Braids – Native Speaker (5)
Dream pop trend continues with Braids’ strong nine-song “Native Speaker”. But where other bands veer towards the organlike synthesizers Braids turned the other way into Animal Collective-like repetitions and rhythms. Layers of sound and vocals, sometimes with foul yet fitting lyrics. This album is one of the finest and most exciting to come out of Canada this year. This could turn out to be one of those albums I will be playing for a long time after the first spin.
Herman Dune – Strange Moosic (3)
This French band’s music isn’t as strange as the title might suggest. It is pretty much your average acoustic folk-pop songs. They are obviously strong songwriters as the opening song “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” makes us know. I can’t get rid of the idea however that I am listen to BruceSpringsteen’s discarded B-sides from the 80s but stripped down. The lyrics are interesting story songs but the trick wears out, especially when it’s sung in such a nasally flat voice. Singing in English from a French band and furry animals aside, we are seeing through the trick now.
The Babies (4)
Woods’ indie melodies meet Vivian Girls’ fuzz in this collaboration of Kevin Morby of the former and Cassie Ramone of the latter. The Babies’ first record truly is a mix of both bands; 60’s sped-up harmonies sung in a Titus Andronicus style over Sonic Youth Daydream Nation and Experimental Jetset chord changes. Kevin and Cassie are ‘Partners in Crime’ in this interesting side-project that never reaches the level of the parent bands, but is still worth a few spins.