New London duo 2.54 have been getting attention for their song "Creeping".
It's a delicious dash of moody shoegaze, with guitar lines that churn, roll and distort in a nice counterpoint to a hushed vocal. File between The XX and The Big Pink. The pair are unsigned and beyond the aforementioned track on MySpace ( ind.pn/c08ay P), there's no further output. Likewise, there are only thin scraps of information about the band: "all noise", as they call it, is made by sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow, who seem to share a penchant for leather biker jackets. If more efforts like "Creeping" follow, I imagine we'll be finding out plenty more about them soon enough.
What's in a name? Too much, perhaps
Seattle resident Ishmael Butler is behind oddly named experimental rap group Shabazz Palaces. Butler has put out two self-released EPs, both available at shabazzpalaces.com. You can hear two songs at ind.pn/ceASn8 and ind.pn/bjCcb7: both display Butler's trippy, electro rap approach – in the vein of Flying Lotus and J Dilla – with the former making good use of a music-box sample. The song titles are particularly bizarre: almost as head-melting as the music, they're more explanations of how the music was made than actual names: "32 leaves dipped in blackness making clouds forming altered carbon" reads one, while another is "Blastit at the homie rayzer's charm lake plateau bbq july at outpalace pk".
Back from the Nineties dead
Pavement aren't the only returning Nineties US band. Further down the indie food-chain, though a little more hi-fi, are Versus. They released some well-received albums in the mid-Nineties before calling time in 2001. The band regrouped in 2007, and are now lining up a new record, On the Ones and Threes, due in August. Stereogum previews its first, song, "Invincible Hero" at ind.pn/a9rkyW; as the name suggests, it finds the band in confident mood with catchy melodies zig-zagging from alt-rock to power pop.
No crying for Chapel Club
Chapel Club are tipped for big things . Their second single "Five Trees" expands on the vogue for My Bloody Valentine-meets-Joy Division sounds. It's released on 31 May; see the video at chapelclub.com. Following a remix by The Horrors (no strangers to doom-laden Eighties noise), which gave it a glassy synth feel ( ind.pn/d1Vmkt ), this week brings another remix by chillwaver Memory Tapes. Keeping to the much-discussed genre's conventions, the track gets a euphoric ambient makeoever ( tiny.cc/a14w7 ).