Thursday, February 12, 2015

Weekend Songs: Fred Thomas / Small Houses / Eddie Logix & Britney Stoney

Fred Thomas - "
Bad Blood"
Those kinds of songs that stop time... It halts your wandering mind in a calming sort of embrace (despite its dissonant and nervy synthesizer loops and caustic cymbal crashes) and the singer's voice, a cadenced speech, clenched and shivering and beautiful, confessional vocal tumblings over a slamming live drum kit half-muted behind droning organs and another drum machine's blurring blips beating at upwards of 200 bpm...
The song is a strange exercise in dichotomy, meditative, yet manic. Thomas has proven, over the last two decades, to be a perceptive lyricist with an understated poetry to his wended words, often barreling his naive melodies over timeless-sounding lo-fi surf-pop that could have been 1961-ish as much as 1991-ish... But not here. Thomas has never sounded so frustrated, if still cryptically coding the certain curse he's shaking off. The dark-electronica aesthetic brings a new shade of gloom, but it's more like an exorcism of frustration.

Small Houses - "Staggers And Rise"
Singer/songwriter Jeremy Quenton once called Michigan home over the last five years, as he's began flourishing his musical project, Small Houses, he's since turned into a veritable bookmobile of songs, ever traversing the greater 48 states and settling where (& when) he can, the epitome of the touring DIY troubador.

His past recordings echoed the aesthetic of a fragile folk with solemn and sophisticated songs evoking the mystique of the outdoors and its enlightening offer of escapism, but with his recently released Still Talk, Second City, he's filling out the sound with electric guitars, full drum kits and dialing up the raspy Americana warble & twang for a bracing burst of rock-infused alt-country, with the worn words from a heaving voice sounding as thought it's reached the top of a mountain, now, and is looking back down at the trail recently cut, only to breathe deep and head into the brush anew. Compared to the higher, whispery vocal deliver of his youth, there's a telling amount of gravel and grit at the corners of his curled incantations, a voice that's been up late in coffee shops and bars and up the next day to write and sing again.

Eddie Logix & Britney Stoney - "Air Balloons"
Beat-master Logix mixes together a pleasant blend of cerebral moods with late-night/slow-dance propulsion, blending blippy trip-hop atmospherics, sprightly dance/electronica percussive clasps and a coating of spacious dream-pop synths under the soothing and soulful voice of Britney Stoney, "...making moves, it never stops, it never ends..." she sings with a poignant ache in this distinctive up-and-down cadence yet her intonation is kept so cool, so smooth, soaring with an ease akin to the song's namesake. Ears should be kept open for whatever Stoney sings next...

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