This article previously appeared on Crossfader
Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever
There Is Danger – GOLD MINE
Genre: Dream Pop
Favorite Tracks: “Gold Mine,” “Unless,” “Youth”
There Is Danger’s M.O. is right in their Bandcamp description, making music for the “4 A.M. drive out of town, slow-motion makeout party, and/or junior prom Ambien nightmare.” It’s a fair description of their style of dream pop, music that centers on hook oriented and guitar-forward rock music. On their five song EP, GOLD MINE, the Phoenix natives effortlessly deliver splendid over-four-minute romps, one after another, from a shuffling party ode in “Halloween” to the EP’s earworm high mark, “Unless.” Longer songs allow for the group to really explore a variety of soaring guitar tones, the crispness of which excites and delights on every song, providing shiny guitar solos and rhythms that stand out on the recording. While tracks like “Youth” and particularly “Gold Mine” begin to devolve down to shoegazy chaos during the bridges, There Is Danger smartly reign them in, polishing the sound back to more pop rock-redolent fun. GOLD MINE nails that sweet spot between the 4 A.M. drive sesh and slow-motion makeout party, but these songs buck the frequent loneliness or emptiness that could be associated with either activity and instead hone in on the blissful diversion that fuels our nostalgia for those feelings. Check out GOLD MINE on Bandcamp.
Yowler – THE OFFER
Genre: Bedroom Rock
Favorite Tracks: “Water,” “Holidays,” “In The Bathroom”
All Dogs frontwoman Maryn Jones’s solo project Yowler is a heart wrenching exercise in musically exploring the detailed and crevassed sadness of the human experience. Jones’s 2015 album, THE OFFER, painstakingly explores tiny shifts in her songs, be it the soft vocal harmonies on “Yowler,” the pensively caressing synths that back her on “Water,” or the hollow, sepulchral recording of “Belle.” Even as much of THE OFFER revolves around a girl and a guitar, the cacophonous use of space in the mix give a haunting and woozy effect to these songs, mesmerizing though painful. Jones sings songs about feeling small and powerless, the uniqueness of her voice adding sorrow to lines like, “Alone in the bathroom, filled with love / For fluorescent lights and the dull edges of a knife / To be so full and surrounded by breathing bodies” (“In The Bathroom”), or, “She speaks of Sun all up in our hair / We close our eyes but we can’t get there” (“Bedroom Wall”). THE OFFER isn’t the easiest listen, but Jones lays herself nakedly vulnerable and the lingering depression you feel listening to it somehow both remarkably affecting and affirming. You can listen to it here.