Single's Cruise 11.16

Hussy - "Slayer"

On “Slayer” London-based Sophie Nicole Ellison creates a tension-filled guitar-scape that pans between Sonic Youth at their most melodic – weeping lines dipping in and out of each other, taking up space in the jagged corners of angular indie rock – and the heavy, buzzy shoegaze choruses of Lush or Drop Nineteens. A weird headspace isn’t a pre-requisite for enjoying these two elastic modes, but it certainly helps order them in a workable blueprint for how to get through your day.


Cote - "Restoration"

There is a way Taryn Randall’s voice tarries, or slightly wavers on “Restoration”, the multi-syllabic centre-piece of this song, that seems to belie the fact that any sort of restoring to be had is a done deal. It’s an unadorned acoustic guitar melody paired with sparse but expressive twinned guitar licks floating somewhere in the ionosphere and somehow just below COTE’s breathy, dynamic voice. Whether lilting over a few extra vowels, or flattening into a sturdy, flinty expression of weariness and wonder.


sen wisher - "holding pattern"

The Eugene, OR by the way of Provo, UT multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Ben Swisher’s project recalls the best tendencies of those years in the late 00’s when indie-rock bands swung for the rafters creating knotty and carefully composed pop songs – crafting melodies outside that wormed their way in and out of arrangements that embraced drawn out and multi-part compositions. Sen Wisher channels some of the best of that stuff: DM Stith, LAKE, Paper Airplanes – while wrapping his inherent tunefulness and upper-register vocals around tightly composed parts for guitar, woodwind, strings, brass. This is nice, but do I want to see every band tour with eight members and a god-damn timpani drum again? Fuck, no.


“Renaissance” is a track that easily recalls Stereolab, Broadcast and Serge Gainsbourg in the same breath. Blending midi choirs (my favorite kind of choir) vintage analog synths with organs, upright bass and prepared piano, this strange soundtrack to never-filmed movie is pulled through the needle’s eye with a idiosyncratic propulsion and mystique all its own.

Machinefabriek - "III (with Peter Broderick)"

I don’t have to be talked into immediately listening to a new Machinefabriek piece. With Voices, promises to be a bit of a different animal. Machinefabriek’s compositions of channeling frequencies, tones and disembodied ghosts from dead machines will be the undergirding of his collaborative work with vocalists Peter Broderick (featured on this song), Marissa Nadler, Richard Youngs and Terence Hannum (Locrain). This is a truly stunning cast of characters whose unique vocal inflections work to both obscure and humanize Rutger Zuydervelt’s stately and austere drones and sound generation.

Poor Colour Palette - "Manufactured 1935"

Sinking into this composition is an easy act of submission. The Scottish artist utilizes the mechanical sound of the piano and Hammond organ to create ghostly doubles of the beautiful and emotionally resonant piano compositions they make. Deadened action from an ancient organ undergird the pitter-patter of upper register piano lines that flutter above and outside the periphery. It’s a pitch-perfect soundtrack to falling snow and inclement weather.


surrogate sibling - "vert"

Riding a fine line between neo-classical chamber music and understated and melancholic pop, the German composer pairs mournful strings and slightly propulsive piano compositions atop the gentle pattern of electronic percussion. The faraway crackle of distortion on a clean bass hit resounds somewhere in the distance while a ruddy, elegiac violin swoops into the middle distance. It’s a stately and contemplative track that seems to exist in between a lot of things: modern composition and modern pop, sleep and wake, dusk and night.

Cuts  - "Time is not your friend"

Creating widescreen compositions from a deep interplay between field recordings (ice cracking under foot, ice shelves shedding and receding into a warming sea) and heavily processed synths and percussion, UK-based Anthony Tombling, JR. has created something that feels prescient and as pressing as a rapidly warming planet should feel upon us. Those huge percussion hits overtop cracking ice pack an emotional and political wallop in their sound architecture. Channeling Ben Frost in those finely attenuated lines between the digital and natural world, CUTS has created a dread filled soundscape to match our own dread-filled world.


November 16th, 2018