Bandcamp Picks of the Week 9/13/17

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

bandcamp picks of the week good morning

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Good Morning – SHAWCROSS

Genre: Indie Rock, Jangle Pop

Favorite Tracks: “Warned You,” “Don’t Come Home Today,” “Before My Ears Explode”

Australian duo Good Morning deliver a collection of lethargic bedroom tunes comparable to other Bandcamp-predicated indie rock artists like Surf Curse, Teenage Suicide, and Car Seat Headrest. However, upon reaching the end of their debut EP SHAWCROSS’s almost 20-minute runtime, it is easy to see how they’ve established themselves as standouts on the platform. The riffs on SHAWCROSS are infectiously catchy, which lend themselves greatly to frontman Stefan Blair’s sorrowful lyrics. This pairing help establish a nostalgic, lazy Sunday afternoon backdrop with a tinge of melancholy, such as the opening lines on the track “Time to Try Again:” “Time to try again / At home I need to find my pills / Something they forgot to teach was / How to relax with things this steep.” Good Morning, unlike many other garage rock groups, are not burdened by overly repetitive riffs. Even during tracks such as “Warned You,” where the same tune repeats throughout, the instrumental is so disgustingly catchy and simple that one quickly forgets how straightforward the track truly is. The instrumentals themselves may have a summer-like, carefree vibe, but the lyrics are a polar opposite. Forgoing a traditional love ballad, “Don’t Come Home Today” presents, not the story of a carefree fun loving teenager, but that of a nihilist: “I could laugh about / All the things I’m trying out / But what’s the point.” While Good Morning have greatly progressed and defined themselves on their more recent releases, they established themselves out of the gate as a duo capable of creating an album that is impossible not to listen to again and again. You can check it out here. [Will Turmon]

bandcamp picks of the week toner

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Genre: Slowcore, Lo-Fi Indie

Favorite Tracks: “Peasant Dreams,” “High & Dry,” “Smoking Room”

Do you like to sit in your room alone listening to music? Are you an introverted cynic, but also hope that you’ll get that call from your ex inviting you to the local diner to end your basking in self-pity? Well, you’re in luck, because this little gem was made for you! Taking a break from his prior rock outfit, Happy Diving, Oakland resident Samuelito Cruz started Toner in 2014 and has been steadily releasing material ever since. It would be too easy to label these guys as solely bedroom pop, as their confidence affords them a rare, glazed tenacity and allows them to bypass the usual insipid route of their peers. And yet, we are in that arena of rock where, like the instruments themselves, the subgenres start to blur together into a hazy amalgam.

Much of the time, Cruz’s voice is backgrounded in favor of crashing cymbals and layered guitars, but on the occasions that they decide to let him up for air, we are graced with his apathetic drawl, which contains a sincerity that renders it more soothing than boring. While their submerged vocals and bleak lyrics sulk in the same space inhabited by slowcore favorites such as Duster and Codeine, Toner’s guitars dip slightly into the fuzzy, dreamlike oases of shoegaze and burst with the tight rhythms of pop-punk. On their PASSING GLANCE EP, Toner fluidly straddle the sounds of these genres to create something not quite as droned-out as the former, but not quite as shimmering as the latter, either. It is an overcast day sonified, but with an undercurrent of enough energy to suggest that at some point, the sun will rear its head. Listen to it here. [Nick Funess]

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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