Bandcamp Picks of the Week 2/7/18

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

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Caleb

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Genre: East Coast Hip Hop

Favorite Tracks: “The Flood,” “Nearer,” “Wondering (featuring Standing on the Corner),”

As both an individual and a music fan, I almost exclusively deal in extremes. As such, my taste as far as hip hop goes is somewhat contentious, as I have a long history of stanning the strangest, most unapologetic outliers around. That’s all to say that it’s the rare straight-shooting tape that can get me genuinely excited, but Caleb Giles has managed as much on THERE WILL BE RAIN. Opening up with “The Flood,” a sparsely produced (read: nigh-nonexistent), DJ Lostboi-by-DJ Screw treatment of gospel, my ears were immediately perked up, and the following tracks were no disappointment. Hailing from the Bronx, the East Coast heritage of hip hop that Giles gestated in is evident in the heavy jazz sensibilities of a multitude of the tracks, all due in part to his role as a saxophonist in genre collective Standing on the Corner. While I tend to be less than welcoming to West Coast hip hop’s neo-soul and synth-funk pedigree, the production on THERE WILL BE RAIN is comparable to BADBADNOTGOOD, if handled with a more organic, less locked-in feel and panache. But as befits my nascent days of music nerdom, deep into the recesses of vaporwave, I can’t help but also admire Giles’s seamless incorporation of stuttering, nostalgia-soaked chopped and screwed vocal samples into fully functional and empathetic instrumental backings. There’s something akin to Vince Staples in Caleb Giles’s voice and delivery, but his deft handling of comparatively daring production this early in his career is a strong sign of someone who’s set to carve out an idiosyncratic niche. Get in while the water’s warm. Check out THERE WILL BE RAIN here. [Thomas Seraydarian]

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Nanami Ozone

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Nanami Ozone – DESIRE

Genre: Psych Folk, Garage Rock

Favorite Tracks: “Desire,” “Push Me Down The Stairs,” “Clear”

On their Facebook page, Arizona natives Nanami Ozone humorously list themselves as “your college-aged sister’s best friend’s favorite band,” but in a musical climate as small and unassuming as the one quietly thriving in the Phoenix metropolitan area, the game-of-telephone indie cred is a very real but very special thing. DESIRE, the group’s debut album, is the special kind of alternative rock record that should be getting passed around by youthful locals by way of Spotify shares and Twitter mentions the same way high school and college students passed around copies of The Format’s INTERVENTIONS AND LULLABIES and, to a lesser extent, Fine China’s THE JAWS OF LIFE over a decade ago. Look no further than the title track, which delivers a furious and satisfying hook and a lyrical playfulness that infects amidst the bands brand of heated garage rock. The album is a balanced and complete work, mixing the kind of full-scale attack rock found on “Desire” with lo-fi psych crooners (“Push Me Down The Stairs”), dusty acoustic ballads (“Michigan Man”), ‘90s guitar solo noodling (“Clear”), and deserty jangle pop (“Wet Mouth”). The shifts between female and male vocals give a sense of total control in the tonal shifts, capturing a range of emotions and doing it with ease. Nanami Ozone make a splashy and exciting statement with DESIRE, and here’s to hoping that their next album pushes them even further into the Arizona and, hopefully, the country’s rock limelight. You can listen to DESIRE on bandcamp. [CJ Simonson]

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