Wednesday, January 31, 2024

VR Sex

LA's VR Sex has a new album coming out in March, and on first single "Real Doll Time," the artist veers into straight punk sound.  Check it out below and pre-order "Hard Copy" here from Dais Records.


Here's a little synth wave from Russian electronic artist Starfounder.  New album "Vengeance IV" is out now.  Download it here from Electric Dream Records and listen to "Para Bellum" below.


Here's a dreamy new alt-rock number from Softcult, the self-described purveyors of music for mall goths.  Check out "Shortest Fuse" below and download the tune here from the duo.

Daily Jam - Untitled Three

For the briefest of moments a decade ago, the future of hip-hop seemed on the verge of an avant-garde Renaissance thanks to a stream of original and interesting releases from the Anticon Collective, a group of musicians, rappers, and producers associated with independent Los Angeles record label Anticon. Albums from acts like Why?, Alias, Themselves, and others were threading hip-hop with layers of indie rock, post-rock, laptop electronica, and more, charting new territory until it became increasingly difficult to label any of the output as actual hip-hop. This was very evident on Anticon co-founder Odd Nosdam’s (David Madson) debut 2005 LP Burner, which really sounds more like a beautiful, humming sound collage than anything else.

Initially, I was drawn to the album due to Odd Nosdam’s association with Anticon and the band Why?, and to Mike Patton’s involvement on the song “11th Ave. Freakout Pt. 2.” And while that song is really great, the album’s highpoint is the beautifully lulling exhale of the Jessica Bailiff assisted “Untitled Three,” six minutes of slowed-down beats, vibrating synth tones, and cooing, psychedelic vocals. It sounds like waking up from a wonderfully surreal dream only to find that the whole world has transformed around you, funhouse-mirroring everything you thought was just in your head, warped dreamspace. Listening to the song, I can feel myself floating in an eternal sea, eyes closed as layer upon layer of light and cosmic radiation shower over me. It’s like moving through space and time, your physical form disintegrating while your consciousness expands and joins the infinite like Matheson’s shrinking man.

So yeah, it’s kind of trippy, but in a pretty and head-nodding way. Please excuse my pseudo-new ageism allegories above. I was listening to the song and just found myself in a groove.

“Untitled Three” practically begs to be listened to on headphones, a whole plethora of sounds and samples lurking beneath the melodic whir. Like the rest of the Burner LP, there is a very specific kind of headspace this music is meant to occupy. Put yourself in that space and float away.

Listen below, our Daily Jam.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Alison Cotton

Here's some weird new experimental folk coming our way in March from UK artist Alison Cotton.  Pre-order new album "Engelchen" here from Rocket Recordings and listen to the somber, droney, funereal "The Letter Burning" below.

Daily Jam - Bottle Up and Explode

This is not an article about suicide, though being that it’s about an Elliott Smith song, it most certainly should be addressed. This is not some kind of confessional or deep think piece either, though in my adolescence I certainly harbored my fair share of suicidal thoughts. But a lot of teenagers do. It doesn’t make you special, or strange, or alone. It just makes you human. And there is something in Elliott Smith’s music, in his songs, in his voice that speaks to that humanity. His melancholy, world-weary, little pop songs feel like odes to your own soul.

It’s like he’s singing to you at the end of a rough day. Like he’s singing to you when you feel out of place or abandoned. Like he’s singing to you when you feel like you’re down to your last option. Maybe its his cadence, or his lyrical imagery, or his soft, sweet voice that can still hit like a freight train. Maybe it’s the sincerity of his work. Maybe it’s his tragic end. I don’t know. But there really are so few artists who sound like they’re not just carrying some weight of the world on their shoulders and souls, but rather YOUR specific, nervous, trembling, angsty weight. It all feels so personal, like talking a friend down from the proverbial ledge, a deep conversation long into the early hours of the morning.

“Bottle Up and Explode!” comes from Smith’s 1998 album XO, a time that really found him hitting his stride as a recording artist, but also found him faltering to his inner demons, depression, addiction, and an attempt to end his life. Lyrically, the song is about hurt feelings or suspicions in a relationship that the protagonist buries or hides from view, never revealing and allowing to simmer, until they, of course, explode to the surface. Set to a heavy-hearted but poppy, mid-tempo melody, the song acts as a kind of soothing balm for the woebegone. It’s an earworm that’s instantly relatable, and there’s a really quaint beauty to all its bottled sorrow.

Smith died in 2003, the result of self-inflicted stab wounds to the chest*. I was never a rabid fanatic, or devoted follower, or anything like that, just a fan. But his pointless death hurt and moved me, and continues to do so. His music can feel haunting or prescient because of it, but still beautiful.

Again, this is not an article about suicide, though most of us have certainly been touched by it in some way. Whether through our own thoughts and fears, or the thoughts and fears of friends, family, loved ones, idols, role models, or acquaintances, suicide is a very real and tragic part of our culture. And we all have to confront it in some manner. About a two decades ago, a friend/acquaintance of mine took her life, and I’ve never really been able to put into words what my feelings are about it. I remember being at the funeral, and seeing her family, and recognizing this different kind of grief that hung heavy over the room. It was a different kind of sadness, something that felt infinitely worse, a dark, abyssal sorrow. And that’s what suicide is to me.

It still makes the music all the more haunting.

*There is some debate as to whether or not Elliott Smith actually committed suicide or if he was murdered, but I’m not going to get into any of that...because it's stupid.

Check the track out below, our Daily Jam.

Monday, January 29, 2024

La Femme

French synth pop/new wave/alt-rock band La Femme dropped a new EP earlier this month with "La Femme Ressort."  Imagine what's concealed behind the big black square on the album cover, check out the bopping opener "Sur la Planche" below, and get the EP here from the band.

Damien Hearse

Let's shake things up a little bit this morning with some dark and brooding electro-goth from Damien Hearse.  Dig on the darkwave techno of "Bad Luck Charm" below and get the artist's latest release, "Alone/Apart" here.

Daily Jam - South

It seems to be generally agreed upon that the music you discover, listen to, and obsess about as a teenager molds your tastes and preferences for the remainder of your life. And that’s certainly true. The bands and artists that got to me at 14 and 15 years old undeniably made their marks and created a kind of fervor within me to seek out certain sounds to appease the addict music-beast inside of me. It’s like that for a lot of us. But in my early to mid 20’s, I had a second renaissance of music discovery, one that was far more horizon broadening than anything that happened in my teens. I devoured everything. No genre or style was left unturned or unsampled. Every era made its way into my ears. And I found so much awesome stuff out there. If the bands I listened to as a teenager ignited my love of music, then the bands I discovered post-academia just cemented it.

San Diego’s Three Mile Pilot I discovered by virtue of the fact that a couple of their members are also in The Black Heart Procession, the Morricone-indebted, often funereal-demeanored band that I became mildly fanatical of after hearing 2002’s Amore Del Tropico. So down the sonic rabbit hole I went, eventually landing on Three Mile Pilot’s 1997 album Another Desert, Another Sea, and the epic, sweeping highlight, “South.”

The song opens with Tobias Nathaniel’s forlorn piano melody, solemn notes that slowly draw you in as Pall Jenkins’ labored vocals seem to lay his emotions to waste. Drums and guitar come into the mix gradually, swaying organ sections lulling the song into a calm, belying the impending turbulence, crashes, and crescendos. It’s all very operatic in a way, ups and downs, stillness and storms. And I have no idea what the song’s even about.

But that’s okay. The more I listen music, the more I have come to believe that it doesn’t matter what anything is actually about (to a certain degree). What matters is how it makes you feel. How it affects you. I suppose the same could be said of any kind of art. And to me, “South” just sounds like remorse or regret…like something held dear has slipped away…like loss. It also evokes a sense of dread, the memories that you can’t wash away, the monsters that follow you to the end.

I’ve always been drawn to music that casts a somber shadow, either lyrically or melodically, and “South” has it in spades, wringing emotions through its building dramatics until everything eventually fades out…fades away.

“The southern fever calls to the opera circle south.”

Check it out below, our Daily Jam.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Not Me But Us

March is bringing us new music from Italian duo Not Me But Us and new album "Two."  Check out the blissful but melancholy electronics of "When We See" below and pre-order the record here from Sonic Cathedral.


Here's some music from San Francisco lo-fi folk act Cindy that i missed when it dropped last October.  "Likely Story" and "Saw It All" were originally released last April as a bonus 7" included in the UK special edition release of the band's "Why Not Now?" LP, but are now available to us plebeians for download.  Check out both tracks below and download them here from Tough Love.

Daily Jam - Shipbuilding

“Is it worth it?”

For a song that’s about a community that thrives during wartime, an economy built on manufacturing the warships that they will then in turn send their own sons to die on, Elvis Costello and The Attractions’ “Shipbuilding” sure does sound sexy. Gracing 1983’s Punch the Clock, the song sets its potentially gloomy subject matter with a melancholy jazz melody and sheer poetry to craft a veritable work of audio art.

Originally penned by Costello and Clive Langer for English singer-songwriter Robert Wyatt (whose version is also pretty great by the way), “Shipbuilding” drew its inspiration from the Falklands War of 1982, musing on a kind of dichotomy of war. As the traditional shipbuilding areas of England saw prosperity from their wares, they also experienced the increasing likelihood of losing their young men to the same conflict they were benefiting from, like some sort of sacrificial lambs for harvest. War is hell sure, but it’s also a moneymaker.

“Within weeks they’ll be re-opening the shipyards and notifying the next of kin.”

On Costello’s version, the song’s jazzy lounge vibe almost undersells the urgency of the lyrical themes somewhat, but adds just the right amount of wistfulness to create a kind of tragic romanticism to the whole affair, brought most to life by Chet Baker’s beautiful and haunting trumpet solo. It’s like witnessing the inevitable, knowing that there is nothing you can do to change course, but deeply hoping or wishing that someday there will be…and maybe even actually believing that.

“With all the will in the world, diving for dear life, when we could be diving for pearls.”

Check it out below, our Daily Jam.

Saturday, January 27, 2024


Berlin artist Glaring releases new EP's and singles of ambient darkwave dreampop on the regular, sometimes on an almost monthly basis.  And for that she gets a tip of the hat.  Her latest release is the new "DR666" EP.  Check out the gray and cloudy "Krystal Ship" below and download the EP here from the artist.

Mali Obomsawin & Magdalena Abrego

Mali Obomsawin is a Portland, Maine based bassist and composer from the Abenaki First Nation of Odanak in Quebec.  Magdalena Abrego is Chicago born guitarist whose parents migrated from Mexico and Puerto Rico.  The duo's talents collide on new collaborative album "Greatest Hits," a collection of moody alt-rock jams.  Check out the album opening "Bounty" below and get the album here.

Daily Jam - That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate

I can’t remember where I heard the claim that no band should exist for longer than ten years, but it’s a sentiment I generally tend to side with. No one can maintain quality output forever. It’s just not feasible. Granted, this notion comes from a guy who just this year* has purchased albums from Björk (debut in 1993), Blur (debut in 1991), Faith No More (debut in 1985), and Failure (debut in 1992), so there are always exceptions to even the most stridently bellowed ideals. All of this brings us to Boston post-punk act Mission of Burma, a band who initially only existed long enough to produce a handful of singles, one lone studio album, and a live record before calling it quits due to founding member Roger Miller’s developing tinnitus. Like so many legendary and influential groups, they were seemingly a blip on the radar before fading away.

Twenty years later, Mission of Burma came back without missing a beat and released a string of excellent albums seemingly making up for lost time. And they’re still together now, so take that snide, arrogant sentiment from last paragraph! It just goes to show you that I’m wrong sometimes…quite often. But being ever the misguided purist, my money’s on the band’s 1982 LP, Vs., or more precisely, album closer “That’s How I Escaped my Certain Fate,” two minutes of frenetic guitar-jangled energy about a couple splitting up before starting college. The rousing title/chorus could aptly be applied to any number of feelings or scenarios though, a joyous exclamation of dodging the proverbial bullet.

I first became familiar with Mission of Burma upon hearing Moby’s fairly faithful (MTV edits be damned!) 1996 cover version of the band’s “That’s When I Reach for my Revolver,” another fine example of a contemporary artist broadening my horizons with nods to what came before. The band’s early discography would soon find its way into my grubby little hands after that.

And then they reunited and have been together more than twice as long as they were the first time around. So, let me revise my previous sentiment. No band should exist for longer than ten years…at a time. Take breaks or prolonged hiatuses, and then return with new material like a sucker punch to the gut. Just don’t forget to play the old shit sometimes.

Check the track out below, our Daily Jam.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Life on Venus

Gotta finish up some work really quick before the weekend, but before i go, here's a dark mix of shoegaze, dreampop, and post-punk from Moscow band Life on Venus.  Listen to the reverbed and romantic "You Will Be There" below and get the band's new "Homewards" LP here from Automatic Music.


Here's some spacey, synth-laden psych rock from Dublin's MELTS.  The band's new album "Field Theory" drops in April on Fuzz Club Records.  Pre-order it here and listen to the chugging, churning "Figment" below.


Woke up this morning to some new music from synth pop artist TR/ST, whose dark synth tones and dance beats have been a staple around these parts since his debut back in 2012.  Check out "Being Boring," featuring Jake Shears below and download the "TR/ST EP" here from Dais Records.

Friday Horror Trailer - The Believers

Daily Jam - That's That

We all have our different, preferable aesthetics that we’re drawn to when listening to music, the sounds and textures that we love and that comfort us. And as often as I attempt to expand and broaden my horizons with an abundance of unique styles and genres, I always eventually come back to what I know. Whether it be layer upon layer of guitar distortion, dark and moody synthesizer tones, lo-fi, primal screaming in the garage, or awesome and obscure samples, my aesthetic has my heart. In the case of the late, great DOOM’s (formerly MF DOOM) “That’s That,” from 2009’s Born Like This LP, it’s the latter, the selected samples, music or otherwise, working seamlessly together to create just over two minutes of hip-hop perfection.

Grooving off of a sample of the song “Princess Gika,” a track by composer Galt MacDermot from the soundtrack to the 1969 film Woman Is Sweeter, “That’s That” bumps along with a sense of airiness, all the while DOOM’s raspy and stoned vocals keep things organic and grounded. Very often, a lot of hip-hop can sound too synthetic, all computer blips, manufactured notes, and vocal effects, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and can be wonderful when created by the right talented people, it feels nice to dial things back to a more naturalistic sound. DOOM’s production sounds tangible, or malleable, like something you can hold or feel. His production sounds real. And while he’s never been the most talented rapper in the world, that solid and fluid production work make him far more interesting than a lot of other cats out there. And I’m a total sucker for his stoned flow, like he just took a walloping hit off a bong before hitting the microphone.

“That’s That” is short and sweet, coming and going in just a couple of minutes, leaving you wanting another verse, but also ending with a delightful audio sample from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Man, I love random samples.

Side note: Busta Rhymes’ 1996 jam “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check” also samples Galt MacDermot’s Woman Is Sweeter soundtrack from the song “Space.” There’s this cool sense of discovery that comes along with hearing a sample in its original composition after only knowing it in its sampled state, kind of like finding treasure or something.

Check it out below, our Daily Jam.

Thursday, January 25, 2024


French electronic duo Justice are back this April with all the roller boogie beats and grooves you can handle with new album "Hyperdrama."  And on new track "One Night/All Night," Tame Impala is along for the ride...which fits the vibe of the proceedings perfectly.  Dig on the song below and pre-order the new LP here from Ed Banger Records and Because Music.


Manchester duo The KVB have a new album of shoegaze and darkwave-tinged alt-rock heading our way later this year with the upcoming "Tremors" LP.  To tide us over until then, the band just dropped new single "Labyrinths."  Check it out below and download it here from Invada.

Trans Upper Egypt

It's time to take a funky, motorik psychedelic trip with the experimental trio Trans Upper Egypt.  Tight beats, fuzzed out organs, and a cinematic post-punk aesthetic make new album "No Dub" an intoxicating listening experience.  Listen to album opener "33" below and snag the LP here from Maple Death Records.

Daisy Rickman

Here's some cool and trippy new folk from UK artist Daisy Rickman.  British folk often lends itself to pagan themes and vibes, and the artist's upcoming "Howl" LP is no exception.  Listen to "Feed the Forest" below and get the album here, available on the Spring Equinox of course.

Li Yilei

Every now and then you just need some tranquil music that sounds like meditating in an Asian garden, especially when your state governor is seemingly trying to ignite a second Civil War.  Anyhoo, let's get that tranquility from the London based Chinese composer Li Yilei and the soothing ambient tones of her upcoming album "NONAGE."  Close your eyes and check out "Yip, Yip, Yip" below, and pre-order the LP here from Metron Records.

Klaus Johann Grobe

It's been a spell since we last got an LP from Klaus Johann Grobe, but here we are with the upcoming new album "Io Tu Il Loro," nine tracks of kosmische psych, exotic grooves, and krautrock vibes.  Check out the loungey "Highway High" below and pre-order the album here from Trouble In Mind.

Ruth Goller

Let's get weird with some new music from Italian-born, London-based musician and composer Ruth Goller.  I'm at a loss for how exactly to categorize the sounds on the artist's upcoming "SKYLLUMINA" LP, but it's somewhere in the neighborhood of gothy, psych-tinged improvisational jazz.  It's equal parts haunting and intoxicating, and feels like waking up in an alternate plane of reality.  Listen to album opener "Below My Skin" below and pre-order the LP here from International Anthem.

Thee Sinseers

Here's a little throwback soul and R&B from LA collective Thee Sinseers.  The group's new album "Sinseerly Yours" is out in March from Colemine Records.  Pre-order here and groove to "Can't Do that to Her" below.

Daily Jam - Fugue in D Minor

I watched a lot of cartoons when I was growing up. A lot of them. Saturday morning lineups and after-school blocks were part of my weekly routine well into my early teenage years, with primetime fare and cable offerings eventually taking their places as I grew older and the original networks began to lose interest in animated programming. But the music has always stayed with me. I credit my enjoyment of classical music to those cartoons because so many of them (Looney Toons in particular) used it to score their shows. I’m horrible with the names of individual pieces or with who composed what, but all of that music is now engrained within my psyche, and I love when it pops up in other places and other works of pop culture…especially when those works of pop culture are awesome.

And so, barreling into my life almost 20 years ago was English prog rock band Egg’s wonderful and intoxicating take on “Fugue in D Minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach, the song featured on the extraordinary Prog Is not a Four Letter Word compilation. Curated by Twisted Nerve’s vinyl-loving maniac Andy Votel, the album featured 15 tracks of freaked-out, cosmos-exploring jams from across the world. It still makes it into regular rotation for my drive to and from work, but the classical organ funk from Egg has always been the standout for me.

Originally appearing on the band’s 1970 self-titled album, “Fugue in D Minor” kind of sums up the entire scene, or you could argue even the entire progressive rock genre. The song features talented, classically trained musicians applying everything they’ve studied and learned to their own experimental takes on jazz, blues, and rock n’ roll. “Fugue in D Minor” bumps and grooves, but also serves as a callback to what came before. It’s the starting line to a race we’ve never actually finished.

Egg released a couple more albums before disbanding, and eventually fell off the cultural radar like so many prog rock bands along with them, only to bubble back up to the surface to be rediscovered and reexamined to the delight of audiophiles and crate diggers alike.

Check it out below, our Daily Jam.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


French band KARKARA make fuzzy, Middle Eastern-tinged psych rock to freak out to.  Dig on the grooves of "Anthropia" below and pre-order the band's upcoming new album "All Is Dust" here.


Here's some noisy, frenetic post punk from Belfast band Chalk to endlessly convulse to.  Check out "The Gate" below and download the "Conditions II" EP here from Nice Swan Records (vinyl is sold out).


Hell yeah, we've got new music from Zombi coming our way in March.  Check out the chugging, apocalyptic sounds of "The Post-Atomic Horror" below and pre-order the "Direct Inject" LP here from Relapse.

Daily Jam - La Chanson de Slogan

I’m in some thick, wooded area, pushing brush and branches from my face as I carefully make my way towards the sound. I’m not sure where I am. I’ve never been here before. The woods feel far away and exotic, but eventually I come to a clearing, and I peer into the valley below. I locate the music. There are many hooded figures, naked revelers, pagan imagery, dancing, and a mist or fog that covers everything, creating a mystical aura to the scene. I’m noticed…and I’m welcome…but as soothing as the music is, as calming as the participants make me, the hairs on the back of my neck still stand on end, as if in anticipation of…something.

I make my way into some old chateau in a European countryside. Dusk has brought the moon with it, and everything glows. Inside the ballroom, it’s the same as the meadow, but with wigs and masks. Someone somewhere plays a harpsichord. I step into the surreal, drink the potion, and feel the hairs on my neck again.

“La Chanson de Slogan” by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, taken from the soundtrack to the 1969 French film Slogan, is not about any of these things. In actuality, it’s a duet where the woman tells a man how vile he is, while he insists that she still loves him. But it’s in French, so I’m not really all that concerned with what it means, but how it makes me feel. And it makes me feel like I’ve stepped in to some decadent party or ritual, like witnessing some freaky occult sex act, but not being asked to leave. It makes me feel like I’m about to trip. The haunting harpsichord layered on top of the jazzy, psychedelic strings feels ghostly and surreal, all the while the rhythm section plays a funky, break-filled beat. Jane Birkin’s cooing siren’s call and Gainsbourg’s smoky, seductive whisper complete this psychosexual atmosphere.

And it’s intoxicating. And sexy.

Seriously, “La Chanson de Slogan” plays like a drug in my head. I can’t escape it, and I’ll find myself craving a fix at any given moment.

Check it out below, our Daily Jam.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024


I caught Montreal band Corridor several years back at SXSW, and dug their particular brand of indie pop and alt-rock.  They've been chugging along since then and now have a new album coming our way in April on Sub Pop.  Check out the French language track "Mourir Demain," a song that sounds like it could have come out at the height of the indie boom 15-20 years ago, and pre-order the "Mimi" LP here.

Daily Jam - Chi Mai

Way back in the olden times, when I was still in film school, my favorite classes were the screenwriting ones. More than courses on the business side, or the production side, or the technical side of the industry, my heart and soul fell in with taking the movie in your head and putting it down on paper. These classes really piqued my interest in writing in general, and I am forever grateful for that. This was probably the point in time where my writing habits became completely and utterly ingrained in my brain. To be clear, I’m not saying they’re good habits, but they’re my habits, and I’m just going to go with them: getting lost in my own headspace while staring at a screen, waiting for everything to click and spew forth in an unending stream, music forever blasting in the background. That last one is probably the biggest one. I listen to music on the regular for most of the day, everyday, but especially when I get into writing mode. And that music inevitably affects what I leave on the page. Many a fictional scene has been scored to whatever is on my stereo at the time…and a couple of them are actually good.

Italian film score composer Ennio Morricone’s “Chi Mai,” taken from the soundtrack to 1971’s Maddalena, served as the background to one of my favorites. I won’t bore you with the particular setup details, but the film scene I envisioned involved two old friends fighting to the death, our protagonist finally getting the upper hand and choking the life out of his former comrade, all while the beautiful strings of “Chi Mai” float in the air around the two.

I have done this a hundred times with all kinds of music and songs, pop or otherwise, but the cinematic nature of The Maestro’s compositions just lends itself to writing movie scenes. They were all intended to be used in films after all.

Morricone’s music has made a pretty big impact on me going back about fifteen years or so. I had always been aware of him, being as the man is responsible for some of the most iconic film scores ever put to tape, but I didn’t really appreciate his art, or later become somewhat obsessed with it, until I listened to two albums. One of those albums is the score to Sergio Leone’s 1968 masterpiece Once Upon a Time in the West, a record so haunting and beautiful and perfect as to be one of my favorites of all time. The other is saxophonist and experimental jazz composer John Zorn’s 1986 Morricone cover/tribute album, The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays the Music of Ennio Morricone, a quirky record of stripped, warped, and/or frenetic versions of classics by The Maestro. These two records began my Morricone fanaticism, an obsession that continues to endure, whether it be by procuring old records, influencing the songs I write and record, or serving as the unofficial soundtrack to so much of what comes out of my head. “Chi Mai” is just one example.

So, put a little bit of Morricone in your life. You deserve it.

Listen below, our Daily Jam.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Clouds Taste Satanic

Here's some epic new stoner metal from New York's Clouds Taste Satanic.  New album "79 A.E." is out in March.  Pre-order it from the band here and listen to "Collision" below.

Daily Jam - Silver

There’s always that one song that serves as your entry point to an entire discography of any particular artist. The inciter. The catalyst. The first. That song can be wonderful and special in its own right, as it is the harbinger of music to come, but every so often it maintains. It keeps you carrying a torch for it. It stays firmly ranked among your favorites, never to be unseated by any other.

Jesu’s “Silver,” the title track from the band’s 2006 EP, is that song for me.

“Silver” was my introduction to Justin K. Broadrick and all of the lowness, the heaviness, and the beauty found in every note of his Jesu project. I have been a completist ever since, but nothing has ever topped those initial six minutes and change. There’s a certain shogaze-meets-heavy metal motif going on, both on the song and in much of Jesu’s other work, along with an almost cosmic feel that lends a sense of majesty and gravitas to the whole affair. “Silver” feels dense and layered, but also sprawling and epic, like you’re soaring high over existence or falling weightless forever.

The last two minutes are glory defined. I’ll never be able to get enough of it.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Moor Mother

It's pretty impossible to pin down Philadelphia artist Moor Mother into any particular genre, and that continues with the upcoming new album "The Great Bailout."  Check out the dense, layered, and sprawling new track "Guilty," featuring Lonnie Holley and Raia Was, a 10-minute long sparse work of free jazz, poetry, and hypnotic sonic weirdness.  Listen below and pre-order the album here from Anti- Records.


It's Sunday.  It's 35 degrees outside.  The skies are gray.  And the rain is coming.  Time for some darkwave industrial techno to darken things up.  LA's Kontravoid should do the trick.  New album "Detachment" is due in March.  Get it here from the artist and listen to the thumping, pulsing "For What It Is" below.

Daily Jam - Love You to Death

There’s really nothing quite like the perennial autumnal tones of Type O Negative, heavy metal’s answer to goth, where everyday is seemingly Halloween. Things got a little bit colder with the release of the band’s 1996 album October Rust, a record full of stark and haunting moments that feel as if they should accompany scenes of dark, dirty, foreboding men in the snow, their breath visible in the gray light. But don’t let that coldness belie the album’s lush and gorgeous production, the sounds and tones and themes coming together right at the start to craft a highlight of Type O Negative’s entire discography, the BDSM-alluding “Love You to Death.”

I think I was in the tenth grade the first time I heard Type O Negative, a friend of mine playing the song “Christian Woman” for me from the album Bloody Kisses, and I was instantly enthralled by the pairing of the slow and low heaviness of the guitars with the dark lyrical imagery akin to some of the best psychosexual stuff you’d hear by Depeche Mode. Combined with the proto-industrial-metal tones, Peter Steele’s deep, guttural moan, and all the gothic themes and moods, the band’s music became a pretty integral part of my teenage years.

While I loved (and still love) Bloody Kisses, Type O Negative really jumped to the next level sonically and creatively when they released October Rust. Taking the moodiness from their prior album, the band upped the melancholia and bleeding hearts, making the record a kind of yearning open letter for the black dye set. Finally, someone was expressing a whole legion of horror nerds’ untapped feelings, and doing it with heavy, chugging guitars, cathedral level keyboards, and dark, beautiful melodies. “Love You to Death” encapsulates all of that, a gloomy, gothic masterpiece that ends on an almost romantic note.

“Am I good enough for you?”

This is probably as close to a love song as Type O Negative ever got.

Check it out below, our Daily Jam.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Poison Point

Here's some new darkwave synth pop from French group Poison Point.  Dig on the gothy dance grooves of "Mysteries in Fire" below and pre-order the upcoming "Wandering Echoes" LP here from Avant! Records.

Daily Jam - Snakedriver

I love reverb. I love feedback. I love noise. The aesthetic has dominated my musical preference for over 30 years through one genre or another, luring me through so many layers of guitar, so many delay effects, so many echoes, and so much ear piercing triumph. Naturally, I’m a big fan of Scottish act The Jesus and Mary Chain. How could I not be? While the band started to see diminishing returns on their output during the 1990’s before their eventual breakup (and then inevitable reunion a decade later), “Snakedriver,” from 1993’s Sound of Speed EP has been in my constant rotation since I first heard it in the ninth grade.

That year was a wonderful time for me musically, as I discovered so many artists and sounds that have stayed near and dear to me for the last two decades. Just do a Google search of albums released in 1993 and 1994. It’s mind boggling. But back to “Snakedriver.”

The track immediately begins pulsing, a hypnotic, steady tambourine beat that slowly drowns under the growing guitar feedback. It feels like being underwater. It feels like falling or like floating in the sky. Honestly, it feels like getting high. For years this song has been able to put me into a mild trance or ease me into sleep…despite the noise, and it has this classic kind of throwback melody that would fit easily into the catalog of any 60’s garage pop band. But I guess that was kind of their thing. The Jesus and Mary Chain’s sound was always just a much denser and cacophonous version of Phil Spector’s “wall of sound” anyway, with occasional forays into surf rock. And god bless them for that.

The song also appeared on the soundtrack to The Crow the next year, and regardless of your feelings toward the film in general, that compiled soundtrack was an absolute monster when I was fifteen.

Check the song out below, our Daily Jam.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Forever Pavot & XP The Marxman

Last time we checked in on French artist Forever Pavot (last year), he was making wonderfully sweet psych pop soundtrack music.  But next on the horizon is a hip-op collaboration with LA rapper and homeless advocate XP The Marxman.  Check out the duo's "Forever XP" below and pre-order the album of same name here from BMM Records.

Friday Horror Trailer - The Black Room

Daily Jam - Powder Blue

In the late '90s and early 2000’s, when it became increasingly apparent that Radiohead were leaving the sound they created on 1995’s The Bends behind them to chart and explore new sonic territories, a veritable bevy of bands and artists swooped in to fill the aural void. Some of these groups aped the sound to perfection for awhile and then disappeared completely back into the ether. Some tweaked and broadened the sound to create something truly their own. Some were more rock. Some were more pop. Some were Coldplay. And some of these bands were unfairly marginalized and labeled as mere clones, like the soulful Ramsbottom quintet Elbow. They are so much more, and have continued to evolve over the course of a half dozen albums, but they really hooked their claws into my ears with “Powder Blue,” a beautiful and devastating track from their 2001 debut Asleep in the Back.

The songs sweeps and sinks to a gorgeous and lush piano melody, while lead singer Guy Garvey croons in an earthy, smoky tenor with flashes of falsetto about two addict lovers coming down and going through withdrawals together. There’s a sweetness to the tragedy, a nod to unrelenting true love in the direst of circumstances, ultimately created by ourselves. And at song’s end, when those two sustained horn notes hit in solemn procession, it’s like the floor crumbles away below your feet, like the world just falls away. It’s like a punch in the gut. And then it’s over.

Based on “Powder Blue” alone, I keep coming back to Elbow and their glorious and gritty ballroom pop. The band’s organic British sound feels dingier and dirtier than so many of their contemporaries, like some kind of alcoholic lounge act playing in a smoke-filled room near the airport.

That’s the highest compliment I can think to give to someone.

Check it out below, our Daily Jam.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

The British Stereo Collective

UK artist Phil Heeks makes electronic library music inspired by the sounds of 1970's British television with his project The British Stereo Collective.  A new album of sci-fi synths and sounds effects is heading our way at some point this year, but in the meantime, the artist dropped new track "Come What May" last month that sounds like a ghostly electronic folk pop.  Check it out below and download it here from Castles in Space.

Daily Jam - A Day in the Life

I’m going to do my very best not to come off deliberately and irritatingly contrarian here. It’s probably going to take some effort, but here we go. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is an overrated album. There. I said it. Now let’s let that sink in for just a second or two. Okay. Have you recovered? Please allow me to explain.

I’m not saying the Sgt. Pepper’s is a bad album. Far from it. It’s a great album, and along with The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, it began to show what pop music was capable of being…art. But it’s certainly not The Beatles’ best album, a point of contention that we could honestly argue about all day long (though I’ve probably got to go with either The White Album or Revolver). What makes Sgt. Pepper’s overrated is the fact that out of the thirteen tracks on the album, not one of them compares to the ultimate pop loveliness of album closer “A Day in the Life,” the song I consider to be inarguably the best thing The Beatles ever recorded.

“A Day in the Life” is sweet, and melancholy, and a little odd, and in so many ways it feels like the culmination of everything The Beatles were, including their past and future. The Lennon parts sound like perfect Lennon parts. The McCartney parts are the purest McCartney. There’s a Harrison spirituality that encompasses the whole thing. And Ringo keeps the beat of course. Nothing else the band ever wrote or recorded lives up to “A Day in the Life.” Nothing even comes close. I could be congenial and say that that’s just my humble opinion…but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s a fact. If your opinion differs, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. (I will be happy to field arguments as to what The Beatles’ second best song is though. It’s “Eleanor Rigby” by the way.)

Now, if only I could figure out how to put the song’s closing, sustained piano chord into text form.

I love that sound.

Check the track out below, our Daily Jam.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024


April brings us new funky and exotic psychedelia from Houston's Khruangbin.  Dig on the faraway sounds of "A Love International" below, a song that sounds like sailing away into the sunset on uncharted waters, and pre-order the upcoming "A LA SALA" LP here from Dead Oceans.

Daily Jam - Wings

If my high school days could be condensed into a two-hour John Hughes movie, then surely, SURELY the closing jam playing over my fade to black, either with defiant fist held high overhead or with my teenage object of desire held in my arms, would have to be the lush and soaring sweetness of “Wings” by Brooklyn’s HAERTS. The song is only a couple of years old*, originally appearing on the band’s Hemiplegia EP, but it feels like it has been with me for decades. It feels like it could have scored any number of bittersweet moments from my adolescence, regardless of the fact that it sounds nothing like anything I would have listened to at the time.

“Wings” rests its laurels comfortably in the streams of airy 80’s synth-pop. My sonic preferences back then would be arguably messier, more aggressive, or morose even. But the song still feels like it would suit that time perfectly. It’s big, and sweeping, and honest, and there’s an ever-present nostalgic pull throughout those pop-fueled five minutes. Like it’s always been there. Like I remember it from a moment that never actually happened. Perhaps there’s just an instant timelessness to it.

And honestly, that’s just wonderful.

For any pop tune, as nostalgia-tinged as it may be, as owing to decades old sounds and styles as it is, there is something so transcendent about music that can make you feel like a kid again. There is something so delightful about music that can take you back to long lost days without ever having been there to begin with. It yearns. It ebbs. It flows. It bleeds. And ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Sometimes those silly little love songs can feel like something much more. Excuse me as I walk away in still frame.

Check it out below, our Daily Jam.
*At least it was in 2015 when this column was written.