PREMIERE

PREMIERE

Slow Dakota - Canticle 69

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By Abigail Clyne

Has pornography ruined sex? That’s the question Slow Dakota ruminates on in his new cheekily-titled track “Canticle 69” (a risqué joke for the dutiful church goers who know a Canticle is a biblical hymn). The song opens on ebullient marimba and bass line pulsing continually, setting the scene for a successful sexual encounter. The falling scales and washes of sound mirroring the waves of ecstasy one hopes to feel during some good old hanky panky.

With the downward slide of the word “Easy,” PJ Sauerteig enters the scene, but he doesn’t seem to be having a good time. It seems not even this breezy intro can make things enjoyable. “Easy frankly, I’d rather have a Terabyte, a copy of a clone.” Real life sex has become gross, the sterility of porn has replaced the real thing, “Wonder when I fell so out of love with hair and spit.” In the end, he’s honest with himself, “And I can’t even keep it up I guess that means goodbye.” Why bother pretending?

The buoyancy of the track gives way at the end to a meditative spoken word section reminiscent of a biblical story. References to a man and his camel berate our singer, “They stood before my porch staring up at me with beady eyes and said ‘you ruined it, you ruined it forever.’” It seems he’s given up. The simulation has indeed superseded the real thing.

Check out more about Slow Dakota on his Instagram here.

PREMIERE

The YeahTones - Just Another Minute

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Jordan Feinstein

The YeahTones are known over at ThrdCoast for making solid rock bangers, confident in their simplicity and catchy as heck. Their new single “Just Another Minute” is deceivingly un-simple, a departure from form which manages to elevate it at the same time.

The band’s fascination with previous decades' well-worn sounds is in full force on this track, but instead of aping one, they’ve tackled three. The verses are straight 90s garage grunge, and would sound so at home in a Weezer set list you’d be forgiven for not noticing they didn’t write it (you know, just like their latest hit, Africa). But then, with some weïrd alchemical snap of the musical fingers, the song catapults into 70s anthem rock, like someone tossed a fuzz-bomb into a forgotten ELO classic. Or so says my friend with whom I consulted on this for his painfully… unabridged knowledge of rock history. Finally, with another quick flick of the wrist, the chorus resolves in a Beatles-esque denouement. And back to the 90s it goes. Rinse and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Somehow it all works. It’s a catchy one, folks.

Check out The YeahTones in concert at on February 6th at The Knitting Factory with Caverns, Talay and Citris!

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Gold Leather - Churl

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Gerard Marcus

Some music has a rawness that’s almost primal, a visceral sound that sparks with angst and ecstasy. It’s not genre specific–anything from Ornette Coleman to Guerilla Toss to JPEGMAFIA generates this feeling in me. It’s an energy, the type that compels you to relax all the muscles in your body and throw yourself around like a rag doll. Gold Leather produces this kind of music.

Gold Leather is a four piece rock band from Austin, Texas that makes music that is in your face without being too full of itself. Their new single, “Churl,” is a searing tirade directed at an unnecessarily mean-spirited figure who plays dumb at the absurdity and consequences of their own actions. Gold Leather tells this tale well, with a raw vocal delivery that clashes its members’ voices against one another before they fall into eerie harmonies and tasteful screams. But the true primordial power of the song comes from the driving auditory forces, intricately layered drum, bass, and guitars. They intertwine and trip over each other as if trying to escape a monster that haunts their dreams. With “Churl,” Gold Leather has written a song that hits hard and fast, a freshly-triggered avalanche hurdling towards some undetermined end, and a great first offering from them for 2019.

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Small Forward - Kind of Funny

Jordan Feinstein

“Kind of Funny,” the new bedroom pop single by L.A.-based Small Forward, is accurately named. It’s kind of a funny track. The audio landscape is cozy, a warm stream of guitars and smooth vocals, picking up only a little speed and turbulence as it builds towards the end. But this placid journey seems to bother the lead singers, who perform together as a single narrator.

“Always in the right place from the very start, there’s not a lot of things that I did to play my part” the song opens. This is a song about agency, and it feels weird to them how little they perceive having over their own life’s (albeit “right”) direction. While there’s an ambiguously troubled relationship with an even more ambiguous “you” throughout the song, this lyrical thread might remove more focus than it adds useful context. This is a song about their entire life’s experience, and the weird malaise that comes with not making enough active decisions in it. The song’s structure is nicely connected to its lyrics, taking a pretty break after “finally, finally, I’ll fall right back into place.” From there it builds into a slightly more dramatic ending, taking trips slightly outside of their comfort zone. But they don’t seem too concerned, and the song doesn’t sound it either. They’ll end up right where they’re supposed to be yet again. They even seem to rely on it.

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Monkeybars - Practical Suede

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Gerard Marcus

Synth pop can set you in a dream, suspending you in a brief, hazy reality. Sometimes this is a place of relaxation, and sometimes the lush synths and driving grooves propel your feet off the ground and your fist into the air as you jump along in a state of disoriented bliss. Or maybe that's just me?

"Practical Suede" is right at the center of this synth pop dream space, balancing themes of patience, doubt, and life's most overwhelming experiences with a groove heavy enough to push you through it all. The brainchild of songwriter Eli Aleinkoff, Monkeybars features a cadre of talented artists, including Sahil Ansari on drums and production, James Wyatt on guitar, Peter Wagner on bass, and Aleinkoff himself on vocals, synths, and soprano sax. The song melds synth with creative horn production, stretching traditional synth pop sounds in a fresh direction. And Aleinkoff takes the brass a step further with a blistering soprano sax solo, doing a great job of shredding it while not distracting from the track's groovy vibe. "Practical Suede" makes for a great ending to 2018, and has me looking forward to what Monkeybars have in store for the new year.