By Jolie Klefeker
While I could use this column to write about another big-budget fake independent record that Pitchfork gave an 8.5 or that some dude recited the Anthony Fantano review of to you at a party, I'm trying to promote music that's a little different. And for entirely selfish reasons, I want Radio 1190 to sound better, sound fresh, and give back to people who work hard to make music in a way that's actually unique and unpretentious. So this is my goal for the semester. I hope I can live up to it. Also, if you make music, or if your friends, parents, teachers, crushes, baristas, etc., send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All three of these artists have been blowing my mind lately, so let's dive in.
Yesol, also known as Cory Feder, is a local artist who works in all sorts of mediums from ceramics to animation to textiles. Her art is whimsical, delicate and personal, and I really like everything she's done, including this album. "Telluric" is unexpected in every way. It's haunting, ethereal and has a grounded sort of earthliness as the title suggests. The harp is the driving force of "Telluric," giving rise to an intricate and enchanted feeling. The airiness of the harp pairs perfectly with Feder's gentle voice. The addition of simple, semi lo-fi drum machine beats anchors the songs, pulling them toward the realm of dreamy, bedroomy pop. This album is incredibly beautiful and refreshingly unique. Give a listen and buy it on Bandcamp.
I had the pleasure of seeing Don Gero at a house show in Brooklyn over the break, and boy does this stuff bang, literally! Don Gero's drum-based hypnotic, psych-noise fusion is like doing guided meditation but really loud. I wish I had the musical knowledge to describe to you how crazy this experience is live and why, but some combination of synths and drums creates something fast, circular, chaotic and dizzying in the most exhilarating kind of way.
Don Gero gives me low-key Lightning Bolt or Hella vibes, but he's definitely still got his own thing happening. He's got two recent releases, "Wizarding" and "Weirding," both of which are awesome. Check em' out for sure.
I've also really been digging Uranium Club lately. They put out their latest record "Human Exploration" in late December, and it's really got me hooked. They're music calls to mind contemporaries like Liquids or Lumpy and the Dumpers but also classics like early Wire or Swell Maps' "International Rescue." At it's heart, "Human Exploration" is a good ol' rock n' roll/punk record, but it incorporates some freakier moments through their DEVO-esque talk-singing absurd lyrics. Not taking themselves too seriously — but not a joke — Uranium Club manages to maintain a balance between irreverence and catchiness brought forth through quality. Their previous album, "All of them Naturals," is a slightly less classic punk influenced and slightly more off-kilter, but it remains a banger as well. These tracks are fast, rockin' and a heck of a good time.
As always, tune in at 1190 AM, 98.9 FM. Or come in to volunteer. Find information on the website, radio1190.org.