Song of the Day

Song Of The Day: Shannon Lay – Nowhere

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Shannon Lay’s “Nowhere” opens up with lyrics that sound like either some kind of nonsense riddle or some super deep philosophy. Or maybe a bit of both:

Nowhere soon
Soon we’ll get to nowhere
And we’ll talk to no one
And not meet them

The trippiness of the lyric is well matched by the music behind it. In “Nowhere,” Lay offers up the perfect piece of mellow, folky psychedelia to soundtrack this trip to nowhere. Lay has described the track as being about “the importance of enjoying the journey” and one wonders whether that journey is a physical one or one of a more metaphysical nature. Or maybe a bit of both.

Shannon Lay’s August is out August 23 on Sub Pop Records. Check out the video for “Nowhere” below.

Song(s) of the Day: Cross Record – Licorice, PYSOL My Castle

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Cross Record is a project from the Austin, TX artist Emily Cross. To call her new self-titled album experimental would be besides the point. It seems more a visual and psychological demonstration than musical exploration. Cross seems determined and resigned all at once: determined to stick with nearly monotonic trajectories, and resigned to the fact that her determination is the far stronger demon than any other on her shoulder. It makes the odd flourishes of the music almost joyous, even though you consciously recognize that they too are short and seemingly prosaic.

This artificially created contrast seems a consistent theme in her new video: “PYSOL (put your shoes on leave) My Castle” literally has Emily crawl into a sensory deprivation chamber. Yes, one of those contraptions that 4 kids from an ’80s monster show managed to replicate so they could dim out this miserly plane of existence to have a seance with aliens. I care not whether this was a purposeful design – it really does work. “Licorice” is a particularly good example of the heightened senses one acquires when the baseline is nearly a flat line. At 2:54, it doesn’t bore you with repetitions of the same idea. It is a surprisingly wonderful test flight. Now that this piece is done, IYDM I am going back to solitary.

Cross Record is out now on Ba Da Bing Records.

Song of the Day: Clairo, Bags

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Although bedroom pop is definitely the first descriptor that could be employed here, “Bags”, from Clairo‘s debut album Immunity, does not seem as shallow and facetious as some of the other Gen Z offerings on the plate. Coming directly off of her viral-fame by way of “the internets”, you would be forgiven for granting her license to some vapidity.

But “Bags” is in fact a very solid track. Sure, there is a lack of urgency permeating all that teenage experimentation without any concrete resolution, Clairo’s voice isn’t bright or magnificent, and unlike other numbers on the album (such as “Sofia”), it’s hidden under quite a lot of production. But there is an elasticity to the lyrics and melody, pulling you hither and thither. Its charm doesn’t really run out of steam, even on repeated listening, which is far more than can be said of many pop songs these days.

Song Of The Day: Purple Mountains – Darkness and Cold

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After a lengthy break, former Silver Jews frontman David Berman is back with Purple Mountains, a new project that finds him backed up by members of Woods.

“Darkness and Cold,” one of the standout numbers off Purple Mountains’ self-titled debut, tells the tale of a relationship falling apart with the video featuring Berman as a sad sack alternately moping around the house and hovering about like an unseen ghost as his partner prepares to go out. “The light of my life is going out tonight,” he sings, though clearly not with him.

Purple Mountains is out now on Drag City Records. Check out the video for “Darkness and Cold” below: