Tuesday Tune-Up is a weekly sampling of music worth adding to your iTunes. Focusing on a different theme each week, we’ll cover territory from old to new, local to export, and mellow to bangin’ with one constant: it’ll be pretty, pretty, pretttty good.
The second edition of the Tune-Up features this week’s best releases conveniently connected to the letter B.
Braids “Amends” & “In Kind”
I’ve been a fan of Braids ever since I heard “Lemonade“ off 2011’s Native Speaker. They instantly reminded me of Grimes, with Raphaelle’s hazy, reverberating vocals and the track’s bouncy synths. Maybe it’s a Montreal thing. Further comparisons can be made to BjÃ¶rk, with the band’s lush soundscapes and quirky beats. Today, Braids released “In Kind,” the second track off the forthcoming Flourish // Perish (August 20). I’ll be listening to the album’s lead single “Amends” more, but “In Kind” will definitely hold its own on my playlist.
You can catch Braids in Toronto on June 13 at Comfort Zone as part of NXNE.
It’s surprising that Baths’ Will Wiesenfeld was born and raised in sunny California given the dark vibe of his music. (Even the album’s title, Obsidian, conjures a stark black motif.) Wiesenfeld ignores the Cali sunshine here, opting instead to collect the county’s thick layer of smog, which permeates its way through play, from start to finish. This sort of tension is highlighted over and over throughout Obsidian. “No Past Lives” skips between a sunny piano riff and a gurggling baseline, and you can practically see the cross-cutting of two scenes play out in your head. You get this same contrasting in “Miasma Sky,” the album’s teaser single, which changes its heavy tune about 1:45 into the song; like Mario jumping out of the underground and into the colour-saturated world.
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon in Volcano Choir, Repave
Last year, when Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon announced that he had to “walk away” from the project, it made me so melancholy that I… listened to more Bon Iver. But now it looks like Vernon’s back for the second album from experimental pop group Volcano Choir. The album’s trailer contains a lot of the imagery that we know and love from Vernon: snow through windows, snow on trees, snow in the sun, snow melting, etc. A lot of snow. The sound’s a little pop-ier than Bon Iver, but I’ll take Vernon in whatever way, shape or form I can get. Volcano Choir plays the Phoenix on September 8.
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Jeremy Schipper is an intern at Toronto Standard. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeromeoschipps.