Photo: Takao Hashimoto
Nicole:: When I was in Japan a year ago, I was able to catch a Grouper show in Shibuya, with support from this Tokyo local, Cuushe (who has since then relocated to Berlin). She premiered a new track this week on The Line Best Fit, entitled “Twilight” — it’s an gorgeously textured, soft and airy composition with a comforting bassline. What I really like about her music is that it crosses the “bedroom pop” threshold to a more serious, house-inspired level of production. This song will be on her next LP Butterfly Case, scheduled to be released September 23 on Flau. I also picked up her mini-CD singles set as a travel souvenir, which features b-side remixes from Teen Daze, Blackbird Blackbird, Botany, Julia Holter and more — also very much worth a listen.
Jason: About a year ago, a friend sent me a link to the Houndmouth song “Penitentiary” with the message, “Levon reincarnated? Tell me this doesn’t bear an uncanny resemblance to our dearly beloved The Band.” I couldn’t have agreed more – and with the addition of a female voice (that of Katie Toupin) to their soaring harmonies, Houndmouth takes this classic, roots rock sound in its own unique direction. When I saw that the four-piece, which hails from New Albany, Indiana (directly across the Ohio River from Louisville), was playing Outside Lands this year, I fell right back under their spell, spinning their debut full-length From The Hills Below The City much of the past couple weeks and eventually discovering that they played album opener “On The Road” on Conan back in early June. Watch Houndmouth’s rousing performance in Coco’s studio below, and catch Houndmouth this Saturday at 1:30pm on Outside Lands’ Panhandle Stage.
Ben: I’m not sure exactly how I missed Austra‘s latest album, Olympia, when it came out in June, but I’m finally catching up to it this week. As someone who frequently enjoys bedroom recordings as much or more than the big studio records that tend to follow them, I will expect the worst when a band expands its sonic palette for a grander approach. But Olympia‘s size plays to its strengths, with big, dramatic pop moments that are extremely compelling.