It’s. Still. Raining. Even though it’s not preferred summer weather, hopefully you’ve been having fun, regardless of what’s falling from the sky. Whether you’ve been catching up on cleaning, reading, Netflix or projects, be sure to make Radio 1190 your go-to soundtrack for rainy days.
Check out these records we have spinning in rotation to accompany you during this drizzly and cold May:
Out of Asheville, N.C., lo-fi experimentalist Elvis Depressedly has ditched releasing albums on Bandcamp and released his first proper full-length, New Alhambra, on Run for Cover Records. Originally under the moniker Coma Cinema, Mat Cothran has been writing fuzzy and homespun-pop records since 2005. Each of Cothran’s records are melancholic and personal, while still remaining opaque and cryptic.
Even though the personality on this record is a bit faceless, the mystery Cothran conveys is really where this album hits its stride. The muffled vocals and guitar are catchy enough to sing along to, but obscure enough to create your own self-deprecating lyrics.
Much like Elvis Depressedly’s previous albums, fuzzy acoustic guitars and drum machines are the basis of New Alhambra, with the occasional string and organ flourishes to add flavor. Though the production is still hazy and mellow, unlike his previous releases this new record has more studio trickery to recreate a lo-fi sound. As a result, the atmosphere surrounding the album sounds more forced than his previous home-recorded LPs, which sound more organic and effortless.
The album doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb from the rest of his extensive discography — it just doesn’t shine as bright as gems like Holo Pleasures. Without a doubt, New Alhambra proves that Elvis Depressedly has created a sound all his own and knows how to make an abstract and personal pop record.
Since its debut, Portland-based surf-punkers Guantanamo Baywatch has been a Radio 1190 and garage-rock staple. This trio may sound like they would be signed to California’s Burger Records, but are now on the roster of Seattle label, Suicide Squeeze.
The band’s sophomore effort Darling…It’s too Late is a mix of campy rockabilly, surf, punk and good ol’ fashioned rock and roll. The production is a bit cleaner, but fuzzy enough to sound raw and off-the-cuff. However, on the new album, the group slowed things down and have leaned into more soul-oriented sounds. To add more R&B power to the record, garage-soul pioneer Curtis Harding makes an appearance on a track.
Sadly with these changes, the fast-paced punkabilly track burners are missing. Though the album overall is solid, a couple more breakneck garage rock tracks would have made it stellar.
Much like her band/labelmate Frankie Cosmios, bedroom-pop songsmith Eskimaux has created a world all her own on the debut album O.K. Her Double Double Whammy debut, Eskimaux has condensed all the sounds and influences of the Brooklyn scene she is immersed in into a small handcrafted record that’s introverted.
The organs and drum machines are strikingly similar to Daniel Johnston, but with light and breathy vocals over the top to create a dream-like atmosphere. Each track is cute and esoteric, yet dark and serious enough to be kitschy — although this creates a sound that doesn’t quite stand out from her contemporaries on Double Double Whammy. Regardless, this album is cozy enough to be a perfect soundtrack to rainy days, even though it may be too comfortable in its influences.
James Calvet is Radio 1190’s music director.