Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Don't Understand The Name, But I Love The Music

Can't say I fully understand what 'dominant legs' are (is it supposed to be like a dominant hand?) but I know that Invitation, the latest record from San Francisco band Dominant Legs is a keeper.

Playing it in my car this past weekend, with the fall sun providing more warmth than usual it was the perfect soundtrack to holding onto summer. The guitar lines are shimmery, the synths are spiky and the boy/girl harmonies are note-perfect. Just listen to lead-off single "Hoop Of Love" below:

That song along should convince you to check out Invitation (and it won my discerning two-year-old over), but if you need further evidence this record is for you, listen to this as well.

Much as I love "Hoop Of Love," I think my personal favourite has to be "Lady Is Sleek and So Petite," a track that channels the new jack swing sound of New Edition but features Ryan Lynch's breathy, high-pitched lyrics instead of Ralph Tresvant's. It may be the only time I recommend a contemporary, white indie-rock band for their take on an historic, black r&b form. I'd also recommend the record to anyone who liked Chairlift's last record, Does You Inspire You.

Be sure to visit the Dominant Legs page on Lefse Records and their Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This specter is pretty spectacular.

I've been a little behind on Ear To The Sound with a surprise trip to Toronto at the end of August to see some friends and baseball (courtesy of my wonderful wife), September long, and the craziness that is Orientation Week at the university had me running around and sweating my ass off. But the UMFM stage is in the history books for another year and I'm back at my desk listening to all sorts of new stuff and catching up.

The album I'm featuring with this post actually comes out September 27th so I'm even a little ahead...

My familiarity with Partisan Records has been centered around their roots and rock acts (i.e. Dolorean, Mountain Man, Deer Tick and Paleo) but damned if they haven't diversified with Narrows, the new album from Warm Ghost. The Brooklyn duo are a departure for the label and have crafted a strong synth-pop album that manages to evoke chillwave without the airiness and recalls the ominous tones of Depeche Mode without the angst.

Opener "G.W.T.S." has a plodding bass-line and a snare beat that falls somewhere between martial-crisp and broken-beat, and sets a brisk pace for the first four numbers. But at the midway point, "Ply 7" acts as a bit of a sonic sorbet, cleansing the palate for the more introspective, restrained material that ultimately leads to album highlight and closer "An Absolute Light," a song that seems to evaporate as it ends.

It's interesting to see where electronic music is being taken these days as acts like Neon Indian go dance/noise and M83 blends gauzy soundscapes with pop songs. Warm Ghost add to the list of possibilities and directions for the genre by opening things up with Narrows.

Check out Warm Ghost's website and download lead-off track "G.W.T.S." courtesy of Stereogum.