Track of the Day..."Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears" from A Winged Victory for the Sullen

A Winged Victory for the Sullen
"Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears"
from A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Erased Tapes (International) / Kanrky (US) / 2011

Listen to "Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears" MP3

A Winged Victory for the Sullen is the collaboration of Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid / ex-Sparklehorse) and Berlin-based Dustin O'Halloran (a self-taught pianist who is a member of Devics and who has scored such films as Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette).  Their self-titled release is a striking mix of neo-classical and ambient, echoing the vastness of Berlin's Grunewald Church where the album was principally recorded.  The piano often takes prominence on the album, buoyed by strings, bassoon, french horns and clarinet, frequently over a shifting, bass drone.  Adam and Dustin are keenly aware of textures and layering of sounds, all the while remaining patient and restrained, guiding with the lightness of touch and allowing their songs to develop in their own time.

The album also features guest appearance from Hilder Gundnadottir (cello) and Peter Broderick (violin).  AWVFTS is also available as a limited edition vinyl via Erased Tapes.

AWVFTS will be playing various dates throughout North America this fall, including 30 October in NYC at the West park Presbyterian Chrurch (dates supported by Benoit Piolard and Ken Camden).


1. "We Played Some Open Chords and Rejoiced for the Earth Had Circled the Sun Yet Another Year"
2. "Requiem for the Static King, Part One"
3. "Requiem for the Static King, Part Two"
4. "Minuet for a Cheap Piano, Number Two"
5. "Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears"
6. "A Symphony Pathetique"
7. "All Farewells Are Sudden"

Official | Erased Tapes | Kranky 

Album Review..."Pleasure" from Pure X

Pure X
Acephale Records (2011)

Listen to “Easy” MP3

Texas band Pure X (formerly Pure Ecstasy) first made their mark two years ago with the release of “Easy”. Their debut album Pleasure is defined by this breakout track which features Nate Grace's sun drenched, reverb filled vocals fighting through prominent effect-laden guitar eruptions and backed by a throbbing bass and pedantic drums. Although “Easy” branded the band’s sound it doesn’t limit them creatively.

Much has been written about Pure X’s similarities to The Jesus and Mary Chain (especially by the UK press). There is no denying a kindred sound. However, I am sure if we dug around NME from 1986 we would find a comparison between JMC and The Velvet Underground. It’s a style that has been defined before but necessitates new chapters to grow the story.

On “Twisted Mirror” the same technique is used but in a more progressive tone. The song utilizes the sparse, roomy style of their songs to allow the life around you to merge with the track. At first it blends and binds to your surroundings then emerges, ingrained in your senses. It is very organic and rich.

The natural feel of the album is owed to the fact that the band recorded the album live as a unit. The choice to eschew bloated production techniques such as overdubbing and sampling is what illuminates this album.

01. Half Here
02. Pleasure
03. Dry Ice
04. Stuck Livin
05. Surface
06. Voices
07. Easy
08. Twisted Mirror
09. Dream Over
10. Heavy Air
Official | Acephale Records

Track of the Day..."XCPR" from Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams
7" / Captured Tracks

Listen to “XCPR” MP3

"XCPR" is the infectious, short and sharp first release from the young sextet Hoop Dreams.  The band hails from Blacksburg, Virginia, and features Max Brooks (vocals) and Jeff Haley (guitar / ex-Wild Nothing), Tommy Davidson (bass / Dream Cop), Jordan Mrazik (guitar), Julie Shepherd (violin), and Marcus McDonald (drums).  Hoop Dreams are signed to Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, and a full LP is in the works for a release in early 2012.

If you are in NY, you can catch Hoop Dreams on 12 November at Glasslands Gallery.

Bandcamp | Captured Tracks 

Track of the Day ..."Always Everything" from Sin Fang

Sin Fang
"Always Everything"
from Summer Echoes
Morr Music (2011)

Listen to “Always Everything” MP3

To mark Iceland's Sin Fang's (formerly Sin Fang Bous) upcoming show in Paris we wanted to share "Always Everything" from this year's release Summer Echoes.  The perfect opportunity to rediscover this beautifully layered album.

You can download a free non-album version of the track "Slowlights" from Sin Fang's website.  Also, follow the link to watch videos from Sin Fang for album tracks "Because of the Blood" and "Two Boys.”

Be sure to catch Sin Fang at La Flèche d'Or on 9 September in Paris.  Sin Fang will be playing other dates in September throughout Europe joined by labelmate Sóley.

Summer Echoes tracklisting:
01. "Easier "
02. "Bruises"
03. "Fall Down Slow" 
04. "Because Of The Blood"
05. "Rituals" 
06. "Always Everything" 
07. "Sing From Dream"
08. "Nineteen" 
09. "Choir" 
10. "Two Boys" 
11. "Nothings" 
12. "Slow Lights" 

Official | MySpace| Twitter | Morr