Here’s another 5 favorites from your friends at Stinkweeds. This is a monthly series, so be sure to check back in!
Kit Sebastian – Mantra Moderne [Mr. Bongo]
Well, it seems we have a new revival on our hands. Kit Sebastian is another in a growing trend of bands pulling from the psychedelic “World” sound of the 60s and 70s. Mantra Moderne’s geographically ambiguous songs make the world seems a little bit smaller and a lot more trippy. Fans of Khruangbin will find this album to be a fun, further dive into the swirling abyss of musical color.
Plantasia – Warm Earth Music for Plants and the People Who Love Them [Sacred Bones: Reissue]
How much are our accomplishments shaped by what drives us? Can “genius” be as simple as the intention behind the work and not the work itself? For Mort Garson, a veteran of the 60s and 70s Los Angeles music and film industry, “genius” was accomplished by simply wanting to write music for plants. He spent so much of his life creating art for humans, with all their biases and hangups and opinions. Maybe shifting his focus to a less sentient audience was all that was needed to open the floodgates of imagination and creativity. Maybe this is what drove him to create his masterpiece…even if it was just to be given away to anyone who bought a plant at Mother Earth’s Plants on Melrose Ave. or (for some reason) given away with any Simmons mattress purchased at Sears. Kind of makes you wonder where else you might have encountered genius and passed it off as pedestrian.
Ada Lea – What We Say In Private [Saddle Creek]
Recently, there has been an opinion that bands are just rehashing old shit. “No one is coming up with anything new.” While I’ll admit that there is a lot of that going around, there have been some delightful innovations happening just under the surface. Ada Lea is one of a growing few that is taking a more artful approach to creating music, while maintaining the integrity of the song. You can hear influence from older styles and you could make comparisons with voice and instruments. But, you would be hard pressed to say this music sounds exactly like any other music in particular. One reason I think this innovation often goes unnoticed is its subtle nature. Ada Lea crafts songs in a way where you might think you’re listening to just another great song. But, listen to it again…and again. You keep finding some new, weird idea on every pass. Thinking of the old trope of the desert island pick, isn’t that what you want?! Don’t you want your music to grow and change with every listen?
Purple Mountains – ST [Drag City]
David Berman’s brand of torch songs seems almost too personal to be heard. It’s like finding a journal on a street corner, flung from some window. His delivery is not unlike some kind of stream of consciousness, cathartic writing exercise, meant to expel whatever haunts you at night. It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from the Silver Jews frontman. He took a break about a decade ago to grapple with some personal demons and write a book. But, Purple Mountains finds him right back at home with his painfully personal, heartbreaking songs that have the kind of sense of humor that makes everyone feel super awkward at a party…everyone except you. You get the joke and you love that no one else does. You know who you are.
B Boys – Dudu [Captured Tracks]
We listen to a lot of bands at Stinkweeds, being a record store, and all. If we were to think about what makes a band a Stinkweeds favorite, it would have to be the “overlap” factor. Some albums get played and played till the band puts out their next bit of work. Then, that new album gets played and played, as if it was just a continuation of their previous album. B Boys shares this honor, and a similar style to a lot of these “overlappers.” Bands like Rolling Blackouts C.F., Parquet Courts and B Boys share an aesthetic that can bring a record store to life. We like the idea that when someone walks into a record store, it’s almost a cliche…without the old “snobby clerk” trope, of course.