Torres: “Three Futures” live on WFUV (Video)

Torres

Torres

Three Futures

4AD

 

Torres’ Three Futures is one of 2017’s most noteworthy indie releases and perhaps its best at dealing with gender issues in a courageous fashion. When recording the album, Brooklynite Mackenzie Scott, who uses Torres as her creative name, couldn’t have known about the sex scandals that would occur in popular culture in the late part of this year. However, there are resonances in her work to ideas of agency for females (for all gender identifications, really) to make choices about their bodies and private lives that both celebrate consensual relationships and protect themselves from exploitative behavior.

While the recording’s lyrics are powerful, and occasionally audacious, they are matched by equally compelling music. Torres has incorporated a broader range of synthesizers into her sound and layers of these are placed alongside her adroit rhythm guitar playing and a catchy spate of rhythms from bass and drums. Although the arrangements supply a great deal of variety using this instrumental template, it is likely Torres’ voice that listeners will remember most clearly. An alto with a chocolate-tinged lower register and secure upper notes, her singing alternately croons, growls, and dips into a sepulchral chest voice. Like the idea of Three Futures, the singing effectively takes on these three roles, replicating varying identities with poise, power, and sympathy. Recommended.

“Three Futures” on KEXP (YouTube).

“New Skin” live on KEXP (YouTube).

The Clientele’s New Recording Out Friday

 

It has been seven years since The Clientele’s last recording, The Minotaur EP. On Friday, via Merge, the group releases the LP Music for the Age of Miracles. As the lead off track “Everything You See Tonight is Different from Itself” (video below) demonstrates, they return with undiminished creativity and, in this turbulent time, a refreshing dose of optimism. Arpeggiated chords begin gently, buoying hushed vocals. This is followed by sustained notes from solo electric guitar, budding layers of keyboard patterns, and a pressing mid-tempo groove that urges the vocals to soar to swooning heights. The lyric, as advertised, brings promise of comfort and support.

Rey Pila: “Wall of Goth” (CD Review)

Rey Pila

Wall of Goth

Cult EP

 

Mexican rock band Rey Pila channels two different generations of music: eighties synth pop and early aughts indie rock. The latter is abetted by Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), who produces their EP Wall of Goth (out now via Cult). The four songs contained therein are replete with vocal hooks and instrumental breaks that help to carbon date their influences. However, the amalgam of these makes for an unusual, often fascinating, melange.

 

The trick today, of course, is that influences from yesteryear’s pop, especially often a pile-up of them from different eras, are the norm for many artists. In face of the fear of being written off as merely “retro” by publicists and the public (in which order?), bands seek to transcend an easy genre or era tag via a combining of signifiers the likes of which are found on Wall of Goth. Perhaps this is an opportune time to make the listener work a bit harder; since it is no longer enough to play “spot the influences” before rendering peremptory judgement, one may have to deal with artists like Rey Pila, who combine elements exuberantly, on their own merits rather than on the vintage of their effects pedals.

Temples: “Certainty” (SoundCloud)

Temples - Volcano
Temples – Volcano

Temples’s album Volcano is out March 3rd via Fat Possum Records. Check out lead-off track “Certainty” below.

They are also extensively touring (dates below).

TEMPLES TOUR DATES:
(new shows in bold)
Wed. Feb. 22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
Fri. Feb. 24 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom *
Sat. Feb. 25 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s *
Sun. Feb. 26 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre *
Tue. Feb. 28 – Felton, CA @ Don Quixote’s *
Wed. Mar. 1 – Nevada City, CA @ Miners Foundry Cultural Center *
Thu. Mar. 2 – Pomona, CA @ Glass House *
Fri. Mar. 3 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet’s *
Sat. Mar. 4 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent *
Sun. Mar. 5 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern *
Thu. Mar. 9 – Tijuana, BC @ Black Box *
Fri. Mar. 10 – Las Vegas, NV @ Neon Reverb Music Festival @ Plaza Hotel & Casino *
Sat. Mar. 11 – Phoenix, AZ @ Downtown Phoenix [VIVA PHX] *
Sun. Mar. 12 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf *
Tue. Mar. 14 – Thu. Mar. 16 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
Fri. Mar. 17 – Dallas, TX @ Trees *
Sat. Mar. 18 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live *
Sun. Mar. 19 – San Antonio, TX @ Burger Records Hangover Fest @ Paper Tiger *
Sun. Mar. 26 – Newcastle, UK @ Riverside
Mon. Mar. 27 – Sheffield, UK @ Leadmill
Tue. Mar. 28 – Manchester, UK @ Academy 2
Thu. Mar. 30 – London, UK @ Brixton Electric
Fri. Mar. 31 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
Sat. Apr. 1 – Derby, UK @ 2Q Festival
Sun. Apr. 2 – Birmingham, UK @ Institute 2
Tue. Apr. 7 – Cologne, DE @ Gebaude 9
Wed. Apr. 8 – Munich, DE @ Strom
Thu. Apr. 9 Prague, CS @ Palac Akropolis
Fri. Apr. 10 – Berlin, DE @ Festaal Kreuzberg
Sat. Apr. 11 – Hamburg, DE @ Knust
Sun. Apr. 12 – Copenhagen, DK @ Pumpehuset
Sat. Apr. 18 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique
Sun. Apr. 19 – Tourcoing, FR @ Le Grand Mix
Mon. Apr. 20 – Lausanne, CH @ Le Docks
Tue. Apr. 21 – Zurich, CH @ Plaza
Wed. Apr. 22 – Lyon, FR @ L’Epicerie Moderne
Fri. Apr. 24 – Paris, FR @ Elysee Montmartre
Mon. Apr. 27 – Bristol, UK @ Trinity Centre
Wed. Apr. 29 – Leeds, UK @ Live at Leeds
Mon. May 8 – Miami, FL @ Gramps
Wed. May 10 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
Thu. May 11 – Orlando, FL @ The Social
Fri. May 12 – Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees
Mon. May 15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Tue. May 16 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Thu. May 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Fri. May 19 – Sun. May 21 – Madrid, ES @ Tomavistas Festival
Fri. July 28 – Sun. July 30 – Naeba Ski Resort, Japan @ Fuji Rock Festival

* = Desert Daze Caravan