Look: we all know that I Will Remember It All Differently was one of the best albums put out last year. As such, we decided to have friend of the show Michael Treveloni from Alter Der Ruine give us a couple tracks this week that he’s been bumpin’ on repeat.
Nite - “I Am Not Afraid”
First time I saw Nite live I knew I had seen something big. A band like this doesn’t exist by accident. Stars aligned or whatever. I know. I saw it in the flesh. Played their album nonstop when I got home and was thrilled to feel the blanket of their live set warming my interpretation of the recorded versions. The album closer “I Am Not Afraid” melts the butter on the bread though.
The power of this song is handled delicately in that on one side the emotional charge is primed to devastate, while the other is rebuilding foundations and looking forward. Its focus and strength through a fragile emotional spectrum of overcoming something, or trying to convince yourself you are removed and ready to rebuild is why it resonates. It’s familiar territory of sorts, but they don’t offer training wheels. Unfolding over gorgeous synth driven music, the song evokes a sense of a vast, lonely expanse, from the comfort of a busy room filled with other voices. Distilled and chilling, but there’s a warmth building and when those glowing hooks come calling they land big. When you hear it under the correct conditions it will haunt you. Glad to have found it for myself.
Prayers - “Gothic Summer”
Prayers is a polarizing outfit to say the least. There’s plenty to mull over. I’m done mulling and onto digging. Simple, honest vocals merge with dark and bubbly synthpop and the combination collides through a space reserved for JCPenney commercials to a neon colored rain cloud drowning a city while a weatherman tells us to bust out our best SPFs cuz there’s a heatwave coming. In other words I don’t really know what it is about this band that really grabs me, but man do they have a grip I can’t shake.
Their songs about growing up on the streets set to dreamy synths paint pictures rarely considered. A perspective on the human front dialed in through some unfamiliar channels. Serrated angles on soft journeys. There is a lot to pick apart. If you’re looking for a jumping off point, “Gothic Summer” is a great place to test the waters.
Klangstabil - “Pay With Friendship”
I chose this song for Mike T. because he is our best friend from Terminus Festival who we’ve only met once (for 3 days). After the Skinny Puppy show here in Portland, Daniel Myer from Haujobb/Architect/DSTR/everything DJed at The Lovecraft Bar and the first song he played was this crazy noise-hardcore punk-style song by Klangstabil, who I had never heard before. An Ant-Zen veteran, I should have known that I was going to love it. The song I picked is ridiculous in the best way. It is the perfect blend of positive message and joylectro - here is one of the verses for example: “I want to be free, live for today, if you live for interest, someone else is paid. I walk my line, found peace like Johnny Cash, if you are slave to the money, you go down with a crash. But you can call, you can find me anywhere, if you are asking for a friend, just call and I’ll be there, a simple thought, but you won’t understand, it’s the money on your mind and the wallet in your hand.”
The Acid - “Creeper”
I found this band by complete accident. Someone had liked a remix I put up on my SoundCloud (humblebrag) and I make it a rule to look at the music of every person who likes a track of mine. They had just reposted the album Liminal, and after listening to it, I knew I had to share it.
The song “Creeper” is oppressively minimal; percussion taps away quietly while a sub bass glides uncomfortably below the surface. This minimalism is soon joined by an up front, Elliott Smith-esqe vocal style that fulfills the promise of the song’s title, as well as more forward, snappier percussion elements that frames vocal samples, like aggressive bookends. Much like Gazelle Twin’s “Anti Body,” The Acid manages to create a sense beauty out of its discomfort.