Aside Beside Seaside Decide (part 1)

As if the Hi to Lo trilogy didn’t cause enough suffering, I now bring you a series of four compilations, of which this is only the first.

This series was originally meant to be a trilogy as well, and was going to be titled A-sides Besides Seasides, which is why the first three covers all feature some type of music delivery device at the beach. I later realized, however, that ‘decide’ would also fit in that string with only a few tweaks required.

Anyway, since singles have, at most, two sides, aside and beside will feature only songs taken from singles.


Track List

01. “Chase the Green Light” by Short Bus
Kyle Tozer would seem to be the ‘man’ in this Canadian one man band, and making music in the basement of his parent’s London, Ontario home seems to be all that he gets up to.

02. “Side” by Glaswen
Muskovites Micheal Omelchuk and Dasha Buylova make up this Russian duo.
Bandcamp | Facebook

03. “Silver Sand” by Curelight Wounds
Hiding out in Brooklyn, New York as part of the Witness Protection Program (I’m guessing), this band would apparently prefer to maintain a low profile.
Bandcamp | Facebook

04. “East Coast” by Life Model
Formed in 2012, this Noise Pop band from Glasgow has five members: Sophie Evans, Chris Smith, Stuart Warnock, Joanne McCafferty, and Michael McDonald.

05. “Depression Ridin’ Cowboys” by Klam
This four piece Post Punk/Shoegaze band is from Italy, according to the blurb posted on their Bandcamp page; their Facebook page doesn’t add much more to that.
Bandcamp | Facebook

06. “Sonnen” by Asalto al Parque Zoológico
As one might expect, given that APZOO are from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the content on both the pages linked below is in Spanish. I have been able to decipher enough to report with some confidence that the band was formed in 2008 and consists of five members: Fernando G (Guitar, Vocals), Luxx (Sampler), Marina (Vocals, Guitar), Gabo Maumus (Bass), and Julián Mazzeo (Drums).
Bandcamp | Facebook

07. “Bones” by Idyll Wild
Three Martz siblings (Guitarist/Vocalist Grant, Guitarist Blake, and Synths/Vocalist Jade), a Cooper (Drummer Ryan), and an Anderson (Bassist Eric) make up this band from San Diego, California. Combining desert-haunted guitars, synth, and vocals with tribal rhythyms, the band produces a type of Shoegaze they’ve dubbed Ghostrock.
Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr

08. “Rows” by Reveries
The five Swedes from Linköping: Gabriel Petterson (Guitar), Alice Axinder (Vocals), Noa Åkesson (Guitar, Vocals), Konrad Annerud (Drums), and Martin Gabrielson (Bass), say that Alice’s clear voice and the minimalistic guitars, bass, and drums combine to create a dark and bubbly, refreshing, yet dirty sound. One inspired by Post-Punk, Shoegaze, and several other Pop styles.
Bandcamp | Facebook

09. “Gypsy” by Bedroom Eyes
In the final three songs of this compilation, the East Coast is well represented by a trio of mysterious, ‘are they trying to remain unheard of’ bands. This one is from Boston, Massachusetts.

10. “Seventeen” by Wildhoney
Baltimore, Maryland is this band’s base of operations, but much more than that, I have yet to discover. The band seems content to keep mum and let the music do the talking. There are a few reviews posted on their Tumblr site that are worth a read.
Bandcamp | Tumblr

11. “Tears” by Eastern Hollows
This five-piece, Brooklyn based band features Travis DeVries (Vocals, Guitar), Martin Glazier (Vocals, Guitar), Sean Gibbons (Guitar), Brian Brennan (Bass), and Jeremy Sampson (Drums). Travis was a member of The Turn-ons, a Seattle band I once saw play in Portland with Charmparticles in 2006.
Bandcamp | Facebook

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Vibrato 14.04

Near the end of each year, members of a forum I belong to begin to assemble candidates for a ‘top 20 releases of…’ list, which is then submitted to a volunteer, who uses a weighted formula to determine the overall list of the top 20 releases of that year.

I have only participated since 2012, but in two years, I have found that I’ve left it too late to do the job properly, always being overwhelmed by the sheer number of releases I acquired during the year. Wanting things to be different this year, I resolved to get on top and stay on top of this year’s arrivals from day one. How am I doing? Well… It’s almost March and I haven’t quite finished evaluating everything from January, and February is only half done.

On the plus side, I’ve found three releases from each month to put on the year end short list. January gave me (in the order I acquired them): ConheartistSurrounded by Drones, the self-titled EP from Fragments of God, and The TelewireLike Everything. February has added: Vehicle BluesLetter Writer, a self-titled EP from Manon Meurt, and PARASOLI Close My Eyes to See You Again (a song from each is featured on this compilation).

On the negative side, all six of my selections are EPs, as, for the most part, the albums released in these first two months have been disappointing. This compilation features a song from one exception, Soft Science‘s Detour.


Track List:

01 “Judas Tree” by Blackstone Rngrs from Descendant
This North Texas trio is one of several bands I like signed to Saint Marie Records, and this tidy six-song EP was released this morning.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SMR

02 “so.wrong” by dead leaf echo from true.deep.sleeper
The latest EP from this Brooklyn, New York band specializing in “Nouveau Wave” was also released this morning.
Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | website

03 “Dig” by Nothing from Guilty of Everything
The debut full length by this Philadelphia quartet is due to be released next week, and going by the two songs available for preview on Bandcamp, it’s one not to be missed. NPR has the entire album available to stream as well as some interesting background info on singer and guitarist Domenic Palermo (listen and read here).
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

04 “Until You Can” by Manon Meurt from Manon Meurt
Several months ago, a friend of mine living in the Czech Republic asked me if I’d be interested in making a donation to help some local Shoegazers get their music recorded. I was and did, and this is the band and their music. Pretty good investment, I’d say. I can hardly wait to see what my T-Shirt looks like.

05 “Remember” by PARASOL from I Close My Eyes to See You Again
A couple of youngsters in Oita, Japan, Emi (bass and vocals) and Tsuchiya Tatsuro (guitar and vocals), have released the kind of tasty sampler of six dreamy Shoegaze confections that your dentist warned you against, but which you will partake of anyway. I wanted to buy it, but it is only available as a free download. I’m thinking, “bargain of the year.”
Bandcamp | Soundcloud | website

06 “Just Go” by Vehicle Blues from Letter Writer
Chicago, Illinois is home to the Shoegaze/Lo-Fi/Noise Pop solo artist Gabe Holcombe, who has crafted this four-song, twelve-minute masterpiece. As a matter of principal, I never pay more than $1 a song, but I will make an exception here.
Bandcamp | Facebook

07 “Feel” by Soft Science from Detour
The four members of this Sacramento, California band: Katie Haley, Matt Levine, Ross Levine, and Mason DeMusey, have released their second album via Test Pattern Records. Detour is one of the top two or three full-length releases I’ve purchased so far this year.

08 “Caught Up” by Yoko Temple from Yoko Temple EP 02
A solo project of Jevon James of Cardiff, Wales.
Bandcamp | Soundcloud

09 “Walk Alone” by Adult Toys from Faceless
This artist/band seems to have a strong desire to remain anonymous. Not even a location is disclosed.

10 “Never” by XO from Heart
Brothers Jeff and Jake Turner moved to Long Beach, California from Atlanta, Georgia, found two like-minded musicians in Joe Assef and Parker Case, formed a band, and released their debut album on the Equal Vision / Rory Records label.
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

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Blasts from the Past

As you may know, the original compilations posted on this blog were offered as downloads, but those offers came with expiration dates, all of which have long since passed. Now, however, thanks to Mixcloud, I can resurrect them as cloudcasts, and will be doing so during the next few weeks.

I will be embedding the new cloudcasts into the original posts, but, to make them easier for the reader to find, I have created a page of links (called ‘Vibrato’). The link to this page can be found just under the banner, next to those of the ‘Home’, ‘About’, and ‘Artists’ pages.

The original, ten-song Vibrato 2010 has just been added; the others will follow shortly.

Vibrato 11.01 (added 24 Feb 2014)
Vibrato 11.02 (added 12 Apr 2014)
Vibrato 11.03 (added 13 Apr 2014)

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Hi To Lo (part 3)

Here, at last, is the third and final compilation in the Hi to Lo series.

Vibrato 14.03 Lo

Track List:

01 “Untitled” by Empire Years from Come Alive
A trio of German lads from Dortmund.
Bandcamp | Facebook

02 “Acción Evasiva” by La Maniobra de Q from Como El Rosario de La Aurora
This band calls Murcia home (whether it’s the one in Spain or Mexico, I cannot tell). [I have since been informed that the band is from Spain.]
Bandcamp | Facebook

03 “Last Parallel” by Hiraeth
There is no info available for this Mile High mystery artist. The link to the website found on the Bandcamp page fails to open.

04 “Ghost Shadow” by Test Prints from Ghost Shadow
Warsaw, Poland is the home of this trio. That’s all I know.

05 “I Killed A Frog” by Bleak Boys from Corrosive EP
This band hails from Aguascalientes, Mexico. The vocals on this song remind me of something I haven’t heard in some time. I keep thinking, “Guided by Voices“, but the song name never comes to me.

06 “Emmi” by Mini Dresses from Emmi
This single seems to have been released by a duo based in Austin, Texas.

07 “Collider” by Roku Music
The first single from an eagerly anticipated new album by this Brisbane, Australia quartet is a lovely bit of fuzz wrapped around female vocals. It’s just the kind of thing I like.
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

08 “Silver” by Galants from Howling
This dynamite single is getting positive responses from all over the Internet. I’d have to call this fine band from Dublin’s debut a double ‘A’ side, because, as good as “Howling” is, I like “Silver” so much more. After Fragments of God‘s “Hope Poison”, it is my favorite song of the year so far.
Bandcamp | Facebook

09 “Hello” by GreenPurr
Victor and Victoria Grin are either siblings whose parents had little imagination when it came to naming their children, or a married couple living in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Then again, they could be Victor Gulyaev and Vitya Grinyov, who might be the same person, as both claim to be the talent behind the VickyVikka releases (worth checking out, especially if you like ambient gaze). It’s very confusing, and it doesn’t help that I don’t read Russian.
Bandcamp | VikkyVikka

10 “Melt” by Hot Glass from Melted
Somewhere on the southern coast of England (Brighton, actually) Ryan Balch is probably at work, playing all the instruments and doing all the vocals, for the next Hot Glass release.
Bandcamp | Facebook

11 “Send Me (demo)” by TuT
Promising band from Taiwan, who probably have plans to release something in the near future, but their Facebook page is in Chinese, so I can’t be sure.
Bandcamp | Facebook

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Hi To Lo (part 2)

Vibrato 14.02 ToThis is the second compilation in the Hi to Lo series, featuring songs found on some of this year’s new releases.

Once again, I found most of these songs via Bandcamp. I’m thinking of changing the blog’s tagline to “I troll through Bandcamp so that you won’t have to”.

The Voices is the only band included here with which I was already familiar, although I had read some advance press in regard to September Girls and the band’s debut album, Cursing the Sea.

So far, my favorite release of this very young new year has got to be the self-titled EP from Fragments of God. I will not be surprised to find it in my top 20 at the end of the year.

Vibrato 14.02 To

Well, looky here. I can now embed cloudcasts.

Track List:
01 “The Rattle” by aheadphonehome from Dream Reverb
The Aussies lead the way with the first two songs of this compilation. This first is by a Brisbane quartet.
Bandcamp | Tumblr

02 “To Safety Or Ruin” by HYLA from HYLA
Perth, way out in Western Australia, is the home of this foursome. I’m guessing that HYLA is an acronym and stands for Hide Your Love Away.
Bandcamp | Facebook

03 “Hope Poison” by Fragments of God from Fragments of God
This appears to be a side project of several people located in and around Nashville, Tennessee and associated with Meltface Records in one way or another.
Bandcamp | Meltface

04 “Green Eyed” by September Girls from Cursing the Sea
Five women make up this band from Dublin, Ireland.
Facebook | SoundCloud | Tumblr | store

05 “Bajo La Luna” by Carnival Animals from Stellar Parallax
There seems to be a fair amount of Shoegaze coming out of Mexico these days, but I could not find any more information about this band.

06 “Breezy” by Ace Martens from Silent Days
I don’t know much about this band from Vancouver, British Columbia.

07 “Dreaming With Hope” by Teenage Daydreams from False Hope Syndrome
This trio from New York has a very distinct sound of its own.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud | website

08 “You Look Different” by Conheartist from Surrounded By Drones
This EP was aptly named by this duo from Los Angeles. Physical copies will be available from Sun Terrace Records on Valentines Day.
Bandcamp | Facebook | store

09 “Like I Care” by Fantasy Prom
This foursome from Vancouver, British Columbia released this song as a single with no B-side and have a new EP coming out in mid-February.
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

10 “Overwrought” by Yourself in Peace from Laudanum
Los Angeles is home to this pair of musicians as well.
Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr

11 “Turns It into Gold” by The Voices from 3,7 Soul
I thought it a real loss to Shoegaze when this trio from Port Talbot, Wales disbanded in 2009. This album of “outtakes, demos, and live recordings” is something of a belated going away present to the fans.

12 “Spirit Bodies” by The Grease Arrestor from What Was, Is.
This five piece band from Sydney, Australia reminds me at times of The Brian Jonestown Massacre of old, but without quite so many guitars.
Bandcamp | Facebook | SoundCloud

13 “Another Town” by The Noise Tigers from Waking Up
Waking up is a six-song EP that this duo from Vienna, Austria is releasing piecemeal. So far, only half the songs have been released. This one sounds like it could have been lifted from Aberdeen‘s Homesick and Happy to Be Here.
Bandcamp | Facebook

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Hi To Lo (part 1)

Vibrato 14.01 HiI had intended to go Lo to Hi, but it turned out easier to organize this one first, so it’s gonna be Hi to Lo.

The songs on this and the compilations to follow all come from 2014 releases, most of which I found on Bandcamp.

The ‘Hi’ and ‘Lo’ refer to Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi, with the songs selected for this compilation seeming to benefit from better production than most of those which will be used on the remaining compilations in this series.

There is also a higher recognition factor for some of the artists featured here. Most of the names most of those familiar with Shoegaze will already know, like Cheatahs, Dum Dum Girls, and Exit Calm, for example, are found on this compilation.

Vibrato 14.01 Hi

Added 30 Jan 2014, after embedding cloudcasts became possible again.

Track List for hi:
01 “IV” [edit] by Cheatahs from Cheatahs
This London, England band is due to release its self-titled debut album on the 10th of February (the 11th in North America).
Facebook | website

02 “Fading Into Night” by Youngteam from Fading Into Night
Northern Star Records is expecting to release this Swedish foursome’s new album in March.
Facebook | Northern Star Records

03 “Little Minx” by Dum Dum Girls from Too True
I would not have guessed that this band is from New York. There’s just something sorta California about their sound.
Facebook | website | Sub Pop

04 “It’s All Around” by The Telewire from Like Everything
Austin, Texas is home to Stephen Thurman, who is The Telewire, as well as an NWshoegazing alumnus. Welcome back, Stephen.
Bandcamp | Facebook

05 “Promise” by Exit Calm from Promise
This South Yorkshire foursome are famous for teasing us with a few excellent singles before finally putting out its self-titled first album in 2010. Promise is a single from the band’s second album, The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be, released last year.
Facebook | website | Club AC30

06 “Dream Disintegrate” by VibraGun from Vibragun
This five member strong band dwells just up the road in Seattle, Washington.
Bandcamp | Facebook | website

07 “Evenfall” by Lunaire from Dreams And Inbetweens
Melbourne, Australia is home to this foursome.
Bandcamp | Facebook

08 “Summertime” by Gudjohr from Looks Kinda Lunar
Gudjohr is the solo project of UK guitarist and bassist Kips Golden.
Bandcamp | Facebook

09 “Волга” by Polska Radio One from Волга
This four-piece band hails from Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Bandcamp | Facebook

10 “Vanadium” by Illl & Irma from Triangle EP
I don’t know much about this Slovakian duo, but I was predisposed to liking this song, because Vanadium is one of three elements whose symbol and atomic number I know: ‘V’ and ’23’ respectively. Hydrogen and Helium are the others.

Anyway, Illl is the head of Soun Records and also a member of the band Gwerkova, as is Irma, who is also a member of Sick.

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Fuzz & Fuzz Lite

Vibrato 13.01 FuzzThe year before last, I abandoned my plans to assemble a year-end review compilation during the last week of 2012, when I discovered that I had nearly eighty releases to consider. This time, I began work on the 2013 compilation in early December, only to find that the year had enriched my music collection by more than 130 titles. I was dismayed, but I did not abandon the project altogether; I chose instead to make it more manageable by narrowing the scope.

Following the example of a friend of mine, I decided to pull songs only from the singles and EPs I had acquired during the year. This strategy not only reduced the number of releases to forty-six, it also meant that there would be fewer songs per release to consider.

Vibrato 13.02 Fuzz LiteWhat I ended up with was enough songs to fill two, eleven track compilations, which I titled fuzz and fuzz lite before posting them to Mixcloud for any- and everyone’s listening pleasure.

I have decided to use Mixcloud because it frees me from having to contact each artist to get permission to use a song; Mixcloud pays the artists in a manner similar to the way it’s done in radio. The switch was also meant to make my life easier by allowing me to post players for each compilation (complete with track list) into my blog, but, alas, Mixcloud moved from a flash based to an HTML based widget, which, naturally, WordPress doesn’t support. Until this changes, I can only post links to the compilations and hope that the reader will be sufficiently inspired to click on them.

So, without further ado…

Vibrato 13.01 fuzz

Vibrato 13.02 fuzz lite

Added 30 Jan 2014, after embedding cloudcasts became possible again. Yipee!

Track List for fuzz
01. “She’s Bleeding From Everywhere” by Ask For Joy from Pins And Needles
This five-song EP is one of my favorite releases of 2013, but having paid $9 for the CD, I was disappointed to discover that it had been mastered from lossy files (MP3s, perhaps).

02. “Faulted” by Miniatures from DIS
These Kiwi expats (now living in Australia) have been featured on this blog before, and I’m happy to say that this is another good effort by them.

03. “Dull” by Contrast
More Aussies, but real ones this time.

04. “Vanishing Winter” by Dear Eloise from The Winter That Disappeared
A nice single from a Chinese band I’d not heard of previously.

05. “Ash & Gray” by Venera 4 from Deaf Hearts EP
This French band reminds me of Manhattan Love Suicides. Good, noisy stuff.

06. “Solstrejf” by Tusindfald from Kys EP
I knew my Danish would come in handy some day; “kys” means kiss. I very much hope that there is more to come from this band in 2014.

07. “Alone” by Star Horse from Lust
Lust was the first EP released by this fine Swedish band in 2013.

08. “Dawn Bomb Parties” by Brief Candles from Newhouse
This Wisconsin band has been around and producing some tasty Shoegaze music for several years now.

09. ”Kiss A Girl In Black” by Fleeting Joys
Hopefully, this digital single is an indication that this California band are preparing to release another album sometime in the near future.

10. “Winters” by Lost In The Fog from Angst
The band hails from Japan, but that’s the extent of my knowledge concerning them.

11. “Blood Pool” by Technicolor Teeth from Blood Pool
From the way they spell “technicolor”, I guessed they were from the States, and I was right; they’re another band from Wisconsin.

Track List for fuzz lite
01. “Fallen Stars” by SPC ECO from Fallen Stars (Single And Remixes)
Another favorite band I’ve featured on this blog in the past.

02. “Hope to Feel a Hand” by Star Horse from Devour
Devour was the second EP released in 2013 by this band from Stockholm.

03. “Seraph” by Helicon from Mind Explosion EP
This was the second of two songs this Scottish band contributed to an EP they split with Celestial Bums.

04. “Where We Are” by Dissolve from Dissolve
A nice song from a San Francisco band that’s definitely ahead of its time (the EP is to be released in March of 2014).

05. “Anything Anymore” by Presents For Sally from Anything Anymore
Lovely sounds from the United Kingdom.

06. “Star Matter” by Let’s Be Loveless from Let’s Be Loveless
This Brooklyn, New York based band are a bit more poppy than the name might lead one to believe.

07. “Sugar Routine” by Honeyslide from Drippin’
More lovely sounds from the United Kingdom.

08. “Eleven” by Bialogard from Studies On Distance
A very nice EP from this Italian band.

09. “Weekend” by Westkust from Summer 3D
A nice single to go with this Swedish band’s Junk EP from 2012.

10. ”Wash Away” by Dråpe from Blue Skies
I entered it in properly, but Mixcloud has changed the name of this Norwegian band to Drape.

11. “Second Spine” by No Joy from Pastel And Pass Out
I’m sure this band needs no introduction.

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