Big Scary – Over Matter


Melbourne’s Big Scary, comprised of Jo Syme and Tom Iansek, are releasing an ambitious third studio album, entitled Animal this Friday, September 2. Molded into four unique movements they’re calling the “4 Stages of the Animal” — Hunting, Lurking, Resting and Waking — these phases are meant to represent an evolution from dark to light, or evolution of man so to speak. While humans have the capacity to rise above our animal urges, our baser instincts are often in direct conflict with our higher-minded selves, creating a constant balancing act in the psyche.

As the duo stated in a press release: The extent to which we are all just animals with drives, urges and instincts was a question that particularly interested us. It is fascinating that we, as human beings capable of love, kindness, creativity and incredibly nuanced and complex thought are often in the same moment dealing with base drives, desires and hungers to be fed and satisfied; that we seemingly have a mind that is both a treasure and a torment; a mind that can equally throw up the twisted and perverted alongside the good and the Godly.

“Over Matter” is the aperture of the final chapter, which the band espouses as the emotional and spiritual heart of the album. Shaped through layered, oscillating synths, upbeat drums and a rising crescendo, the track is complemented by Iansek’s falsetto vocals and a gorgeous closing sax solo courtesy of collaborator Gus Rigby. “Lyrically it can be seen as descent into madness; life attacking from all angles; hysteria and confusion building to a simmering cacophony,” explains Big Scary. “There is also a surrender to all these things in the end, and the beginning of a transformation.”

Surrender yourself to the song and accompanying video for “Over Matter,” and be sure to scope the thought-provoking new LP in its entirety upon its release.

HUNTING – Oxygen, Organism, Double Darkness, Savior Add Vice

LURKING – Lone Bird, the Endless Story, Flutism, Up and Up and Up

RESTING – Breath Under Water, The Opposite of us, Heaven on Earth

WAKING – Over Matter, Lamina

Solomon Grey – Electric Baby

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London duo Solomon Grey have made a name for themselves in soundtrack composition. It would make sense then that their solo work would take on a cinematic quality, as showcased on their self-titled debut album — released this month via Decca Records. Made up of Joe Wilson and Tom Kingston, the act’s electronic record demonstrates remarkable range, from the percussive “Electric Baby” to the beautiful and languid “Slow Motion Picture.”

Solomon Grey have also done some impressive collaborations with house producer Lane 8, such as this sparkler below.

Kauf – Through The Yard


Electronic artist Kauf caught our attention with his chilled out mix of Public Service Broadcasting, and now he’s returned with the brand new and sensual tune titled “Through The Yard.” On the first taste of his upcoming full-length debut Regrowth, Kauf — born Ronald Kaufman captivates with a hypnotic blend of reverberated flutes and world rhythms, supported by a soft electronic base and echo-laden vocals. Listen below.

“Through The Yard” is currently available as a limited name-your-price download on Bandcamp.

The Arcs – Outta My Mind

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If you haven’t heard by now, The Arcs is the side project of The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach. The supergroup–which boasts the talents of Richard Swift, Leon Michels, Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon, along with contributions from Kenny Vaughan, Mariachi Flor de Toloache and Tchad Blake–came together to create the critically acclaimed album Yours, Dreamily. “Right from the drop, Yours, Dreamily, ignites like a cigarette flicked on a stream of gasoline,” declared NPR Music. The LP was recorded in roughly two weeks through spontaneous, informal sessions throughout the country, and spans from garage-rock to psychedelia to the blues. See for yourself by spinning the record’s reverb-soaked first single “Outta My Mind” below.

As part of the album tour the collective will be performing two shows in DC next week–December 14 and 15 at 9:30 Club.

Chrome Sparks – Ride The White Lightning


Parallelism, the transfixing new EP from Chrome Sparks shows off the ability of Brooklyn-based electronic artist—otherwise known as Jeremy Malvin to keep the listener hooked in to characteristically long tracks. With “Ride The White Lightning” for instance, Malvin steals you on a near 10-minute journey, fraught with sequencers and synthesizers and a roller coaster of arpeggios. The track is backed by a strong beat and progression of melodies that makes the absence of typically distorted vocals go unnoticed. Listen to the effort, along with “Moonraker” below and pick up the EP on iTunes via Future Classic today. Those in the DMV can also catch Sparks spinning at U Street Music Hall January 15.

James Vincent McMorrow – How To Waste A Moment


Veering from his usual tender, airy alt-folk fare, James Vincent McMorrow has shared a new song that steers towards a more tense and serpentine electronic sound. While the Irish singer-songwriter doesn’t have plans to include it in a record at this time, he chose to release the mesmerizing single as a one-off, as the thought of wasted moments was apparently plaguing him when he wrote it. He notes on his Soundcloud page: “I recorded it with tempo because life to me is tempo, it’s rarely slow. This song is the connect from where I was, to where I’m going to be very soon.”

We can’t wait to see where that will be. In the meantime — stream “How To Waste A Moment,” along with the softer yet still exquisite effort “Red Dust” off McMorrow’s 2014 LP Post Tropical below.

RATATAT – Abrasive


RATATAT are ready to make a return with the release of their first new album in five years, Magnifique. The Brooklyn duo, guitarist Mike Stroud and producer Evan Mast have shared two singles in advance of the LP, which drops July 17 va XL Recordings. True to form, their new single “Abrasive” showcases the elaborate electronic synths and guitar work the two-piece is known for. Stream below.

Destroyer – Dream Lover


Following their EP Five Spanish Songs released in 2013, Destroyer makes a solid return with the first single off their forthcoming album Poison Season. “Dream Lover” retains the band’s characteristic identity, employing horns and delayed saxophones in support of Dan Bejar’s vocals — all sustained by a steady and melodic beat. Consistent with his previous works, the song denotes the jubilant refrain of an optimist whose heart is cloaked in cynicism. The new long-play will be unveiled August 28 via Merge Records, and DC area folk will have the opportunity to see Destroyer live at 9:30 Club October 5.