After their collaboration on The Belle Game’s first music video proved natural and compelling in narrative, director Kheaven Lewandowski and the band decided to once again work together on the music video for "River", from their debut album, Ritual Tradition Habit. Much less upbeat than the previous track, "River"'s finds its setting moving from Western countrysides into Japanese cityscapes, as it follows a male sex worker – also known as a rent-boy – through neon-lit streets and into a realistically-documented underbelly of the city. The result is both sensual and raw, leaving viewers curious to know more about the subculture. Lewandowski and The Belle Game’s Adam Nanji discuss the formulation and execution of the music video, as well as the social ideas it stirs up, in the bi-lingual English-Japanese Q&A interview below. Japanese translation by Katch, Matt Erik and Yoshiko Sanda 日本語翻訳:三田佳子、キャッチ・マシュー
Tei Shi - Saudade EP Album ReviewTei Shi Saudade EP Self-Released (2013)Ever wanted a female artist with awesomely soulful vocals to make cool, interesting, and meaningful music? Now you have one. On her latest EP, Saudade, Valerie Teicher, aka Tei Shi, makes an impressive debut, exposing herself musically as well as emotionally, with powerful and lasting effect. The majority of Saudade is a cappella, with only minimal instrumentation and well-chosen electronic effects that highlight Tei Shi's stunning, cavernous voice. Low and versatile, her vocals, such as those on the EP's standout track, “Adder(f)all," vibrate in your ears with an immediacy second only to if she were physically present and singing directly into your ear. Punctuated with occasional dance beats, sparse percussion, plucked electric guitar, maracas, or bass synth melodies, her voice slowly encompasses you, wrapping itself around you like a fog and settling hooks into your heart with each subsequent layer of breathy harmony, before tugging on them repeatedly in cyclical patterns. Given the emotionality of her voice -- its notes of longing, anger, and passion—every loop, harmony, suspension, and resolution is amazingly spot-on, carrying with it the gravity and precision of choral music and evoking its same sense of controlled chaos.
"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. Getting dancey on the pop music tip today with Teen Daze, Auto Body, and Another.

Another

Head over to the Bandcamp of solo electronic artist Another to get a free download of his 2012 album, Since June. The Chicago musician sprinkles in some Bear In Heaven vibes via the vocal stylings, though the music itself parallels much nicer to a band like KISSES. A surprising recent accidental find that starts off strong and has some truly terrific moments.

 

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS A recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. Here, we start off a bit rowdy with Tassels and sink slowly into the enchanting mellow instrumental shores of Grapefruit and Lyonnais.

Tassels

Vancouver-based producer Sean Orr will soon be releasing a new LP, the brilliantly artworked Pressure Mounts, on Dallas' Pour Le Corps. This 2:13-long track is a whirlwind of experimentation and unconventional sound bites which curiously leave one hungering for more. Pressure Mounts drops May 29th, and the full tracklisting is available at the bottom of this post. Tassels - "Shake Them Shackles"

 

Grapefruit

Analog synths and Tangerine Dream vibes combine for Portland electronic artist Grapefruit's latest record, which you can buy HERE on Field Hymns. Choosing a track to highlight was certainly a difficult task, so I've decided to take the liberty of offering you three, because... why the hell not? For download and stream is the entrancing closing track "Aleatoric Tone Tunnels", along with "End Scene" and the music video for "Phase Accidents". Expect an interview with Grapefruit soon! Grapefruit - "Aleatoric Tone Tunnels" - DOWNLOAD MP3 [audio:/mp3/downloads/Grapefruit_Aleatoric-Tone-Tunnels.mp3] Grapefruit - "End Scene"

 

Badlands is the debut output from singer-songwriter Alex Zhung Hai, aka Dirty Beaches. The Vancouver by-way-of China youngster shows an amazing amount of talent on Badlands, crafting songs with an outdated sound, but with the warmth and earnestness of timeless music. The dusty crackles and hiss of a home-recorded album...

I'm not sure anyone's writing shit about the dizzying spiritual discontent of the information/overpopulation age quite as effectively as Black Mountain's Stephen McBean. Dude just sounds like he's so far out there he couldn't give a fuck, and maybe that's something people should latch onto. Sure there's a frightening new display of tragicomedy lurking around ever corner these days, but you've got to maintain; you've just got to freaking maintain. Count back from ten slowly. We've got electric guitars; we've got vintage synths. We've got videos about psychic witches. Ride the wave. Everything's going to be okay.

Thanks, bro. I was really starting to lose it there with all this economic disaster warmongering bullshit. Now I'm back in a good place. The blues heal, I think I see what you're saying.

 

Black Mountain - "Old Fangs" - DOWNLOAD MP3

Imagine Ladyhawke and The Ting Tings fusing together in an all-too-common late night Canadian disco jam sesh, and you may be envisioning new wave fivesome You Say Party! We Say Die! clad in copious amounts of shiny accessories. The British Columbia-bred group's third album, XXXX, boasts simple basslines layered under a...

There seems to be a folky revolution in the works. Maybe it's always been there; it's hard to tell for sure. But regardless, a neighborhood of Langhorne Slim, Blitzen Trapper, The Avett Brothers, etc., is suburban-sprawling like a bastard. What can I say? They've got an excellent school system...