Eli Thomas who makes music under the name Balue is one of the standout bedroom artists of this year. Residing in Denver, CO he is a one-man hit factory – creating a vivid, surfy summer dream-inspired collection of songs. As with other bedroom acts, the themes of youth and adventure play deeply in Worry Toobs and Paradoxical Intention, two stellar releases that both came out this year. This is lo-fi perfection and we’re right next to Eli soaking up the sun on the beach with a tasty beverage in hand watching the waves roll in.
Youth I don’t know what you are anymore Youth I don’t know what comes next or what’s in store Youth I just hope that you’ll meet me down on the shore Youth that was the place that you and I did adore
The waves are like opiates Like ultimate pleasure They hit my face like opiates If I open it, what a treasure
I don’t ever want to grow up I don’t want to give up my drugs Like movies, and music and traveling gets hard man
Shhh…don’t tell anyone: Eli Thomas is not from the coast. From listening to Worry Toobs, his lo-fi surf offering under the name Balue, you’d never know that he hails from Denver. His leisurely distorted guitar and sunset sweet lyrics perfectly capture the essence of the beachy coastal lifestyle. The album cover works great for Eli and Balue, giving a double exposure photo nod to the surfy life while staying in the Denver saddle.
Stream the album below and download Worry Toobs for a pay what you want price.
Then not only got intrigued by the visual but also the audio which happens to be the band Hush Hush. Hush Hush evolved out of Imaginary Heaven, a group that singer/guitarist Keri Steele formed as a teenager in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. After three albums, Steele felt the need to stretch artistically and explore more contemporary forms of music. Forming Hush Hush enabled her to create an identifiable sound while initially allowing Steele the flexibility of working with a variety of musicians. The highly melodic, loop-based results were immediate and resulted in the recording of “Cinematheque” with producer Ken Harrison of Wild Strawberries. The All Music Guide reviewed the album and said, “Hush Hush offers one trip-hop adventure after another while a remix-like atmosphere encapsulates each song.”
Tags: the jeans pacific festival m mixtape 2011
Pacific Festival 2011 Mix by Them Jeans
Superhumanoids – Mirrors (Cosmic Kids Remix)
Bag Raiders – Not Over
Joakim – Forever Young
Metronomy – The Bay (Erol Alkan’s Extended Rework)
Azari & III – Manic
Beni ft. Sean Delear & Turbotito – It’s A Bubble (Dimitri Remix)
Breakbot – Fantasy ft. Ruckazoid (Jacques Renault Remix)
ZZT – Zzafrika (Julio Bashmore Remix)
Marble Players – Wipeout
Them Jeans – Don’t Leave Me
Myd – Javier
SBTRKT – Hold On
Wise Blood is the project of Chris Laufman, originally from Pittsburgh and now living in New York. His music is broken electro-gospel pop full of samples and layers that you’ll need headphones to fully appreciate. Although somewhat obscure upon first listen, the songs have great composition that make it possible to dance to every song or just sit in a chair outside alone and rock your head. The songs are fairly short, but the mysterious story they create ventures far past two minutes. The video for “B.I.G. E.G.O.” is a great intro to Wise Blood and the nod of David Parker to direct it is a show of his talent.
White Life is the Baltimore, Maryland based band of Jonathan Ehrens and sister Emily Ehrens along with Andrew Bernstein (Dan Deacon ensemble), Dave Fell, Grayson Brown, and production collaboration and back-up vocals from Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak). Their self-titled LP was released in May and is full of 80’s electro synth retro pop. The first track, Time is Wasting, wastes no time inviting the listener to the smooth, catchy party that is White Life – makes you check your worries at the door, hands you a cold adult beverage and introduces you to a hot dance partner to make memories with. You’ll find comfort in these tracks through their pleasing vocals, bright arrangements and blissful predictability. I Want Love is perhaps the best example on this album of the 80’s retro-ness. White Life – Time Is Wasting by Ehse Records
Doctrine is a synth-pop/new wave group made up of Douglas Donovan and Holden Brahms. Their first release, Leavers’ Do, is a five track throwback synth and bass laden EP that is fairly ambient and absent of focused vocals. The first track, You and Your Dad Issues (love this title), is part New Order and part XX for a great sound. Although great as an instrumental and super captivating, for some reason I long for vocals on You and Your Dad Issues.
Paris breeds funky shit. A serious rebirth of something that is so ancient and something new and forward mashed together into a mind twisting carnival of pop house meets classical orchestra. With tones that hit and sound like slivers of Daft Punk meets Digitalism, it still stands on it’s own most of the track and is hard to pinpoint what it is. Do you play this at a club or at a European wine and cheese party. I think if Eyes Wide Shut had a dance club downstairs of the estate, this would have been playing.
From Paris, Thomas Roussel and Yannick Grandjean are SomethingALaMode, SALM for the intimate or those in a hurry, an exceptional duet, and I mean it because it is a rare thing to meet classical musicians fed on club culture – musicians just as thrilled by post romantics like Shostakovitch, Stravinski or Fauré among others as by Daft Punk ‘s Homework or Mirwais ‘ Disco Science; musicians who can launch a 2008 techno parade in front of 15,000 persons and the day after play for a happy few at the ICA in London; musicians eager to have their album mixed by Arnaud Rebotini, the dark prince of the dark touch to release it with Yellow, the historic label of electronic music with a French touch flavour.
Forget breakfast in bed. If you’ve never eaten breakfast in fur you obviously don’t know what you’re doing. Breakfast in Fur is an experimental folk-pop omelette that is chock full of intricately layered percussion and cooked to timely perfection with a gradually ascending tempo to climax and a gentle descent back down. I keep hearing new things the more I listen – whistling kettles, snaps, pops, ambient noises of kids, bells – nothing short of amazing. Hailing from New Paltz, New York, BIF is the bedroom product of Dan Wolfe and is now comprised of six members.
You can download their self-titled EP from their bandcamp for a “name your price” here. I can’t wait for a full length to drop sometime in the near future. You can also purchase a limited edition (500) 10″ vinyl copy here for only $10 from Analog Edition Records.