Thursday, July 2, 2020

Going (Band)Camping: Edition 2

My last post was fun so here we are with the second entry of my occasional segment, "Going (Band)Camping," which I continue to think is more hilarious and clever a title than it probably is. The thing that unifies all of these albums and eps is that they can be found on the stellar music-platform Bandcamp. A great resource for indie or big-name musicians, I've loved finding new music and artists I know on Bandcamp since I started using it lately. Hence, here I am offering my opinions on what I've listened to lately. Let's begin...

Tenci--"My Heart is an Open Field"
Tenci is singer Jess Shoman and her band giving us some damn fine folk music. "My Heart is an Open Field," slowly released singles from the album over the past number of months, with many observing how good they sounded, and now its out and the whole thing is incredible. There is not a single track I disliked, but there were some I absolutely adored (such as, "Joy 2,") on this stellar release. The soft and thoughtful voice of Shoman along with perfectly relaxing instrumentation produces a truly beautiful LP that I give my highest recommendation. You can buy the digital download/vinyl record/cd/cassette here.
5 out of 5 stars.

Neon Vectors--Cyber Love
"Cyber Love," is an album full of music that people describe as, "Vaporwave." The genre of vaporware can best be thought of as if house music and disco had a baby and it went on to be obsessed with drenching everything in a neon glow along with having an 80's fashion sense plus a fondness for old tech. It's a wild hodge-podge, in other words, but it sure is catchy. The artist, Neon Vectors, has assembled a tight little album here, with some fantastic tracks, ("Facetime Tonight!" and, "The Way U Make Me Feel," and others that are solid even if they don't really grab you as much ("Night Disco," drags for me). Overall, "Cyber Love," is a rollicking good time and makes you want to get-up and dance when you're listening to it. Get a copy of the digital album here.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Spliff Jacksun--Sanctuary
Spliff Jacksun's latest release of beats makes for a delightful beat tape (whether you actually buy it on tape or another format). It is smooth, but never too relaxed, and carries itself with the self-assuredness of a rising sun while also giving of a bit of a groggy and hazy vibe that accompanies such an early morning. Sometimes a hint of strings or gentle melody will occur, but the various and well-crafted beats are what steal the show and make this album so listenable. You don't quite chill-out to, "Sanctuary," so much as you relax in a state of heightened awareness and absorb its pleasures. To summarize: It's great! Find a copy in your preferred format here.
5 out of 5 stars.

Mike Vass--Man Alone With Himself 
Vass released this experimental folk EP with a, "Pay what you want," pricetag for those who have had their income, "...adversely affected by the Covid-19 crisis," or who have supported fundraisers for this EP previously. That's very thoughtful of him, and the mixture of classic folk style with a bit of unique synth bass or other out-there effects at times thrown in creates a lovely four tracks. Only one song was not to my tastes ("Shadow in the Flame,") with all other three being just perfect and delightful to sit and hear play-out. Vass recorded this solo-ish layering the sounds himself with assistance mastering the mixes and such. It's a fantastic EP and considering you can pay what you like for it, I'd encourage you to contribute whatever you're able and get the digital download here.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Antarctigo Vespucci--Love in the Time of Email
"Love in the Time of Email," is a stellar album by Antarctigo Vespucci, a collaboration between an assortment of gentleman who had been in other bands but came together to make something special. I'd describe this album as being pop-rock/power-pop with an occasional punk edge in addition to sometimes just barely hinting at some emo vibes. Whatever the genre is, its damn good music. Every single track is listenable, but there are some that totally steal the show such as, "Freakin' U Out," "All These Nights," and, "Another Good Thing." The lyrics are clever, singer Chris Farren has a stupendous voice, and the instrumentation is consistently on-point. "Love in the Time of Email," is just a real treat of an album and should be in your regular rotation of favorite LPs. Cop yourself a vinyl/cd/cassette/digital LP here.
5 out of 5 stars.

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