[Stream] Vampire Weekend :: "Jonathan Low"

As the Twilight movies continue their relentless assualt on each corner of American culture, the latest installment features a soundtrack with a new song from Vampire Weekend. The cut, "Jonathan Low" is a soaring, anthemic joint, replete with church bells, thudding drums, full strings, all driven by the smallest mandolin riff this side of "Losing My Religion". At times sounding like an orchestral Fleetwood Mac, or a Ezra Koenig-fronted Arcade Fire (feel when "Jonathan Low" could easily turn into a "Rebellion" cover at 1.05), Vampire Weekend seems hell-bent on taking baroque-pop to its most logic and most monolithic conclusion. "Jonathan Low" is a swollen, high-tide of instruments and melody proving, in the words of the man from whom Vampire Weekend has borrowed so much, that they are, quite definitely, angels in the architecture, spinning in infinity.

Vw by c87157


Interview :: Red Wire Black Wire [5.28.10]

Red Wire Black Wire hit our radar last summer and haven't left since. From the same synth-finishing school, Wesleyan, as MGMT, Boy Crisis and Amazing Baby, Red Wire Black Wire traded some emails with us about insecurity, 1990s action flicks and their commitment to honesty, even in moments of amorality. You can enter to win a copy of the band's debut LP by sending us an email until 5pm today with "RWBW" in the subject.

32feet: Top five Desert Island Records?

5. The Cure – Disintegration
4. Sparklehorse – It’s A Wonderful Life
3. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
2. Modest Mouse – The Moon And Antartica
1. The National – Boxer

For people who don't know your music, how would you describe it in two sentences or less?

Lots of synths, guitars, up-front vocals, and other random shit layered over syncopated drum grooves and hard bass lines. Some of it is really poppy, other songs are slower, darker, and weirder.

Do you have a threshold for Wesleyan references in write-ups or interviews, where at some point you're going to flip out and scream, "We are not MGMT, okay!"? If this helps get us all closer to that moment, glad to help.

I really like Wesleyan and I really like MGMT, so it doesn’t bother me. Both of those things probably had an impact on the music we’re making. I assume 4 years of life experience and really famous contemporary bands impact most musicians making pop music. I do think we differ from a lot of the Wesleyan bands and specifically MGMT through our general avoidance of irony in our music and lyrics. Our version of "Time To Pretend" is more like, "Time To Be Disconcertingly Sincere, But First Please Poor Me A Drink So I Can Calm My Nerves."

Let's say Red Wire, Black Wire is on a sinking cruise ship and there are only two life jackets; who gets them and why?

I guess I’d throw the jackets to Zac and Dave (guitar and drums) who have been with me through the different line-ups this project has had. They are also probably the most likely ones to read this interview so that’s a factor. I’m definitely going down with the ship in this band, though.

Clear up the name for us; in my mind it's a reference to awesomely bad 1990s action-movies with explosives and disarmed bombs.

Actually, that’s pretty much it. I’m sort of a nervous wreck much of the time so I resonate with the sweat-dripping, bomb’s-gonna-blow, evacuate-the-building, vibe of those scenes.

What is one thing people don't know but should absolutely remember about your band?

We might do wrong by you, darling, but at least we won't lie about it.

Listen :: Red Wire Black Wire - "Breathing Fire


Arcade Fire :: "Month of May" and "The Suburbs"

As we predicted with terrifying accuracy, Arcade Fire have returned with a new record, The Suburbs, set for release in early August. We've got the streaming player from the band so you can take a trip through the first two songs, "Month of May" and "The Suburbs". "Month of May" is a burner, full of down-stroke guitar and can-you-keep-up drums. "The Suburbs" is a slower mediatation, referencing the saloon piano tones of Ambulance LTD and The Walkmen. If Neon Bible found the band at war with souless faith, on The Suburbs, they've moved their conflict from the city and taken it back to your parent's garage.

A. The Suburbs

AA. Month of May


[Elevator] Sunvisor :: "Sky Dive"

Sunvisor, a new two-man outfit from New York are spitting the kind of chill-wave that eats people for breakfast or, more accurately, soundtracks meaningful, deep-thought moments on late afternoon car rides. Like a hybrid of Washed Out and Toro Y Moi, Sunvisor drenches "Sky Dive" in reverb and washing vocals and synths. The difference emerges as a repetitive, and infectious hook, real melodies hiding in all the cough syrup; like the 6pm sunshine on the longest day of the year, existing as a surprising and brilliant moment. With only one song in the can, but a debut EP on the way, Sunvisor should prepare to set the cruise-control and drift to the top.

Listen :: Sunvisor - "Sky Dive" [Send Space]


On The List :: LCD Soundsystem @ Terminal 5 [5.21.10]

This review runs in radio edit shine, with awesome pictures on Bowery's House List.

On Friday night, Terminal 5 went to full capacity to try to grasp LCD Soundsystem's official return to New York City. And this isn't even entirely true; The Friday night show was the second of four-show, sell-out run, spanning Thursday to Sunday and numbering 12,000 tickets. So, as fans packed themselves between the stage and the bar, they were part of a larger, achingly metastatic fun. Distilled as an English sentence: This Was Happening.

From the outset, the band made clear their desire to destroy any vestage of collective boundaries. On the stunning opener, "Us v Them," from 2007 release Sounds of Silver, they poked fun at the divisions that brought their audience in the door as individuals in the hopes of having them move in unison. Later in the set, front man, James Murphy, directed, in quick succession, possible second single from the brand new This Is Happening, "All I Want", the band's thesis statement, "All My Friends", and "Never Change", each full of the Confucian-style wisdom ("I wouldn't change one stupid decision for another five years of life") that breeds such a sense of unity among those who subscribe to their recommendations.

The night closed with "Losing My Edge," a song about the fragility and impermanence of youth, and "New York, I Love You," a darkly romantic ode to the city, a sense of a rapidly fading moment and the impossible mission of recapturing it. Balloons poured from the ceiling and a few thousand individual orbs all bounced together.

[Contest] Red Wire Black Wire :: Robots & Roses

We're giving away three copies of Brooklyn synth-dealers Red Wire Black Wire's debut record, Robots & Roses this week. The album features first single, "Breathing Fire", a stomping bit of buzzing, glittery electro-pop. To enter send an email over to 32feet(at)gmail.com with "RWBW" in the subject line. We'll be picking our three winners at random on Friday. Until then, thanks for playing, and go back to read absurd 1990s movie-references regarding the band from July.

Listen :: Red Wire Black Wire - "Breathing Fire"
Listen :: Red Wire Black Wire - "Locked Out"


The Radio Dept. :: "Never Follow Suit"

On Radio Dept.'s latest mp3 leak, "Never Follow Suit," from the shockingly good, Clinging To A Scheme, the band finds one of those up-stroke reggae progressions dealing almost exclusively in sunshine. Of course, like the rest of Radio Dept.'s material, "Never Follow Suit" is one of those glossy, warm thesis statements that ends up having some darker corners and some jagged edges. Driven-largely by a reverb-clap track, thoughtful bass and the articulate, up-stroke keys, "Never Follow Suit" even descends into a sample of spoken lyrics in the bridge, a sign of the band's willingness to throw off convention, even while trafficking in their own obvious aesthetic. Like the rest of the album, the sun is shining outside your building, even while it rains inside your apartment.

Listen :: The Radio Dept. - "Never Follow Suit"
Listen :: The Radio Dept. - "Heaven's On Fire"
Listen :: The Radio Dept. - "David"


Two Years Old :: 400th Post

32ft/sec turns two years old today and, coincidentally, it is also our 400th post. As is the tradition, some thanks. First, to anyone who has killed some time with us, and according to our numbers it is some 52,000 of you, we appreciate it. If you make this a regular stop in your reading rotation or if you read us every day, thank you, especially the 4,000 cool kids who made it a point to read us last month.

Thanks to the publicist folks for the shows and CDs and idle banter over email.

Thanks to the bands who put up with our asinine questions in interviews and inexplicably continue to send us their music and allow it to be downloaded. We're just dancing about architecture here; you are the artists.

And thanks especially to the personal friends of the 32ft project. You endure endless bullshitting and rhetorical posturing about music but, ultimately, you are the inspiration for all of this and much is either of or about you. My thanks.


Magic Bullets :: "Lying Around"

There's more than a little nihilism in Magic Bullets' "Lying Around", a mournful, deeply textured piece of post-punk. Sounding like it could easily slide into a early-career Cure compilation (listen for the Robert Smith yelps), the San Francisco-based indie-poppers rely on a playful bass line and bits of acoustic guitar to keep things light while unleashing lyrics like "I'm setting you up/and letting you down/doesn't mean a single thing." This repeated and insistent denial of meaning is the light motif, a not-so-hidden action plan for your departure, "since you've gone/I've only been lying around." It isn't a threat, but it is a description, meaningless or not.

Listen :: Magic Bullets - "Lying Around"


2010 Albums of the Year :: Halfway Home

2010 is rapidly becoming one of those stupefying years where release after quality release comes stumbling towards us like a series of musically literate zombies. It's frankly overwhelming. Nearly halfway through the year, and almost immediately in the middle of the release schedule (nothing not by John Tesh gets released after December 10th), we decided to look backwards and evaluate. These are the 2010 release power rankings at the turn.

1) The National - High Violet
2) LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
3) Beach House - Teen Dream
4) Spoon - Transference
5) Frightened Rabbit - Winter of Mixed Drinks
6) Radio Department - Clinging to a Scheme
7) Wolf Parade - Expo 86
8) Vampire Weekend - Contra
9) The New Pornographers - Together
10)First Rate People - It's Never Not Happening

Honorable Mention: Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More, Yeasayer - Odd Blood, Stornoway - Beachcombers Windowsill, Sleigh Bells - Treats, Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History, Band of Horses - Infinite Arms, Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record, Small Black - Small Black EP, GROUPLOVE - GROUPLOVE EP, Twin Sister - Color Your Life, Free Energy - Free Energy, Ellie Goulding - Lights, Marina and the Diamonds - The Family Jewels, Blair - Die Young, Delorean - Subiza

To Come: Kele - The Boxer, The Strokes - (Untitled), Arcade Fire - (Untitled)

Listen :: The National - "Bloodbuzz Ohio"
Listen :: Beach House - "Zebra"
Listen :: Radio Department - "Heaven's On Fire"
Listen :: Wolf Parade - "Ghost Pressure"
Listen :: New Pornographers - "Your Hands (Together)"
Listen :: First Rate People - "Girls Night"

Clock Opera :: "A Piece Of String" [Radio Edit]

Clock Opera is less a proper noun and more a description of a methodology. A one-man show, Guy Connelly creates a looping, metronomic archetecture, on top of which he lays the kind of pop songs that two-step between robotic and profoundly human. "A Piece Of String", the lead single from Clock Opera's coming full-length, is rooted around a chopped, looped mandolin and a buzzing, synth stab that rings like an alarm at the top of the most swollen parts of the arrangement. Picture a million clocks, waking up a million people, all organized and laced together by a single designer into something not only coherent, but brilliant.

Listen :: Clock Opera - "A Piece Of String"


Bridges and Powerlines :: "You Were The First Thing"

Like a parade moving methodically through a urban metropolis, or like a somber and banjo-toting Godzilla, slinking away from a failed attempt at mass destruction, Brooklyn's Bridges and Powerlines', "You Were The First Thing" is at once stomping, uncompromising and reflective. In a second act, it puts on dancing shoes and recasts this mediation as a kicking-out, upwardly mobile pathos, revealing a more troubling and interesting image. The central lyric, "I might feel more if I met you a lifetime later in an old city" becomes a wailing insistence, before chimes chase away the darker corners. Whatever the visual metaphor, the ethic is a power limited by space or time, saying effectively, "maybe next lifetime, girl," a melancholy limited only by our ability to navigate the waters of the fourth dimension.

Listen :: Bridges and Powerlines - "You Were The First Thing"
Listen :: Bridges and Powerlines - "Uncalibrated"


On The List :: Two Door Cinema Club @ Bowery Ballroom [5.12.10]

This review appears in radio edit shine (actually, this is the radio edit) on Bowery's Houselist Blog.

Two Door Cinema Club captures that youthful exuberance usually reserved for punk records, freshman year in college and elementary-school recess. As they took the stage at The Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night, the band reflected little on their second sold-out New York City show on their first United States tour. Instead relying on their lyrics, interspersing tautological wisdom (“It’s too late/ You’ve got another one coming and it’s gonna be the same”) with soft rhetorical questions (“Do you want it all?”). Two Door Cinema Club was the embodiment of the youth they lionize and, fortunately, don’t fully grasp.

In one of those moments that was as genuine as it was planned, Two Door Cinema Club opened their set with “Cigarettes in the Theatre,” the first song off their debut LP, Tourist History. They proceeded to play a series of cuts off that disc before delving into B-sides—“Hands Off My Cash, Monty,” “Kids” and “Costume Party.” With a clear limit on their recorded catalog, the fresh-faced kids relied on the rest of their album, either by choice or necessity.

After a brief respite backstage, the band returned with a two-song encore, culminating with the stomping and furious single “I Can Talk.” The crowd bounced and spun like a decidedly unsymmetrical rubber ball, calling to mind the lyrics of “Hands Off My Cash, Monty”: “I made it to the top to get away.” But for these boys from Northern Ireland, they wouldn’t be escaping from this summit of New York City. In fact, with a winning lack of cynicism, they promised they would be back.

Listen :: Two Door Cinema Club - "I Can Talk" [Radio Edit]
Listen :: Two Door Cinema Club - "Costume Party"


To My Boy :: "Hello Horizon"

Following 2007's aggressive and electronic Messages, the UK's To My Boy are set to return with a new album, The Habitable Zone. Loosely, the record is about a day when human life on earth is no longer possible and our subsequent search for a, no surprise here, more habitable zone. The pulsing electro-pop is what the 80s sounded like but the video is what the non-HD cameras of the decade could never have done. Like some cross between a Kate Bush video and the beautifully-weird, Danny Boyle-directed Sunshine, the boys from To My Boy create a brand new universe in the grass, just south of the English moors. Like Emily Bronte writing a script for Armageddon, the surreal and the sublime meet, side by side in orbit, around the fairest sun.

To My Boy "Hello Horizon" (2010) from Matt Freeth on Vimeo.


[Preview] Two Door Cinema Club @ Bell House and Bowery Ballroom [5.11-12]

When we wrote about Two Door Cinema Club in the first days of 2009, they had a two demos and were using an iPod as a drummer. We said they were going to break big and, frankly, if they didn't, it would be because everyone was being a fantastic idiot and listening to something awful. Congratulations, you didn't do that and they're finally here, touring stateside and ready to invade New York with shows at Bell House and Bowery Ballroom, both opened by chill-wave stunners MillionYoung. The Two Door Cinema Club record, Tourist History, is one of the best of 2010 and this is all happening like they planned.

Listen :: Two Door Cinema Club - "Something Good Can Work"
Listen :: Two Door Cinema Club - "Costume Party"


[Video] The National :: "Terrible Love" and "Anyone's Ghost"

As a part of the run-up to the release of their nearly perfect High Violet, The National recorded a three-song set in an abandoned mansion on the Hudson for Pitchfork. Dubbed The Castle Rock Session, the recordings have also turned into an EP. With questions about their edginess answered, looking lean and abrupt in black suits, Berninger and his mates storm around a forgotten living room, filing the dead with life. High Violet conversly is a living testament to triumph, revealing a band at the height of their abilities, making the album of their career. High Violet hits record stores tomorrow.

"Terrible Love"

"Anyone's Ghost"

Listen :: The National - "Bloodbuzz Ohio"


Beach House :: "White Moon" [Live @ Webster Hall]

Beach House, touring behind the first, second or third best album of the year, Teen Dream, debuted a new cut, "White Moon" the other night at their sold-out Webster Hall gig. Crushing front-woman, Victoria Legrand mumbles, "We're going to play a song, we've never played before live." Like all their cold-medicine pop, it shimmers and pulses, revealing glowing vocals and an addictive melody, all sporting a warning label: Do not operate heavy machinery.

Listen :: Beach House - "Zebra" [UK Edit]
Listen :: Beach House - "Norway"


Wolf Parade :: "Ghost Pressure"

Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner are back to front a third Wolf Parade record, Expo 86. Not only does the album have some of the best cover art of the year, it promises to be the record that delivers on the masterwork of the band's debut and the fervor of their second effort. "Ghost Pressure" features haunting synths and a raucous arrangement to go with a sing-along chorus to rival anything on Apologies to the Queen Mary. It's not perfect but Wolf Parade always meant to unsettle, pitching exactly this brand of uneasy, tweaking pop. In the lush vintage of the album's sonics, even in its aggressive melody, Krug searches for pathos in the past and Boeckner joins him on the road. It is a journey back for a band who has done everything to walk away from who they were.

Listen :: Wolf Parade - "Ghost Pressure"
Listen :: Wolf Parade - "What Did My Lover Say (It Always Had To Go This Way)"


Delorean :: "Grow"

Last summer before an extremely well-advised trip to Fire Island in the back seat of a BWM with a driver known for her inattention to detail, I stuffed Delorean's Ayrton Senna EP in my iPod. It proved to be the ultimate summer collection, bright, weightless and full of hooks. While we hid from the sun behind Ray-Bans that were less cool than we thought, Delorean was the thoughtful voice indicating that days like this were not in shorter and shorter supply. Back with an outstanding new LP, Subiza, the band did a fantastic session with Yours Truly, featuring an insightful version of "Grow". Warmer days are ahead, for forever, if you ask us.

Listen :: Delorean - "Stay Close"


Interview :: GROUPLOVE [5.4.10]

A few weeks back we ran across the stunning comers GROUP, now GROUPLOVE. With a debut EP on the way and a killer first single, "Colours", the band seems more than poised to travel from town to town, destroying North America, far beyond the confines of Los Angeles. The band answered some questions over the weekend, none regarding member Hannah Hooper, who did the art on the Morning Benders record and is the artist behind the sketch of GROUPLOVE practice above.

32feet: Top 5 Desert Island records?

Sean: The Freewheelin' -Bob Dylan
Hannah: Punk in Drublic- NOFX
Christian: Les Preludes - Liszt
Ryan: Rubber Soul- the Beatles
Andrew: Fattie Fattie- the Heptones

32feet: You seem to exhibit the old attributes of a "music collective." Is this the goal, to create something big and democratic, with a lot of moving parts? Or is this a total misread on the GROUPLOVE narrative?

GROUPLOVE: Not a misread. We all bring it.

32feet: What is something you hope people never say about your band?

GROUPLOVE: "Your second album SUCKS."

32feet: Imagine GROUPLOVE is on a sinking ocean liner and there are only two life jackets left. Who gets them and why?

GROUPLOVE: We'd throw the life jackets overboard and go down with the ship.

32feet: At gunpoint, in total mutual exclusivity, fame or credibility?

GROUPLOVE: Fifty Cent got shot nine times.

32feet: What is the one thing people don't know (or never might know) about your band that they should absolutely remember?

GROUPLOVE: We all have the same birth mark.

Listen :: GROUPLOVE - "Colours" [mediafire]


Pallers :: "The Kiss"

This is a long drive for someone with too much too think about. And that's not a sonic reference to Modest Mouse because Pallers couldn't be further from Brock but it does refer to the cruise-control synthetics of "The Kiss," a song so built for dusky drives on lonely roads, it practically begs to soundtrack a remixed narrative (coming of age story this time?) of David Lynch's terrifying Lost Highway. Synth peel-offs jog in place as airy keyboards lay on each other like leotard-clad modern dancers in one of those downtown shows you got talked into going to and are secretly totally freaked out by. But "The Kiss" isn't terribly experimental, just a slow-build, weaving across three empty lanes of asphalt before shifting into fifth gear at the 3.15 mark. The yellow lines whip by and you stare into the vanishing point with both too much and too little on your mind.

Listen :: Pallers - "The Kiss"