Monday, September 8, 2008


Today I stood in line at the FSU post office for about an hour, eagerly awaiting what I presumed were the promo CDs for Tiny Mixtapes. Sure enough, once I tore through the manilla folder lined with bubble wrap, four cardboard sleeves containing unreleased (actually, these haven't even leaked yet) music. Nothing "huge", but it was definitely exciting to receive the albums (sadly, sans gorgeous packaging). Coming in a month or so to Tiny Mixtapes are reviews of the following artists' new albums:

I've listened to each a little bit so far, and I have to say that I'm very impressed with the School of Seven Bells record. Really gorgeous vocal harmonies from twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, with lush textures and driving percussive tracks from Benjamin Curtis (formerly of the Secret Machines). 

The Goldmund album is very pretty; delicate piano pieces with the occasional (and very spare) synthesizer pad to thicken the sound. It's very melancholy, and even has some creative piano playing but I'm having difficulty sitting through the whole thing in one sitting. 

the Present (essentially the vehicle of Animal Collective producer Rusty Santos) set itself on a very high pedestal prior to my listening; the fact that the guy behind the group produced two records that I absolutely love (Animal Collective's 2004 record Sung Tongs, and Panda Bear's 2007 watershed Person Pitch) set some lofty expectations. So far, it seems to meander way too much. It sounds to take equally from Sung Tongs and Feels in equal amounts. Some amazing moments, for sure, but it doesn't captivate me the way Panda Bear or Animal Collective do.

Finally, I am currently listening to Donovan Quinn and the 13th month. Out of all the expected promos, this was the one I was least excited about. The press release says that his parents were folk luminaries or something; I don't know enough folk history to corroborate the claim. I can say, however, that the album is boring me to death. Static, uninspired drumming, simplistic song structures and chord progressions, and a languid vocal style that combines a poor Dylan approximation with a drunken, lazy delivery that would make Jack Johnson cringe. And I hate Jack Johnson.

Well, that's all for now! I highly recommend School of Seven Bells...We'll see if it holds up with repeated listens. Here are links to two of their tracks!
"Connjur" (download it!)
"Half Asleep" (this one isn't up for download, sadly, as it's the better of the two, in my opinion. They did post a link to their "collaboration" with Prefuse 73, a remix of their new track "iamundernodisguise"; download the mp3 from link two)

and while I'm at it, if you missed out on it, here's the Ghostly International/Adult Swim split sampler, Ghostly Swim. I absolutely love this one's cover art, and it's got a lot of great tracks (including one from SO7B), and it's FREE.

have a nice day!

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