Avant

Caitlin Pasko's craft blooms on "Horrible Person," new LP out 8.28

While partially rooted in past trauma, “Horrible Person” by Brooklyn-based avant-pop performer Caitlin Pasko resonates as a step onto new ground — a “reconfiguration [of an] internal compass” in the artist’s own words, wherein from a minimalist soundscape and untethered vox she constructs a path forward. Building from an abiding minimalist vibration that underlies the track’s nearly six minute runtime, Pasko (in collaboration with ex-Zula polymath Henry Grant) draws in sharp filtered strings, crafting tense synthetic elements which counteract a dulcet-yet-raw vocal line, one that with steely resolve serves as a lyrical takedown of psychological abuse. Such an approach serves as the foundation of Pasko’s forthcoming LP Greenhouse — the idea that such pain can serve as a centerpiece around which a musical safe space is created, one that fosters healing, regrowth, and personal transformation. Give it a listen below, and be sure to keep an eye out for the full album out August 28th on Whatever’s Clever.

   

I.E. Kokoro "Signs of Life"

I.E. Kokoro has released a new single called "Signs of Life". This track was written and recorded during the pandemic and 50% of the all proceeds from the song will be donated to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, which supports local nonprofit organizations serving Chicago's most vulnerable neighbors.

   

Elijah McLaughlin Ensemble

The Elijah McLaughlin Ensemble recently released their self-titled debut album. For this recording the Ensemble is McLaughlin on guitar, Harmonium, and electronics, Jason Toth on Upright Bass, and Joel Styzens on Hammer Dulcimer.

The album is a breathtaking step forward for both Free Jazz and Classical music. With the added elements of electronic ambient music, this is a complex but ultimately beautiful, meditative, genre-breaking must listen.

   

Matt Evans maintains percussive composure on "New Topographics," live stream 5.1

Listening to New Topographics, the latest full length by Brooklyn drummer and composer Matt Evans, is oddly reminiscent of the experience of watching an ASMR YouTube video; it’s various percussive textures and cool synths are tactile and tingle-inducing, yet the timbre rarely rises above that of a whisper. This muted quality is what makes Evans’ most recent effort the alluring record that it is, a space wherein the artist deftly navigates quietude drum-first, ever heightening the energy through polyrhythmic breaks and employing electronic instrumentals in a manner that compliment, yet never overshadow his rhythm-forward approach. Standout tracks “Spinning Blossoms” and “Jaich Maa” well demonstrate this interweaving of elements, evocative of the ambient artists like Hiroshi Yoshimura yet decidedly more movement-oriented — even on Topographics tamer tracks, Evans’ intrepid percussion enables a forward momentum that keeps things consistently interesting. Give it a listen below, and catch Matt Evans (along with other Whatever’s Clever artists) on Twitch this Friday, May 1st for the label’s May Day Extravaganza. —Connor Beckett McInerney

   

From the Submissions: anjali.rose "Reach For It"

 Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist anjali.rose hones in on the unnerving quietude of life under quarantine in new single “Reach For It,” featuring Noah Drielblatt, a atmospheric offering that melds swirling synths with guitar-driven songwriting. Methodical acoustic arpeggios, underscored by murky electronic instrumentation, provide background for Rose and Drielblatt’s hushed vox — a centering performance amid a sea of disorienting (and at times disconcerting) ambient accents. In this way, Rose conveys a quiet in the eye of the storm, an indoors meditation while the outside world is marked by muted chaos and the occasional ambulance siren (which joins the sonic tapestry towards the song’s conclusion); in many ways, “Reach For It” mirrors our own individual efforts to maintain some degree of composure throughout the strange times we’re living. Give it a listen below, and check out the rest of the tracks on the Quarantena Contigo mixtape, which features a slew of international artists and highlights the Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund, who are providing micro-grants to working musicians seeking relief throughout COVID-19.