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New, cool things
Visit Radio 1190 on social media and at radio1190.org to watch videos of a live session and Radio 1190 interview with Georgia-based band Futurebirds last week — and while you’re there, check out all the radical interviews, sessions and reviews we’ve got.
After a long string of independent releases, Brooklyn DIY darling Porches is back with his first label-supported album. The musician, also known as Aaron Maine, is a synthesizer-focused singer/producer who makes sleek and heartfelt bedroom pop, reminiscent of underground ’80s pop.
The new album Pool opens up with the stellar “Underwater,” a pulsing, syrupy track with emotive vocals influenced by indie R&B. The drums are sparse and well-calculated with solid grooves and interesting flourishes to keep listeners interested. Maine is the longtime boyfriend of Greta Kline (also known as Frankie Cosmos) who contributes vocals on a number of tracks, giving a layer of depth to the album. Pool is definitely a lo-fi record, but has enough pop accessibility to cross over to audiences who aren’t fully immersed in the modern NYC indie scene. With the album’s minimal and homespun aesthetic, Pool is undoubtedly the best representation of how Brooklyn sounds this day and age. Alongside Frankie Cosmos, Porches has received the most acclaim in a brimming scene that may soon burst — which will give all these great acts the attention they deserve.
Virgina-based group Wild Nothing has been paving the way for the new, dreamy sound of the Brooklyn scene. On his third full-length, Life of Pause, band leader Jack Tatum swaps out his lo-fi dreamy charm with a more clear sound.
Opening track “Reichpop” samples heavily from Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians” and creates an expansive atmosphere to kick off the record. With Tatum’s more transparent sound, a bigger post-punk influence emerges, more than his previous releases. Though Wild Nothing is keeping it fresh for fans, Life of Pause still is not as charming as earlier releases like Gemini.
Canadian electronic musician Junior Boys have been creating strange and soulful synthpop since the early 2000s — and now the duo’s fifth studio album, Big Black Coat, might be their most realized work. With crooning vocals and proto-house production, Junior Boys have a deceivingly poppy sound as well as some off-putting tendencies. Though the pair uses 808s to produce nearly every track, the strange samples and dated production has the same appeal as early Ariel Pink work — it rides the line of likability and kitsch. Though the album may be halfway tongue-in-cheek, each track is catchy and fun to listen to. The grooves are similar to Caribou, but the minimalism and darkness is closer in sound to house artists — not dance-floor hits. Regardless, Big Black Coat is one of the most unique synth-pop records of the year and it soars in its ability to be both catchy and strange.
Calvet is Radio 1190’s music director. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists.