Said the Gramophone - image by Keith Shore
by Sean

Beverly - "Crooked Cop". It was probably not the best year to release a jangly love song called "Crooked Cop". The song's central metaphor hadn't bothered me until I sat down to write about it; until that moment its red and blue lights just cruised on past. It's been on for months, casting starbursts round my rooms, bittersweet as a teenage mixtape. Yet if Beverly were led by a man, I'd probably be saying that I'd heard this kinda thing before. Glittering guitars, handclaps, reverb - we know all this, right? We already have a (teenage) fanclub for it. But it's Drew Citron's singing that changes the foreground of the music, linking it across time and space to something as far-away as Sandy Denny. (In this she reminds me of Alvvays' Molly Rankin.) The singing is something else - at the front and in harmony - like the song's feelings are fraying and a moment later, in nostalgic retrospect, getting woven back together.


by Mitz

Carsick Cars - "Zhong nan hai" [Bandcamp]

It's really hot today.

Ate too many ice creams this week. I tried to cap it at 5 ice creams per week. I used that up already before the weekend with soft serve last night at drive-in theatre.

I think I can get away with sorbet or gelato since they are different from ice cream.

that's all for this week. take care and have a great weekend!

by Sean

Smerz - "Because". Smerz are two women, producers Henriette Motzfeldt and Catharina Stoltenberg. This song seems founded on the unsaying of something, the unsaying or unsinging. The same line repeated, sampled, cut up and clipped. "Because we said the same thing so many times." That line, uttered by either Henriette or Catharina. "Because we said the same thing so many times," said, unsaid, repeated. Eventually she explains the "thing" that was said so many times. It was this: "I was thinking of leaving."

Perhaps this is a song about a break-up. Perhaps the shame is that doubt was said and said and said; that it was going on all the time. Not just thought, once; said, "so many times." In lightninged nights and safer ones.

But perhaps this is a song about something else. Those nauseous synths pour folds into the song, places where the fabric of it seems to slip. It slips and there's an ugliness underneath. A violence, maybe. Smerz's singers do not try to unsing the thought that they should leave. What they try to unsing, deny, is that they said it, out loud, "so many times". They said it so many times; they knew it; they knew they should go. And perhaps they didn't.


by Emma

Ben Babbitt - "Xanadu"

Sometimes in the summer I get to have my best recurring dream: the one where I just walk around the city swallowing points of light like Pac-Man picking up pellets. The constellations in me getting more crossed-over, the strings of fancy tungsten bulbs all slung across each brand-new try-hard bar along the main street trembling like shook leaves in the complexity of my glow.


by Mitz
(photo source)

Traces - "Imaginary Life"
Traces - "Crystal Clear" [Bandcamp]

There was awkward silence. We were in the kitchen. Party of 5 or 6. I don't remember exact number but it doesn't matter. We ordered 2 large pizzas and just eating them as we chat like any high school kids do. But all of sudden, there was this silence. It only lasted about 5 seconds but I could tell what everyone was thinking and everyone could tell what everyone else was thinking.

There was a last slice of pizza.

We resumed talking about dumb stuff like one of us who loved Marilyn Manson but he looked so much like the lead singer of Hanson so we gave a perfect nickname, Marilyn Hanson.

But we all kept that last slice of pizza in corner of our eyes.
We all wanted it but didn't want to sound greedy. We were polite but hungry and greedy high school kids.

Then, my friend's older brother came home. He didn't say anything. At that time, he was scary looking. He is really really short but chunky with shaved head and death metal shirt all the time. He also wore this tight seashell necklace from Mexico when he went one winter. It was really really tight for his short chunky body. He did looked like a sea turtle trapped in a plastic.(so sad) Only a couple years older but he looked like he sailed ocean back and forth. He also had this really really thick neck. Thicker than Henry Rollins' neck. I remember I saw him at local junior hockey game and he was wearing a toque. He was really into the game and wasted perhaps. Little red from booze and his tight seashell necklace. He looked like a fully erected penis and condom is almost coming off.

Anyways, he just didn't say anything to us and he ate the last slice of pizza which solved this awkward silence between us.

by Sean

Agnes Obel - "Familiar". "Love is a danger," Obel sings, and here she seems to be singing the contours of that trap - its rough sections and mirrored ones, the way you can be lured by a reflection. There is nothing more sinister than an almost, a not-quite; here she hides the uncanny behind walls of glossy strings, columns of harp; here she hides it behind another Agnes's face. The cello's a compass-needle pointing back toward safety, back toward home. Don't gaze too long into the chasm. Don't gaze too long into the other Agnes's eyes.

[official website / european tour this fall]

by Emma

PWR BTTM - "Dairy Queen"
PWR BTTM - "All the Boys"
PWR BTTM - "West Texas"

Someone RT'd this video of PWR BTTM into some feed of mine a couple weeks ago and what a relief, for the first time in a while, to feel that thing you feel every new time you find the band you're going to listen to exclusively for the next week. Two brand new imaginary best friends! A whole new kind of swagger to wish you had yourself, a whole new kind of sympathy you didn't know you needed. Who are these glittering humans with their sky-big riffs? What the fuck have I even been doing this whole time?? These songs are sweet and tough and kind and unbending; sun-dappled, loud enough. Music by best friends for being yourself to, music that shines, that's best kind of funny, the kind that's no joke.

[buy Ugly Cherries]