Bandcamp Picks of the Week 4/27/16
Enjoy this week’s installment of Bandcamp Picks of the Week!
Home – ODYSSEY
Favorite Tracks: “Native,” “Tides,” “Odyssey,” “Half Moon”
Comfortably sailing the post-vaporwave seas, Home’s ODYSSEY is a spunky electronic record that deftly navigates hypnagogic realms while maintaining a masculine sense of synthfunk swagger. Bright and effervescent in one moment (“Native”) and emotionally downtrodden in the next (“Decay”), ODYSSEY lives up to its title, heading a labyrinthine journey through a glimmering realm of consumer electronics. The big takeaway, however, is the unique interpretation of “retro” that the proceedings offer up. Whereas many other releases in this vein are content to rely on a general arcade-oriented tint to their rear-view mirrors, ODYSSEY elects to take the more challenging route of conjuring up the atmosphere of a group of scientists finally making their big breakthrough on developing the computer. Everything seems so naive and promising, making the occasional foray into a more sobering consideration of the inevitable dangers of the internet age all the more impactful. You can check it out here.
Julien Baker – SPRAINED ANKLE
Favorite Tracks: “Sprained Ankle,” “Brittle Boned,” “Everybody Does,” “Rejoice”
One of my favorite release from 2015, Julien Baker encapsulates the perfect cornerstone of the Venn diagram of sad, female indie singer/songwriters. Not as monotnously depressive as Grouper, more raw in its delivery than Eskimeaux, more simplistic and earnest than Waxahatchee, SPRAINED ANKLE is resolutely devastating, with the slightest hints of beauty and optimism making the lows bite more quickly to the bone. Hailing from Tennessee, Baker manages to avoid the polarizing twang of folk and country from that region, simultaneously keeping the same no-nonsense approach to direct songwriting that allows the better entries from those genres to soar. There’s a certain humbleness to the whole affair that makes it all the more impressive, as there are no distinct vocal or instrumental effects to cheaply justify our attention. As such, we are faced with the stark, masochistically sad songs in and of themselves, and they more than deliver. You can check it out here.