Thursday, January 15, 2015

EP Grab Bag vol. 87

So, after a prolonged period of of LPs there, it is finally time for me to come back to these EPs that have been burning a hole in my metaphorical pocket. I haven't much to say as a preliminary except that I am so happy that these tunes keep pouring and are so fucking good.

To be had here:

Ongakubaka Records, the blog turned indie label, has another EP out that is, of course, impeccable. LOVEBYRD is a German band that makes psychedelic music. It's hard to tell whether the near-hallucinogenic instrumentation or the amazing vocalist are more mesmerizing. She can really sing, the guitars are damned trippy and it all comes together for five otherwordly tracks. Fits in a fine middle ground of modern psych, incorporating enough retro and eastern sound but not so much as to be a rehash. It's a wonderful EP, and I told you before that Ongakubaka knows what the fuck is up. If they were printing money instead of issuing records it'd be as good as gold.

H. Grimace - Material EP (2015)

These songs mingle somewhere between garage rock and dream pop, sort of a space usually occupied by shoegaze in my mind, but I wouldn't necessarily categorize H. Grimace as such. It isn't about tags, as much as I like to throw them around. What matter is that the songs are good, and this is definitely the case on their Material EP. This is EP is put out by the United Kingdom's Soft Power Records, a label I should like to provide more attention to in the days to come. Looks like they've got a good catalog to pick over.

The Clearwings - The Outskirts EP (2014)

The Denver-based folk duo the Clearwings make some fine duets. That's right, they sing together and it is quite impressive how well the female and male voices meld and play off one another in these short songs. The call themselves alt-folk, but who knows what that means, what I can say is that they do mix in some blues and pop elements in, depending on which track you pick. Being quite partial to the blues myself, I found the songs "Long Way Down" and "Armies" to be my favorites on the EP. However, there isn't a dud among them, and it is a highly enjoyable release.

Dhruva Krishna - The Great Skedaddle (2013)

More folk, of a far more stripped down variety. Just a man playing his guitar, or sometimes tapping on a piano, and making you think about shit. Upbeat and bluegrass-infused folk makes up most of the songs, yet in the middle of it "Crazy" is a bare-bones piano piece that really resonated with me. Only the last track, a cover of the Beatles classic "Yesterday," has any vocals at all.  If the quality of the folk coming in keeps up with Clearwings and what Mr. Krishna have sent in, I welcome much more.

Sväva - We Have Just The Life We Want (2014)

Another Dutch band from the city of Leeuwarden. Sväva makes melodic, ethereal music with strong female vocals. The songs aren't very complex, but they needed be as Sväva seems to be aiming for a more emotional reaction to their music. I spent quite a bit of time listening to this EP as I tried to plow my way into a novel I decided to begin the other day. I kept putting down the book, not because I didn't like it, but because I kept check which track I was hearing. Turns out I am really digging the final song of this release, "Blue Moon." It's totally worth a whirl.

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