Side C - "bitter//sweet"

Side C – “bitter//sweet”

Side C is the moniker of Orlando producer, Kevin Cruz. Kevin is the guy at the front of the stage with the dope flat top, dancing like he’s got the fever. As Side C, he ices that fever and turns it into cool, groovy, expansive instrumentals. His latest is “bitter//sweet.”

The initial elements of the song are minimalist tones that float above a sample of crashing waves. Before the ticking beat is introduced at 0:25, I’m pulled into the same headspace that Brian Eno evokes: calm introspection. I don’t stay there for long, though. The song is filled-in with the aforementioned beat, dreamy melodies, and gentle cymbals.

Two minutes in, the music fades. Pieces slowly drop out until we’re left with the few sounds we had at beginning, bringing the song to its apparent end. But silence only lasts a second, and we are introduced to a short, ice cream truck-like jingle. This is again built upon. The whole story feels like an entire day spent unknotting at the beach.

The tart side of “bitter//sweet” is that it serves as Kevin’s farewell to Orlando. This is expressed in the soulful keys and emotive flute of the second half. It’s an overall happy send-off, but is slightly tinged with sadness, kind of like driving back to home after our day at the beach. I have no doubt Cruz will continue to make great music in the future, and he’ll always be covered in the stench that is Orlando. It doesn’t watch off.

Azul Toga – “Bedroom 2”

More and more, I find myself really craving dream pop. I think it’s the vast openness dream pop artists tend to create; a landscape where I can feel at total peace. Songs like this allow me to think so clearly, so introspectively that real life issues seem so faint. Portland-based artist Azul Toga transports me in this way. I hope he does the same for you. Enjoy.

Fred Thomas – “Pumpkin Seeds”

Sit back. Let it all soak in. Listen to the soft strums of the guitar. The echoing voice of Fred Thomas sways like a gentle breeze. This isn’t new – it’s off of Thomas’ 2012 album Night Times – but as the hellish Florida weather begins to show mercy, it is fitting. I just want to melt into this song. And I’m glad to read the word “pumpkin” without it being followed by the word “spice.” Enjoy.

Phoenix + the Flower Girl – “Yes, She Knows (Fortune Howl Remix)”

Recently, Orlando music producer and Relief in Abstract artist Fortune Howl released this very fluid remix of “Yes, She Knows” by Phoenix + the Flower Girl. Like his original work, the track has a similar Fortune Howl abstract formula. His music is incredibly lava lamp-esque, continually flowing and morphing into strange shapes and vibrant colors. Whenever I hear a Fortune Howl song, I get this disturbing feeling that at anytime I could be attacked by some sort of shadowy monster. But it’s just too damn cool to not enjoy. So. Enjoy.

SALES – “toto (XXYYXX Remix)”

An Orlando producer shapes his own version of an already great track, originally created by a fellow Orlando act. The result is refreshing. Listen to the original below, and catch SALES next week at Will’s with Maximino, Pathos Pathos, and The Welzeins. Enjoy.

Arms and Sleepers – “Tiger Tempo”

This song has its own atmosphere. The sweeping synths feel endless whilst the clattering of the percussion fills up the empty space. I’m just going to get lost in this one for a while. If you too like what you hear, then stay stunned, because the duo’s new album Swim Team is out October 28. Enjoy.

12 Days to Bonnaroo: Washed Out

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Weaken a wild bro by throwing rocks at it. Once it is sufficiently weakened, use one of your pokeballs to capture it.

Washed Out – Sunday, June 15, 5:45 P.M. – The Other Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Real Estate, Broken Bells, Warpaint

You may have heard the sonic trot of “Feel It All Around” beforeThe song, off the 2010 EP Life of Leisure, helped establish a name for Washed Out, the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Ernest Greene. Since then, Greene released two albums with Sub Pop Records, 2010’s Within and Without and 2013’s Paracosm. I like to think of Washed Out’s music as a watery dream-scape, constantly ebbing and flowing, never remaining the same.

If you’ve never experienced a sonic painter like Washed Out live, I suggest giving his set a listen. Although stage performances from similar artists tend to be minimal, you become encased in sound, transported to the environment the artist creates. The audience has a feeling of unification, and at an event like Bonnaroo, the sounds of Washed Out can make for a visceral experience.


Casual Conversation: Gettin’ Creepy with The Casket Girls

Tonight’s the night. If you’re still in the dark, The Casket Girls are playing in a few hours @ Will’s Pub. There’s still time to get your tickets if you weren’t as lucky as Chris Woodyard, winner of the ticket contest. In preparation for the show, I was lucky enough to get to ask The Casket Girls a few questions. Stay tuned for another interview with The Stargazer Lilies. Enjoy.

“We would offer reconciliatory truce and suggest the formation of a super group called ‘Greene eggs and HAIM.'”

How was SXSW? Any crazy stories? Did you get to see any performances while in Texas?

“SXSW was yes, crazy. We actually only saw Graveface bands as our schedules were pretty tied up, but all the Graveface bands were of course, incredible. Creepoid and Haley Bonar were some highlights. We had an amazing time recording our Daytrotter session, and the shows were all pretty epic. Even the ones with terrible sound and no time to breathe… It’s all a part of the madness.”

(Phaedra and Elsa Greene) Growing up, were you always collaborating together? Was there ever a time when you were in different bands or listening to opposing styles of music?

“Yes, we have always collaborated to some extent on everything we do, as we seem to share a mind to some degree, however this is our first time playing music. We have of course “played” together tons growing up with vivid imaginations. Our taste has always been pretty similar, however I have always been in love with GNR, and Fay isn’t having it.”

(Phaedra and Elsa) Having come from the same backgrounds (presumably same parents, same hometown, same high schools), how do you think your personalities and what you took from those shared experiences differ?

“We are of the mind of nature over nurture, therefor our differences are inherent and come from within us.”

(Phaedra and Elsa) You wrote your last release in a non-traditional way (the girls wrote the entire album during an acid trip)? How do you think doing so changed your writing? Was there something dug up that inspired the lyrics?

We have been experimenting with automatic writing and using mostly images from our dreams writing journals. That has taught us that some of the most poignant ideas come from the subconscious mind, and even the collective unconsciousness.

(Phaedra and Elsa) What is the dynamic like when writing together? Do fights ever break out over lyrics and melodies, or is it harmonious?

“We never fight. We do nothing but embrace and nurture each other’s thoughts, as we almost consider them our own. We also practice using all ideas in some way, whether is be a back up part or harmony, it has a place in our world.”

(Ryan Graveface) How does your musical ideas, in-studio and touring, differ from Phaedra and Elsa’s? What does each party bring to the table?

“It differs because I write the music and the girls write the lyrics and vocal melodies. I think this is why we work so well together, as we are coming from completely different places, yet in the end everything makes psychic sense.”

(Phaedra and Elsa) How do you think you would do in a street fight against the Haim sisters?

“We are lovers, not fighters. We would offer reconciliatory truce and suggest the formation of a super group called “Greene eggs and HAIM.””