Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze

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It goes without saying that any double album, takes some sort of commitment to lay back and immerse into. But then again, any artist who has the nerve to release such work, deserves a heap of respect for their mutual commitment and balls for going against the grain of the old three minute roundabout.

Kurt Vile's Wakin on a Pretty Daze, is a monumental record that proves that rigorous attempts to develop the KV cred are always worthwhile. The seventy minute, eleven track wonder from Philadelphia’s finest is something that I had been waiting for with anticipation. 2010’s Smoke Ring For My Halo was a magical, awe-inspiring, album that, stopped everyone in their tracks, had they heard it. Vile instantly created himself an identity and following of musicians and dreamers alike who were left wanting more.

Wakin On A Pretty Daze presents a totally new language. The sense of absence from Smoke Ring is now a sense of maturity, and the hard work that Vile commits himself to. He has risen the standards for what rock music strives to be and should be; transcendent and unnerving.

Get the album now via Matador, then watch Vile introduce you “Never Run Away” and finally download the track for free here.

Devendra Banhart - Mala

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There are many many reasons for why I am currently obsessed with Devendra Banhart, but that’s more of a personal issue than one which permits me to rant about the greatness of his new album, Mala. However, I am going to do so anyway. According to my listening history, this week I have played Mala thirteen times. Its medicinal qualities are quite something.

Since 2009’s What Will We Be, Banhart has fallen in love with, proposed to, and moved in with the cool-as-hell Ana Kraš. The joining of these two artistic forces has inevitably had a magical effect on his being, and his musical intentions. With regard to pop music and love, Mala takes us on a journey of nostalgia and retrospection. The ups and downs, the ambiguities, and pretty, little, worlds that Banhart is evolving in Mala, form a much-needed disclosure that he will always be there to take care. Kraš is one lucky chica.

Mala is available since last week via Nonesuch. You can listen to “Fur Hildegard Von Bingen,” “Never Seen Such Good Things” and “Mi Negrita” below, and then head to NPR Music to stream to the rest of the album.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II

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If you happen to find yourself in need of some sort of transcending, soul digging, rhythm and blues delight then Unknown Mortal Orchestra are here for you.

This is a story of the wonderful Ruban Nielsen, going down to his basement, getting his tapes out and allowing the night to take the lead. However, this is not any old experimental stream of consciousness. There is a sincerity inherent throughout II that is putting it on a psychedelic par with Grizzly Bear. The Kiwis’ night time dive time has been the perfect antidote this year’s January blues and I am certain its multitude of dispositions and blissful melodies will be sticking with us throughout the year.

Check out the video for “So Good At Being in Trouble,” directed by Danny Perez, below and be sure to catch them at Il Motore in Montréal on the 3rd of March when they’ll be playing with Foxygen and Wampire.

Vinyl Williams - Lemniscate

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BE WARNED: THIS IS AN UNBIASED REVIEW

lem·nis·cate  noun [Analytic Geometry] 

a plane curve generated by the locus of the point at which a variable tangent to a rectangular hyperbola intersects a perpendicular from the center to the tangent. Equation: r 2  = 2 a 2 cosθ.

Ever felt like you’ve taken the wrong turn and fallen into a black hole full of wonder and intrigue and the unknown? Let’s say whilst hearing an awe-inspiring film theme tune, for instance? Think Star Wars, ET, Jaws… Ok, so stop with the swings and roundabouts. Lionel “Vinyl” Williams (born 1990) is the grandson of John Towner Williams (born 1932), the legendary composer, conductor and pianist, responsible for some of the best-known film scores, like, ever. He’s like Spielberg’s bro. Crazy, right?

Anyway, I digress. Digression seems to be the common theme within Lemniscate. The album is a total mind-warper that should only be listened to on special occasions. Less Bah mitzvah, more “it’s 4 am and I’m beyond wired.” With lo-fi acts like Williams, you tend to expect a bit of tinkering here and there, where a common thread of whatever it is that floats their boat is inherent throughout. However, this is a harder one to diagnose, for lack of a better word. Sure, Lemniscate is audacious and compelling; especially for a guy who’s only 3 years older than myself. He’s obviously working along the lines of Flying Lotus, The Flaming Lips… Grandpa John (see above). There are a few intricacies and references to other genres that nicely build up the layers sewn into this album. I like the track “Grassy”… it’s slightly euphoric. Other than that, the song titles are sort of lame and putting it all into context Lemniscate is over ambitious, and rather pretentious… a bit slow on the uptake… but give it a listen because there’s always a need for background music.

Vinyl Williams’ Lemniscate is now available via Salonislam/No Pain in Pop. Stream the album in its entirety below.

This review was written by collaborator Olivia Foster, a nocturnal 19 year old art student kicking around South East London.

Ty Segall - Twins

At last, I’ve got my cyber-mitts on more Ty and boy is it a trip. Anyone looking for a chilled out soirée, should back away now. However, if you do want to join me spinning around, head down, arms out, accelerating… falling, then you’re in for a treat.

Now, I could go on about Segall’s craftsmanship or whatever but let’s face it, whaddya care!? So, what I’m gonna do, is ask that you find your inner hardcore albeit hormonal 13 year old self, and unwind because all you really want is something rad, and off-kilter that makes you feel like Kurt Cobain. 

I mean, you don’t even have to listen to Twins (available now through Drag City); reading the song titles like “Love Fuzz,” “Handglams,” “Gold on the Shore,” is a neat act in itself.

This review is probably the most enthused yet disconnected piece of writing to ever come up on Hot Shit, but honestly, I’m just buzzin’ man!

This review was written by collaborator Olivia Foster, a nocturnal 19 year old art student kicking around South East London.

Woods - Bend Beyond

Last of the Summer Shine

Now, I must confess that I have a severely soft spot for throwback C.S.N channelling records, hence why I now present to you: Bend Beyond by Woods. The Woodsist's (see Real Estate, Nodzzz, White Fence) impeccably timed release is the perfect companion for some last-minute sun soaking before Autumn really kicks in… if it hasn’t done so already.

The lo-fi/folk Brooklynites have really captured what getting pretty naked, running around and drinking Bud in some Big Sur pine woods, is all about. Bend Beyond’s diversity is commendable and reminisces all the highs and lows that aforementioned activities entail. There’s a humble lament, a backyard jamsesh, and something surreal all thrown into the mix.

Watch the official video for “Cali in a Cup,” to see what I’m on about:

Bend Beyond is out now on Woodsist.

This review was written by collaborator Olivia Foster, a nocturnal 19 year old art student kicking around South East London.

Tame Impala - Lonerism

Music to watch last night’s home videos by … just sayin’.

The latest release of Perth’s finest, Tame Impala, is further proof of what magic occurs when artists decide to lock themselves up, crank up the old classics (in this case some glam, I suspect) and let loose. It’s been two years since Tame’s Innerspeaker was so finely presented to us, with those incredible psych-anthems and, to be honest, I’ve been speculating whether there really is anything more that Kev can do with the guitar. But guess what, underestimations have been made and now all I wanna do is forget any responsibilities I have, play this on loop and watch the world go by.

The melodic and technical intricacies within this far-out beauty are euphoric, and unprecedentedly so. After non-stop touring over the course of these past two years, one can only imagine the whirlwind that has been battled through. It strikes me, that a lot of thought and patience has been required to master this level of creativity. Parker has sustained his prodigious musicianship and determination then pushed it to another level. For that we applaud you sir. And your “thongs.”

Check out what he’s got to … um… say here:

This review was written by collaborator Olivia Foster, a nocturnal 19 year old art student kicking around South East London.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes

Watch out kids, Ariel Pink is back… and he’s eating schnitzel.

Once again, we’re weirded out… almighty Ariel’s Mature Themes is without a doubt one of the most uncompromising and lyrically-subversive albums of the year. We’re totally hooked. This guy’s (slash girl?) ability to transcend us into a past-future-present entity and awaken all audio and visual fragments within, is awe-inspiring yet strangely heart melting and catastrophic. A.P.H.G have delved into the depths of dreamy pop, alt-electronica, kids’ tv jingles, eurotrash, Bach’s psyche… you name it bud… swallowed them whole, jumped up and down, chucked them up then served it all on a paper plate sprinkled with glitter. You’ve gotta get a taste of this stuff. Stick it to the man… woman.

Travis Peterson directed “Only In My Dreams,” the first video from the album. Watch it below.

This review was written by collaborator Olivia Foster, a nocturnal 19 year old art student kicking around South East London.