Five of my favourite tracks added to the Back Before Dark: New Music playlist in the last week as well as the album of the week from Psymon Spine and a killer disco set from Get Down Edits. Pictured: All We Are.
Floating Points – Kelso Dunes
Taken from Floating Points‘ upcoming Reflections – Mojave Desert EP, ‘Kelso Dunes’ is a swirling progressive rock suite which builds to a spectacular climax. The track was recorded in the stunning surroundings shown in the video. Reflections – Mojave Desert (FloPo plans to produce other Reflections projects in other locations) is out June 30th.
Phoenix – Telefono
The final track on Phoenix‘s charming new album Ti Amo is a multilingual telephone conversation complimented by the band’s wonderfully upbeat synth pop. With it’s pop attitude and whimsical romance, ‘Telefono’ is a real highlight of Ti Amo.
Slowcoaching – Pillars of Salt
Slowcoaching‘s ‘Pillars of Salt’ is a compelling indie track with a highly anthemic chorus. I love it’s subtle synthesizer and dreamy guitar which give it real momentum and a sense of romance.
Amadou & Mariam – Filaou Bessame
The Malian couple Amadou & Mariam – legends of the afrobeat world – made a return a month ago with the amazing track ‘Bofou Safou’. ‘Filaou Bessame’ is the B-side on the Bofou Safou remix EP released last week. It’s a timeless, uplifting and gorgeously constructed track. Also, check out the Fatima Yamaha remix on the EP, it’s a good’un.
All We Are – Punch
All We Are took a post-punk turn on their new album Sunny Hills. It’s a highly-charged, compelling record which exposes a promising new side of the three-piece. It ends on this slow-burning, apocalyptic track which will give you goosebumps as the energy (and noise levels) build to a stunning breaking point.
Album of the Week
Brooklyn’s Psymon Spine are tough to define. According to their website, the “psy” part might refer to “psychedelic”, the “mon” to “harmonies” and “spine” might refer to all of the band together. Maybe. They’re a little bit vague about that but it’s okay because they aren’t terribly bothered about adhering to a single genre either. After a few listens of You Are Coming to My Birthday, I would describe the record as psyche-y dance-punk indie pop. Let’s not put a label on it, okay?
You Are Coming to My Birthday is a sonic medley of a record which starts out with four loosely dancey songs before trying on shades of indie-rock, punk, electronica and pop. It’s a colourful experience which draws inspirations from across the musical world and implements them in a highly unusual way. There are tribal drums paired with pop hooks, psychedelic guitars combined with house beats and plenty of other wonderfully bizarre moments littered throughout the record.
Although it is their debut album, Psymon Spine display a rare talent for weaving between all of these genres. The record remains challenging and interesting after several listens because it throws out the rule book on song structures, opting instead to fearlessly travel in a new direction without warning. Personally, I very much enjoyed this quality of the album but I fear that some people might feel that the album lacks focus. It can be rather jarring at times – leading me to listen to the album in parts rather than the whole way through – but also means that You Are Coming to My Birthday never feels remotely boring.
It’s not all experimental either. In tracks like ‘Shocked’, ‘Separate’, ‘Experience Machine’ and ‘Lines and Lines and Lines End’, you’ll find killer hooks which vary from the pop of the latter to the roars of the former. Psymon Spine don’t just have a go at a lot of different genres, they excel at most of them.
You Are Coming to My Birthday is one of the freshest albums I’ve stumbled across in recent weeks. It sounds like all of your indie favourites have been put in a blender and turned up to eleven. As vivid and rich as the cover art would suggest, Psymon Spine have established themselves as real trailblazers with this debut.
Although I was elsewhere during the June Bank Holiday weekend, I hear that a fantastic weekend was had at Forbidden Fruit festival despite the inconsistent weather. When you can’t rely on the weather, it’s good to know that you can always rely on Get Down Edits to bring the good times. My favourite Irish DJs posted this typically excellent set from the weekend. Get ready to boogie!