Articles posted in March 2011

Like a cold California sky

Losing the vegan market
I’ve had the Pains of Being Pure at Heart‘s new album, Belong, on steady rotation lately. This is partly because I’m digging the tunes, and partly because I’m still trying to figure out if I really like it, or if I’m just predisposed to like it because I loved the band’s debut so much.

I’m definitely not still making my mind up about the single, “Heart in Your Heartbreak.” This one’s an instant winner, beginning with a bass-heavy jangle pop groove before the cinematic synths take over in the final moments. It’s love at first listen.

A while back I interviewed singer Kip Berman for BeatRoute. I also wrote something about the band for The Tyee. And there was that Exclaim! review that I already mentioned. I reviewed Belong for Color Magazine, but the article isn’t out yet.


 
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Paradise spread out with a butter knife

Tilt your head to the left and it looks normal
The crazier Mother Mother gets, the better. That’s why I like the band’s most recent single, “The Stand.” Simply put, this song is batshit crazy. It centres around a duet between frontman Ryan Guldemond (doing a half-spoken Lou Reed impression) and singers Molly Guldemond and Jasmin Parkin (sounding like shrill schoolgirls) and features acoustic slide riffs, sugar-spiked synths and background banjo plucking. What the fuck? This is great.

The best part is the third verse. The female half of the duet is in italics: “Talk about space / Well, it’s a beautiful place / But it’s so damn cold / Sure, for the human race / But for the planets and the stars and everything else and Mars / It’s like paradise spread out with a butter knife.”

The tune comes from the upcoming Eureka. I interviewed Ryan about the recording process for Exclaim! last year and wrote a more recent album story and tour announcement.


 
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Keep your secrets to yourself

Photo shoot exasperation
Before now, I’ve only posted tracks with downloadable MP3s. But it’s 2011 and streaming is totally hot right now, so I’ve decided to start posting Soundcloud streams as well.

Here’s a track I wanted to post before, but it was only available as a stream. It’s called “Blowing Kisses” and it’s the latest single from exlovers. It’s a dreamy rocker, with fuzzed-out guitars paired with whispered, harmonized vocals. And while that description makes it sound like a shoegaze song, it’s really more Britpop than noise rock.


 
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I love you as much as I always said I did

rem-yeni-album
This morning I had a revelation. Without my realizing it, I think R.E.M. has become my favourite band. I never got obsessed with them in the say way I have, say, the White Stripes or Belle & Sebastian. But while my love of other bands has fluctuated, I’ve been a consistent fan of R.E.M. since before I even cared about music. One of my earlier musical memories is my parents explaining to me that the song “Orange Crush” was about the Vietnam War.

I was a massive fan of 2008′s Accelerate, so I’m pretty jazzed about the new Collapse into Now, which drops next week. Go to Exclaim! to listen to a stream of the new album accompanied by a writeup by yours truly. Follow the links from that story to read some of the numerous stories I’ve written about R.E.M. in recent months.

Click on the stream below to hear the track “Discoverer.” How is it that a band entering its fourth decade is still this fucking good? I love this song.


 
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