Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance (Photo Credit: Drag City)
Every month, our editors hear lots of great new music, at shows around the Bay, exploring the far reaches of the Interwebs, and sifting through the veritable deluge of emails from artists and publicists around the globe hawking the latest songs and videos. While we’d love to write about everything that catches our ear, it’s impossible – there’s just too much good music out there. This is an attempt at rounding up the latest and greatest that we didn’t have the bandwidth to cover throughout the month – the Best of the Rest for February 2015.
Ben Chasny simply does not disappoint. Whether it’s his recent release with Donovan Quinn under the name New Bums, his once dead (and sometimes revived) band Comets On Fire, or his primary solo project Six Organs Of Admittance, his work is always intricate and stirring. Hexadic, his new LP under that latter moniker, dropped February 17 via his usual label, Chicago’s Drag City, and features Chasny’s newly conceived hexadic system for composing music. Check out the five-minute and thirty-second epic “Wax Chance”, below.
SF mariachi surf punk band and TBB favorites bAd bAd announced a new album due in July, and gave their fans a little taste of what’s to come. In conjunction with this news, Christian Zamora and company streamed “Snakes”, a track that came out of the sessions for the new LP, but which didn’t make the final cut (although the band hope to re-release this as a proper 7″ with a b-side and everything in the near future).
I met Panic Is Perfect drummer Ty Parker last fall at a completely unrelated event – a happenstance meeting brought about because our significant others are coworkers – and he told me that they were recording and planned a 2015 release. Well, that release is upon us in the form of an EP entitled Behind Your Eyelids. Parker and bandmates (Jeremy Belzer, Mike Hoffman, David Monzon, and Joey Hassid) craft some ridiculously elegant pop that dares to be both uplifting and mellow at the same time. In conjunction with the EP’s release, Panic Is Perfect dropped a video for album-opener “Go Go Go”, directed by the one-and-only Frank Door. Watch that short flick below and catch their show tonight at El Rio with The Silhouette Era and Bare Bear.
Everybody’s favorite Toro Y Moi dropped a video for “Empty Nesters”, the first single from new album What For?, out April 7 on Carpark Records. Like everything Chaz Bundick, the video is perfectly laid back and cool, with just a dash of silly self-awareness.
POP ETC’s new video for recent single “Running In Circles” was directed by Sami Jano and Steve Meierding, and it features a cameo from the ’80s toy Lite-Brite, as well as some incredible visuals created by the interplay of multi-colored lights and spinning fabric around the band.
Al Lover’s Cave Ritual came out on January 29, but technically that was after press-time for that month’s edition of Best of the Rest, so here he is in February’s. The new album is pure Lover, sending listeners on many a psychedelic journey, content to become all consumed by the beats and never return.
San Francisco power garage trip Male Gaze shared “The Shining Path” from new album Gale Maze, out March 31 on Castle Face. The track is all kinds of frenetic, a beautiful cacophony of guitar, drums, and the often droning vocal stylings of frontman Matt Jones (ex-Blasted Canyons).
Self-proclaimed art rockers Growwler, who also call SF home, plan on releasing their new album Even Tenor next Tuesday, March 10, and they recently started streaming “Song of Songs, pt. ii (got to be-good)” off that forthcoming effort. Listen to the almost blues-tinged track here, and catch their vinyl release show on March 12 at Great American with Golden Void, Cellar Doors, and more.
NRVS LVRS dropped the video for “My Star Turn” off their forthcoming LP The Golden West, due March 16 on Hz Castle Records. The video is a rad, lo-fi production with an intense living room performance of the track and some kaleidoscopic and sunburst effects that mesh well with the song itself and promise to keep the viewer entranced for the full four minutes (and it’s another Frank Door-directed effort).
Little more than a year after releasing their anti-gentrification diatribe that doubled as a full-length album (the intensely consuming Hi Tech Boom), POW! is back with a new track “Liquid Daydream” from their forthcoming sophomore effort Fight Fire, due April 16 on Castle Face. The song is the perfect marriage of catchy pop and deliciously vicious garage rock, all played with the fervor of a band that wants to have its collective voice heard over the background noise of the class conflict present in today’s San Francisco.
Creepers, the psych prog side project of Deafheaven members Dan Tracy and Shiv Mehra plus Varun Mehra and Christopher Natividad, released their debut LP Lush last fall on George Clarke’s label All Black Recording Company. Now they’re back with a video for album cut “Vanishing”, with dreamy sequences of microscope slides spliced with closeups of some half-sleeping folks’ body parts and hazy shots starting into the sun. Watch below, and you can still get Lush for free on Bandcamp.
Cougar On A Meth Binge has a new single, “Rainbow Bores”, a sleepy, minimalist trip-folk song recorded 924 Gilman by Jamie Cooper Holland and set to be part of the band’s yet-to-be-announced upcoming debut LP.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer William Ryan Fritch released a Gregory Euclide-directed video for “Still” featuring Esmé Patterson, off his new album Revisionist on Lost Tribe Sound.
Sacramento natives Two Sheds’ new single “You Get To Me” sounds like it could have come from either the Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs soundtrack, with a distinctly lounge-y feel blended with chill electronic music. The song is off the band’s forthcoming album Assembling, due May 26 from Crossbill Records.
See you at the end of March, when I’ll be back with more of our editors’ picks for the best of what we didn’t cover.