Lorenzo Senni - XAllegroX / The Shape of Trance to Come:
The Last Grandmaster of Trance has blessed us mortals with a brand new two track. The 12" follows in the vein of last year's Persona, with arcing trance tones and punchy, rigid synths. And in the age of music streaming, its the perfect kind of low-key release that'll keep Lorenzo Senni in your recently played for the next few months.
"XAllegroX" starts out with a straightforward quarter note pulse for eight bars before immediately diving into the Art of the Trance™. The rest of the track is equally straightforward, but its also much more involved.
As for "The Shape of Trance to Come", definitely the stronger of the two and much more in line with Persona, its a solid Lorenzo track. Whereas "XAllegroX" is fairly uncomplicated, "Shape" is a much more emotionally nuanced and engaging track. That said, both tracks offer more Lorenzo, which tbh is never a bad thing.
RIYL: Universal Nation, TRANCE MUSIC, araabmuzik, et al
Recommended Tracks: 1, 2
Shannon Lay - Living Water:
Shannon Lay is the guitarist of the L.A. garage-punk band Feels, but her solo project is from another planet. The songs are folky and mostly-acoustic. Lay makes poetic folk songs using just her chill-inducing, whispery voice and plucky guitar—although there are also violins and cellos featured on the album, like in the album’s opening track, “Home.” She recently got back from a month-long tour with Kevin Morby. Living Water was released by Morby’s label Mare, a sub-label of Woodsist Records.
Shannon Lay’s solo debut is a lot like water: it seems simple at first but is beautiful, vast, and often so powerful it carries you away. Be sure to listen to “Living Water” and “Coast” first, which are in my opinion two of the most intricate and beautiful songs on the album, in my eyes, although “The Moons Detriment” is a close third for me. “Recording 15” was written at a time when Lay was so sad, she couldn’t think of a title, as she revealed to me in an interview for the KXSC Live Sessions last week. Lyrics include: “I don’t want to feel what I feel/ I just want to be with you,” and “I’ll always just want to give my love to you/ but I’ll keep it for now.” Let Living Water bring out the less-than-happy emotions you’ve been bottling up inside and let emotions wash over you as waves do while you think about loved ones, broken relationships, and the pains of life—and maybe even cry a little. To quote Lay, “there’s so much pain dwelling within us all/ don’t go spreading yours around/ oh Lord knows we all have enough.”
Catch her play at The Teragram Ballroom with OCS (formerly known as Thee Oh Sees) on December 15th! CHRISTINA
RIYL: Feels, Kevin Morby, Julie Byrne, Angel Olsen, Nick Drake
Recommended Tracks: 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13
Iglooghost - Neo Wax Bloom:
Neo Wax Bloom is about the state of disarray that came across the planet Mamu after being visited by a pair of giant eyeballs. As the album unfolds, the eyeballs are worshipped, fought, befriended, and even at one point cooked by the inhabitants of the planet.
To the extent that life is a balance of order and chaos, it is chaos more so than order that has the ability to give us a deeper perspective on our lives. While order can certainly offer us comfort and predictability, it is chaos that opens the door for the new and yet unexperienced to enter our lives, for good and bad. It is easy to accept the positives that chaos provides, the good fortune that we happen to stumble across, but the negative side of chaos is often shunned, hated, and avoided; often with good reason. But it’s important not to undersell the importance of negative chaos in putting our normal orders into perspective. By forcing us to come to terms with the near-complete lack of control we have over most of the circumstances in our lives, reflecting on negative chaos can help us appreciate just how fragile the order in our lives truly is. All of which begs the question: if the giant eyeballs came to visit your planet, what would you do?
This album has got to be one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard, and I mean that in the best way possible.
RIYL: Giant eyeballs, Captain Murphy, some grimey shit
Recommended Tracks: 1, 3, 8, 11
Acetone - 1992-2001:
Why have I never heard of Acetone before now? They somehow got swept under the rug of 90’s indie rock, and their lead singer/bassist committed suicide in 2001, thus the album title denoting the birth and death of the group. If you look on Spotify, this is their only record, which was compiled and released only a month ago. It is an amalgam of demos, unreleased tracks, and favorites from their other six albums that are at this point extremely hard to come by, at least on the internet. Indeed, any information about the band itself is sketchy and incomplete. Their Wikipedia page is sparse to say the least and there are hardly any interviews worth noting available online (although there is an incredible cover of their song “Louise” by Mazzy Star which I highly recommend exploring).
All of these factors just make this album even more compelling and incredible. Their sound varies, sometimes they remind me of Modest Mouse’s softer moments, like in “Chew” where you can hear influences from country music coming to the forefront. Songs like “Too Much Time” and “Return From The Ice” draw from the OG emo boy band, the Beach Boys, but also have a little Mac Demarco flavor in there as well. Their instrumental tracks as well are completely enveloping. “Shore Power” is watery and wavy and winding and timeless. It could have been recorded yesterday! I would also listen to it infinitely, as it sounds more like a conversation or one long improvisation. So brilliant and meditative. It’s like warm tea for your ears.
Honestly, it’s hard to describe their vibe without using a really corny adjectives. I’m trying best to keep my cool and aloof demeanor but this album is breaking down my emotional walls! I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!! I want this album (and more importantly this review) to catapult this band out of obscurity and win it the cult following it surely deserves.
RIYL: The Velvet Underground but less obnoxious, The Beach Boys, Modest Mouse, Mac Demarco, Mazzy Star
Recommended Tracks: 6, 7, 10, but honestly the entire thing