Bandcamp Picks of the Week 8/1/18

We’re back with another installment of Bandcamp Picks of the Week

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Drowse

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Drowse – COLD AIR

Genre: Dream Pop

Favorite Tracks: “Quickening,” “Klonopin,” “Knowing,” “Shower”

Writing about music this intensely personal is difficult, as it almost feels invasive. And yet, as Mount Eerie’s recent string of albums has shown, even the acutely insular can lead to widespread reflection and identification. Somewhere between a shoegaze revival, the intimate delicacy of Alex G, and the melancholic death march of Have a Nice Life, Kyle Bates and friends turn in one of the more evocative contemplations of the beautifully terrifying chaos that underlies each moment of our daily lives. While certainly a thematically heavy album, consumed with considerations of mortality, at the core of COLD AIR is a consistent, if consistently wavering, shred of hope that propels it forward to the end. Recorded in a self-medicated period of uncertainty in Bates’ life, trying to outrun the anxiety that had led to an earlier mental breakdown, the album deftly shifts from bereft existentialism, distorted anthems of bittersweet tenacity, and experimental soundscapes of cautious optimism, culminating in something infinitely relatable in our times of strife and sorrow. This is definitely an album worth sitting with and chewing over, but you can get your start by checking it out here. [Thomas Seraydarian]

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Shygirl

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Genre: Industrial Pop

Favorite Tracks: “Rude,” “O,” “Asher Wolfe”

You’re in a surrealist, after-hours strip club backroom. The music is loud in a cinematic way that’s meant to distract by how strange the details of the space are, from the cyberpunk dress to the smoky, windowless, sometimes claustrophobic haze. The flickering LED lights strobe, making the room feel more populated than it is. The erotic mystery of the night feels at once nervous and thrilling. With a sincere mix of slick sex pop, knotty industrial beats, and bounce and footwork parallels, Blane Muise’s music lives in this space. There’s a hypnotizingly metallic warble to her debut EP as Shygirl, CRUEL PRACTICE, and the pulsing artificial strings on the opening of “Rude” make the world she’s created seem like a menacing trip, as though you’ve visited that strip club backroom at precisely wrong time. The cold twitch of the songs only enhances Muise’s deadpanned vocal delivery, a can’t-be-bothered London energy that becomes almost malevolent on the swallowing club grate of “O” or the tinny glitch beats of closer “Asher Wolfe.” The disengaged, sometimes sparse nature of the vocal performance adds to that near-dystopian throb, and makes CRUEL PRACTICE a fascinating artifact of modern pop. Check out Shygirl’s debut EP on Bandcamp. [CJ Simonson]

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