Bandcamp Picks of the Week 4/11/18

Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Avi

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Avi Buffalo – 2017

Genre: Ambient, Experimental

Favorite Tracks: “Piano Falls,” “A Man On The Plane Who Did Analytics For Hormel Foods And Told Me To Try More Of Their Products To Which I Reminded Myself That He Is Brainwashed,” “When I Wanted to Do Something Beautiful For You”

You might best recognize Avi Buffalo from their 2010 self-titled album that featured a number of folk-inspired, hipster-friendly, indie pop tunes, namely “What’s In It For,” which you can still hear in heavy rotation on college radio stations and Urban Outfitters’ playlists. While their follow-up album, 2014’s AT BEST CUCKOLD, admittedly attracted less attention from the music critics and the Pitchfork crowd, it was personally one of the defining albums of my freshman year of college. Avi’s acoustic heartbreak ballads echoed through the halls of my dorm frequently. While there has seemingly been four years of radio silence from Avi Buffalo, fans might be surprised to hear that they have kept up an active presence on SoundCloud, uploading ambient, experimental, synth-driven music that is a far-cry from their other releases. Their latest, the minimally titled 2017, represents a changed band.

It’s their first release since parting ways with Sub Pop, a move which initially led many fans to speculate that the musicians had packed up and called it quits. But 2017 is proof that their music career is still going strong and heading in some unexpected directions, light on the acoustic guitars and tongue-in-cheek lyrics that fans have come to expect. In fact, it’s light on singing altogether; the album is primarily composed of snythesized soundscapes with very sparing use of guitar or any other hallmarks of their earlier work. A 13-minute ambient epic like “A Man On The Plane Who Did Analytics For Hormel Foods And Told Me To Try More Of Their Products To Which I Reminded Myself That He Is Brainwashed” has more in common with Pink Floyd or Brian Eno than The Shins or Arcade Fire, and is far from the upbeat pop tunes that fans of the musician are familiar with. But it represents something very exciting for their career, displaying an artist with perhaps the most creative freedom they’ve had in years taking advantage of their new-found situation by doing whatever the hell they want. 2017 is obscure and challenging, yet bold and strong at the same time, and it hints at exciting new possibilities for major label bands looking to go independent. Listen to 2017 over on Bandcamp. [Eden Bailey]

Bandcamp Picks of the Week MC Chris

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Genre: Nerdcore

Favorite Tracks: “Secret Song,” “Clue”

THE APRIL FOOLS COLLECTION is a pop cultural hangout where the most obscure film and television characters meet for April Fools’ mayhem. mc chris flexes his nerd muscles for a smash hit of random references in the geek zeitgeist through hip hop and harmful Auto-Tune. Each song focuses on a different film or TV show and makes witty rhymes about that universe, such as “Ash,” about ASH VS THE EVIL DEAD, or “Secret Song,” an homage to BEETLEJUICE. Sometimes more old school hip hop and sometimes more heavy rock, both offer playful sounds that fit mc chris’ unique higher vocal register. “Neville” is a Harry Potter magnum opus of frankensteined references that convey the heroic evolution accomplished by the underdog character Neville. “Discord” is an express yourself anthem for nerdcore hip hop fans, incorporating lyrics, “You can’t tell me what toys I can play with” and “You can’t tell me which sex I can marry,” in an adrenaline rush of upbeat pop before violently interrupting with heavy guitar and a demonic voice for emphasis. The entire LP happens so fast, switching from topic to topic with high BPMs in each song, never giving a moment to breathe and comprehend the madness. THE APRIL FOOLS COLLECTION is perfect for the April Fools’ holiday, entirely ridiculous and wholeheartedly sophisticated. Check it out on Bandcamp. [Nikki Reifler]

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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