Infinite Shuffle

February 13, 2011

Random threeplay

Filed under: Aliso Viejo Calif., B, C, Cleveland, Denmark, N — assman41 @ 4:52 pm

Cloud Nothings

It’s been a whirlwind rise to semi-stardom for Dylan Baldi (aka Cloud Nothings). A little more than a year ago, he was an 18-year-old sitting in his parents’ basement in Cleveland, making songs with nothing besides a laptop and a microphone.

Since then, he signed to Carpark Records, which released a compilation of his various tracks called the Turning On EP. And just a few weeks ago, a more properly produced, self-titled, full-length album dropped.

In the interim, he became a darling of the blogosphere and formed a band that played with such acts as Titus Andronicus, Best Coast, Wavves, Real Estate, Woods, Parts & Labor and Kurt Vile.

The songs on the EP are loaded with the obvious lo-fi, fuzzy, garage-rock sound. The best ones are the title track and “Hey Cool Kid”.

Cloud Nothings – Hey Cool Kid

But on the LP, which was produced by Baltimore-based Chester Gwazda (Dan Deacon, Future Islands), the tracks become tighter and crisper. And the sound develops something of a surfer-punk ethos. It kinda reminded me of what Best Coast would sound like with a male lead vocalist.

Cloud Nothings – Should Have

Check out the band’s MySpace page, where you will find seven tracks to listen to.

Bon Voyage

Based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the husband-wife duo of Jason and Julie Martin have been making music together for more than 15 years.

Bon Voyage began as a side project for Jason, a member of Starflyer 59, and Julie, the former lead singer of Havalina. They put out a couple of 7-inch records in the mid-’90s then a self-titled LP in 1998. Eventually, they followed that with The Right Amount in 2002.

Then they went on their longest hiatus to date before dropping their third full-length release, Lies, in 2008.

The music on Lies is your basic shoegaze/synth-pop with Julie providing the vocals and Jason doing everything else. There are several solid tracks, including the opener, “Monster”, “Birthday” and “Wake Up, Make Up”.

Bon Voyage – Monster

They also do a decent cover of The Smiths’ “Girlfriend In a Coma”.

Northern Portrait

Speaking of Morrissey and the boys, if you’re still waiting for them to get back together it’ll probably be awhile. In the mean time you could always go check out Northern Portrait.

There’s very little you need to know about this group other than the fact that it is composed of a trio of Danish dudes who sound exactly like The Smiths.

Seriously. Pick any of the 10 songs on the band’s debut full-length release, 2010’s Criminal Art Lovers.

Northern Portrait – Life Returns To Normal

Northern Portrait – What Happens Next?

It’s a solid album, but it’s difficult to get past the feeling that you’re listening to a tribute band.


August 8, 2010

37 – The Kissaway Trail

Filed under: Denmark, K — assman41 @ 11:59 pm

This five-piece band from Denmark lists a lot of different influences on its MySpace page, including Daniel Johnston, the Pixies, Grandaddy and the Beach Boys, but none of them pop out when you hear its music. The one band that these guys most sound like is probably Arcade Fire — but with fewer instruments.

You can hear it on a lot of their tracks, including “SDP”, the first single off their sophomore album, Sleep Mountain, which came out in March.

Although, on some songs, such as “Eloquence and Elixir” — from their self-titled debut album — I was reminded of their fellow countrymen, Mew, to a certain degree.

The Kissaway Trail – Eloquence and Elixir

With two lead singers, the band’s sound never grows stale, as every track seems a little different from the last.

The group apparently plays a mean live set and is blowing up in its homeland. It has provided live support for the likes of Editors, Ra Ra Riot, The Boxer Rebellion and The Temper Trap.

They’ll be in New York on Wednesday then head back to Europe for a while. Hopefully, they’ll return to the States next year so I can check them out for myself.

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