Young Rival, Stay Young (Sonic Unyon)
This power pop trio from the Hammer comes bearing gifts — a set of songs with a winning fusion of the easy and the arch. Following a pair of promising self-titled releases around the turn of the last decade (and another pair back when they were called the Ride Theory), their classic pop curves and angular indie rock tendencies sound fully in sync on this record. It’s a beautiful thing.
The hot, bristling mix and generous reverb really bring out the retro flavour of Young Rival’s melodies, many of them seemingly drawn from the era of girl groups and the pre-hippie psychedelic dawn, when young men’s hair began to creep past their ears and shirt collars. (Incidentally, bassist John Smith and drummer Noah Fralick are kinda shaggy, but the singer is a total square, man.)
But that’s not to say that this is some kind of ’60s-pop revival. Their tunes are lean, and their lone guitar echoes a range of other styles and eras, with harsh post-punk jabs (think Gang of Four) to halting college rock riffs (think Big Star) to melodic Britpop ornamentation (think early Stone Roses). And singer/guitarist Aron D’Alesio has a hard, nasal vocal style that really sets the tone right, where a gentle or booming voice (of either gender) might’ve tipped this trolley over.
Ty Segall, “Femme Fatale”
Following Paper Bag’s stellar tribute to Ziggy Stardust, another classic album is being feted by a cool record label. The Velvet Underground & Nico by Castle Face and Friends is out exclusively on yellow vinyl on Nov. 6. Here’s a taste — a fun and fuzzy take on Nico’s dark ballad by San Francisco garage dweller Ty Segall. Scour the Internet for more, as they’re rolling out one track per day through Oct. 29.
Ty Segall – “Femme Fatale” by
A-Trak & Zinc feat. Natalie Storm, “Like the Dancefloor”
If this doesn’t get you grinding the closest bit of human flesh, dig yourself a hole and throw yourself into it, dude. It’s London’s Carnival, with some special Can-con in the form of A-Trak.