Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trails and Ways

By this point I think it's far to say that the Oakland four-piece Trails and Ways had a phenomenal 2012 year, pretty much bringing the house down on the blogosphere with popular tracks like "Nunca" and "Mtn Tune".  It didn't take much to fall for them over here at Audio Splash, and apparently others were convinced too, for Trails and Ways has been scheduled to play at this year's celebrated SXSW Music Festival.  Tying all of this in with the fact they came out with a fresh EP today, I'd say the band has gotten 2013 off on the right foot, setting themselves up for an explosive year (and hopefully a debut LP!).  I don't want to get too far ahead of myself though, first things first; their new release is called Detornar-se, which is a Portuguese reflexive verb meaning both "to unmake" and "d├ętournement". The former makes a lot sense considering that Detornar-se includes eight remixes of their previous singles that were stripped down to the bone and then rebuilt in a variety of musical styles.  Some sound like a product of witch house, some include dubstep tendencies, and yet others seem indebted to synth pop.  It's a must-listen for fans of Trails and Ways, and the best part is that they've offered it as a free download over on their homepage.  Below I've posted two of my favorites from the EP, a Wallpaper. remix of "Mtn Tune" and a Bunnynoser remix of their "Sure Thing" cover.  To stream the rest of Detornar-se (as well as check out other tracks) you can head over to their SoundCloud, plus for more information and updates either Facebook or Twitter works!  Be sure to hit it up!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Astronauts, etc.

It has been a fun ride following Astronauts, etc. after the release of his debut single "Mystery Colors".  Since that day around five months ago, Astronauts, etc. (the solo project of Anthony Ferraro) has gifted us with hypnotic atmospheres and beautifully crafted melodies that drift lazily amongst the haze.  It seems, though, that Ferraro has had an itch for experimentation, for his new song "Charity" takes all the aspects of an Astronauts, etc. composition and puts a darker twist on it.  Although still full of synths, atmosphere, and hypnotism, "Charity" exhibits Ferraro's break from wistful textures and displays his more dramatic, haunting flare.  I've posted the track below, which he offers for a free download, but if you'd like to hear more you can head over to his SoundCloud for some additional material.  His Facebook page has more information if you'd like to check it out.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Top Releases of 2012

A year ago today I was doing the same thing I am doing now, looking ahead onto a new year that is full of wonder and possibilities.  There is no way I can fully know what to expect, and it's impossible to look into the future and get a solid grasp of what the music world will throw my way; right now, it's all up for grabs.  What's going to be my favorite album of 2013?  What is going to disappoint me?  Which band will release a debut album that blows me away?  These are the same questions I (and all of us for that matter) was faced with at the beginning of 2012.  I didn't have answers, I didn't have a clue.  It's for this reason that I love lists, if nothing else it's a reflection of the year that passed, a representation of the artists you listened to and the albums that grew to symbolize a small segment of your life.  It's all there, neatly organized in a countdown. For me, that's why I do lists.  I don't do them because I want to brag about what I listened to, nor do I think my list is better than everyone else's.  No, I do it because it gives a certain portrayal of who I am for that year, it shows what I was into and what I cared about.  Going through the years of previous lists, it's fascinating to look back and see how I've changed and how my music tastes shifted.  Each list fills in the answers that you asked yourself at the beginning of each year, and it exhibits that child-like excitement and curiosity that you felt 12 months prior.  To go back and observe that introspection is a wonderful thing, and the best part?  You get a chance to do it at the beginning of each and every single year.  The music side of me now has a clean slate going into 2013, and whenever a part of you has an uncertain future, how can you not help but feel a flurry of anticipation?  That's how I feel now, and that's how I felt then, way back in January of 2012.  Now, though, my questions have been answered, and 2012 will slowly disappear behind us (but that doesn't mean we won't forget it) as new and inspiring music makes its way into our ears.  So, without further adieu, here are my favorite releases of the year that passed....

25.  Blondes by Blondes

24.  Strange Weekend by Porcelain Raft

23.  Duality by Captain Murphy

22.  Shrines by Purity Ring

21.  Allah-Las by Allah-Las
"Tell Me (What's On Your Mind)"

20.  Confess by Twin Shadow
"Beg For The Night"

19.  2 by Mac DeMarco

18.  Our House on the Hill by The Babies

17.  Heaven by The Walkmen
"We Can't Be Beat"

16.  Spiderwebbed by Stumbleine

15.  Melody's Echo Chamber by Melody's Echo Chamber

14.  Gossamer by Passion Pit
"It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy"

13.  Coexist by The xx

12.  Shields by Grizzly Bear

11.  Sweet Heart Sweet Light by Spiritualized
"Little Girl"

10.  There's No Leaving Now by The Tallest Man on Earth
"To Just Grow Away"

9.  Nocturne by Wild Nothing

8.  Oshin by DIIV

7.  Attack on Memory by Cloud Nothings
"Fall In"

6.  Bend Beyond by Woods
"Impossible Sky"

5.  Kindred EP by Burial

4.  Spooky Action at a Distance by Lotus Plaza

3.  Bloom by Beach House

2.  Lonerism by Tame Impala
"Music To Walk Home By"

1.  Celebration Rock by Japandroids
"Evil's Sway"

So there ya have it, 2012 in a nutshell!  As with every list I'm sure you agree on some while you completely disagree with others, but that's the beauty of music...no one has to agree on anything, we all just listen to what we like.  Anyway, I look forward to what will hopefully be a stellar 2013 music year, there are sure to be some great releases heading our way (Beach Fossils and Toro Y Moi, I'm looking at you) as well some debut hopefuls (ON AN ON, my fingers are crossed!).  Here's wishing everyone a happy new year, and hoping that your holidays were merry!  Thank you all for reading, it has been a pleasure writing for you, and I hope to see you guys soon!!!