Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks. This week, they’re joined by Cory from Volt 9000.
Seeming - “Eyes of Extinction”
Once in a while, a track will take you by surprise. Not just in its rhythm and melody but in its overall beauty. It shakes you. It stirs your emotion when you don't want it to. It inspires and scares you. This is one of those songs. The melody is there, as are the complex-yet-simple formula and construction. However, lyrically it shines: It paints an environment both beautiful and tragic. Painful, but not without hope. It's rare that a song will bring tears to my eyes, not because of the emotion put into the performance (although that certainly is present and well executed) but from the poetic use of words and structure. That is a rare thing, which I both celebrate and bow to.
††† (Crosses) - “Bi†ches Brew”
I adore brooding and atmospheric yet catchy and structured music. Dark pop, if you will. However, it's rare to find a well-blended mixture of both fun and gloom. All too often it falls onto only one side of the spectrum. Chino Moreno's side project, "Crosses," nails the perfect in-between with the track "Bitches Brew." Trippy yet poppy. Mellow yet emotional. Structured hooks with gorgeous sound design and production. Simple harmonies accomplished with unique instrumentation. Slow and dark melody. Hopefully, the masses can look past the multi-genre merging and accept the music for what it is - pop music with a unique edge not often found within the mainstream. It might seem a little pedestrian to some, but after a year I am still constantly playing this song. That alone says it all.
Candle Nine - “ii. (Experiencing a Delay)”
I first heard Candle Nine on a trip to Chicago. We were in the promoter’s car killing some time, waiting for traffic to die down on the way to his place from the airport. The promoter asked if we wanted to stop somewhere for coffee and I said that I would love some good coffee after a long and boring flight from Portland. He took us to Dunkin’ Donuts…which pretty much sums up the trip in general. But! He was playing Candle Nine’s first full-length album, “The Muse In The Machine,” which I immediately found deeply emotional and complex. I’ve been a fan ever since! Candle Nine’s newest EP, “Transport in B♭ Minor,” follows the same roots into a new ambient direction. “ii. (Experiencing a Delay)” has a great internal rhythm through the ambient soundscapes and washing drone tones. The bandcamp tags are: Alternative, IDM, Indie, Industrial, Noise, Rock, Chicago - but I think that fans of Ambient Black Metal and Neofolk would definitely groove on this EP.
A$AP Rocky - “L$D (LOVE X $EX X DREAMS)”
It was only a matter of time before I had to write about hip-hop. I have listened to the new Rocky so much over the past two weeks that writing about anything else would be dishonest.
While I enjoy this song, it isn’t my favorite song from the album; I think it demonstrates an interesting thing that is happening in hip-hop right now. There are a lot of younger artists that are moving away from traditional rap in favor of a fusion of traditional rap with a sort of singer-songwriter influence. You can see this influence in the recent music of folks like Tyler, The Creator or Childish Gambino. I think it’d be easy to dismiss it as R&B and leave it at that, but I think that this would be missing the point. For example, in “L$D,” Rocky isn’t just singing; he’s using rap cadences and rhyming patterns with a melodic delivery to do something that is different from the sources you might expect as being inspiration. This trend of mixing influences is an exciting change in a genre that has allowed the commercial side to turn it into an ouroboros.