Top 30 Chart Update, 8/13/13: Chill season
by Samuel Tolzmann on August 13, 2013
Posted in: Music
Hello again Radioheads! We’ve just submitted our latest Top 30 chart to CMJ, and you should really check it out because there is some awesome music being released these days! First off, Washed Out’s second full-length Paracosm (can you believe it’s only his second?!) and Pure Bathing Culture’s debut Moon Tides top the chart in their respective first weeks on the market, which is pretty incredible. Never underestimate the appeal of chilled-out summer vibes, I guess. Both albums are on Rotation here at WRMC, meaning they received grades of B+ or higher from the DJs who reviewed the CDs, and both are wonderful: Paracosm is Washed Out’s most fully- realized work yet, a lush point of intersection between psychedelic, indie rock, electropop, ambient, R&B, dub reggae, and even Southern folk — imagine a sound similar to 2011′s Within And Without but brighter, more energetic, and sometimes weirdly close to Iron & Wine. Pure Bathing Culture, meanwhile, make crystal-clear pop with a nostalgic undertow, perfect for fans of Beach House, Real Estate, Tennis, and Cults.
But there are plenty of other debuts on our chart this week, so don’t get stalled at #1 and #2. The Polyphonic Spree’s Yes, It’s True finished at #6, and it’s a more propulsive, muscular version of the band that will appeal to old fans and those usually averse to Tim DeLaughter’s hypercaffeinated brand of cultish symphonic pop. Minks follow up their well-received 2011 debut By The Hedge and the equally good 2012 EP X-Rated Poetry with Tides End, a left turn for the onetime lo-fi goth-pop crew into high-fidelity psych-pop territory. That’s in the #14 spot, and two places behind is Howlin, the debut from Jagwar Ma – a deliciously hooky fusion of the nu-rave trend of a few years back with classic ’90s Britpop sounds. And at #17 is Pond, a Tame Impala side project (they share 3 of Tame Impala’s four members) whose latest, Hobo Rocket, contains a similar brand of psychedelic Southern rock, but with a less meticulous, goofier attitude. Valerie June, fresh from her extensive coverage by NPR Music last week, debuted impressively at #20 with Pushin’ Against A Stone, a blues- and folk-influenced rock/pop record that showcases her powerhouse vocals. Further down the chart, Rihanna collaborator Mikky Ekko has released a new self-titled EP that delivers the expected blend of heartstring-tugging vocals and shadowy, cutting-edge pop production techniques; 1990s shoegaze band Medicine, who never quite got there due despite making some of the most blistering noise-pop of that decade, reunite and give us To The Happy Few, a new LP that follows their old formula to a T and yet has never sounded more of-the-moment. Elsewhere, Thriftstore Masterpiece are an all-star supergroup whose Trouble Is A Lonesome Town will satisfy any ’90s al-rock nerd’s craving for classic indie rock antics, Modeskeltor and Apparat combine their electronic forces into Moderat once again on their second collaborative full-length, and former Yuck frontman spazzes out as Hebronix.
The chart, as ever, has a few holdovers from previous weeks, and that’s all good, too, from TECLA’s fizzy, hip-hop-inflected electropop to Fuck Buttons’ delirious noise freakouts; Weekend’s shoegaze marathons to Hot Chip’s sinister pop bangers; Jackson Scott’s lo-fi psych-pop to the recently broken-up Gauntlet Hair’s gloomy rock songs; Speedy Ortiz’s 1990s heroine worship to Edward Sharpe’s cheesy self-help anthems; Italians Do It Better’s stylish disco revivalism to Wise Blood’s stoned soliloquies; and beyond! Check out the full chart to the left of this post, and be sure to follow WRMC on Spotify to hear a playlist with all our latest favorites! See you next week for our last chart of the summer!