Debuts from Mild High Club and Erica Eso, the "revolutionary" musical taking Broadway by storm and more in this week's look at standout music
Painted Zeros: Call Back
As the summer heat gives way to cool breezes and accompanying change, it's well-matched by Brooklyn-based Painted Zeros' new track "Call Back." Ethereal vocals—from lead singer and principal member Katie Lau—drift atop delicate melodies that give way to guitar riffs with a substantial pulse underlying it all. Altogether, it's a beautiful track from the band's forthcoming album Floriography.
Hamilton the Musical
It's not just a Broadway show about a revolution—Hamilton is one in itself. Written by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda (who also composed the music and lyrics for the Tony Award-winning "In the Heights"), "Hamilton" is a fresh musical rebel: from its multi-racial cast to storytelling through hip-hop, rap, '90s pop and ballads without losing any of that Broadway theatricality. The life of founding father Alexander Hamilton is a story primed for feature film drama: an illegitimate son born in the British West Indies—an immigrant—whose ambitions led him to become a Revolutionary War hero and influential politician. He even weathered a public sex scandal and died too soon at about 49 years of age, mortally wounded in a duel by his nemesis Aaron Burr. The cast recording, now available on Spotify, satisfies all of the hype; listen to the rhythmic opening number, "Alexander Hamilton," and you'll be hooked regardless of your musical preferences.
Mild High Club: Timeline
Mild High Club is seasoned musician Alexander Brettin's latest incarnation (RIP Soft Candy) and that's the only intro you'll need—as this is one of those instances when the music speaks for itself. Mild High Club's debut album Timeline has just been released on Circle Star Records, a new side label from Stones Throw founder Peanut Butter Wolf. Start with "Weeping Willow" and "Note to Self" for a taste, then work your way from beginning to end for a hazy, contorted trip through 12-string electric guitar bends, retro organ-like synth patches and even guest vocals from Ariel Pink.
Erica Eso: One Hundred Years
Erica Eso is the newest "empty bracket, not an alter ego" fronted by New York-based experimental composer and synthesizer player Weston Minissali (previous stints include Cloud Becomes Your Hand and VaVatican; he's also the co-founder of artist-run label Prom Night Records). Their debut song "One Hundred Years" is tightly controlled weirdness: Minissali's falsetto voice flits between robotic and human as his synths meow and wail underneath the deceptive pop packaging—but it's the piece's constantly morphing nature that gets you to press repeat, again and again. The four-piece band's debut album 2019 releases 16 October 2015 via Ramp Local.
Guerilla Toss: Polly's Crystal
Guerilla Toss, the newest addition to the DFA Records roster, already have years of playing their dissonant yet danceable #newagerage in basements and venues under their belt—garnering a reputation for high-energy live shows. For their upcoming EP Flood Dosed, it shows—as one Bandcamp commentor notes—"a kinder, gentler gtoss" but their chaotic, avant-garde spirit still pierces through. The sensory-inducing headbanger "Polly's Crystal" will undoubtedly introduce a lot of new fans to their music and we're excited for how the band will interpret it live. Flood Dosed will release as a limited edition cassette on 09 October 2015.