If you’re on the hunt for something pathologically weird, hopefully the new song from Ice Balloons will do the trick. It sounds like what would happen if you took Death From Above guitars and then threw in a whole bunch of other random noises with very little sense of cohesion. TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone contributes his vocals to “Calypso Heartworm,” but they’re so processed and buried in effects that it sounds like they’re slowly drowning. Shockingly, it all works somehow. Your guess why is as good as mine. What’s interesting to me about an artist like Lissie is how she doesn’t seem content to simply stay confined to a singular stylistic box. Best known for being a folk singer-songwriter whose songs stand out because they’re very well written and sung, “Boyfriend” maintains a similar aesthetic, but removes the guitar in favor of very subtle synths. You may be unsurprised to learn that it works out quite well in a beautiful, almost R&B type of fashion. David Bazan and some of his old Pedro the Lion bandmates have found rock and roll again in their new project Lo Tom. “Covered Wagon” is yet another slice of their debut album, which does a strong job of conveying exactly what sort of sound they’re going for. It’s not exactly new territory, but there’s definitely still room in this world for a lively, well-written rock song like this one. Similar things could be said about matt pond PA’s latest song. If you’re familiar with his generally upbeat take on full band folk, “Skin and Bones” will feel immediately recognizable. It’s gotten less effective over the last decade, but there’s still enough wistful emotion attached that it’s difficult to say anything bad about it. So I won’t. Other artists with tracks in this set include Blondes, courtship., Elias, Grapell, Minimal Violence, Nicole Atkins, Sad13 (aka Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz), and Twinsmith.
Ice Balloons – Calypso Heartworm (ft. Kyp Malone)
Lissie – Boyfriend
Lo Tom – Covered Wagon
matt pond PA – Skin and Bones