Bandcamp Picks

Bandcamp Picks of the Week 2/28/18

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This article previously appeared on Crossfader

Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Lionlimb

Lionlimb – TAPE RECORDER

Genre: Folk Rock

Favorite Songs: “Maria,” “Swallow’s Song”

Going off the album art, TAPE RECORDER is a simple folk art zentangle, a collection of songs you’d find as a long-term project in a notebook stripping away perfection. Lionlimb is careful to make a complete piece on TAPE RECORDER and embrace the inconsistencies of recording with a live band. Slower and more euphoric than SHOO, Lionlimb’s debut album, TAPE RECORDER expresses Nashville roots, encouraging actual talents and musicality in violins, cellos, and clarinets. With exciting moments here and there, “Star Mangled” or “Tape Recorder” execute melancholy with a tinge of hope. “Maria” and “Swallow’s Song” have whimsical pizzazz, the impossible finds in this antique store of music distinguishably different from the desperation and gloom overriding TAPE RECORDER. Churning piano runs on “Swallow’s Song” rejuvenate the album before settling into slow pacing and ending with violins to tie up the loose ends in a neat bow. Long instrumentation carries the live folk performance aspects, demonstrating that feeling and interpretation are the most powerful tools each of us has.  Lionlimb makes sure nothing is poppy, only catchy if it happens to be that way. Hear TAPE RECORDER on Bandcamp. [Nikki Reifler]

Bandcamp Picks of the Week GL

Ratboys – GL

Genre: Post-Country, Indie Rock

Favorite Tracks: “You’ve Changed,” “After School”

Chicago’s post-country garage poppers Ratboys released a severely underheard but wholly satisfying breakthrough in GN last year, an album with charming vocals, memorable guitar solos, and songs that really explored every second of their recording, finding and embracing every opportunity to whistle in folksiness or shred in pop punk delight. In a lot of ways their new EP, GL, is a great business card for the band, featuring all the fascinating and winning contradictions that make the band so delightful but in an easily digestible four song collection. The EP’s opener is a brazen and badass rock song in which lead singer Julia Steiner demands your attention up front with a sly and threatening, “I am gravity—Hey fucker, I’m talking to you,” before ripping a truly great guitar solo at the close of the track. If “GL” didn’t hook you, their lamneting pedal steel drifter, “You’ve Changed,” should more adequately sum up the extent of Ratboys’ country roots. And if, like me, you were impressed by Ratboys explosive builds and dynamic songwriting on songs like “Crying About the Planets” and “Control,” “After School” has you covered, effortlessly transitioning from a subdued emo track to a full-fledged blitz of horns and drums. Ratboys GN was one of last year’s best rock records, and GL reaffirms their status as one of the most exciting up-and-coming bands right now. Check out GL here. [CJ Simonson]

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1 Comment

  1. […] musician Sean Neumann, most prominently known for being a member of the excellent post-country act Ratboys, wails with a uniquely frail intensity about the loss of close friends and innocence, musically […]

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