Forest Fire – Screens

Following up their 2011 album Staring At The X wasn't ever going to prove an easy recording session. Forest Fire's second album is an understated masterpiece of electronics, cleverly phrased songwriting and reverberating production, an album that may have left several of their contemporaries licking their wounds as the NY band quite purposefully … [Read more...]

Forest Fire – Staring At The X

Exactly where do things start with Forest Fire? You're excused not knowing or having heard much of them, Staring At The x is the Brooklyn/Oregon five piece's first release since 2008's Survival album, and it's slid into the indie firmament with little fanfare and perhaps limited coverage since its actual release last autumn. I chanced upon the … [Read more...]

The Twilight Sad – Acoustic EP

The Twilight Sad released a stripped-down acoustic EP as a free download in the spring of this year and it showcases the strength of the band’s bleak, stark, vivid lyrics and James Graham’s richly disaffected, emotive vocals.  The songs on this acoustic EP originate from Forget the Night Ahead and The Wrong Car and are less overtly dramatic than … [Read more...]

Short Takes on 2 Albums and 1 Single

Afternoon Naps – Summer Gang 7” Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records The two cuts off the new 7” from Afternoon Naps have a gentle, sweet innocence to them, in sonics, vocals, and subject matter.  Placidly wistful vocals of the male variety are accompanied occasionally by light female harmonies amid jangle-pop guitars and … [Read more...]

Max Richter – Infra

I forgot who it was that originally told me, though it’s a pretty well-known argument, that if the best composers of all time – like Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn – were alive right now, they’d be writing scores for movies. Instead of focusing on many of their famous symphonies or string quartets, these composers would write gorgeous scores and … [Read more...]

The Twilight Sad – Forget the Night Ahead

Dynamics, at the core, are an integral aspect to any sheet of music. And even at their most literal definition, the volume increased and decreased in a piece of music can mean everything to its success. While The Twilight Sad’s music borders on two different sets of dynamics: forte (loud) and piano (soft), their ability to manipulate them and force … [Read more...]

Stórsveit Nix Noltes- Royal Family – Divorce

Stórsveit means 'big band' in Icelandic.  I haven't found out what Nix Noltes means yet, and there are even fewer clues as to why this ten-track instrumental set is entitled Royal Family - Divorce in English.  What I can tell you is that Stórsveit Nix Noltes are an Icelandic supergroup of sorts, including within their ranks members of several … [Read more...]

Flipsides & Otherwise: FAO #12

Although the MP3 revolution has encouraged and allowed music lovers to focus more on individual songs rather than albums, there’s still a role for singles, EPs and mini-LPs to catch shortform sonic bursts within contextual nets, to stop us all from drowning in digital file seas. Something that the following artists clearly and astutely … [Read more...]