Bandcamp Picks of the Week 4/5/17

Spring has sprung and Bandcamp Picks of the Week is just as bright and vibrant as ever.

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mary lynn – MY ANIMAL

Genre: Noise Pop

Favorite Tracks: “Um,” “Space,” “Dreamin’ With You,” “The Break”

“Noise pop” seems like an oxymoron; pop is supposed to be catchy and easy on the ears, while noise music is harsh and intentionally jarring. Evoking both Regina Spektor and Sleigh Bells, MY ANIMAL is great evidence of the legitimacy and potential of the genre. Its cutesy veneer hides dark and highly personal themes, and the sweet, bouncy piano melodies are backed by dissonant guitar chords and fuzzy static. Such obvious juxtaposition could get really stale really fast, but mary lynn are talented enough composers and performers to make it seem effortless and natural. They wisely hired a professional to mix their second record as well, who did a great job balancing out the noise and pop elements and using the contrasting musical moods to make each other more affecting and pronounced, rather than blending together. It’s the rare record of opposites that doesn’t make me roll my eyes, and it deserves a lot of credit for creating something that’s normally forced and obvious feel raw and intimate. If you don’t mind an artist’s main influence being life, cats, and outer space, you can listen to it here. [Blake Michelle]

bandcamp picks of the week plums

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Plums – JEN

Genre: Indie Pop

Favorite Tracks: “Parking Lots,” “Julia Gloria,” “Fine Madeline”

In the 2010s there has been an enormous number of indie rock artists trying to successfully update the sound of 1980s college rock for the post-blogosphere world. Because of this, modern bands with an obvious Smiths influence can often be easily written off as redundant. On their first and only release, JEN, Boston band Plums prove that nostalgia can still sound fresh. Though the group’s influences are easy to identify, Plums make their reminiscence the reason for their excellence. JEN kicks off with “Parking Lots,” the best slice of indie twang since Mac Demarco’s “Freaking Out The Neighborhood.” The track is a flawless anthem for suburban shenanigans, equally upbeat and surreal in its deviousness. The following track, “Julia Gloria,” sounds just like kissing your childhood crush on the swingset behind your elementary school at dusk. It’s the perfect ballad for deadbeat romanticism. As the project progresses it ventures into more intimate and left field territory, but is still consistent in the distinctiveness and listenability. Listening to Plums for the first time in 2017 is likely similar to how it felt to listen to R.E.M. for the first time in a college town in 1983. If you’re a fan of indie pop with an impeccable ratio of originality to familiarity you should check out Plums here before they blow up. [Ted Davis]

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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