Track Of The Day: My Idea – ‘Stay Away Still’ / ‘That’s My Idea’

Ahead of the release of their debut EP at the end of this month, New York-based indie-pop duo Nate Amos and Lily Konigsberg – aka My Idea – have now shared the first taster of the collection in the form of two singles, ‘Stay Away Still‘ and ‘That’s My Idea‘.

Kicking off to a quick start, ‘Stay Away Still‘ launches with an upbeat drum line that lays out the rhythm ahead of a rush of guitar and vocals. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics juxtapose laughter and pain in a way that’s smart and relatable, nailing a light-hearted approach to depression and existence that fuels millennial humour.

The vocals are cleverly layered. The chirpy melody is complemented by deep, almost deadpan responses beneath. At times, the two vocal lines bounce off each other like a conversation contained within one song. At others, they conflict but in a way that feels like they come from the same place – as if one is speech while the other is echoing what you actually wanted to say. Although the words are often repeated, the way the lyrics twist around each other shapes the song with a driving momentum. The strings are lovely and light, and – with this sense of brightness particularly in the solo that continues through the following verses – a real boost is given to the music.

‘Stay Away Still’ builds gradually, with new layers being introduced throughout. Finally, it swells to a big bouncy climax that comes to an abrupt stop leaving you eager for more and grateful that this song has dropped as part of My Idea’s special two-in-one release.

The second single released as a teaser ahead of My Idea’s upcoming EP is ‘That’s My Idea‘. Shorter and softer than the accompanying ‘Stay Away Still’, it offers a clear idea of what to expect from the band in its less-than-ninety second run time.

Combining provocative lyrics – which if they were written down you might imagine were a challenge or even aggressive – with an ominously gentle delivery, the vocals are breathy, but not for lack of lung power. Instead, that softness feels like a very purposeful choice that lends a human element to the track and adds an impressive weight to the words themselves. Delivering phrases like “that’s my idea,/ talking to me like it was yours the whole time/ makes me want to fight you” with such delicacy tells an entirely different story than if they were belted out. Arguably, one that’s more powerful. The words seem to come from someone just finding the strength to stand up for themselves, not quite ready to yell but tired of being spoken over.

The light, high vocals are blended with bubbly guitar that has fun with the notes and creates a pleasantly textured foundation for the track. Fleeting with a memorably sly sweetness, ‘That’s My Idea’ makes for another fantastic appetiser before the EP brings the main course.

That’s My Idea, the debut EP from My Idea, is set for release 30th July via Hardly Art.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt

Photo Credit: Michael Wolever

ALBUM: Palberta – ‘Palberta5000’

A cacophony of frenzied riffs, energetic beats and chant-worthy lyrics, Palberta‘s fifth album Palberta5000 buzzes with poppy enthusiasm, but remains firmly informed by DIY punk tendencies. The New York trio focused on writing catchy songs that lasted “longer than 50 seconds” for this new record, but they maintain their raw riot grrrl appeal by intricately threading their unpredictable time signatures with their habitual observations about ordinary life.

“While punk music was our first love, pop music has become our fixation,” the trio explain. “Throughout the making of Palberta5000, we were focused on making music that people could not only sing along to, but get stuck in their heads.” This evolution towards the softer side of things is best appreciated via the band’s lush, overlapping vocal harmonies. They soften more discordant tracks like ‘Something In The Way’ and make songs like ‘Red Antz’ ring with an effortless charm.

Across sixteen songs, the band flit between marching-band rhythms, buoyant guitar riffs and blasts of cathartic, joyful noise. The manic sounding ‘Eggs n’ Bac’ and ‘I’m Z’done’ – a 20 second instrumental – are examples of the latter, whilst tracks like ‘Corner Store’ and ‘Before I Got Here’ feel more considered and fleshed out. The trio have toyed with tempos too. ‘Hey!’ lives up to the punctuation in its title, whereas ‘The Cow’ soothes the ears with its strung out guitars and the reassuring lyric “I will be there with my hand on your chest / I feel your rumbling internal mess.”

Together, Nina Ryser, Ani Ivry-Block and Lily Konigsberg have crafted a record that explores the juxtaposition of anxiety and joy without diluting either emotion. Considering it’s the trio’s fifth offering, Palberta5000 packs an aural punch – but it’s one that feels more like a teasing jab on the arm from a friend when you’re hanging around outside the ‘Corner Store’.

 

Listen to Palberta500 on bandcamp or Spotify

Follow Palberta on TwitterInstagramFacebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Chloe Carrasco

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: The Shacks – ‘Wings’

Brooding bass lines and hushed vocals urge listeners to have a “good time” on ‘Wings’, the latest single from The Shacks. Released via Big Crown Records, the track is a cool, smooth sounding call for everyone to cut loose and enjoy themselves.

Fronted by Shannon Wise (vocals, bass) and Max Shrager (guitar, production), The Shacks have been busy working on their second full length record, which is set for release in winter 2021. The New York band have built up a reputation for crafting hazy, melodic, crowd-pleasing tunes on their 2018 album Haze, and new track ‘Wings’ is no exception.

Wise’s quiet, yet intense vocals float over buzzing guitar and bass, willing even the most reluctant listeners to move their feet and shuffle their troubles away. The band have crafted an understated, grooving track that makes letting go feel genuinely effortless. Listen to ‘Wings’ below, and follow The Shacks on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: The Wants – ‘Container’

Formed by Madison Velding-VanDam and Heather Elle from New York art-punk band Bodega, The Wants‘ debut album Container is a punchy, defiant, riot of a record that simultaneously reflects and resists anxiety, on both a personal and wider scale. With its swaggering beats, techno influences, and to-the-point lyricism; it flows seamlessly from track-to-track demanding uninterrupted listening from the offset.

The Wants began taking shape when drummer Jason Gates and Velding-VanDam met in New York in 2014, but became fully formed while Velding-VanDam and Elle were working together under the Bodega moniker years later. Realising they all had a passion for electronic music, the three began writing together, and Container is the result of this collaboration.

Instrumental opener ‘Ramp’ commands attention with its thudding kick drum, while eponymous track ‘Container’ pulses with brooding bass lines and deadpan lyrical delivery. Pounding instrumental ‘Machine Room’ bleeds in to ‘Fear My Society’. “Will you love me if I’m a failure?” agonises Velding-VanDam, over funky beats and surprisingly buoyant synths. It feels odd to dance around to a track that’s fueled by anxiety and alienation, but it’s a natural response to The Wants driving rhythms.

Making space to individually review each of Container‘s tracks feels odd, as the record is such a cohesive creation, where each track transitions smoothly in to the next. Instrumental ‘Aluminium’ blends in to the unsettling ‘Ape Trap’. “I will stay a deviant, or else I die of boredom” Velding-VanDam sings, desperate to escape his metaphorical cell. Instrumental ‘Waiting Room’ builds on this tension, until its relieved by the confessional ‘Clearly A Crisis’. “I have no intimacy, I’m never vul-ner-able” – Velding-VanDam takes care to repeat, and speak this line with intense clarity.

The funky beats on ‘Nuclear Party’ float around as the cute threat of “kiss my bombs” ricochets between your ears. The bouncy ‘Hydra’ follows, before eerie instrumental ‘Voltage’ closes the record on a somber note. It’s a striking offering, with each scratch, pulse, and echo captured clearly. The band recorded the album in their bedrooms and their rehearsal space — a re-purposed HANJIN shipping container situated in the middle of a dumpling factory parking lot — so it’s a testament to their personal, and joint production skills that these elements can be heard in the mix.

With their myriad of influences – including the literature of Jenny Holzer, the sounds of The National, and a love for techno –  The Wants have created a sonic space on Container that’s somewhere between the catchy electronics of Depeche Mode, the angsty lyrics of early Sonic Youth. It’s a distracting record, in the best possible way, and deserves your undivided attention.

Listen to Container in full here. Follow The Wants on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Madison Carroll

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut