Experimental Portland Trio, BRAINSTORM, produce tight and catchy indie rock heavily influenced by the post-rock movement. Their latest record, Heat Waves, was produced by Robbie Moncrieff (Dirty Projectors, Youth Lagoon) and offers up bright and memorable rhythms and melodies.
The influence Moncrieff has on the record is apparent with similar guitar and rhythm sections as the Dirty Projectors. Rich and sweeping guitar fills, like that on "Beast in the Sky", definitely draws comparison. BRAINSTORM carries with them a dirtier sound, though, and a broader spectrum of genres included. These songs are very filling, there's a lot going on. Rarely does the notation take a break. Either the bass, guitar, or synths are constantly chiming really awesome fills and melodies. A snappy and catchy rhythm section drives the songs, helping to keep form in a strangely syncopated way. The edgy and unusual melodies add a number of very interesting dimensions to the mix.
With all of the intense instrumentation going on, the lyrics and vocals hardly stay irrelevant. Brilliant song writing accompanies the music, and these arrangements add another completely distinct level to the songs.
Heat Waves by BRAINSTORM is a very solid but demanding listen. I think it's easy to appreciate the record as a whole even though it's not easy to digest.
Love of Mine
Milwaukee sister duo, Vic Gab, recently released an attempt at undisputed record champion of the summer. Love of Mine is a rich, jangly, dreamy indie pop record full of melody-oriented tracks with soft edges and flowing lyrics.
Given with the attitude of Death Cab for Cutie and Tegan and Sara, Love of Mine offers simple and sentimental lyrics with stellar instrumentation. In that vein, they seem to draw influence from what is popular in the scene right now, but just happen to do it better. Tight and well placed harmonies, brilliant repetitive lines, and delicious hooks litter the record drawing focus in to their undoubtedly high level of talent.
Love of Mine is definitely road trip music. The record seamlessly flows through like an easy breath, twisting in and out of pop dance fests to dream infused numbers. "Crazy Love", with its heavy synth use and anthemic chorus, anchors the record. Flighty and shuffling tracks like "Come and Stay" and "Loud" make up the bulk of the record. These songs are all great, catchy, and most importantly, fun.
The romantic themes and music make one yearn for the youthful summer flame and the carefree lifestyle of an 80's teen movie.
Love of Mine is pretty much my favorite record right, and I highly suggest a trip over to vicandgab.bandcamp.com