Chicago-based Floral Couches, the project of Cody Gray, released his new album Electric Fever in August. One of the album's highlights, “Ketamine Dreaming” is a nice display of Floral Couches’ late-night atmospheric development and knack for emerging, twinkling hooks — present here just past the one-minute mark, with twangy guitars entering the fold shortly thereafter.
Floral Couches' debut album came in 2016, with Not Quite Your Type. "I recorded all of it in a Logan Square bedroom over the course of a 16-month span and it was just a totally weird pop album. The cohesiveness was nonexistent but it was really just me experimenting with my own sound."
From there, Cody decided to pursue a more electronic-minded sound. Shortly, he had three songs written with synths and buzzsaw basses, and put them in a folder called "Electric Fever". That name stuck, and after a year Cody had his second album, Electric Fever. "I never had any plans to play live shows since i dealt with bad performance anxiety in the past and just didn't have any friends in Chicago to perform with. When I met my best friend Conor we just worked out how the hell two people could perform this stuff live and we've been performing for about five months."
Both tracks (as well as every other Floral Couches track) were recorded and mixed using only instruments and VSTs in Logic, including the guitars. "I was broke when I first started recording under Floral Couches and decided I was going to fully exhaust Logic of everything I could do with it before I purchased new equipment or instruments," Cody explains. "About half of Electric Fever actually has some serious track bleed on the vocal takes because while I was recording "Now You've Done It", my headphones broke and I couldn't afford to get another pair for a while. I was going to redo the vocals, but I liked the washed-out sound that it had produced and decided to keep them as is. "
Per Cody, "Ketamine Dreaming" is the only really sad song on the album. "A week before Christmas 2016 our dog passed away unexpectedly and I just totally lost it. I emailed my boss that I wasn't going to be going into work for a while and nobody saw me for about two weeks. When I was in high school and college I was dealing with peak depression and anxiety and I was absolutely coping by drinking myself stupid. I stopped drinking for the most part after college... During that two weeks of intense grieving I basically kept myself sustained on beer and cheese (I'm a Wisconsin boy at heart). It was the first time since I had graduated college that I was trying to just escape from what was happening in my life. I wrote the lyrics to capture that escapism mentality... "I don't need to feel pleasure/ and anything's better than this" was exactly what I had going through my head."
Serene spellbinding worlds come together on the glistening waves of Shall Remain Nameless’s self-titled effort. Quite pastoral in its efforts the way the many layers converge into a singular whole feels deeply satisfying. Field recordings permeate the entirety of the album for the way they seem to simply immerse the listener in such a wild jungle of recordings feels positively liberating.
Drones remain equally important as Shall Remain Nameless touches upon some of Stars of the Lid’s more elegant, less-feedback laden later works. Classical helps to frame every piece for the songs resembles suites in a greater symphony.
“Forest Fly” carries the listener to a tranquil, exotic rain forest, inhabited by tropical wildlife. The inclusion of an enigmatically soothing sitar suggests that we are perhaps accompanied by an imaginary, mysteriously wise sherpa as our guide, giving the track a relaxed, melodic warmth.
Seamlessly shifting to the celestially- inspired “Sunshine In a Blackout”, subtle changes in this ambient orchestral production are somehow simultaneously glacial and emotionally uplifting.
Meanwhile ,“Uneven Terrain Pt 1” as its title suggests, leads the audience down a murky musical path as sinister whispers from dark forces fill the air in this curiously lurid nightmare. The resulting creation is dark ambience at its best.
The twisted nostalgia of “Coney Island Sideshow” presents an electronically intricate, if unsettling centerpiece for the album. The contrast of hypnotic sonic chattering and vocal snippets of family fun at the fair ground requires repeat listens to appreciate its many nuances.
As the album comes to a close “The Fear” reintroduces earlier themes; wide open musical landscapes, floating ambient melodies and electronica are all enhanced by selective samples of the human voice.
The artists influences : The Future Sound Of London,The Orb, Ambient music from the early 90's.
Iskwe has always gravitated towards darker, deep-cut, bottom-heavy sounds, it’s what resonates with her creativity - politically charged lyrics, dark soulful R&B rhythms, electronic flourishes, and trip hop breakbeats. This is captured fully on her new single Soldier . The single comes from her new album The Fight Within, out October 13 2017.
"It's impossible to know what shape our planet will be in several generations down the road. What I do know is that we need to do better. Soldier is for all the protectors of our land, our water and our future generations. While my music is undoubtedly a source of deep, personal strength for me, it is also a form of protest––protest against the continued hardships of the North American Indigenous community, protest against flippant legislature failing to protect our lands and waterways, and protest against fallout women face when speaking out on issues within the music industry. I speak my mind about my culture and gender. I’ve never been timid or shy about addressing those sorts of topics in my music because that’s not my spirit - I was raised to be loud about the things I believe in! I intend to honor my heritage and stand steadfast in my viewpoints while creating music that rings true to myself as an artist."
"TRE is a music composer and producer from India. He has a very chilled vibe to his tracks with some fresh new sounds to his electronic music work. The music created by TRE has a great composition value with his chilled melody tunes and sweet Bongo work. This perfectly gives a great summer vibe to his tunes. He recently remixed an official track with Texas Pop/Rock band "January May" for the track "The Road". He is definitely on his way to create more new sounds with his electronic project TRE."
"Cruel" comes from a place of honestly trying to listen and hear other people’s experience of the world - particularly those whose voices are often silenced and shut down. those voices we need to be listening to and raising up right now.
“Cruel” was produced by Kindness (Robyn, Solange, Blood Orange) along with the rest of Adrian Underhill's debut album which is set for release later this year. The 10 songs on ‘CU Again’ are the culmination of many years of sonic exploration. Having grown up in Vancouver before moving to Montreal and then Toronto, spending time in rock bands and making lo-fi recordings on his own, before moving towards a 70s songwriter vibe infused with a more modern production style & sound.
"On ‘Cruel’, I was lucky to have Damon Riddick (DāM-FunK) on drums, Keith Eaddy on bass and Blue May on guitar with those perfectly placed guitar licks. I love how the live drums and bass sit over top of the samples and drum machine giving the track a unique rhythmic backdrop that keeps pushing you forwards."
Ali Murray is an ethereal folk songwriter/musician from the cold isle of Lewis in the north of Scotland. He writes dark atmospheric folk music with lush sweeping dreamy soundscapes and Celtic-twinged instrumentation. His new album LAND OF EVERGONE strikes a balance that is intimate and soaring, peaceful and haunting, sad and quietly joyful, delicately reverberating with Murray's dreamy voice and guitar playing.
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.