This article previously appeared on Crossfader
Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever
Sidney Gish – NO DOGS ALLOWED
Genre: Indie Rock
Favorite Songs: “Sin Triangle,” “Sophisticated Space,” “Imposter Syndrome,” “New Recording 180 (New Year’s Eve)”
Sidney Gish has been making theatrical indie rock for the last several years, delivering quaint but performative albums that have slowly grown from lo-fi bedroom recordings to confident one-woman rock shows. Her latest, NO DOGS ALLOWED, isn’t just her boldest sounding record to date, but also features some of her poppiest melodies and most memorable lyrics. Gish makes light music, if song titles like “I Eat Salads Now,” “I’m Filled With Steak, and Cannot Dance,” or “Bird Tutorial” didn’t tip you off, but she balances credibly fun music with observations and curiosities that are focused, witty, and decidedly youthful. “Every other day I’m wondering / What’s a human being gotta be like / What’s a way to just be competent,” she deadpans on the fittingly titled “Imposter Syndrome,” before dropping the hammer: “These sweet instincts ruin my life.” On “Sophisticated Space,” Gish delivers a string of stinging observations about success and wealth, but outdoes herself with, “Now if you really think the time is running out to say all the great things you thought of today / You’re more than right, you are enlightened, knowing that your place is never to fill anything at all let alone space.” NO DOGS ALLOWED is filled with these witticisms, and it’s an album filled with simple and enjoyable music. This latest album rightfully pushes Gish onto a different level, but the charm she displays across all her records is delightful and makes her an easy artist to root for, and NO DOGS ALLOWED’s gleeful disposition is indicative of that. Check out Gish’s latest over on Bandcamp.
Sunn Trio – S/T
Genre: Free Improvisation, Jam Band
Favorite Songs: “Beneath The Sheltering Sun,” “Metallic Meth Bop”
Arizona avant-garde post-genre group Sunn Trio make music that squirms and squeals in the most punishing of ways, capturing an essential madness of the desert sun. Indeed, experiencing the band’s self-titled album can be an uphill battle of endurance, and requires wading through freeform jazz licks and droning guitar feedback with an almost enlightened sense of purpose. You can hear the no-wave movement’s influence at every turn as the group channels The Lounge Lizard’s dry and frantic improvisation and the bullish repetition of early Swans. But Sunn Trio’s music is cinematic, for better or worse, more so than that ‘70s movement, and its oddness often outweighs the bleak space these songs frequently inhabit on a tonal level. Even “Prepared Hieroglyphics,” the sandy, 12-minute expedition that lies at the heart of SUNN TRIO, scratches its lasting and guiding guitar solo in such a dizzyingly visual way that you can’t help but consume to its power. There’s mystery in the moments of brief silence where notes aren’t being ceremoniously crammed together in a fit of possesed rage, and that mystery carries SUNN TRIO to exciting highs. Fall into the mania here.