ACL (Post-Rock) Singles Chart ~ June 2014

post-rockFive brand new tracks from Talons, Tides of Man, Lost in the Riots, Sleepmakeswaves and Minot are joined by five tracks from our Post-Rock Road Trip to form a post-rock version of our monthly singles chart.  Let’s get it charted!

It’s been a long, productive road trip, and we’ve brought lots of great music home with us.  But it doesn’t end there.  From all indications, we’re going to have a great post-rock summer as well.  The announcements are pouring in: artists are touring, releasing new work, and staking their claims to 2014’s post-rock crown.  For all we know, the winner may come from the batch below.

Because this is a singles chart, you won’t find the longer tracks here.  For many years, these were the bread and butter of post-rock artists.  The new generation is just as interested in short, punchy tracks: great for mix tapes, iPod playlists, backyard barbecues and trips to the beach.  While most post-rock albums still contain at least one cathartic ten-minute sprawler, the tracks below – two to six minutes in length – could each fit on one side of a 45.

1) sleepmakeswaves ~ Something Like Avalanches
The lead single from Love of Cartography (4 July, Australia; 2 September, ROW), “Something Like Avalanches” is the best thing we’ve heard from this Australian band since 2011’s “a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun”.  Melodic, upbeat, and instantly contagious, the selection offers rapid, energetic drumming and wild, swirling synths.  We can’t wait to hear the rest of the album!


2) Talons ~ The Wild Places
It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since Talons graced us with the incredible The Hollow Realm.  We were starting to despair that the heavy post-rock riffers would ever release another album.  Then this powerful piece hit Soundcloud, and we let out a collective sigh of relief – after dancing our asses off.  The New Topographics drops 4 August on Big Scary Monsters.


3) Totorro ~ Chevalier Bulltoe
While listening to this short, happy selection, one can hardly imagine that Totorro was once a heavy screamo band.  With the new album, Home Alone, the transition is complete.  The rest of the album is just as catchy; we’re glad they made the change.


4) Wander ~ Mourning
At 15 minutes in length, the title track is way too long to feature on our singles chart, although we highly recommend it.  But the alternate is an astonishingly complete 2-minute track that wastes no time getting to the good stuff.


5) MINOT ~ Tharsis
From Monument to Masses broke up in 2010, but out of its ashes was born MINOT.  After a successful 7″ last year, the band is preparing Equal/Opposite for release on The Mylene Sheath/Golden Antenna on July 1.  This lead track demonstrates that the band members have lost none of their power.


6) Sleeping Bear ~ All That You Love Will Be Carried Away
Sleeping Bear’s self-titled album was a late find on our Post-Rock Road Trip, but when we saw the woodcut cover, we had to hear more.  The standout cut, “All That You Love Will Be Carried Away”, begins in a rush of vinyl crackle, a rare choice for a post-rock cut.  In a tough season for the Ukraine, the band received great news: the first pressing of the CD sold out.  Congratulations, Sleeping Bear!


7) Neko Nine ~ Snowflakes Gone Grey
Few post-rock tracks contain flute; fewer still get it right.  This ebullient cut comes from Neko Nine’s split EP with The Creator Of, on Fluttery Records.  While the title may seem out of season, this sort of music is good all year round.


8) Ocean Districts ~ Endurance
Want riffs?  This three-minute track is packed with them.  Dedicated to Admiral Shackleton’s famous ice-bound ship, the track is one of many similarly-themed cuts on the aptly-named Expeditions.  This is the sound of resolute courage, the type necessary to venture into areas unknown with an uncertain chance of return.


9) Lost in the Riots ~ Hey, Deathwish
Last year the U.K.’s Lost in the Riots made an impact with Stranger in the Alps, and the follow-up looks to improve on that impact.  “Hey, Deathwish” is a great title, joyful and morbid all at once.  It’s the first track taken from Move On, Make Trails, due 30 June on Lonely Voyage Records.


10) Tides of Man ~ Bloodhound
Last month, this chart featured “Mountain House”, the lead single and standout track from Tides of Man’s exemplary debut, Young and Courageous.  The album also includes two bonus tracks, the latest of which is the tender yet passionate “Bloodhound”.  With vinyl sales already surpassing expectations, and high ratings from post-rock fans around the world, Tampa’s Tides of Man has clearly arrived.

Richard Allen

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