The Needle Drop

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Premiere: The Telescopes - "Until the End"

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The Telescopes are a shoegaze and noise rock outfit hailing from England who have been at it since the late ‘80s. Since forming, they’ve dabbled in a myriad of other sounds ranging from the downtempo of their third album to the Metal Machine Music-esque feedback barrages of Infinite Suns.

On February 1, the band will release its 10th studio album, Exploding Head Syndrome, via Tapete Records. This new album comes on the heels of 2017’s Stone Tape and As Light Return, two of The Telescopes’ droniest efforts to date. Exploding Head Syndrome is, in contrast, a much more song-oriented work and was created almost entirely by frontman Stephen Lawrie on his own. The one exception being the track we’re premiering today, which has a co-writing credit going to fellow guitarist/vocalist Chris Plavidal.

“Until the End” forecasts something much easier-going than the outfit’s first two entries in the Tapete catalog. This track in particular even has a hypnagogic quality to it, in the same vein as John Maus’ take on pop. The quite AESTHETIC visuals courtesy of Little Lens Video further suggest that potential reference point, though admittedly Lawrie tends to bury his voice much deeper into the mix than Maus does. And most importantly, the instrumental palette here remains rooted in The Telescopes’ brand of shoegaze.

The seven remaining tracks on Exploding Head Syndrome have a bit more bite to them, but if you’ve been wanting to hear The Telescopes mellow out a bit or if you’re simply big on dream pop, do give this song and video a shot. Hope you dig it!

Premiere: Hunters Chorus - "Wish"

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Old Growler cover.jpg

Hunters Chorus is a solo endeavor by composer and multi-instrumentalist Ramon Fermin, who also happens to be the lead guitarist of Sun Kil Moon for this current album cycle. Fittingly, Hunters Chorus' debut album Old Growler, a tribute to Ramon's late dog Jasmine, is dropping next month via Mark Kozelek's Caldo Verde Records. The instrumental album finds Ramon on guitar and bass, his friend Haig Shirinian on drums, and Jack Shirley (best known for his work on Deafheaven's Sunbather) on the boards.

Today we're bringing you the track "Wish," which is one of the album's harder rocking spots. Some pieces on Old Growler, such as the intro and closer, are serene soundscapes of unaccompanied electric and acoustic guitar, whereas a track like "Wish" is very much in the spirit of late-period Red House Painters' heaviest moments. Obviously this song is without Mark's aching baritone, but it occupies that liminal space between classic rock and post-rock that some of Blue Guitar and Old Ramon did... the title of the latter is now a kind of funny coincidence.

Just reading about Old Growler's concept, one might expect something along the lines of the first Silver Mt. Zion album and brace for the waterworks, but "Wish" offers something quite a bit more upbeat. It's a solid piece of instrumental rock, and the anthemic guitar leads and soloing that emerge in its last phase have me looking forward to Ramon's contributions to this November's Sun Kil Moon album. His fingerprints are certainly all over the latest single, "Linda Blair."

Old Growler gets unleashed on October 19 and can be pre-ordered here.