First Listen: Shlohmo – Laid Out EP

This is a cross-post with Indie Bloops and Bleeps.

Shlohmo (aka Henry Laufer) may reside in sunny southern California, but the moody atmospherics in his productions belie a fixation with less pleasant climes.  His exceptional 2012 track “Rained The Whole Time” is practically an ode to a less than sunny disposition, with its soothing electronic plinks that emulate raindrops on glass and a woefully plaintive guitar melody that perfectly encapsulates the sentiment that so much more could be done about today if only the sun would shine.  Shlohmo’s productions provoke the sort of melancholy ambiance so often associated with contemplation on the past or on missed possibility.  It’s perhaps ironic, then, that his artistic ability represents fully-realized possibility, a statement supported and expanded upon to encompass some new aural moods on this latest release, an EP of five tracks titled Laid Out.

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First Listen: The Joy Formidable – ‘Wolf’s Law’

Rolling Stone has a sneak preview of the new The Joy Formidable album streaming on their website.  As a big fan of the Welsh rock band’s first release, 2011’s The Big Roar, I’ve looked forward to this release for some time.  The band played a benefit concert at a church in D.C. this past November and debuted a few of the new tracks on stage, but I’ve been waiting to hear how they sound on tape.

Well, the wait is over and they sound pretty great. Continue reading