Sunday, August 15, 2004

Dykehouse, dios, Nouvelle Vague & Lizzy Mercier Descloux

Dykehouse's Midrange album has been out for a few months now, and the music blogosphere seems to have largely slept on this great record. Michael Dykehouse's last album was full of electronic instrumentals - very IDM. This new one is a radical departure in style and sound. This time it's all about the dense, shoe gazing sound of the early '90s - lots of huge guitar noise, and Michael sings on most tracks. Lost Holiday is an uptempo rocker that is this year's version of My Bloody Valentine's seminal Soon - dance-y beats, thick buzzing guitars and a similarly melodic appeal to MBV's tune. I highly recommend both of his albums - you'll be amazed at how different they are.

dios are a 5 piece from California who do the blissed out, folky rock thing. Reviews compare them to the Beach Boys, the Beatles and Grandaddy (who they toured with a bunch), and those are pretty accurate comparisons to make. Their 2003 (home recorded) debut has elements of all of those bands, and on You Make Me Feel Uncomfortable they add a touch of Neil Young to the mix - it's the plaintive vocals, the sci-fi keys and a gorgeous melody that make this a big tune. Be sure to check out their website for some twisted fun.

Nouvelle Vague's brilliant album of jazzy bossa nova covers of new wave classics has been getting major airplay on my stereo. It's a superbly conceived and executed record that I've already raved about here before, so I won't bore you with more hyperbole - check out their ultra cool version of Depeche Mode's incredibly catchy pop nugget Just Can't Get Enough.

Lizzy Mercier Descloux was part of NYC's No-Wave movement of the late '70s and early '80s. She blended dance and funk with arty rock and poetry (Patti Smith was once a flat mate), releasing several albums. Her albums of that era have been reissued over the last year by a newly reborn Ze Records. She passed away earlier this year after a year long fight with cancer. Tumour is her amusing remake of the old classic Fever - "when you put your arms around me you give me a tumour that's so hard to bear". It's funky, skronky fun.

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