Happy Halloween, you ghouls and goblins! This week we’re bringing you Detroit treats and skipping the tricks.
Getting you into the spooky spirit, we have some terrifyingly awesome artists featured below, so get your costume ready, devour a handful of candy and take a listen!
You won’t regret it! Or will you?
1. Telco – “My Tambourine Hand”
This 2013 release may have been dug up from the archives, but Telco’s The Cold Compress is an experimental alternative album with strong melody and a cathartic theme that is worth bringing into 2016. Each track has its own story to tell, but the continuity of the instrumentation keeps up the momentum of the album. The vocals may be our favorite part of this band’s sound, but we can’t deny that heavy bass and unbearably catchy rhythm. Everything about The Cold Compress is well done and produced to perfection. Don’t miss this one.
2. Austin James Christ – “Dark Days”
After You’ve Lost Somebody is a painful, yet beautiful homage to loss, love and grief. The topic almost seems too personal to compartmentalize in a review, but sharing an art form in answer to emotional turmoil is a stunning form of expression in our opinion. This album released early last month is a bedroom rock, new wave compilation with sampling and heavy synth, while raw vocals echo over the manufactured beats and keys. It’s indicative of an open wound yet to heal and we hope that there is solace somewhere on the other side of it all.
3. The Mystics – “Love Me Like You”
Shoegaze indie pop group The Mystics released Australian Chalk over the summer with instrumental-heavy tracks that are dreamy and ethereal. The vocals and soaring harmonies set the tempo for each track as they progress from bubbly to haunting. An enchanting organ plays subtly in the background while the bright guitar tones rise through which creates increasing depth in the sound. It seems as if each instrument gets its own moment to shine throughout the album and each track is superbly compiled.
4. Noveliss – “Hashirama”
Always smooth with his mic work, Noveliss released an anime-inspired EP featuring multiple producers creating a collage of talent and unique themes. Unlike anything you might have heard in Detroit, Noveliss goes where no rapper has gone with Mic Swordz. Each track holds a plethora of anime references wrapped up in sick beats and impeccable lyricism. The production on each track is unique and has its own personality making this an inspiring collaborative effort that showcases the real talent-meshing in Detroit.
5. Books On Tape – “Honey”
This band released their full-length album, In Waves, earlier this month and it’s a perfect example of adult bedroom pop with noisy punk undertones and garage rock vibes. We can’t get enough of this energetic and full-throttle release that hosts a kaleidoscope of instruments and complimentary vocals that break through the instrumentation and are perfectly audible. Books on Tape will make you want to sing along, dance along and wish you were best friends. The melancholy, introspective lyrics counteract the upbeat sound on most of the tracks, but there are a few angsty numbers sprinkled about that will bring out the pissed off version of yourself. It’s a well-produced, group effort of an album and we can’t recommend it enough.
6. Virginia Violet and The Rays – “Ray Gun Fire”
Throwback Motown with an abundance of soul and funk is what you’ll get with the debut release of Meet Virginia Violet and The Rays. The harmonizing vocals soar beautifully over authentic horns, percussion, groovy guitar, keys and rhythmic bass that take you back to those jazzy, big band days. The four tracks are homages to that undeniable Detroit sound, making you want to get up and shake your tail. Each instrument is vivacious and clear making it easy to pinpoint different aspects of the music and really get a full feel for the dynamics at play. We can’t wait to hear more from the group!
7. Congress – “Pig”
Indie punk group, Congress is a nice mix of grungy, post-hardcore with raw vocals and hints of psychedelia. Their release, Ugly Eye, is muddy and fast-paced with cynical lyricism, making it a perfect listen for when you just want to let loose. Congress plays with distorting effects on their vocals and instruments giving them a more vintage sound on certain tracks, which makes for a nostalgic listen. There’s a varying theme throughout the album, but each track meshes perfectly and really keeps you engaged.
8. Red Robe – “Nux Vomica”
Experimental and noisy (in a good way), Red Robe’s summer release, Aware With You All, is a psychedelic journey weaving in a myriad of musical tastes and styles. It’s as if you dove inside a black hole and nothing is as it was. This upside-down take on indie rock is tantalizing and exuberant. There are so many different dynamics at play that you feel like you’re on a journey through unknown territory. It’s a swirling treat for your earlobes, so make sure to take a listen.
9. Spit Spot – “All The Things”
Spit Spot’s single “All The Things” is a campy, indie number with sing-song vocals and simplistic instrumentation. The lyricism is catchy and easy to digest, while the harmonies fill up the space between acoustic guitar and the cajon. Their sound in general is expressive and eccentric with punchy song structure and unflinching grit, so don’t think that you’re dealing with a folky type band. These guys can rock pretty darn hard.
10. Electric Honey – “Sleep When Yer Dead”
Full of complex instrumental arrangements and groovy rhythms, Electric Honey’s 2015 release, Vanadium, is refreshing and invigorating. Exquisitely executed harmonies carry over bright and echoing guitar and surprising appearances of string instruments that all forge together with the steady bass and crashing percussion. It’s a nice taste of everything across genres and decades of music, which showcases their influences and inherent talents. The listening experience is really uplifting and entertaining, which leads us to assume that seeing Electric Honey live would be even better.
Check back next week for another dose of Detroit music!