Moonface – “Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips”

I’ve been an unabashed Spencer Krug fan for as long as possible but his first LP under the Moonface moniker, last year’s Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped, left me feeling more than a little underwhelmed.  I have no problem with the new sonic territory – he can write on organ and marimbas all he wants as long as he’s writing compelling songs.  Organ Music was the first time Krug seemed more interested in exploring sounds than writing something memorable which is doubly troubling as he’s an artist whose always seemed to have a surplus of memorable songs.  The next Moonface release, a collaboration with Finnish post-rock band Siinai (they toured through Europe with Wolf Parade in 2009), already sounds more promising.  First single “Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips” doesn’t sound that far removed from Krug’s Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown material and, most importantly, the brief, gripping motorik jam is the most memorable thing Krug has released in a couple of years.

With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery is out 4/17 via Jagjaguwar.

Download MP3: “Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips”


Moonface – “The Way You Wish You Could Live In The Storm”
July 18, 2011, 10:47 pm
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I recently wrote about “Fast Peter” – the first taste of Spencer Krug’s debut LP as Moonface.  A short while later, Krug released an outtake from the album’s sessions called “The Way You Wish You Could Live In The Storm”.  He had this to say about it:

Here, take this. It’s a song that was cut from the record – an angry duck that didn’t get along with the other songs on the Organ Music LP. That is not to say it’s a bad song (though not to say it’s a good song, either), it’s just something I made that I don’t know what to do with. It’s more techno, or something, than the rest of the Organ Music LP. Less silky. But still, I thought it was worth sharing, for anyone who cares. It’s more than a pile of wet leaves. Maybe it’s something you can listen to while you do the dishes, or draw, or teach your baby to dance.

He’s right – it’s a little more techno and definitely more than a pile of wet leaves.

Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped is out 8/2 on Jagjaguwar.

Download MP3: “The Way You Wish You Could Live In The Storm”

Moonface (Spencer Krug) – “Fast Peter”
May 22, 2011, 3:56 pm
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The ever prolific Spencer Krug debuted his first truly solo venture, Moonface, last year with the Dreamland EP which featured a single 20-minute composition written and performed on only marimba and “shit-drums.” I was lucky enough to witness Moonface’s live debut a couple weeks ago in a Brooklyn loft with about 60 other people.  Nobody knew what to expect and, thankfully, Krug brought new material and more than just his marimbas.  True to the title of his forthcoming Moonface LP, Organ Music, his new jams were all performed on a double-manual organ hooked up to Leslie amps that produced a big, buzzy, warm, analog sound.  Krug wasn’t totally solo though – Mike Bigelow (of Wintersleep) provided percussive aid (marimbas and electronic drums) and Sunset Rubdown bandmate, Camilla Wynne Ingr, performed back-up vocals on one song, “Fast Peter”,  which is our first taste of Organ Music.  Of the five new songs Krug performed, “Fast Peter” is probably the one closest to the marriage of pop hooks and lush drones that he described in the press release – and it definitely works beautifully.  That said, the rest of material sounded even more promising.

Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped is out 8/2 via Jagjaguwar.

Download MP3: “Fast Peter”

Wolf Parade – “Ghost Pressure” & “What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)”

Following the lovely example set by The National, Wolf Parade has offered up two mp3’s from their forthcoming third album, Expo 86Pitchfork recently asked band co-leader Spencer Krug to sum up the sound of the album:

The question I asked of most of the songs was whether or not I would dance to them. You know in Archie comics when there’s a school dance and you see little cartoon music notes floating out of the PA speakers? I like to think this new record sounds like those notes.

That’s one way of putting it.  On the evidence of the two songs below, they seem to be splitting the difference between their jittery debut and the more expansive At Mount Zoomer.  They’ve also steadily grown into a tight, fierce, utterly danceable juggernaut.  Both tracks are immensely impressive, but “Ghost Pressure” is the bigger surprise: Faith-era Cure getting lost in the Purple Rain.

Expo 86 is out 6/29 on Sub Pop.

Download MP3: “What Did My Lover Say (It Always Had To Go This Way)”

Download MP3: “Ghost Pressure”

Frog Eyes – “Lear In Love”

The berserk and brilliant Carey Mercer has finally returned to his day-job after successful sojourns in Swan Lake and Blackout Beach.  The forthcoming Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph is the follow-up to 2007’s Tears of the Valedictorian. We’ve already been given the epic, opening track “A Flower In A Glove”, and now we have the much shorter, but no less awesome “Lear In Love”.  Mercer makes like his BFF, Spencer Krug, and cranks out the labyrinthine jams filled with prog overtones and warbled wails.

Paul’s Tomb: A Triumph is out 4/27 on Dead Oceans.

Download MP3: “Lear In Love”

Download MP3: “A Flower In A Glove”

Peepholes – “Lair”
March 10, 2010, 11:33 am
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I just heard this Brighton based duo for the very first time this morning, but I’m already smitten (thx, Stereogum).  Band members Katia Barrett and Nick Carlisle share “singing, drumming, keyboards, Kaos pad, guitar etc” duties while churning out giddy noise-pop gems.  Stereogum’s mention of Lightning Bolt and Dan Deacon was pretty damn astute.  While I’m not a particularly big fan of either band, I can see how the hypothetical spawn of those two sound-worlds would result in something like Peepholes and it is all kinds of glorious.  Not to mention, the way the keyboard melody spirals endlessly like a glam-damaged carousel strongly recalls a Spencer Krug composition (always a good thing in my book).

The Lair 12″ is out now on Hungry For Power.

Download MP3: “Lair”

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