Hiya! Yes, it’s been awhile since my last Orbitings post (a few months back) – life’s been crazy with a rambunctious toddler, changing jobs, the holidaze, and surviving this crazy winter so far. Finally, things are getting back to normal, and so is this blog. Thanks for reading! I’ve been catching up on some stuff released towards the end of last year, and here’s a few that stood out:

Purple Heart Parade

I found these guys while searching through my Twitter followers, and they really stood out. PHP is a 5-piece from Manchester who specialize in “Shoegaze/Psych/Fuzz Rock”, and have been together since late 2012, playing shows with The Telescopes and Exit Calm along with a headline slot at the Glasgow Psych Fest. Check out a track from their EP Painting Pictures:

First Communion Afterparty

Reverberating from Minneapolis comes First Communion Afterparty, and their latest Earth Heat Sound. First heard of this 6(?) piece group from a Facebook post by Chatham Rise, seeing how they share a label. Their music is quite psychedelic, and I don’t necessarily mean in the “psych” vein, but way out there – I highly recommend this one.

Eat Lights Become Lights

The ever prolific Eat Lights Become Lights is slowly teasing us with previews from their upcoming full-length due out in April 2014. The first preview is a video for the track “You Are Disko”, which to me represents a leap forward in their electo-kraut sound.

2014-01-05_header

Well, it’s a few weeks now into the New Year, and I’ve finally gotten the chance to list my fave recordings of last year. A few slipped in just at the tail end that changed things up, but in general many of these are from earlier in the year.

Over the course of 2013, I noticed a couple of distinct trends going on. First was the prevalence of EPs vs. full-length LPs. This is probably due to the fact that people’s attention for music is dwindling, and expecting the average listener to sit through an entire album is asking a lot. On top of that, musicians need to get their music out more frequently, which winds up being a string of EPs over the course of the year.

The second trend I noticed, which really caught fire with the MBV release (and later copied by miss Beyonce), was the “surprise” release. It used to be that a band (or label) would build buzz and hype about an album (often for months), build-up pre-sales, release and collect sales for the next few weeks then it fades away. The new model is to release the music with  little or no buzz/hype, get it out there and collect “sales” (really now streaming)  over a longer period.

With that said, here’s my list – not based on sales, or reader feedback, just my opinion. And you won’t find the MBV release on here, sorry. You can find that on a million other lists.

..”And now, on with the countdown”…

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Lorelle Meets the Obsolete Corruptible Face album

If you’ve followed my blog at all this year, the choice for 2013 Band of the Year may not come as much of a surprise. I’ve consistently been amazed at the output of this group since early 2013, and next year appears to show much more of their capabilities. Of course, I’m talking about the Mexican band Lorelle Meets the Obsolete, who play a unique brand of fuzzed-out guitar-based tunes that defy the conventions of psych rock or shoegaze. In a year full of nostalgia for the “old times” (MBV, Mazzy Star, Swervedriver, Slowdive reunion, etc), this band truly stood out.

Psych For Sore Eyes compAlthough they’ve been around a few years now, LMTO began to show up on my radar early this year on the Psych For Sore Eyes compilation, with their track “Medicine To Cure Medicine Sickness”. Based on the strength of that song, I picked up their full-length LP Corruptible Faces, and was instantly attracted to quite a few songs – namely “Art For Free” and “The December Riots”. From there, it was like I had a new favorite song every time I listened to it.

A few months after the album came out, the group embarked on an extensive US tour that took them from one coast to the other. They made a stop off here in Michigan, playing at Small’s in Hamtramck, I had the good fortune of putting them up for the night at our house in Ann Arbor and getting a chance to chat with them about music and whatnot. What a great group of people!

Then in August, LMTO announced an Indie Gogo project to help get them over to Europe to play at the Liverpool Psychfest and other choice gigs in September and October. They raised a little over $1,500, but they made it over there and it sounds like they were a huge hit on the Continent. Around the time of their European tour, they released a single on Sonic Cathedral, “What’s Holding You”.

Things are really starting to heat up for the band, with the upcoming release of their next full-length, Chambers, due out in February on Captcha Records (USA), and Sonic Cathedral (UK). The above song, “Music For Dozens”, is a preview of things to come. I’m really excited to see this band take off and continue to make truly original and creative music!

Young Husband - DromesOnce Labor Day passes, the season of new releases really heats up. London’s Sonic Cathedral label serves up yet another in a string of strong albums with the debut from Younghusband entitled Dromes. With a sound that harkens back to early 90s, this band puts the focus on their guitars, and airy male vocals – running parallel with New York’s Dead Leaf Echo in the 4AD influence stream. To mark the release of the LP, YH are playing select dates around the UK starting with a gig in Manchester tonight. Should be worth checking out.

SPC ECO - FallenStarsAfter a succession of electronic/techno singles, SPC ECO return with a new track that digs up the dark grinding guitar work of some of their earlier material. Fallen Stars was released late last week, and includes no less than 4 remixes. Apparently the album from which it’s taken, Sirens and Satellites, is due out any day now (word is September 18), so add that to your wishlist of new LPs. Always loved this outfit, and really looking forward to the album.

Origins is the seventh full-length album from Ireland’s God Is An Astronaut, available now on Rocket Girl records. The sound is straight-ahead spaced out post-rock, ranging from the pastoral to the “rhapsodic”. Below is a video for the first single off the release, “Reverse World”.

End Of Summer podcastSummer’s winding down (although it was 95 degrees today) so I thought I’d do it justice by spinning some of the hotter tunes from the past couple of months. I’m getting back into things after taking a few weeks off to catch up on some house projects, plan my daughter’s first birthday, and go camping up north. Every so often you need to unplug digitally, and what better time than the end of summer. Included in this mix are some upbeat tracks, mixed in with a few dreamy bits to accompany those remaining sunny afternoons.

Track listing:

  1. The Foggy Notions “Won’t Take Long”
  2. Heaven “Telepathic Love”
  3. Aerofall – “Blurred Tails”
  4. Stratus “Drifting Away”
  5. Landing “Tending And Time”
  6. I Am Your Captain “Be There Soon”
  7. Miaou “Airglow”

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