Bandcamp Picks of the Week is back, baby!
High Sunn – OUR PERCEPTION
Genre: Lo-Fi Bedroom Pop
Favorite Tracks: “Need for Your Comfort,” “Grateful,” “On the Floor,” “Three Words”
In the sputtering first moments of “Need for Your Comfort,” Justin Cheromiah’s drum machine unassumingly begins its focused clicktrack, signalling an inevitable wave of lo-fi bedroom pop. His crisp, melancholic guitar comes quickly into view, unsullied by a simultaneous cascade of feedback, and it’s clear right away that OUR PERCEPTION has kicked itself up a notch. Across the prolific Bay Area dream rocker’s latest album as High Sunn are some of his most sonically rich experiments thus far, a layer of homemade tracks that, like his last several projects, deliver dirty doldrum pop but with more complex arrangements and satisfying sadness. Suspended in emotional animation somewhere between a layer of clouds and the sun, Cheromiah’s punk whine has grown immensely comfortable amidst the hazy gloom of these songs, especially in lower tempo crawls like last-call slow dance “In Your Hands,” or the woozy, stumbling closer “Young to Old.” But on the freakout romance “Three Words,” his howl echoes comfortably behind the albums most ambitious and big song, a piece of dream pop that lays the template for Cheromiah’s inevitable move into glossy, high-production pop. OUR PERCEPTION is an instantly comfortable and welcome winter romp worthy of warm sweaters and headphones on a walk around the block at night. Give it a listen over on Bandcamp. [CJ Simonson]
Molchat Doma – ETAZHI
Favorite Tracks: “Na Dne,” “Volny,” “Toska”
Coming to me from somewhere deep in the YouTube Autoplay algorithm, based on the overall presentation of the album cover and ostensible obscurity, I was expecting something lost in the weeds of lo-fi tape-rip hiss, whether it be black metal, noise, or the particularly astringent brand of industrial hailing from the ‘80s regional scene. Instead, as has been a treat to see the scant few others that have heard ETAZHI share, YouTube deciding to bless you with Molchat Doma is a cause for celebration. Whereas the coldwave revival has given us gems such as Drab Majesty and Black Marble, in terms of a pitch-perfect recreation of the original sound, Molchat Doma runs endlessly arctic and deliciously disaffected laps around the competition. As if the band stumbled across Depeche Mode’s synthpads frozen somewhere deep within the outskirts of Minsk (the somewhat odd 8-bit leanings of “Prognoz” notwithstanding), the fact that Molchat Doma are releasing music in the modern age is astounding, a menagerie of melancholy keyboard missives and drum machine imperatives that leave you morosely reflecting inward as much as they compel you to move your feet and bob your head. Little-to-no information is readily available about the band, making the entire endeavor seem that much more anachronistic, giving it just the slight sheen of otherworldliness that the darker ideals of the movement herald. For those looking for the soundtrack to goth night that they never knew they needed, ETAZHI is available to stream right here. [Thomas Seraydarian]