August 1st, 2012
It’s always nerve-wracking when you have a friend who’s got a boyfriend or a girlfriend (or a brother) who has a new record out that they want you to listen to. It could totally blow and you have to either feign enthusiasm or be the asshole who speaks the truth. Daily, we get asked for coverage. And if half of these publicists knew what we’d say about the band they’re representing, they wouldn’t be so keen to get said band’s name printed with words like “trite,” “weak,” “boring,” or “infuriatingly bland” attached to it. Google’s a helluva monster. Take, for instance, last week’s On The Record. We panned Nas. Nas probably doesn’t care about PW or On The Record. But young indie artists who barely have any press and are just starting out and trying to make an impression? It’s rough when most first impressions are, uh, what is this shit?
So imagine our excitement when, upon being linked on the Facebook, we stumbled upon on this astounding EP streaming on Bandcamp called Good Morning. We haven’t been this excited about a Bandcamp record born in Philly since Cruiser’s EP earlier this summer. Clint Eastburn’s batch of five tracks is a curious and fascinating blend of sounds and genres: space noise, glitch pop, falsetto soul and trip-hop are all totally appropriate terms of description. The opener, “Hello Japan,” opens up like an M.I.A. track; full of energy, ecstasy and momentum. Samples and beats are perfectly paired with a muffled, almost megaphoned vocal. A well-placed monkey screech kicks off the second half of this 2+ minute song. Then “Come My Way” grooves in with a swollen snare beat, a sultry falsetto vocal and a new wave bouncing synth adding some sex appeal and old-school soul into the kaleidoscopic picture. Spaceman soul from the likes of Jamie Woon, Burial, Massive Attack and James Blake would fit in alongside this gem.
“One Lil Stop” is the middle track and one of the most realized. A hiccuping percussive roll propels his clearest vocal on the record. And in the middle of the track, a dark and echoing howl gives the song such depth that it sounds like some really sophisticated Swedish production team lent a hand. When that tambourine jingle picks back up in the last third of the track and a rolling synth carries us to the end, it’s over before you want it to be. Ominous vocal echos have never sounded so jangle funky. “Listening to the Radio” slows it down a bit, showing us that he’s capable of balladry and morose, contemplative sadness. But the EP ends on a light-hearted note with an instrumental, the longest track on the record, called “Wait for the Night.” It charmingly and expertly uses an old-school funk sampled breathiness. You can hear it in the Zombies’ song “Time of the Season.” It’s the kind of track that would translate well into a tripped-out dancefloor number for a basement bugout at Voyeur.
What we’re saying is, it’s a strong EP and we’re excited to have discovered it. YOUR TURN. Go now. Oh, but before you do that, check him out in the backseat lending some acoustic guitar and vocals to the extraordinary “Miranda July” track by Mike Writes: