ABQ’s 7 Tracks 2 Back This Week (12/24/17)

These tracks are a perfect way to say goodbye to 2017, and open the door to a new year (alternative listening links have been provided for anyone who doesn’t have a Soundcloud Go! account, which is probably most):

My favorite lo-fi, indie-electro duo out of L.A. bring it with a dramatic account of literally getting in a “Fistfight at the Stoplight,” which is pretty likely if you’re gonna be around downtown Q during the upcoming New Year (or anywhere along the ART-Central craziness).  Between frontman Andy Harry’s falsetto retelling of the harrowing event, to the disco-synth beat and strings, it all adds up to a good time!

Ecca Vandal’s self-titled debut album and “Your Way,” the first and hardest-hitting track, represent a three-year journey of self-discovery and literally taking the DIY approach, as the Melbourne-based musician dropped singles left and right building up to this point and signing with independent Australian label, Dew Process.  Hard rock female musicians have traditionally gotten a bad rap, but Ecca Vandal represents a new generation who would be just as comfortable flipping you the middle finger, as she does putting together heavy guitar riffs while laying down vocals that range between smooth to straining while getting out the message that she’s willing and ready to get her own way.

Boston-based trio, Mini Dresses, just signed to Joy Void, also released a self-titled debut album this year, of which there are several great lo-fi, indie-pop options, including “Hired Gun.”  Lira Mondal’s folksy-silk, borderline dreamy, vocals are coupled with an addictive, stripped down bass and percussion accompaniment, while some guitar chords flit in and out throughout the song, while not ever being the focus, giving an overall tone of darkness, while gaining a little lightness hear and there.

Lomelda’s Hannah Read has been making indie-folk music since high school, and “Interstate Vision” is a song that emphasizes the road-weariness of a musician beyond her years, and the anticipation, even temptation, of going back home to familiarity and comfort.

Karin Dreijer is fucking weird, and “Mustn’t Hurry” is just another confirmation that her artistic ability to produce equal parts chilly and engaging synth-landscape musical experiences hasn’t diminished leading up to her sophomore LP release, Plunge.  Though the music and vocals continue to emulate The Knife to the point of being indistinguishable, the lyrical content continues to push the exploration of misogyny and the female experience, as she lovingly caresses a vaginal speculum in the single’s video while croans about the numbness, curiosity, pain, and confusion that are layered within the birthing experience.  The music video may or may not give you nightmares of the frightfully creepy variety.

Another long-time auteur of a different variety, Charlotte Gainsbourg has broken out of a more folksy, Bob Dylanish mold to release a raw and untamed indielectronic effort in Rest, her first in seven years, which communicates the pain that she experienced with a familial loss close to her quite recently in the death of her half-sister.  “Deadly Valentine” mixes wedding vows with an synth-heavy beat, which, she stated in a press release, expresses “the idea of a lifetime engagement; a couple running to church, from childhood to old age, a lifetime path.”  The music video was made with friend, Dev Hynes of Blood Orange fame, and it belays the sense of sorrow and loss that Gainsbourg feels after experiencing years of commitment, joy, and love with someone for so long.

ODESZA’s “La Ciudad” is mixed-genre, feel-good, up-beat electronic instrumental effort which just seemed like an appropriate way to end a playlist that featured so many dark tracks.  This is a time of celebration, after all, and ODESZA knows how to lift the grey clouds through an infiltration of musical light.


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