Here’s another installment of amazing album reviews by Amanda Danielle:
Parenthetical Girls – Privileges
This group of musicians have captured my full and complete attention. Forming In Everett, Washington and residing in Portland, Oregon The Parenthetical Girls (formerly known as The Swastika Girls), have given a new meaning to cinematic experimental baroque pop rock. The band’s front man and founder Zac Pennington is equally as fascinating as his sound. His magnetic aura and eccentricity at live shows, in interviews, and even photographs make it impossible to divorce those qualities from the music. For example, a fun fact regarding their limited edition vinyl records: they are hand numbered with the bands collective drawn blood. What could possibly be more personal and creative. Occasionally it can be hard to relate and get on board with high brow opulent indie pop, yet the indulgent velvet lyrics and intriguing sounds leave you with no choice than to push repeat every time your speakers go silent after a song ending.
Although there have been some amazing records given to us over the past few years, including a visceral cover of The Smith’s Handsome Devil, their album Privilege released in February 2013 stands worlds apart from anything your ear canals and souls have ever experienced. The intimacy and darkness conveyed to the listener draws you closer until you feel as if you all belong to this church. It’s heavenly, raw, real, and ethereal. What sets them apart is the listening experience isn’t just audio, it’s sensory overload. You must be open to the nostalgia, pain, sex, euphoria, demons, and indulgent sadness that simultaneously take over. I can’t say enough of about this group, so I should probably harness my desire to go on and on and let you listen for yourself, although if I may make one simple request: Please pay special attention to the songwriting, it’s some of the most beautiful poetry I’ve ever heard in music. I hope it makes you as ecstatic as it makes me. Enjoy.
1. Evelyn McHale
2. The Common Touch
3. Careful Who You Dance With
4. For All The Final Girls
5. The Pornographer
*6. Sympathy For Spastics
8. A Note To Self
*9. Young Throats
10. On Death & Endearments
11. The Privilege
*Writer’s top picks
** The Press Release for Privileges also contains the lyrics to every track as the band finds it very important to provide the listener with their words.
Neon Indian – Errata Anex
The new EP from Neon Indian, Errata Anex, contains five tracks from the last album Era Extraña remixed by Optimo, Boyd Rice, Patten, Actress, and Twin Shadow. The EP title is an anagram of the previous album therefore the missing ‘n’ in Anex is intentional, translating as “compiled errors.”
Alan Palomo remarked on how this project came to be:
“These remixes are a small collection found along the way of my year on the road while we were touring Era Extraña. The artists were chosen by whatever most consistently blared out of my headphones that Fall and what I was most giddy to hear an amalgamation of from the songs I was playing live, and the artists I’d listen to later that night. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then total re-imagination from song scraps must be something far more warm, mutant, and mutual. I hope you enjoy them.”
The remixes are precise and calculated, yet not overdone. Optimo’s “Polish Girl” remix really nails it by redefining the original track almost completely while maintaining the elements of the signature song we all know and love. Actress’ version of “Blindside Kiss” is condemningly dark and looms on the boundaries of audio sorcery. Twin Shadow’s take on “Hex Girlfriend” has his signature big sound feel with drums and crashing cymbals, which fit well. Very well imagined Errata Anex was brought to life by excellent fresh ideas from very talented people. “DJ’s” please take notes.
1. Polish Girl (Optimo Mix)
2. Halogen (Boyd Rice Remix)
3. Heart Release (Patten Remix)
4. Blindside Kiss (Actress Remix)
5. Hex Girlfriend (Twin Shadow)