Caught in the Net: An LA woman back with seconds

 

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The Independent Culture

Nite Jewel's second album, One Second of Love, will be released on 5 March. Back in October we got our first taste from the record in the form of "She's Always Watching You", which was also included on a 7-inch release made available last week.

Now we get another offering from the forthcoming album by the LA native in the shape of the title track. Here, Ramona Gonzalez, the woman behind the retro-futurist music, lays out some stark synth lines and electro beats alongside her pristine, high-pitched vocals. It's streaming on her label Secretly Canadian's Soundcloud at ind.pn/vYqGMt. The two tracks and one more are also streaming at nitejewel.com.

In ecstasies over Marienbad

Last week, the Twitter feed of the music site Yours Truly (@yourstrulysf) put out the following utterance: "currently crushing on... http://fb.me/ 17Sc9MVs0". The link led to a song on the Soundcloud page of the label RVNG Intl by Julia Holter called "Marienbad". It's a wonderfully multi-layered piece of minimalist chamber-pop: multiple vocals and harmonies build on each other, sparse instrumentation is gradually added, and it all slowly builds to something really memorable. It's from the American artist's upcoming album Ekstasis, released in March.

Peaking behind the curtain

Out of the blue, when I discovered Peaking Lights' album 936 on its re-release on Weird World Records last month, it became one of my favourites of the year. Their brand of dark synths, guitars, electro, krautrock and dub experimentation remains intoxicating. A new short film sheds some more light on the husband-and-wife duo, Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis, catching them in the studio, at home and in concert – there are some cameos, too, from their newly born child Mikko. Watch it at youtu.be/mFVCe1-o9Ew.

Covers that ought to be covered up

From here to the end of December, you won't be able to move for best-of music lists. While all the list-making can become pointless, some entertainment can be found. Pitchfork.com, no slouches when it comes to churning out lists, always produce my favourite end-of-year list: the worst album covers, selecting "the 20 most disgusting, stupefying, or just-plain-dumb covers of the year" (ind.pn/vc4cGi). With everyone from Brian Wilson and Jane's Addiction to T Pain and William Shatner included, it's quite a sight. My favourites are the cover for Gross Magic's Teen Jamz, which seems to channel the opening credits from 1990s teen sitcom Saved by the Bell, and Scott Weiland's horrendous Christmas crooner look for The Most Wonderful Time of Year. Be afraid.

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