Gliss – Heartbeat

If The Raveonettes swapped their Jesus & Mary Chain records for the entire Depeche Mode catalog, the result might be something like “Heartbeat,” the second track on Pale Reflections and arguably its most accessible. Airy synthesizers and a slinky bass-line set the stage for the chorus to break out in a danceable electronic beat as vocalist Victoria Cecilia, backed by a layer of washed out guitars, declares, “I got a beating heart/I got a beating heart for you, girl.”

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Beborn Beton – Daisy Cutter

An amalgam of animal and artifice, “Daisy Cutter” thumps into being with a calling that immediately commands the struggle taking place within its tones. With an inherent uncertainty, there is still the sense of something victorious here; veiled among the overturning of allegories and pontifications on doubt is a creeping self-awareness of purpose that builds this song into an anthem at its climax. This is a song about survival, about laying waste to obstacles and destroying barriers to find truth and faith beyond a seemingly endless void.

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Westkust – Swirl

Unlike some noise pop acts who think turning the volume knob all the way up is enough to compensate for any songwriting deficiencies, Westkust possess a keen melodic sensibility, not to mention a romantic yearning that aligns them with Buzz Buzz Buzz era The Primitives. With their penchant for plaintive lyrics and jagged guitar noise,Westkust are the rare act that should unite both fans of vintage shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine as well as anyone who still cherishes their C86 cassette.

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Pure Phase Ensemble 4 – An Interview With Mark Gardener

Pure Phase Ensemble 4 is amazing. This project oozes with enough jangle and harmony to keep every listener within the fringes of Shoegaze and Dreampop happy, and there’s enough credit to make it a draw to those who enjoy that style of music, even without ever hearing a sample of the project. Mark Gardener from Ride, Ray Dickaty, an ex member of Spiritualized, and Karol Schwarz (KSAS), who manages Poland’s Nasiono Records front this version of the ever evolving Pure Phase Ensemble project, that pulls acts from various stellar indie bands with each new incarnation.

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INTENT:OUTTAKE – Der Letzte Tanz

INTENT:OUTTAKE’s darkly gorgeous “Der Letzte Tanz” (in English, “The Last Dance”) is a song with which I have been slowly acquainting myself, sinking into its melancholy throb and surging sadness to relish the sympathetic salve of its despair. It tells its story with an arrhythmic heartbeat, an appeal for a frozen soul’s final dance before oblivion.

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Feeding Fingers – Your Candied Laughter Crawls

I’ve often felt that Feeding Fingers’ music has had a tendency toward quiet desperation, and, at times, a sense of holding itself back from its own full potential. But “Your Candied Laughter Crawls”, the debut single from their upcoming fifth album, is almost triumphant, musically. There is an entire metamorphosis occurring in the microcosm of this particular song, one that opens itself up to the listener like a blooming flower as it progresses from its sleepy opening notes to their book-end, with its entire story laid out in between.

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Drab Majesty – The Foyer

This is a song that changes sonic tactics throughout, and it works really well. Echoing the confusion and frustration of its narration, it vacillates between peace and discord. It builds its story around the lyrics, but challenges itself to tell that story with its audial composition. It warms from sparsity into intricacy, then plays with an almost noodling sound – evoking moments in waiting rooms; anticipatory, anxious.

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