Not all of Stereogum’s favorite sounds conform to what folks expect us to cover. In this space, resident Bananafish fetishist Brandon Stosuy focuses on bands, albums, singles, and villages in Sweden that may otherwise pass by unnoticed. This installment’s eclectic virtual milk crate contains Cursillistas, Growing, Rameses III, and a little something from Velvet Cacoon
I wanted to get this installment started with Cursillistas, the project of Portland, Maine’s Matt Lajoie. (I remember folks were talking shit about Maine when we BTW’d locals Fire On Fire. Lajoie’s but another reason to invalidate that sorta State-ism, or whatever you’d call it.) Cursillistas, who’s previously released material on Time-Lag as well as a zillion other small labels, is back with Wasp Stings The Last Bitter Flavor, via the always reliable Digitalis Industries. He doesn’t go it alone on this one: Time-Lag’s Nemo Birdstrup and (occasional MV & EE collaborator) Sparrow Wildchild are also adding sounds. The lengthy, dark-naturalist album title comes from author Scott Heim’s In Awe (you likely know him best from Mysterious Skin), but it might as well be torn from a Wiccan cookbook. Fans of Jewelled Antler’s spookier rambles should be into it — droning, looping psych-folk. Before heading into the more epic “Larks On A String,” dip your toes into the cauldron with the sylvan, parading “Moccasin Tramp.”
To hear a lengthier, admirably danker track from the same record, along with more spacious sounds from Growing, Rameses III, and Velvet Cacoon, please jump.
Cursillistas – “Larks On A String” (MP3)
The album’s art depicts a ghostly taxidermy crime scene — deer heads and skulls, one with its empty eyes facing skyward like a blind prayer. Perfect. You can hear some more of Lajoie’s material at MySpace. Wasp Stings is especially atmospheric and expanded, and you can’t always make-out the pretty weirdness of his almost Johnston-like voice, so for a bigger taste of Cursillistas’s variety, take a listen to “Shallows” while you’re at MySpace along with the noisier “Send Your Sea,” from a TBA forthcoming release. “Tennessee” as well. Very much into this guy’s stuff.
Approaching atmospherics outside the glen, Rameses III, the UK trio of Spencer Grady (guitar and noise), Steve Lewis (guitar), and Daniel Freeman (keyboard and processing), are set to release a double album on Important. The collection pairs live Rameses recordings from the Red Rose Club on March 2, 2006 with remixes of that “source material” by Gregg Kowalsky, Robert Horton, Keith Berry, and Astral Social Club. The remixes are complexly riveting, but the purity of the live records are my favorite. For instance, the majestic “Origins II.”
As far as the remixes go, the minimalist treatment by Keith Berry seems most in line with the group’s regular, untouched presence.
You hate to make the pun, but the Brooklyn duo of Joe Denardo and Kevin Doria do keep Growing. I remember not being too impressed when seeing them on the Sunn O))) tour a ways back, but they hooked me with 2007’s Vision Swim. The material on their forthcoming 4-song EP Lateral continues to add a higher thread count to the swarm, though they know when to pull back and fuck a bit with dynamics. Or, on the title track, they do some sort of electro crab walk.
Growing – “Lateral” (MP3)
You can hear another Lateral tune, the super opener “Swell,” at their Myspace. Lateral EP is out 2/19 on The Social Registry. If you’re in the NYC area, Growing plays Annex (on Orchard) this Wednesday with Sian Alice Group and Mike Bones.
Finally, before you go, something of a bleaker, deep-woods hue via Velvet Cacoon. Who’re from Portland … Oregon, not Maine. But you could pair them with Cursillistas rather nicely, on either side of a spooky folk/black metal coin.
Not new at all, but was talking to a friend this morning about how Angela and Josh’s music really seems to make the most sense when the weather approaches zero. Which is where we are right now, across lots of the country. The song’s “Avalon Polo” from Genevieve out via Full Moon Productions. Head to the duo’s official site for more.