New Band Smell : Gaslighters Union

Gaslighters Union

Been a coon’s age since we’ve thrown a NBS at ya’ll, so we figured it was about time to open to container and see if the contents were still fresh. Gaslighters Union is the latest outfit to peek its collective head above the waves in the turbulent Twin Cities music scene and have just released their showroom-fresh debut recording, The Corvair EP.

The band’s enigmatic promo shot depicts four members (perhaps entering the soothing light?), however, the EP’s liner notes suggest that no fewer than a dozen folks were strong-armed into this recording; more proof that you can believe none of what you see and even less of what you hear.

And speaking of what you hear, this five-song EP suggests a band that’s still trying to find its place in this big ‘ol scary world. “Water Tower” stylistically belies the Union’s TC base, but that seems to be a passing fancy as the EP is otherwise loaded (overloaded?) with non-rock instrumentation and oft challenging arrangements. Nowhere is this more evident than the title track, which stretches nearly seven minutes and has the druggy charm of a lost Raymond Carver short story.

MOKB Premiere : Souvenir Stand : “Fall”

 photo fall_zpsf1485dc9.jpg

Musical trends have shifted over the years, but the lush experimental orchestral arrangements of the 1960s made popular by the likes of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson have always remained a constant. Acts like She & Him, The Morning Benders (can we please get The Morning Benders back!?), and even Vampire Weekend have drawn from this era creating a sound that is as fresh today as it was then.

Souvenir Stand, the act helmed by New York City’s Stephanie Cupo, are another who craft beautiful, girl group pop songs with a Twin Peaks aesthetic. On October 2nd, they will release a 7″ named SURPRISE (physically via Beautiful Strange/digitally via Silent Stereo) containing two new tracks. The b-side is this timely titled jewel “Fall”. It should provide the perfect back sound as we say goodbye to the summer and look ahead to autumn this Labor Day weekend. Stream it below.

MOKB Premiere : The Mercy Beat : “Sweet” (Soto Voce Remix)

 photo themercybeat_zps8a3ba3b6.jpg

After being somewhat shrouded in mystery upon first learning about The Mercy Beat, we now know that the trio is comprised of Matty Bennett, Ian Smith and Sam Endicott, whom the latter you may recognize from early aughts act The Bravery. Their debut self-titled EP is out now on French label OSKAR Recordings. Today, they have unveiled a remix to the song that began this new chapter in their musical journey, “Sweet”. Reworked by Soto Voce (Miguel De Vivo from LA’s Villains), it takes more of a droning direction sonically dimming the brightness of the original. Listen below.

Song : Mister Lies : “Deepend”

 photo misterlies2_zps05676b8f.jpg

Producer artist Nick Zanca aka Mister Lies has teamed up with Orchid Tapes for the release of his second LP, Shadows, due out October 28th. It will feature contributions from singer Harrison Lipton and labelmate, Arrange. His first song from it is the highly emotive “Deepend”. The song is full of sparse, but layered construction and lyrics that are almost shouted such as Don’t pull me up, I will drown happily. It plays like a cathartic release of sadness caused by something severely traumatic. It is hard not to be moved by the song. Listen below.

Song : Vaults : “Hunger of the Pine” (Alt-J Cover)

 photo vaults5_zps68dd3d04.jpg

Rising British three-piece Vaults have decided to cover a relatively new song to the scene from Alt-J, “Hunger of the Pine”. The proper studio version of it maintains the general construction of the original, but using more organic instrumentation such as violin and piano in place of the electronics. Also, it wouldn’t be a Vaults song without what has become sort of a calling card, bells. Listen to it below.

Song : Tusks : “Burn”

 photo tusks_zpsa1c34440.jpg

This might be one of the most attractively heartbreaking tunes we have heard in a quite awhile. “Burn” from London’s Emily Underhill, who goes by the name Tusks, appears on her EP, Ink, out now via Australia’s Left of Field Records. It is made up of four songs and two remixes with each standing out in their own way. She combines piano-based ballads integrating experimental electronic and ambient flourishes. Her voice absolute glides. Listen to “Burn” below and the entire EP here. If you are really into it, you can head here for a chance to win a vinyl copy.

Stream : TOPS : ‘Picture You Staring’ LP

 photo tops_zpsf2e8bce2.jpg

Next week on September 2nd, Montreal’s TOPS will release their sophomore LP, Picture You Staring, via Arbutus. The album is a flawless blend of past and contemporary musical styles equating to one of the better releases you will hear this year. Don’t take our opinion though, listen to it in full below ahead of next week’s release and drift away to the romantic, lomographic soundscapes painted throughout.

Also, those in and around Indianapolis, be sure to catch them live with the equally compelling Wampire as MOKB Presents brings them to The Hi-Fi on October 9th. You can find the full details here. This is a double header that is sure not to be missed.