Triathalon - Online

Brooklyn-based band Triathalon have created the soundtrack to your sleepwalk with the release of their album Online. Appropriately named, Online encapsulates a sound that was raised by the internet and cannot be labeled under any one genre.

Every listen through oozes a sticky sweet nostalgic feel while simultaneously exhibiting an extremely innovative, contemporary take on music. Through this album, Triathalon showcases their mastery of dreamy bass and synth.

Cover Art for ‘Online’ by Triathalon

Rich, complex tones and melodies drive each song in such a way that the band creates an atmosphere that can wrap around your entire being, commanding the attention of practically every one of your senses to consume their sound; however, they also make you very aware of the voids they intentionally employ. In this way, Triathalon seems to be experimenting with negative space of the auditory nature.

Standout tracks such as “Hard to Move” convey a super dynamic track with melodic duality. Between the verses and the chorus lies a smooth transition that you can feel in your plums with a strong enough juxtaposition to catch you by surprise.

Triathalon delivers a heartfelt album perfect for putting on during this month of love with honest lyrics in songs like “Couch” that exude quiet relatability and the tender side of sexual tension:

Chilling on my favorite couch

Ask me what I think about

Thinking about how I need your body close

I need it now

What gets you feeling loose? Feeling new

Feeling all the things I wanna do with you

Can I get you home? In the zone

I just wanna feel the truth

Triathalon is showing us that they are a band to keep an eye on for sure. The timing of Online’s release could not be more perfect in lieu of the coming springtime. Perfect for that Sunday morning stroll through the park or a lonely view of the sunset, this album can set the mood for all of it.

You can check out Triathalon on Spotify, Twitter, and Instagram.

Triathalon is also on tour, you can check our their Tour Bill below!

Hovvdy - Cranberry

Although it’s been actualized through individual scenes and “post-something revival” genre tags, there’s an unspoken theory that idol worship is one of indie’s integral bridges of style. Typically, the feedback splits between esteemed gratitude at its most positive, with the highest distinction decreeing the new product as just as seminal as the old, and only a notch below plagiarism in the lens of detractors. For example, NME’s C86 cassette infamously birthed dozens of projects scrambling to reap the jangle-rock goodness of their forefathers two decades later—to this day, we’re still trying to force the infectious Sarah Records and Captured Tracks anthems out of our heads.

Slow but graciously steady, Texas-based duo Hovvdy are labeled slowcore revivalists on the surface but naturally attuned to the magmatic potential of indie rock instead of caustically jumping a bandwagon. Their 2016 debut Taster seemed snug within the fabric of Bandcamp’s listless and homespun corpus of artists; economically minded, the album was partly recorded on iPhone application workstations, yet it pushed an aesthetic of tender, full slacker rock best performed at a glacial pace. As a duo, their inner workings are equally enthralling. Juggling the role of songwriter, multi-instrumentalists Will Taylor and Chris Martin utilize the more-with-less principle studied by their contemporaries to create hypnotizing melodies while eschewing a sense of urgency entirely.

On their second outing, their technique only expands in scope and fervor albeit as minimal as their foundation they’ve triumphed. Cranberry’s twelve offerings, kicking off with the ominous “Brave” and winding down with “Swing”’s intoxicating pop, serve as gorgeous comedowns against the bombast this year is already serving up. In addition to the languid instrumentation at play, the verses behind these songs plunge into pure, almost approachable apathy—frankly, it’s music for dreamers without an engulfing focus or sensory overload to distract or overwhelm.

If there’s one discernible shift from Taster, the band’s dynamics feel set in stone rather than gradually pieced together. Elegant lead single “Petal” commences with a series of muffled guitar riffs and an unchanging drum stomp that marginally elevate into an unassertive climax. Likewise, midsection standout “Quitter” embraces the pastoral glum of Carissa’s Wierd’s Songs About Leaving with a slight lean toward the acoustic flank of late-90s emo. Not everything adheres to their cardinal formula; padding their guitar-drums combination with pastel keyboards and (“Float”) and meager electronica (“Thru”), Hovvdy assert themselves as pop auteurs on a budget, but alluring in their craft even with these restrictions.

At times, Hovvdy’s lavish melodies feel like an addendum to long-gone slowcore underdogs like Bedhead and Duster, as well as the earliest incarnation of genre-definers Low. While Taster touted these similarities, their arrangements were original enough to differentiate their trademarks from their Bandcamp peers. On Cranberry, these epitomes are the bedrock for more expansive and forceful handling of sound even if their emotional expression remains loose-lipped and quietly reflective. Ultimately, it’s not the musical parameters of their idols they’re attempting to consort, but an outlet of their own that’s evenly raw and cathartic.

 

You can check out Hovvdy on Spotify, Youtube and Bandcamp.

Ought - Room Inside the World

Revolutions never begin with whispers. On their sharp-witted debut, More Than Any Other Day, Montréal-based post-punk Ought posited self-reflection as a series of rallying cries that could easily rile up the most meditative of basement parties; frontman Tim Darcy and crew stressed the conversational tone of post-punk but assumed the role of self-deprecating worrywarts. Amidst their constant me-versus-you debacles, they ridiculed and diminished human’s addictive fixations in standout “Habit” and dined with risk and juvenile fear on “Around Again.” The following year, Sun Coming Down curtailed their sardonic self-obsession with wavering anger toward our social institutions delivered under the same biting pretenses as its predecessor. Ought have made themselves out to be a companionable force within range of answering life’s pressing questions one scrappy anthem at a time.

Unwilling to cut their maturation short of their zenith, it’s only appropriate that their third effort connects their skeptical ethos with the global complications of our times. Room Inside the World is far from a concise statement handing out solutions, decisively muddled by Darcy’s subtle and often disorienting songwriting, but that’s customary at this point. As for their typically sinewy resonance, the band has enlisted veteran engineer Nicolas Vernhes of Deerhunter and Animal Collective fame to man the controls and augment their minimal line-up with flashy organs, strings section, and a sort of cocktail lounge space in place of their previous cluttered recording environment. Reading between their scribbled lines and paring down their opulent advancement in sound, there’s a theatric and rigidly idyllic atmosphere this time around that incorporate the same overtures sprinkled in the discographies of absurdist companions like Parquet Courts or pitiless dramatists like Iceage. Unlike their peers, Ought never contended to neatening their expression from low-fidelity distractions; instead of speculating as to what the hell Darcy could be saying, it’s his implications and convictions that require a cross-examination or two.

Album promotion cycles suggest that a final product’s merrier or more straightforward numbers take precedent as singles, but Ought’s morose choice-cuts attest to something foreboding with Room Inside the World. As an introductory gesture, “These 3 Things” isn’t forthright counter to any selection in their recorded works. With its drum machine beat wrestling the handicraft away from beatmaker Tim Keen and Ultravox-inspired synth splatters, it’s a revolution that instills a newfound language the four-piece attempts to translate with growing confidence. Much of this boldness feels left over from Darcy’s solo debut, Saturday Night, a self-described roots record that seemed to trigger a relapse and total makeover for his main project. The romanticism, on the other hand, is more direct and immersive, as evident in the trailing lines of “These 3 Things”: “I must remember to dance with you tonight / I must remember I owe my heart.”

The lack of constant navel-gazing will undoubtedly bookend their discography to some degree, but Ought aren’t rushing into things without ensuring they’re as precise as possible in the process. In the past, Darcy’s sensationalism evoked the same sort of smartass convictions a wide-eyed coffeehouse dweller would wield—now, they feel drowned in a hedonist’s sorrow. “Feel disdain in people now / Deep dark grey fades into blue,” Darcy croons in the piano-lead introduction of “Into the Sea,” moments away from a premature climax of compressed drum marches and angular guitars crashes through. Almost facetiously, Darcy swings back on the loquaciously sentimental “Desire” with his senses refreshed and undivided vengeance trapped in his intentions (“I won’t accept the conceit any further / I will return it to you in a fervor”). As a consequence, their footing might seem out of proportion, especially in the lenses of veteran listeners bargaining for the ramshackle monologues and head-scratchers expected from the group.

As if expending all of their employable energy in the first half, the latter four numbers strip down as if to prematurely entreat listeners to intoxicating melodies. “Brief Shield” renounces every exemplar of vivacity in a heavenly blend of slowcore and broody post-punk, the sort of effect achieved by slowing down a Durutti Column master tape and tampering with the mix to reassemble a passage from the Church’s Starfish. Embarking on a breezy, otherwise sluggish indie pulse on “Pieces Wasted,” it’s not long until each gyrating and grating voice, except for Ben Stidworthy’s steely basslines, falls out of place and chokes up the soundscape into droning gunk. Room Inside the World concludes with such an ostensible drop in sparkle that brings the band’s motives into question; if they’ve arranged for an album that half parts melodic vitality with an experimental streak unvisited in previous works, the effort is undeniably compelling to some extent. Under the surface, its straightforwardness warrants an appraisal that eulogizes the stamina of Ought’s past and forecasts something more significant on the horizon for the band to tackle.

You can check out Ought on Spotify, Youtube, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp.