lies a batch of well-crafted dance jams that simultaneously pay tribute to the very music being satirized — vocoder-funk, hyphy, R&B, new jack swing, pop. Joined by live drummer Arjun Singh, Wallpaper’s bold electro-funk is even more fully realized at their ridiculously fun shows. Sure, the banter is always golden, but in a live setting the music explodes with energy and absolutely demands that the audience lose its collective mind. I’ve seen them three times in the past five months and it simply doesn’t get old.

A couple weeks ago, Wallpaper dropped the first single from their upcoming debut Doodoo Face on iTunes (which seems like an unfortunate title until Ricky Reed breaks down the meaning for ya). “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted”, one of many killer cuts on this record, is an insanely catchy pillar of glam electro. Atop dense, driving percussion, explosions of soaring synth and bass, and revolving layers of drones, tones, blips, and beeps, Ricky Reed lays down massive autotune hooks with copious amounts of swagger. Familiar and yet original in its own right, this track is a perfect introduction to an album that’s perfect for gettin’ dancefloors movin’. Be sure to pick it up when it drops on Eenie Meenie Records on September 22nd and definitely don’t miss Wallpaper when they come through your town (tour dates available after the jump).

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Buy: Pick up “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted” from iTunes now. You can also pre-order Doodoo Face on CD or Vinyl from Insound.
Watch: The video for “I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted” (which coincidentally plays out kind of how I remember the last Wallpaper show I went to) is currently nominated for a vote to be included in the regular rotation over at mtvU. Head over to The Freshman video section and obsessively vote for Wallpaper — if they win they’ll reward fans with an mp3 of the title track from their debut. [Update: They won.]

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HEALTH: Get Color

HEALTH

HEALTH, gritty affiliates of L.A.’s The Smell, make music that sounds like the soundtrack to an apocalypse. Their new record no doubt plunges deep into the darker elements of their sound, but also finds HEALTH employing stronger melodies, ghostly layers of vocal harmonies, and more dynamic songwriting. Buzzsaw guitars rip across dense drum gallops and piercing noisescapes. Hooks seem to come only in the form of screeching feedback and fractured glitched-out electronic loops. Abrasive waves of sound become so crushing in moments that you can almost see the earth opening up to swallow cities, rivers running red with blood, and fire raining from the sky.

And yet, somehow HEALTH harness this aural devastation in ways that are at times catchy, even danceable — the manipulated feedback and spectral falsetto of “Die Slow” is perfect for anyone who might be throwing a Tetsuo: The Iron Man-themed dance party as summer fades into autumn. Ominous riffs erupt over thumping bass kicks and rapid-fire cymbal work on the more recently revealed “We Are Water”, another haunting sprawl of infectious cacophony sure to leave a wreckage of dance floors in its wake.

Evolved, realized, and still as fierce as their debut, Get Color represents a satisfying step forward for HEALTH. Certainly reason enough to pick up the record, but they’ve apparently decided to further blow minds by unveiling what is perhaps the most awesome album sweepstakes ever. Taking cues from the equally off-kilter Willy Wonka, the first shipment of Get Color CDs will contain 66 hidden tickets with random prizes attached. The Golden Ticket First Prize sounds pretty epic:

GOLD
1ST PRIZE
LOS ANGELES ADVENTURE
ROUND TRIP AIRFARE. THREE DAYS AND TWO NIGHTS OF NON STOP ENTERTAINMENT. YOU ARE STAYING WITH US. WE WILL TAKE YOU TO MAGIC MOUNTAIN. WE WILL TAKE YOU THE ZOO. WE WILL BRING YOU BREAKFAST IN BED. WE WILL LOVE EACH OTHER. DISCLAIMER: IF YOU HAVE BEEN REMANDED TO EITHER A PENITENTIARY OR A MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY FOR A CUSTODIAL SENTENCE UP TO OR EXCEEDING 30 DAYS, PLEASE PROVIDE US WITH FULL DISCLOSURE. THIS IS FOR OUR SAFETY AND YOURS.

But there are some other hilarious/awesome prizes to be won outside of the grand prize:

TURQUOISE
3A – 3C
POSTER/TEST PRESSING
HAND SILK SCREENED POSTER OR LP TEST PRESSING AUTOGRAPHED IN OUR BLOOD.

VIOLET
4A – 4D
INTOXICATED VIDEO CHAT + ARTS AND CRAFTS TIME
WE WILL GET STEADILY INEBRIATED WITH YOU OVER I-CHAT WHILE WORKING ON A PROJECT TOGETHER. WE COULD MAKE A BIRD FEEDER OUT OF A MILK CARTON. WHEN WE ARE DONE WE CAN SEND EACH OTHER THE FINISHED PRODUCT.

10A A HISTORICAL THEMED PHONE CALL FROM THE BAND.

10B A RECORDING OF BJ COVERING A 90’S SONG OF YOUR CHOOSING.

10H AN UPLIFTING PHONE CALL FROM HEALTH’S MANAGER.

11B A PAPER NINJA STAR CONTAINING A GRAM OF 40X SALVIA.

11L WE CONFERENCE CRANK CALL A PROMINENT INDIE MUSICIAN TOGETHER.

Best contest ever? Check out the full details after the jump and decide for yourself.

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Download: HEALTH – Die Slow

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Download: HEALTH – We Are Water
Buy: Pre-order Get Color from the Lovepump United webstore.

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New Wavves: “Cool Jumper”

Wavves + Zach Hill

Well, I’m glad to see that Wavves ain’t goin’ anywhere. Sure, the dude had a meltdown and then broke his wrist skateboarding, not to mention that he seems to be making some of the most divisive music out there right now. But, come what may, Nathan Williams keeps droppin’ tunes. On top of the killer demo he posted to his blog last month (the oddly Animal Collective-like “Mickey Mouse”), Williams put up another new track early this morning.

Even better, “Cool Jumper” is the first song from his sessions with the drum maniac that is Zach Hill (of Hella) to reach your ears. Some have gone on to speculate that Hill is now a full-time member of Wavves. While that remains to be confirmed, from the sound of this filthy little gem that would certainly be a welcome turn of events. Peep the gritty, “woo-hoo!”-laden onslaught down below.

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Download: Wavves – Cool Jumper

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Download: Wavves – Mickey Mouse
Buy: You can pick up Wavves’ two full-lengths from Woodsist and Fat Possum, respectively.

CHUM ONAH

CHUM ONAH

The lady bloggers and heavy Underwater Peoples Records pushers over at BUTTERxFACE are set to release a decidedly lo-fi tribute to Michael Jackson within the next couple days. CHUM ONAH will feature a whole slew of rising fuzzy bedroom-pop purveyors, including Toro y Moi, Dem Hunger, Family Portrait, Julian Lynch, plus more from Underwater Peoples and elsewhere. For now, listen to a couple different takes on “Human Nature” from Thriller and start checking the BxF blog obsessively until the album drops. (via GvB)

UPDATE: The whole comp is now available here.

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Download: Toro y Moi – Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover)

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Download: Julian Lynch – Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover)

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Download: Michael Jackson – Human Nature
Buy: Essential feels like an understatement… if for some reason you don’t own a copy of Thriller, get one at Amazon (CD) or Insound (LP).