All posts by Alan Booth

Beach House – Depression Cherry

 

It’s been three years since Beach House released their 2012 album Bloom, and so when Depression Cherry was announced, it caused quite a stir. Time has passed, and it’s not hard to tell that there is an air of complexity to that familiar sound as you start the journey on the opening tracks, building off of the familiar, and quite successful, immersive ambiance that Beach House has been known to put out, time after time. That ambiance is still there, and the lyrical themes entrance you the listener, into that immediate trace that I know you’ve been dying for(, and maybe searched for in Washed Out or Grizzly Bear in recent years, but could never quite seem to find). The first line of Levitation is exactly that:

You and me with our long hair on the gold wall

After midnight we could feel it all

I’d go anywhere you want to

Binding together that immersive organ synth with Victoria Legrand’s hypnotizing voice, Depression Cherry at first listen seems to be exactly what Beach House fans have been waiting for, and could have been released just after Bloom. And yet, as you start to float through the album, (and trust me, you’ll find yourself drifting from one track to the next seamlessly and effortlessly) you’ll start to notice those cadences that the mid 2010’s has started to be known for. Sparks and Beyond Love are exactly this sort of updated Beach House that makes you look at your Casio wristwatch and say aloud to yourself, “huh, I guess it has been three years..”, and then immediately fall back into that autumn toes-in-the-sand reverie you just realised you were in.

Their track, 10:37, captures this lyrical development as an axiom of realisation, beginning with the lines:

Chances are like night disappeared

Caught in the atmosphere

Where you go, she casts no shadow

Still you know she’s near

Alex Scally and Legrand have been known in the past to write potentially perplexingly vague lyrics, and in a recent interview opened up about this, especially in the case of 10:37, commenting:

“How do you describe that in language without sounding completely abstract and out-of-your-mind?” Legrand asks. “That’s how most moments of creativity feel—you almost can’t not use far-out language.”

That being said, the entirety of the album is a wonderful conglomeration of the daydream induced by previous Beach House efforts and an updated and more developed lyrical and musical premise Scally and Legrand seem to be ever working towards. With the announcement of Thank Your Lucky Stars, set to drop next week, it seems ever clear that Depression Cherry has the potential to be the crossroads between a new and old sound. Through and through, Depression Cherry has that air of mysticism that we’ve all been missing in recent music, and like its predecessors, has the feeling of unlimited replay potential. Notable tracks include Sparks, 10:37, PPP, and Days of Candy, but honestly the entire album is worth your time to listen to, and with another album coming this month, Beach House has definitely made it clear that they are a dream that you want to be having in 2015.

 

8/10

 

WVCW goes to LAVA Fest

 

WVCW goes to LAVA Fest

This year an airway strip in Suffolk, Va transformed in to a day long party thanks to the magic of LAVA fest. The festival is in its first year of operations and brought a unique approach to the festival concept. Featuring Devil’s Backbone literally everywhere, a totally excellent arcade (stocked with pinball, retro classics and a trippy volcano bar), in addition to a sweet lineup the festival has sown seeds for promising future years. The bands selected to play ranged from radio pop rockers Fitz + the Tantrums, Tokyo Police Club, and Mutemath, to more out there indie rockers Cloud Nothings, KIshi Bashi, and the absolutely phenomenal of Montreal. With such a diverse lineup the festival attracted a wide audience, helping it stay away from the typical overwhelmingly bro populations that seem to hit many festivals these days. The future is exciting and optimistic for LAVA music festival, seeing how they’ve taken such a big step forward with their first season

Fans @ Lava
Fans @ Lava
Cloud Nothings @ Lava
Cloud Nothings @ Lava
Kishi Bashi @ Lava
Kishi Bashi @ Lava
of Montreal @ Lava
of Montreal @ Lava
of Montreal @ Lava
of Montreal @ Lava
of Montreal @ Lava
of Montreal @ Lava

WVCW goes to Shaky Knees!

The first day of Shaky Knees saw an influx of people and some of the festival most sought after acts. The first act of the festival was Surfer Blood premiering songs off their new record “1000 Palms.” The mid afternoon was taken up by other newcomer bands with a mostly pop emphasis like Haerts, Tennis, Halsey, and Zella Day. The night took off with a destroying, crowdsurfing, and utterly weird set by Mac DeMarco, opened for by stoner punks WAVVES. The 6:15 slot proved to be the most conflict spot of the night, and possibly the festival, TV on the Radio, Death From Above 1979, and the Mountain Goats all going on at the same time. Semi locals Mastodon played a thrashing set to a mixture of diehard metalheads, first time festival goers, and Strokes fans who were waiting out the mosh pits for the anticipated headliners. The 8:15 time slot also forced festival goers to make difficult choices between Pixies, Brand New, and crooner James Blake. The biggest draw of Friday was headliners, The Strokes. Giving their first set of the year to a very eager and receptive audience, the band blasted through a career spanning setlist that was both refreshing and familiar. Some major highlights of the show were very rare live performances of “You Talk Way Too Much,” which hadn’t been performed since 2004, and accompaniment by Mac Demarco for the arguably the bands most popular song “Last Nite.” At the end of the set singer Julian Casablancas ran through the crowd high-fiving fans and setting the tone for an exciting and memorable festival. For more live coverage stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram accounts of the weekend.

The second day of Shaky Knees brought a more laid back vibe to the the festival. This didn’t stop the day from starting with high energy rising indie stars like Mariachi el Bronx, Real Estate, and Viet Cong. The peaks of intensity were in the mid afternoon with Irish rockers Flogging Molly, skater boiz FIDLAR, and Atlanta based crowd pleasers The Black Lips. The mellowing began of the day began with a rare, and magical set by weirdo indie rockers Neutral Milk Hotel. Bringing out all of their friends as musicians, and employing unique instrumentation such as euphoniums, fiddled banjos, and the signature singing saws, their show was not one to miss. They also are one of the only acts who did not allow any photography, meaning the lasting impression they gave the audience was the only souvenir they got. Interpol and Built to Spill also brought the classic tunes and kept the crowd rolling along. One of the major highlights of the night was the amazing Wilco. Playing a significantly shorter set than the were used too, every song was a hit bringing out jams like “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “Impossible Germany.” The crowd begged for an encore, but the strict time restraints disabled them from back coming out. ZZ Ward also put on an amazing set, The night closed with a set by folk rockers The Avett Brothers. Drawing a massive crowd of fans and newcomers alike, the band burst through a set of sing-along tunes that had every ones knees, dare I say it, shaking the whole night through.

Day three marked the most psychedelic day of the fest. Starting out with QOTSA off shoot Mini Mansions and RVA rocker Matthew E. White, the beginning of the day proved that even the smaller bands selected for the fest were still prime cuts. Sunday also put up some great singer songwriter bands like Ryan Adams, and the Aimee Mann/ Ted Leo collaboration, The Both. Another nice thing about the final day was the inclusion of jazz-funk staple bands like The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Trombone Shorty. Both bands provided a needed change up from the very CMJ friendly line up. That being said many CMJ chart toppers played amazing sets on Sunday, including Best Coast, Dr. Dog, and the ultimate dad, Panda Bear. Rounding off the night were sets from psych stalwarts Spiritualized, Appalachian folk rockers Old Crow Medicine Show, and a crowning comeback set by shoegaze legends Ride. However the major draw for many sunburned fans was headliners Tame Impala. Playing a hits focused setlist, the Aussie psych rockers played favorites like “Elephant” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” while also displaying tracks off their forthcoming record “Currents,” such as “Disciples” and “Eventually.” After leaving the stage, the band succumbed to an unplanned encore citing “They didn’t expect a festival crowd to be into their music,” playing Lonerism deep cut, “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control.”

The festival was an exciting and diverse experience, filled with amazing bands and a great atmosphere. Pushing itself to become one of the major festival names along the likes of Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Governors Ball, Shaky Knees 2015 was a killer festival thats sure not to disappoint in the coming years.[huge_it_gallery id=”2″]

Dan Deacon: Gliss Riffer

Dan Deacon’s newest record comes complete with an entire stripping down of his sound. Past albums like America included completely grandiose orchestral movements intertwined within his arrangements. Even with the return to completely solo pieces, Deacon still manages to encompass, direct, and influence emotions through his songs.

Opening with the album’s first released single, “Feel the Lightening”, Deacon allows himself to be unapologetically pop-y, with melodramatic lyrics and cliché, typical beats. Luckily, the album builds off of its first track and displays itself as a journey through Deacon’s mind.

Pure and whimsical excitement dances through each track, even in the arrhythmic and asynchronous seventh track “Take it to the Max” Deacon manages to convey unadulterated anticipation. While the arrangements might have a bit too much layered in them for everyone, some tracks, such as “When I’m Done Dying” and “Sheathed Wings” are impressively catchy, especially the latter with its provocative, looping vocals which layer into the music as if they were another inorganic instrument. Overall, Gliss Riffer is simplified version of Dan Deacon’s creative nature, and yet still manages to be intrinsically complex and pieced together.

By the time it closes with “Steely Blues”, Deacon’s anecdote has revealed itself. He drops the vocals and has completed the slow descent from pop-laden tracks at the opening of his album to self-aware, dreamy conclusion. He isn’t trying to be anything specific for anyone; he’s just trying to place himself in a place he can move forward from.

8/10

WVCW goes to Shaky Knees: Day Two Recap

  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • General Manager Owen Martin at Shaky Knees festival.
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Mad Scientist soundchecks Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Dr. Dog @ Shaky Knees
  • Mini Mansions @ Shaky Knees
  • Matthew E. White @ Shaky Knees
  • Wilco @ Shaky Knees
  • Wilco @ Shaky Knees
  • Wilco @ Shaky Knees
  • Mastodon @ Shaky Knees
  • DFA 1979 @ Shaky Knees
  • Mac DeMarco @ Shaky Knees
  • Mac DeMarco @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • RIDE @ Shaky Knees
  • Minus The Bear @ Shaky Knees
  • Old Crow Medicine Show @ Shaky Knees
  • Panda Bear @ Shaky Knees
  • Panda Bear @ Shaky Knees
  • Dr. Dog @ Shaky Knees
  • The Both/Ted Leo @ Shaky Knees
  • The Both/ Aimee Mann @ Shaky Knees
  • The Mowglis @ Shaky Knees
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Shaky Knees
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Shaky Knees
  • The Avett Brothers @ Shaky Knees
  • ZZ Ward @ Shaky Knees
  • ZZ Ward @ Shaky Knees
  • The Black Lips @ Shaky Knees
  • The Strokes @ Shaky Knees
  • The Strokes @ Shaky Knees
  • The Strokes @ Shaky Knees
  • Pixies @ Shaky Knees
  • Mastodon @ Shaky Knees
  • Zella Day @ Shaky Knees
  • Zella Day @ Shaky Knees
  • WAVVES @ Shaky Knees
  • WAVVES @ Shaky Knees
  • Tennis @ Shaky Knees
  • Tennis @ Shaky Knees
  • Halsey @ Shaky Knees

WVCW goes to Shaky Knees: Day Two Recap

The second day of Shaky Knees brought a more laid back vibe to the the festival. This didn’t stop the day from starting with high energy rising indie stars like Mariachi el Bronx, Real Estate, and Viet Cong. The peaks of intensity were in the mid afternoon with Irish rockers Flogging Molly, skater boiz FIDLAR, and Atlanta based crowd pleasers The Black Lips. The mellowing began of the day began with a rare, and magical set by weirdo indie rockers Neutral Milk Hotel. Bringing out all of their friends as musicians, and employing unique instrumentation such as euphoniums, fiddled banjos, and the signature singing saws, their show was not one to miss. They also are one of the only acts who did not allow any photography, meaning the lasting impression they gave the audience was the only souvenir they got. Interpol and Built to Spill also brought the classic tunes and kept the crowd rolling along. One of the major highlights of the night was the amazing Wilco. Playing a significantly shorter set than the were used too, every song was a hit bringing out jams like “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “Impossible Germany.” The crowd begged for an encore, but the strict time restraints disabled them from back coming out. ZZ Ward also put on an amazing set, The night closed with a set by folk rockers The Avett Brothers. Drawing a massive crowd of fans and newcomers alike, the band burst through a set of sing-along tunes that had every ones knees, dare I say it, shaking the whole night through.

WVCW goes to Shaky Knees: Day One Recap

  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • General Manager Owen Martin at Shaky Knees festival.
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Mad Scientist soundchecks Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Dr. Dog @ Shaky Knees
  • Mini Mansions @ Shaky Knees
  • Matthew E. White @ Shaky Knees
  • Wilco @ Shaky Knees
  • Wilco @ Shaky Knees
  • Wilco @ Shaky Knees
  • Mastodon @ Shaky Knees
  • DFA 1979 @ Shaky Knees
  • Mac DeMarco @ Shaky Knees
  • Mac DeMarco @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • Tame Impala @ Shaky Knees
  • RIDE @ Shaky Knees
  • Minus The Bear @ Shaky Knees
  • Old Crow Medicine Show @ Shaky Knees
  • Panda Bear @ Shaky Knees
  • Panda Bear @ Shaky Knees
  • Dr. Dog @ Shaky Knees
  • The Both/Ted Leo @ Shaky Knees
  • The Both/ Aimee Mann @ Shaky Knees
  • The Mowglis @ Shaky Knees
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Shaky Knees
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Shaky Knees
  • The Avett Brothers @ Shaky Knees
  • ZZ Ward @ Shaky Knees
  • ZZ Ward @ Shaky Knees
  • The Black Lips @ Shaky Knees
  • The Strokes @ Shaky Knees
  • The Strokes @ Shaky Knees
  • The Strokes @ Shaky Knees
  • Pixies @ Shaky Knees
  • Mastodon @ Shaky Knees
  • Zella Day @ Shaky Knees
  • Zella Day @ Shaky Knees
  • WAVVES @ Shaky Knees
  • WAVVES @ Shaky Knees
  • Tennis @ Shaky Knees
  • Tennis @ Shaky Knees
  • Halsey @ Shaky Knees

The first day of Shaky Knees saw an influx of people and some of the festival most sought after acts. The first act of the festival was Surfer Blood premiering songs off their new record “1000 Palms.” The mid afternoon was taken up by other newcomer bands with a mostly pop emphasis like Haerts, Tennis, Halsey, and Zella Day. The night took off with a destroying, crowdsurfing, and utterly weird set by Mac DeMarco, opened for by stoner punks WAVVES. The 6:15 slot proved to be the most conflict spot of the night, and possibly the festival, TV on the Radio, Death From Above 1979, and the Mountain Goats all going on at the same time. Semi locals Mastodon played a thrashing set to a mixture of diehard metalheads, first time festival goers, and Strokes fans who were waiting out the mosh pits for the anticipated headliners. The 8:15 time slot also forced festival goers to make difficult choices between Pixies, Brand New, and crooner James Blake. The biggest draw of Friday was headliners, The Strokes. Giving their first set of the year to a very eager and receptive audience, the band blasted through a career spanning setlist that was both refreshing and familiar. Some major highlights of the show were very rare live performances of “You Talk Way Too Much,” which hadn’t been performed since 2004, and accompaniment by Mac Demarco for the arguably the bands most popular song “Last Nite.” At the end of the set singer Julian Casablancas ran through the crowd high-fiving fans and setting the tone for an exciting and memorable festival. For more live coverage stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram accounts of the weekend.