Top 30 Chart Update, 8/15/14: Shoegaze Hangovers
by Kate Leib on August 15, 2014
Posted in: Electronic, Hip Hop, Music, Pop, Pop Punk, Punk, Rock
The summer has flown by and believe it or not WRMC’s summer programming ends this weekend. Our charts have been chock full some great new music this summer, and now it’s time for us to get you caught up on anything you might have missed.
Weekly chart vets How to Dress Well, A Sunny Day in Glasgow and White Lung dominated the Top 10 all summer long with their respective releases from early June; “What is this Heart?” (#4) Sea When Absent (#5) and Deep Fantasy (#8). Over the course of the summer, A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s delightful shoegaze stylings were joined by several other My Bloody Valentine disciples from all over the world on our charts:
- Warehouse Eyes – Carvings EP (Minneapolis)
- Kutosis – Dream it Away (Wales)
- Kestrels – The Moon is Shining Our Way EP (Nova Scotia)
- Sounds of Sputnik – New Born (Moscow)
Canadian-Ukranian dream-pop duo Ummagma are featured prominently on Sounds of Sputnik’s debut album, a sprawling space rock inspired five track LP (+ seven remixes) due out August 25. They have only released two singles on bandcamp so far,the title track and “Overdrive“, both of which were surprise hits this summer in the station. However, the album’s best track, “Light Scheme”, has yet to be released online, but you can still hear it exclusively on the WRMC airwaves!
After spending 3 weeks at the #1 spot, Brooklyn slacker rock band Parquet Courts have been dethroned by the short and sweet pop punk of Joyce Manor‘s third studio album Never Hungover Again. No stranger to the WRMC airwaves, this California-bred quartet is quick to capture the spirit of teenage youth and all the terrible 20-somethings angst that follows in just 20 minutes on their new album. Joyce Manor’s straightforward lyrics are clever, punchy, and at times darkly poignant. One moment lead singer Barry Johnson is channeling the inarticulate young romantic; “I think you’re funny / I like your friends” and the next he’s delivering a cold dose of indifference that cuts deep; “Never really had a drug phase / So you think you’re fucking miserable now.” But Joyce Manor rarely dwell in the dark – their songs have a pop punk sensibility that leaves you feeling riled up and ready to go. “Heart Tattoo,” their poppiest song to date, has one of the catchiest choruses of the summer; “I want a heart tattoo / I want it to hurt really bad / That’s how I’ll know / I’ll know it’s real / A real tattoo.”
So if you’re looking to dust of your air guitar and revisit your high school blink-182 phase with matured and nostalgic eyes, Joyce Manor is your new favorite band. There isn’t much time for repetition within the tracks on Never Hungover Again when they’re all less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds, but it’s that very brevity that keeps you coming back for more. This is a record that you can rally to, no matter how many times you swear you’ll never drink again.
Our highest chart debut of the summer came from the indie rock heavy-hitters in Spoon, who’ve been in the game for over 20 years now and show no signs of selling out or losing their edge. They Want My Soul, the highly anticipated followup to 2010’s largely under-acclaimed Transference, does not disappoint. In typical Spoon fashion, the contrasting combination of angular chord progressions and Britt Daniels’ distinctive croon proves to be instantly satisfying and almost sickeningly catchy at times. The album’s second track “Inside Out”, is a refreshing palette cleanser after one too many spoonfuls (heh) of their signature sound, and stands out as their most beautiful creation to date. Britt Daniels sings about breaking out of character, distorted time and intense gravity – all disorienting sensations that come with the effort to maintain relevance in a fast moving, commercially driven world where everyone wants to sell your soul instead of theirs. Daniels’ voice floats effortlessly amidst an expertly layered soundscape of thumping minimalist bass, delicate harpsichord, and Jim Eno’s crisp drumming, and the result is brilliant.
Last week experimental hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces debuted on our charts and continue to hold steady at #6 this week. Lese Majesty, the followup to their excellent 2011 debut Black Up , is 18 tracks long, but it’s so cohesive it might as well be one song. Album highlights, “Forerunner Foray“, “They Come in Gold” and “#CAKE” are especially dirty, industrial and irresistible, proving that you can have your #cake and eat it too–whatever that means.
Debuting this week at #7 is the reissue of The Unicorns’ 2003 cult album “Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?” Following a ten year hiatus during which frontman Nick “Diamonds” Thorburn kept busy by looking adorable and fronting a lot of other bands (see: Islands, Th’ Corn Gangg, Reefer, Human Highway, Mister Heavenly) The Unicorns have reassembled for a small reunion tour opening for fellow Montrealers and former tour mates, Arcade Fire. In 2004, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? received a grade of A-/B+ from one WRMC DJ and was equated to a broiled salmon.
The reissue includes 4 bonus cuts: “Let Me Sleep,” a previously unreleased track from the Who Will Cut Our Hair recording sessions, “Evacuate,” from their presciently titled, half-baked 2004 EP, The Unicorns: 2014, “Haunted House,” a spooky scary speak-sung live cut, and a cover of fellow lo-fi lover, Daniel Johnston’s, “Rocketship”
Also debuting on the charts this week just shy of the top 10 are three stellar new releases from Spider Bags, SOPHIE and DEERS at #11, #12 and #14 respectively.
Jersey-bred, North Carolina-based Spider Bags have amped up their somber and meandering lo-fi twang to a full on ripsnortin’ garage rock jam on their fourth full length album Frozen Letter. Album highlight “Coffin Car” burns slow like a New Jersey cigarette until it finally combusts after 5 and a half minutes of build up into a raucous shitshow of guitars, drums, Dan McGee’s guttural shouts, and god knows what else–probably some beer bottles.
Mysterious UK producer SOPHIE has yet to release a full album, but his latest 12″ features the infectious and bubbly “Lemonade” and the chromatic sputters of “Hard“. WRMC wonders: Is SOPHIE is a fan of Mike’s Hard Lemonade? When life gives SOPHIE lemons, does he make them hard? Sometimes we play SOPHIE in the WRMC office just to annoy Gary, our station engineer, who has likened Lemonade’s opening seconds to “baby farts in a bath tub.”
Lastly, my favorite new band of late, DEERS, released their debut 7″ titled DEMO on Bandcamp July 28. The 7″ features two tracks, “Bamboo” and “Trippy Gum”, both slurred surf-rock gems fresh out of the garage and perfect for the summer’s end. Both singers, Ana Garcia Perrote and Carlotta Cosials, are super cute and appear to be BFFs based on their Youtube videos. It doesn’t get any better than that kind of chemistry:
Our complete charts for 8/15/14 are below with debuts in greeen:
|1||Joyce Manor||Never Hungover Again||Epitaph||1|
|2||Parquet Courts||Sunbathing Animal||What’s Your Rupture? / Mom & Pop||2|
|3||Spoon||They Want My Soul||Merge||—|
|4||How to Dress Well||What is this Heart?||Domino / Weird World||3|
|5||A Sunny Day in Glasgow||Sea When Absent||Lefse||5|
|6||Shabazz Palaces||Lese Majesty||Sub Pop||6|
|7||The Unicorns||Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?||Caterpillar||—|
|8||White Lung||Deep Fantasy||Domino||8|
|10||Strand of Oaks||HEAL||Dead Ocean||10|
|11||Spider Bags||Frozen Letter||Merge||—|
|12||SOPHIE||“Lemonade” b/w “Hard”||Numbers||—|
|13||Jenny Lewis||The Voyager||Warner||14|
|14||Deers||DEMO||Mom + Pop / Mermaid Ave||—|
|15||Kestrels||The Moon Is Shining Our Way||Sonic Unyon||16|
|16||Owen Pallett||In Conflict||Domino / Secret City||4|
|17||The Fresh & Onlys||House of Spirits||Mexican Summer||12|
|18||Total Control||Typical System||Iron Lung||9|
|19||Sounds of Sputnik||New Born||Ear to Ear||20|
|20||The Muffs||Whoop Dee Doo||Burger Records||13|
|22||The Wytches||Annabel Dream Reader||Partisan||21|
|23||The Raveonettes||Pe’ahi||Beat Dies||—|
|24||Kutosis||Dream It Away||Jealous Lovers Club||27|
|25||Twin Peaks||Wild Onion||Grand Jury||—|
|26||White Fence||For The Recently Found Innocent||Drag City||17|
|27||Soft as Snow||Glass Body||Houndstooth||18|
|28||Cold Beat||Over Me||Crime on the Moon||22|
|29||Bob Moses||First to Cry||Domino||30|