Soft Metals - s/t: As I'm sure you're aware, driving analog synths + ethereal female vocals has been a cool thing since "I Feel Love", so Soft Metals already gets cool points. They also kind of remind me of one of the bands in the Battle of the Bands in Scott Pilgrim, and they complimented my DJ skills at Spectrum, so double cool points. All this would be meaningless if they didn't have the songs to back that up, but fortunately, they largely do. Though a bit meandering at times, this is a good solid 10 tracks of shadowy synthpop revivalism for standing in the corner of the club to.
RIYL: Chromatics, New Order, eye shadow, black
D/P/I (DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE) - JEANETTE: THIS IS TIGHT. Imagine Actress circa Hazyville filtered through the LA beat scene/modern hip-hop with a bit of sound collage thrown in there for good measure. Expansive, sampledelic, leaned-out, hazy-to-intense trip through the hip-hop cosmos. Not good at finding a description but i'll just say again this is really really cool. Playing at Low End Theory on Feb. 12 with Pyramid Vritra and the elder god Egyptian Lover.
RIYL: DJ Shadow, Actress, Gucci Mane, i honestly have no idea
The Herbert Bail Orchestra - The Future's In the Past: I can't see The Herbert Bail Orchestra's brand of sweeping, gothic Americana ever getting a good Pitchfork review or playing at the right CMJ showcases or generally being a cool thing to like. It's too earnest, too dorkily reverent for bygone eras, and besides, aren't we all tired of the accordion-playing straight-razor-revivalism real-America thing anyway?
On the really real though, the fact that there are bands like this who don't seem like they care about any of that, who will record an album filled with gypsy-punk rave-ups and plaintive ballads, and who will play their hardest even if it's for 10 people at Tommy's Place at 1 pm...I don't know, it's just really great. Music, you know? Music is so cool. This album is good and it's good that it exists.
Hope everyone's week goes well, stay positive and based.