(Editor’s Note: Throwing two new bands and a live track at you seemed to work last week, so we’re sticking with it this week. The two bands that you need to start paying attention to are doozies, so look sharp. In other news, I never learned how to swim. I don’t think that I float, given some sort of genetically aberrant, outlandishly high bone density or something. Dudes in the photograph above scare the shit out of me.)
There are three things you ought to know about Mississipi’s Young Buffalo:
1. Given the content on their myspace, dudes are both bright and clever. Their profile declares that they’re a polyglot. Walk outside and ask the first ten people you see what that means. Unless I miss my mark, you should get about three correct response. They also list the following as the goals of their band: Goal 1: make good music. Goal 2: not be doosh-like. You’re chuckling, right?
2. Young Buffalo have only been making music together since mid-June and they’ve only recorded a four song demo, but you should be very excited for whatever it is that they do next. This one doesn’t really need any explanation does it?
3. I never do this, but this band reminds me of something both specific and awesome. What if Robin Pecknold listened to a shitload of early Police records instead of a bunch of madrigals? Wrap your brain around the answer to that question and you’re half-way to getting Young Buffalo’s sound. This band is about multiple-part harmonies and vaguely ethnic poly-rhythms. Get to the 3:45 mark of “Catapilah” below, when the band launches into a complex handclap and extemporaneous vocal bit and you’ll catch how this works in practice. The other three songs Young Buffalo’s put down thus far can be heard on the aforementioned myspace page. I’m partial to “Time Will Tell,” for it’s stunning intro, killer vocals and rapid progression into a calypso around the minute and a half mark, but each of the tracks is worth your attention. We’re going to hope that Young Buffalo stick around and throw some more tracks into the ether. We’ll keep you abreast of any developments.
Heliotropes describe their sound as “poppy doom.” That moniker works better than anything I’d pull out, so I’m going to run with it. Principally, I like the potential for double entendre there. The inclination is to think “poppy” as in Justin Timberlake, but the label works just as well if you think “poppy” as in lotus eaters. Heliotropes hit both connotations, with a distinct ear for what makes the toe tap and an eye on swirling, psychotropic freakouts. Regardless of how you read the first word there, “doom” is a big part of what Heliotropes sound is about. The all-female trio lays down bruising, feedback laced power chords in front of a nefariously stomping rhythm section that brings neo-psych acts like The Black Angels to mind, but subverts that idiom a bit with alternatingly lilting and aggressive vocals. The band can also take a left turn into syrupy wispiness with a track like “Unadorned,” but the lay waste to the countryside gear works extremely well. The tail end of “Valentine” is as good a slow burn as I’ve heard in a minute (and manages to recall “Breaking the Girl” in a good way). As with Young Buffalo, you can get a four song fix from the band’s myspace; good luck getting “Left Right Left” out of your head. Rob believes that the track below would work in a cinematic context, and I don’t disagree. (Swap out “Early in the Morning” for “Little Green Bag” at the front end of Reservoir Dogs and you’ve got an entirely different feel that probably works really well.) On a slightly unrelated note, any act that uses one of C.F. Gauss’s lesser-known inventions as their band name has my sincere stamp of approval. Anybody calling themselves Prime Number Theorem get an immediate listen.
I don’t really have to say anything about My Morning Jacket at this point, right? It’s another track from the KVRX show that James recorded solo in the x-ray room of an abandoned hospital. You have probably already stashed this cut in your itunes from another source, but, if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat.