Whim is a collection of media focused on rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Mellowing things out with recent Domino signee Ducktails and the unpredictably satisfying Levek. SEE: FULL POST + ALL WHIM POSTS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Ducktails

It's still early, but you can now hear a teaser track from Ducktails' The Flower Lane, which comes out January 29th, 2013 via the band's new label, Domino Records. Frontman and main man Matt Mondanile has taken the downtime from his involvement with lo-fi rockers Real Estate to mix a new record with Al Carlson (Peaking Lights, Oneohtrix Point Never). And as is often the case with Ducktails' music, it may take repeat listens before "The Flower Lane" makes a lasting impression, but rest assured that there is emotional comfort to be found in these familiar easy-going sounds, and "The Flower Lane" is but one mellow indicator of the record's lusher and more robust sound. Catch a review of Mondanile's formerly more lo-fi sounds via our review of Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics. DUCKTAILS - THE FLOWER LANE TRACKLISTING 1. Ivy Covered House 2. The Flower Lane 3. Under Cover 4. Timothy Shy 5. Planet Phrom 6. Assistant Director 7. Sedan Magic 8. International Date Line 9. Letter Of Intent 10. Academy Avenue

 

Whim is a collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Doubling up on Menomena-related creations today, with a track from the band itself (just in time for their laser show CD release kick-off party -- details in full post) and one from Ramona Falls, the solo project of Brent Knopf, former Menomena member. SEE: FULL POST + ALL WHIM POSTS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Menomena

When I last spoke with Brent Knopf of Menomena for their last record, Mines, things were looking successful but dire. The portrait painted -- and not inaccurately so -- was of a band that was grossly talented but also grossly dysfunctional, living proof that sometimes the people you feel the strongest musical kinship towards are not the people who you are the most interpersonally compatible. Maybe things have looked up since then. Knopf has left the band to pursue Ramona Falls (below), and the newly reformed duo of Danny Seim and Justin Harris worked quickly, pushing out their latest, Moms, in under two years. Has the band become less neurotic? Maybe in some sense, but in another sense, the album is named after Moms, which is ostensibly strange, and the lead single "Heavy Is As Heavy Does" is indeed heavy -- on family problems and cringe-worthy relations to dad that are not at all disguised. You can hear the track below. It's standard Menomena, once again balanced in unpredictable instrumental hysterics and the muted. Menomena's album release LASER SHOW will take place tomorrow, August 24th, at OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) in Portland! It's only $5, and will be featured alongside Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon! Surely to be a tasty audiovisual treat! Says Seim: laser technicians were too expensive so instead we're just crossing our fingers and setting these lasers to 'Floyd'. Maybe it'll line up like The Wizard of Oz!" Maybe so!

 

See our Menomena Band Interview Moms will be released September 18th on Barsuk Records, and pre-orders will come with a t-shirt designed by Siem. Full tour dates and newly released track, "Capsule", can be found in the complete post.

 

Whim is a collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. This week gives us a new Thick Shakes single, tracks from Arc In Sound and Pure Bathing Culture, and the announcement that Girls might be done.

Thick Shakes

Boston's best kept secret isn’t some hole-in-the-wall diner or hidden cabaret, but a four garage rock outfit led by bassist and vocalist Lindsay Crudele. Thick Shakes have been thrashing the east coast for a few years now, originally breaking onto the national scene with early 2011's raucous Why Buy the Cow 7". On French Dyppe, the group’s newest single, the band refines their brand of wall-smashing thrash pop, creating even more buzz on the east coast and beyond. French Dyppe is out on cassette via Aurora 7 on July 7th.

 

Whim is a collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Two autumnal records are on the horizon, courtesy of Midwest musicians Night Moves and Merseyside, UK's Stealing Sheep. Lots of satisfaction that you can feel in your bones here, as both bands transmute psychedelic habits into burnt country backdrops to create mesmerizing, earthy tracks. SEE: FULL POST + ALL WHIM POSTS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Night Moves

Minneapolis musicians Night Moves remind one of Portugal. The Man's Americana-influenced psych rock on their latest singles, "Headlights" and "Country Queen". Speaking vaguely about feeling directionless, the band questions personal comforts ("I just don't know who I am") while simultaneously providing comfort in the form of gentle falsetto mantras ("It's alright") that bring the song to a slow and smooth close. Their debut album, Colored Emotions, comes out October 16th on Domino Records. Full tracklisting and tour dates to follow.

 

Whim is a weekly collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. This week we feature the incredible new Grizzly Bear track, an Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti cover, a brand new Jens Lekman cut and more. So yeah, it's been an insanely busy week for music junkies. And a good one too.

 

Grizzly Bear

Putting some of my personal fixations with Grizzly Bear aside, the release of their brand new song almost imploded the internet last week. "Sleeping Ute" is taken from the bands yet-to-be-titled album, due out later this year on Warp, and is an explosive mix of scaling guitars and the band's collective vocal range. It's incredibly reminiscent of member Daneil Rossen's Department of Eagles project, digging into darker, more cathartic sounds on the third verse. It's different from "Two Weeks," which is kind of a bold statement considering the success of that song and Veckatimest as a whole, but "Sleeping Ute" is expansive and brilliant. So for now at least, they have my attention.

 

Whim is a weekly collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. This week we feature a rare John Maus track, a new Sonny and the Sunsets track, some Dirty Projectors news and more.

 

John Maus

Left-field psych rock artist John Maus is getting set to release his first album since 2011's terrific We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, and even though it's just a collection b-sides and rarities, any new Maus is something to celebrate. A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material is out July 17th on Ribbon Music, featuring a collection of 16 different track that span all the way back to 1999. "Mental Breakdown," originally recorded in 2004 is the same warped, dripping psych song that put Maus on the spot with Ariel Pink in 2010 after Haunted Graffiti. The first 500 orders will be pressed on translucent pink vinyl, so preorder limited edition now.

 

Whim is a weekly collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. This week we showcase the new single from MS MR, some Animal Collective news, Pure Bathing Culture's debut record and more.

 

MS MR

Mysterious Brooklyn indie pop group MS MR have been on the radar for quite some time now, with industry insiders whispering of their powerful pop music as if they were everybody's best kept secret. But with a debut album in the works and one of the year's best singles, MS MR have officially broken through in 2012. "Hurricane" is perfectly delicate yet sultry and sexy. The singer's voice is haunting and echoing, and combined with the pounding drum rhythm throughout the track, it is not only the best surprise of the year but also serves as the perfect soundtrack to humid summer nights.