Jukebox selections: Tristen, Black Sky Giant, HUBRID & The Racers Feat. Hunter Norton, Hashshashin

"Aquatic Flowers" by Tristen (album cover)

Been a little quiet on the music front, but not for lack of listening. The opposite, really. The last month or two have been a musical firehose of new stuff, but I haven’t quite sorted through everything and sorted out what I actually like from what sounded OK on first listen.

For now, these four are definitely worth a listen or three.

Aquatic Flowers by Tristen

Tristen’s Aquatic Flowers is soft and spinny, poppy and easy to settle into on a sunny summer day. It calls to mind the gentler pop of The Weepies. Maybe a touch of The Carpenters? It’s modern and classic at the same time, has some timelessness to it.

I pre-ordered this one from Bandcamp on the strength of her 2013 album C A V E S, which I checked out after a Twitter recommend from Emma Swift. (Hard to top that!) C A V E S has one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a long time (“No One’s Gonna Know”) so I felt pretty secure in pre-ordering Flowers.

“I Need Your Love” and “Complex” are the standouts for me, but the entire album is worth your time. Spin it on Spotify or pick up a copy on Bandcamp, you won’t be disappointed.

Falling Mothership by Black Sky Giant

Bearing absolutely no resemblance to Tristen, Black Sky Giant’s Falling Mothership is an instrumental groove I stumbled on via Bandcamp recently. Released on June 10, it’s fresh and full of stoner rock / post rock / psychedelic goodness.

Apparently a one-person project out of Rosario, Argentina, Falling Mothership hits like a full band in a heavy groove. It’s full of ponderous riffs and sinewy bass. Great to put on to work to, very satisfying as background music or to put on the headphones and absorb the full impact. Black Sky Giant doesn’t seem to be on Spotify but you can preview the album on Bandcamp and you can pick up the digital download for a dollar.

Culte De La Machine by HUBRID & The Racers Feat. Hunter Norton

More artifice than art, Culte De La Machine is perfectly competent synthwave / synthpop that satisfies my nostalgia and keeps a good rhythm going while I write and edit.

Not sure they’re breaking any new ground with Culte De La Machine, everything feels familiar and slightly recycled. But, you know, in a good way. Give it a spin on Spotify and you’ll be glad you did.

nihsahshsaH by Hashshashin

I picked this one up via a subscription to the Art as Catharsis label out of Sydney, Australia. It’s an extensive prog rock jam with diverse influences. According to the Bandcamp description Hashshashin “blend meditative eastern sounds with drone, prog and psychedelia.”

It’s got a bunch going on, and is not for the timid. Imagine somebody went for prog rock and grunge with some math rock thrown in, and then said “you know, we should also try to make this a little weird, too.”

The discordant vibe works for me on most tracks, but is a bit grating on one or two tracks. I haven’t quite come to love “Rebirth,” for example, but “Derge,” “Immolation,” “The Ascetic” and “Prostration” all land just right.

You can dial this one up on Spotify along with some of the band’s newer albums. (This one hails from 2016.) Or check it on Bandcamp. The Art as Catharsis subscription is a mere $7 AUD a month, so it’s hard to beat that.

That’s not all folks…

I’ve got a ton of new stuff to share, but we’ll cut it off here for today. What’s grabbing your ears this week, month or year? Drop your findings in the comments, new or old doesn’t matter as long as it’s new to me.

Author: Joe Brockmeier

Editor, writer, communications expert, former community manager, open source enthusiast, music nut, and cat guy. Not necessarily in that order.

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