Bradford Cox and his art-rocking cohorts in Deerhunter are returning in September with their fourth album, Halcyon Digest.
They're kicking things off with some clever viral marketing. Cox has designed a lo-fi band poster (right) and he's asking fans to download it from halcyondigest.com, print off a copy and then hang it in their local record shop and beyond. Then they want fans to take pictures of their efforts and email them to the band at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In return participants will be emailed the album's first single, plus an exclusive non-album track. Some might argue you should get the whole album for that much effort, but it's an interesting idea nonetheless.
Puro Instinct leave the Harbor behind
In December I interviewed the young LA duo Pearl Harbor (read it here). The sister pairing received attention for an EP that slots into the current wave of US bands mixing shoegaze, surf guitars and ethereal sounds. The sisters have changed their name to Puro Instinct, and in June they put out a new EP. Hear it at ind.pn/akBRrO. Some tracks previously appeared as demos on Pearl Harbor's MySpace, but they have been tightened up a little and given a polish. There's a lot to admire; they land some-where between the lo-fi surf-pop of Best Coast and the lo-fi grunge/psych-pop of Warpaint.
War Child rings the Ch-ch-changes
Given that last year's War Child album was called Heroes, it stands to reason that the latest effort from the UK charity would be a David Bowie tribute record. Called We Were So Turned On, it comes out on 11 October and features 34 covers of Bowie songs. It was made with LA indie label Manimal Vinyl and is a fairly left-field affair. There are two tracks from it already available: neo-hippy collective Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros offer a languid yet rousing take on "Memory of a Free Festival", ind.pn/aaaGU , while Vivian Girls' hazy and thrashy take on "John, I'm Only Dancing" is at ind.pn/cLLMet .
Big Boi's career is all in the mix
A few weeks back, to mark the release of Big Boi's new solo album, the Atlantan rapper posted a mixtape at bigboi.com, called the 'Big Boi Mixtape for Dummies' (with artwork aping the For Dummies books). I instantly downloaded it but have only just got around to listening: as the title suggests, it's a career-spanning collection mixed and slightly reworked by DJ X-Rated and DJ Esco, taking in solo work, Outkast efforts and some of his guest appearances. Long-time fans won't find much new here, but the tracklist is impressive and it's nice to have it all in one place. And it's free, so you can't argue with that.
The Word On...
'The Way Out' - The Books
Stays true to form by sculpting formless arrangements and once again capturing the imagination. Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong have developed tremendously as producers." npr.org/music
"The Books might well have been around for 10 years making albums that consist of electronic bleeps, spoken-word samples and a whole load of clever editing, but this latest offering is something of a disappointment." musicomh.com
"A step forward for the band, as producers and, in Zammuto's case, as a singer... But it's not their best record." pitchfork.com
"'The Way Out' provides the best introduction yet to The Books' nerdy experiments, but also to the duo's grand, goofy emotional range." avclub.com