Dishital Weekly is COUNTERZINE’s weekly roundup of 5 digital only releases we think are worthy of your attention. The only rules are that we like it and there’s no readily available physical version at the timing of writing. When it was released, genre, platform: none of these matter. If it’s new to us and it’s new to you, it’s new.
1. B.R.U.C.E. – ASMR
Kicking off this week’s column is Portland, Oregon garage punk band B.R.U.C.E. with their savage and cathartic EP ASMR. The band’s acronym name stands for Burn Rapists Until Crispy and Enjoy and tells you a good deal about the group’s aggression, message, and sense of humor. Opener “AHHHHHHHH” starts as a goofy chakra alignment skit before exploding into a hardcore blast beat freakout, “Ride It Like I Stole It” is delightfully sex positive, and “SEX BED” is a slow, heavy jam where vocalist Anna just screams “SEX BEEEEEEEEEEED!” at the top of her lungs (which have a very high top, by the way). The two most powerful tracks though are “More/Less” and “Repeat(Repeat)”, which both more directly address the attached statement: “This album is dedicated to everyone fighting to break the cycle of abuse”. “More/Less” focuses on self-worth, while “Repeat(Repeat)” is symbolic of the cycle itself with its Pixies/Breeders-like quiet-loud structure.
Fun, but with important shit to say, this is absolutely a punk band to watch. Cassettes seem to exist but also seem to be exclusive to shows at the moment. I’d keep an eye out in hopes that this changes but in the meantime, it’s available to stream and download.
2. COOZY – “I Hate It Here”
Released in May, COOZY’s “I Hate It Here” is one of the weirdest, most depressive, and most fucked up records we’ve heard all year. No wave that moves at a defeated shuffle step, the album is more or less a concept album about how much COOZY fucking hates Alabama. COOZY is actually an alternate name for Blotchouts, with the the difference being, according to their Bandcamp, “BLOTCHOUTS has hope and COOZY has none”. If you’re not convinced yet, there’s a Shaggs cover. If that doesn’t do it for you, you’re impossible. Also it’s free. Check out Blotchouts too, this shit is really doing our degenerate bum souls good.
3. El Valerie – I D A
El Valerie has been quite busy this year.
Having just released her album Electro Pampas in April via Perth label Haunted Attics Records and before that an EP in January titled Métier Moue, New York’s El Valerie delivers another solid full-length with I D A. Perhaps best described as art pop, her music is minimalist and soulful, colored with sparse drum machine, humming ambiance, bluesy guitar, and clear crooning. We couldn’t find any concrete info on a physical release, but considering Electro Pampas‘ cassette release, we wouldn’t be shocked to see this receive one as well. As added incentive for picking up the digital in July, 100% of I D A‘s first month sales are going to RAICES Texas, a non-profit human rights organization. Good deal.
4. Lucas Van Lenten – Low Spokes
Hey, we said release date doesn’t matter.
Dishital Weekly usually features music released in the past 12 months, but Lucas Van Lenten’s brilliant 2013 indie pop record Low Spokes is too good to discriminate against. Great art doesn’t expire and Van Lenten’s playful yet mature blend stays fresh all these years later. From bouncy opener “San Sebastian” to tavern gambler “Gold Monkey”, it’s a little trippy, a little folksy, and all good. We also recommend 2004’s Slowpoke, a very different record that’s largely instrumental (though not entirely) and features more peculiar arrangements. Van Lenten states on his Bandcamp that he looks to crank out an album every five to six years. While the nine year gap between his first two (actually a bit of a slowpoke, innit?) gives us a bit of pause, the fact that this is there now seems to hint that something new is on the way soon. In any case, based on these two, it should be worth the wait. Shout out to our friends at Houdini Mansions for bringing this one to our attention.
5. Sicayda – Sown
I feel like we cover Toronto almost too much, but by god do they continue to deliver.
This time, they give us Sicayda and their debut EP Sown, a sweet and delicious shoegaze layer cake of fuzz, sugary vocals, and powerful drumming. Youthful nostalgia is absolutely dripping off of this one. Our favorite has to be “Struggle Bug”: we like to imagine it was directly named for the Pokemon move, but beyond that, it just rocks the shit and makes our souls soar. The chiming, ambient outro is absolutely gorgeous as well. This one is name-your-price: no excuses.