Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shamir - Ratchet

This week marks the drop of Ratchet, the debut record from an unbelievable entity that goes by the name of ShamirRatchet arrives following a swift ascent into the spotlight, thanks to last year's Northtown EP.  Northtown basically sounded like a long lost treasure from a few decades ago, miraculously discovered and placed upon the world.  It had massive vibes of a disco-house album, but the main attraction was his siren-like set of pipes.  Shamir's vocals were somewhat shrill, full of life, and completely unexpected.  His debut album quickly became a top priority on everyone's scale of anticipation.

For those unaware of Shamir's impact, you've probably heard Ratchet's certified jam of a lead single "On The Regular" featured in that recent Android advertisementShamir Bailey is twenty years old and comes from Las Vegas.  After sending a demo to the New York based Godmode label, he was signed by label head Nick Sylvester, who would then go on to produce both Northtown and the full album.  This led to Shamir making a deal with XL, which resulted in waves of "On The Regular" hype, and finally the release of Ratchet.

Ratchet builds upon the sound of Shamir's first release, stretching a bit further from Northtown's dirty club sound.  There's still plenty of slinky grit to go around on tracks like "Hot Mess", featuring shifted vocals and a sinister beat.  Deep altered vocals are scattered throughout Shamir's work and it's the ultimate mirror reflection to his floating range.

Shamir has a knack for covering country songs in his spare time and I feel like that means more than one would initially expect.  Ratchet hides elements of guitar-in-hand songwriting beneath a shell of vogue freakouts.  On "Demon", there's an great sense of stripped back vulnerability.  It's the execution, minimal and poised, that brings another aspect to Shamir's otherwise exuberant confidence.

Ratchet's left of center delivery demands attention.  It's pumped full of true unfiltered personality.  That unobstructed view into Shamir's mind is what makes Ratchet so refreshing.  And everything perfectly leads back to "On The Regular".  It's his statement of intent, his declaration of independence, and maybe even his alibi.

Ratchet is out now, via XL Recordings.  You can head this way to grab the vinyl, CD, or download.  Northtown is available from Godmode, here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Crocodiles - Crybaby Demon / U Sexy Thing

Crocodiles are currently planning their return to the noise-garage-punk-etc throne, as if they ever left it.  After 2013's Crimes Of Passion and Brandon's excursion with Haunted Hearts, the boys are set to release the appropriately titled Boys on May 12.  Produced by Martin Thulin in Mexico City, the regional influence is evident in the lead single, "Crybaby Demon".  Tinged with all new vibes, "Crybaby Demon" is some sort of fuzzed out track that's surprisingly ready for dancing.  The Tito Echevarria directed music video is signature Crocodiles kool with leather, sunglasses, guitars, and flashing lights.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Purity Ring - repetition

Purity Ring released their sophomore album this week and I feel the need to point out that the fourth track on another eternity, called "repetition", is the new jam.  I'm trying to refrain from writing several criminal puns involving its title and my desire to replay the song, so bear with me here.   The entire album has a nice and shiny electro-pop casing, but "repetition" is the centerpiece that will have you coming back time after time.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sufjan Stevens - No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross

It's been five years since Sufjan Stevens released The Age Of Adz.  Five years before that, Sufjan released Illinois, so it only makes sense that he would choose this year to release his upcoming album, Carrie & Lowell.  Today, you can hear the first sampling of Carrie & Lowell.  "No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross" is the album's penultimate track and shows Sufjan going back to a stripped down folk-oriented sound.  Gone are the Adz beats and electronic elements of Enjoy Your Rabbit.  Check it out below...