ACL Singles Chart ~ May 2014

Soul SourceOur 2014 experiment continues with ten brand new instrumental tracks, selected from releases featured in current and upcoming reviews!  In the wider world of music, fans can’t get enough of Pharrell and Frozen.  This is the score to our alternate universe.

1) The Resource Centre ~ The Hour Angle (The Sun, It Rises Everywhere) (The Geography Trip)
“Let the tree be high or low; let it hail, rain, or snow; here stands the three-legged crow.”  Thus begins the sound of spring.  Taken from The Resource Centre’s Low Fantasy EP, this ambient/experimental blend of poetry and bells was an obvious choice for the top spot in our May chart.  “For fans of birdwatching”, the Bandcamp blurb tweets.  For fans of springtime joy, say we.


2) Tides of Man ~ Mountain House
Tampa’s Tides of Man first came to our attention with this teaser track, and now the full album has been released (on vinyl!).  We’re still blown away by the compactness of this piece, a hard-drumming post-rock single that actually is a single, and at 2:52 just right for the airwaves.


3) Bruno Sanfilippo ~ Luciana
The lead track from Sanfilippo’s upcoming album ClarOscuro (May 15), “Luciana” is a lovely blend of piano, cello and violin that blends a sense of springtime danger with springtime joy, like newborn birds and animals scavenging for food, desperate to survive.  The mixture of emotions provides the song with a memorable patina.


4) la flag ~ Zenith
It’s not often that we find a post-rock/metal track that we can dance to, but the evidence is in the video.  This dark entry from the Portuguese band’s debut album spargelzeit, “Zenith” makes a powerful first impression.

5) Music for Money ~ Le Zèbre enchanté
The catchiest cut from the Montreal band’s third album, Toro, “Le Zèbre enchanté” glides along on a pleasant bass line before collapsing in a pool of dissonance, only to rise again for the melodic finale.  Whether post-rock or post-pop, we’re not sure; we just want to play it again and again.


6) Lawrence Lindell ~ My Peace of Mind (Noise Met Sound)
Jeremy was right; when Lindell turns his talent for textures toward song composition, he reaches a higher level.  The closing cut of sophomore album Eclectic Frequencies, “My Peace of Mind” is Lindell at his best, a possible sign of a new direction for the artist.


7) Bmbu ~ Cocoon
Philadelphia’s John Michael Alsace has been releasing a steady string of instrumental hip-hop EPs leading up to his reBuilder album.  The beats of “Cocoon” are beguiling, but the violins send this song into the stratosphere.  There’s plenty more where this came from, so if you like it, you’re in luck!


8) Whizz Kid ~ Clones (Bearsuit Records)
“A children’s album for adults, or an adult album for children?”  It makes little difference, as There’s Conjuring to Be Done addresses the child in all of us.  Opening track “Clones” starts like a luau before tripping into the toy box and emerging with a smile.


9) Apta ~ Swept
“Swept” was the title track of an EP in 2013, and is the standout track of Barry Smethurst’s new electronically-minded 2014 album Sparks and Sines.  Sprightly in the first half, reflective in the second, it’s a track that takes time to smell the roses.


10) Drumked ~ The Shadows
Drumked’s first EP, We Are Drumked, was released as the world was toasting the new year, hiding in the shadows like the ninja of its standout selection.  But now that the track has been brought to light, we’re grooving on its retro samples and modern beats.

Richard Allen

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