Fans of Neutral Milk Hotel, the Microphones, Elliott Smith and Sufjan Stevens will want to hear Wisconsin singer-songwriter Ricky Hoffman play the ‘Black Cat Blues’.
The expressively ardent Midwest folk single wouldn’t be out of place amongst other iconic cat-inspired tracks; it carries the same endearing panache as Stray Cats’ Stray Cat Strut, Squeeze’s Cool for Cats, and, of course, Love Cats by The Cure. Through the snappy percussion, accordant rings of the acoustic guitar, and the woody bends of the bass, Hoffman created the perfect platform for his unpolished and organic blues-folk vocals that will stay with you long after Black Cat Blues has faded to a close.
Black Cat Blues is now available to stream via Bandcamp.
Discernibly, it isn’t just the artwork for The Home Stretch’s album ‘Ocean Boy’ which Neutral Milk Hotel inspired, the same lo-fi psych folk sound resounds right through the debut album from the Birmingham-based newcomers.
The seafaringly sweet album starts with the title-track which allows you to wade into The Home Stretch’s cathartically panoramic signature sound which will undoubtedly be a hit with any fans of Deerhunter.
There’s nothing ambient about the intricate art rock guitar progressions which pop with bluesy pronunciation, but you’ll feel serenity wash over you as you let this mellifluously stunning soundscape arrest your rhythmic pulses and offer indulgent aurally-derived escapism.
Escape the 21st-century and slip into the sepia-tinged tones in Detroit-based alt-indie rock luminaries’, ATMIG’s, latest release ‘Ah Hah’ which chorally attacks the nature of consumerism and unfolds as the indie alt-folk equivalent of John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’.
Any fans of Amanda Palmer, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Smiths, The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen will undoubtedly want to delve to cigarette smoke-stained indulgent single which spills alchemy through the infusion of shoegaze, rockabilly, indie rock and traditional folk.
If Ah Hah was any more absolving, I’m pretty sure I’d be antimatter right now.
Ah Hah was released on December 31st, you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.
I recently attended a De La Sol set at a festival in Queens. I enjoyed an interlude in which a voice from the trio said that sometimes you just need to let the beat play. It’s always nice to hear how artists feel about the things they make and how they make them. It’s also nice to see how artists whose styles vary greatly can agree on certain sentiments. Such is the case with Crow Quilled Confessions. Their track A Human Being on the Planet Earth perfectly demonstrates a group who know how to let the beat play when it needs to.
For the first half of the song, there are several elements introduced that seem to orbit around the catchy, strongly-mixed beat. You might miss some details along the way if you aren’t careful, but one thing is for certain, you will feel that beat. It doesn’t seem like a drum part that needs much elaboration. It may not have much to say. This doesn’t stop Crow Quilled Confessions from letting it lead the charge into the second half, which quickly but organically reinvents its status quo with fuzzy guitars and a bass that triumphantly makes its presence known.
From here, the track becomes a ride. Suddenly the beat has taken a backseat for the exploration of all the other themes that had previously been allowing it to lead. For such a dramatic change in priority to occur while holding onto the mood and tone of the song is a major challenge. Even as the song fades out in its last 30 seconds, you can’t help but feel the beat play on in your mind. This is a song that leaves the speakers and really does affect your mind for moments at a time. It’s not overly complicated, but it’s certainly a fascinating track.