painted palms forever cover

Editors’ Picks is a feature collecting music that we’ve been enjoying recently.

Anna: I’ve hit play a few times on Painted PalmsForever, always enjoying and finding the whole record to be a great uplifter for weary afternoons. Most recently, however, the album came up once again in my Rdio feed, and as I listened through, the hooks of “Not Really There” really dug in, and I haven’t been able to stop listening since. The song has an incredibly infectious spirit, an almost glimmer-y quality, as it pops and echoes and comes back again in its circular, easygoing melody.

Nicole: There is undoubtedly a very strong female presence in the experimental electronic music community right now — Laurel Halo, Julia Holter, Ikonika, Julianna Barwick — but not many know that based in San Francisco is one of the most interesting of all: Holly Herndon. Herndon currently studies composition at Stanford, but her art is fully developed into a very precise manipulation of her own vocal chords. This week Herndon released the first follow-up to 2012’s LP Movement, the “Chorus” 12″ single out on RVNG. “Chorus” is literally the most beautiful work of music I have heard so far this year, enjoyable for fans of Tim Hecker, Oneohtrix Point never (who she’ll open for at 1015 Folsom next week), or any of the lovely aforementioned females. The song was released in conjunction with an insane video:

Zack: Based in Virginia, the brotherly trio of Pontiak craft some seriously San Francisco-esque psychedelic stoner rock grooves. Their latest album, Innocence, is due out on January 28th via Thrill Jockey — I highly recommend picking it up. The joy of Innocence is born out by the brothers’ unforgiving need for a diversity of sound, track after track they refuse to settle for the comfort of homogeneousness. Innocence opens with the title track, a vicious, howling rock song that tunnel-vision grooves for all two minutes. Pontiak take a left turn with the alt-country rock of “Wildfires” at the halfway point on the album. It’s a moment to reflect not only on Pontiak’s Virginia origins but also the diverse songwriting talents of all three brothers (the press release notes that the band wrote many of the songs a cappella before adding instrumentation). That said, it’d be a big mistake to miss Pontiak when they rumble through the Makeout Room on Feb 13 with local favorites Golden Void and Cy Dune.

Ben: I loved Blank Realm‘s last album Go Easy a ton, and Grassed Inn is a terrific follow up. With psych, garage and pop instincts chopped up and rearranged in a way that’s both heady and hooky, this mostly family band from Brisbane is one of the many great weird bands Australia’s been exporting as of late. Now they just need to tour the US!