Future Islands: Walking Through That Door
Artist Kymia Nawabi explores the confidence that deep love provides in a new stop-motion short film for Future Islands' 2010 synth-pop song, "Walking Through That Door." The animation, which features a bear and a Max-like character from "Where The Wild Things Are" in an Allison Schulnik-type of setting, took eight months to complete and was built entirely from Kickstarter donations.
Anna Rose: Los Angeles
Anna Rose doesn't want her name to fool you. She's no girl-and-a-guitar singer/songwriter. "Los Angeles," a track from her just-released album Behold a Pale Horse, packs a strong punch. A diatribe against the City of Angels' shallow side, the song's raucous guitar work riffs off Rose's belting vocals. Rose's roots are firmly planted in rock, but her delivery is far more than a mere revival.
Bill Callahan: Expanding Dub
Texas-based, 47-year-old Drag City artist Bill Callahan has entered the world of dub, finally fulfilling a musical desire he carried with him over the years while making numerous records as his alias Smog, and the four LPs released under his own name. “Expanding Dub”—a drawn-out rendition of the track "Javelin Unlanding" off his forthcoming album Dream River—marries Callahan's signature monotone voice with muffled cowbell-like beats, for a trance-inducing siren song that begs for lazy days with plenty of time to stop and ponder the music vet's uniquely ruminative lyrics.
With a few EPs already under their belt, LA-based dream-pop group Superhumanoids have finally released their self-produced debut LP, Exhibitionists. The album exudes a sense of yearning while offering space to think between breaths. The band easily transitions from sparse percussion and subtle bass synths to more upbeat songs that add electric guitars and a full drum-kit. Especially enchanting is Sarah Chernoff's vocals in "Bad Weather" and "Free State," which feel like a more chilled version of the Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman, but Cameron Parkins' minimal, rhythmic singing is hypnotizing in its own unique way.
Earl Sweatshirt: Burgundy (prod. Pharrell)
Ubiquitous producer, art collector and veritable renaissance man Pharrell linked up with Odd Future founding member Earl Sweatshirt on his new single "Burgundy." Pharrell sets up a dense, dark yet funk-inspired beat, complete with an obscure vocal sampling, while Earl gets more personal than ever—rapping about depression, his insecurities in the music industry and having a famous poet for a father (South African writer and activist Keorapetse Kgositsile). Earl Sweatshirt's highly anticipated new album—with appearances from Frank Ocean, DOOM, Flying Lotus and more—drops 20 August 2013.