Bandcamp Picks of the Week 7/26/17
Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever
Me and My Friends – HIDE YOUR WAY
Favorite Tracks: “All That Is You,” “Hide,” “Stray”
Alright, yes, everyone in this band is white, but maybe look past that just this once, eh? This was easily one of 2016’s most pleasant hidden gems. Within the first few seconds of “All That Is You,” everyone but Satan himself will be grinning from ear to ear. This is nearly indescribably positive and upbeat, a blindingly sunny dance around an Afro-influenced maypole. Hailing from London, Me and My Friends utilize instruments comfortable in a chamber pop release, but break the rigid shackles of their instruments’ conventionality and cut loose for 40 minutes that are nearly impossible to not clap a hand or tap a foot to. The heavy use of violin and clarinet speak of older European folk traditions (I personally hear a lot of klezmer influence), contributing to a global sense of community and fun. Topped off with joyous trade-offs of soloing that bring to mind Dixieland jazz, and some of the most friendly, welcoming vocal harmonies you’ll hear this year, HIDE YOUR WAY is an instant mood-booster. This blurb originally appeared here.
The Nativist – VARIOUS OPTIONS
Favorite Tracks: “White Liver,” “I Love Us and What We Are Becoming,” “Not What I’ve Expected”
Although it’s one of my favorite genres of electronic music, I’m not one to deny the fact that jungle is mostly dead in the water. An underground genre even during its purported heyday in the United Kingdom of the early 1990s, the following decades haven’t been kind to jungle, critical and commercial recognition turning its head further and further away from the genre’s chaotic, skittering physicality as the total blend between pop and electronic becomes ever more imminent. Thankfully, VARIOUS OPTIONS is the first jungle release worth paying attention to in recent memory, if not of the last five-to-10 years. What The Nativist does here that’s so interesting is blend the most gentle sketches of ambient melody with an ever-evolving portrait of complexly programmed polyrhythms, creating a dichotomous release that’s both relaxing and feverishly danceable at the same time. Possessing the early-A.M. musings of UK Garage and UK Bass, as well as the claustrophobic pummeling of the jungle genre’s early club progenitors, VARIOUS OPTIONS proves to be an important album for the soundscape of the modern city. This blurb originally appeared here.