8track: Aloysius Scrimshaw, Praed, Imp of Perverse, Inning, Tyler Osmond, No Museums, Rondald James*, Day & Dream

8track is a new COUNTERZINE feature where we review 8 tracks by 8 artists and arrange them in sequence like those old 8-Track tapes (the WCW of portable analogue audio media you don’t remember). This edition, Program 1 includes tracks by Aloysius Scrimshaw, Praed, Imp of Perverse, and Inning, while Program 2 features music by Tyler Osmond, No Museums, Rondald James*, and Day & Dream.

 

Program 1

 

A1: ΛᄂӨYƧIЦƧ ƧᄃЯIMƧΉΛЩ (Aloysius Scrimshaw) – “Hella Fresh”

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ΛᄂӨYƧIЦƧ ƧᄃЯIMƧΉΛЩ (Aloysius Scrimshaw)

ΛᄂӨYƧIЦƧ ƧᄃЯIMƧΉΛЩ, better read as ‘Aloysius Scrimshaw’ for us mere mortals, is The Dead Musician (whatever the hell that means), making ‘post-music’ (whatever the fuck that is). As such, you’d expect his new single “Hella Fresh” to be an odd beast, and you’d be right on the money. Industrial might be the closest thing to an apt descriptor, but elements of blackgaze and darkwave also make their way into this bizarre march of a track to create something nigh unrecognizable as he growls on about destroying “a genre of music” and “boys of soy”. We can’t quite tell if Scrimshaw is taking the piss or not, which makes this all the more compelling. The best comparison we can conjure? Maybe Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People”, if Manson wasn’t a normie. “Hella Fresh” is hella weird, but also hella not boring. In fact, we’d say it’s hella good, and you can buy it for all of two quarters on Bandcamp. (socials: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

 

A2: Praed – “El Khawaga”

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Praed (left to right: Raed Yassin, Paed Conca)

“El Khawaga”, the second track off of Lebanese duo Praed’s Doomsday Survival Kit, is also the second track on this 8-Track. Taking inspiration from chaabi, free jazz, and electronic music, “El Khawaga” is a hypnotic brew of an instrumental grounded by consistent yet active quick march drums and alternating electronics as Paed Conca’s clarinet freely dances on top. With 13 years together and shows and festivals across the globe under their belts, they’ve had a lot of experience fine tuning this distinctive style, made evident as every element bleeds together seamlessly when one ingredient out of place could break the trance “El Khawaga” puts you in. Doomsday Survival Kit is out on French label Akuphone and is available to purchase digital, CD, and vinyl (limited pink and standard variants) here. (socials: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

 

A3: Imp of Perverse – “Despair Puff”

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Imp of Perverse (photo: Shannon Lochridge)

Are we biased? Well maybe, but despite our past history with Austin’s brilliant multi-instrumentalist psych rocker Sean Lochridge, we have nothing to do with “Despair Puff” beyond thinking it kicks the shit. While he’s a drummer first and foremost given his past with bands such as Sherry, the Halfways, and π, if it makes sound, chances are Lochridge can wring something special out of it. Case in point, the killer fuzzed-out riffs pushed to the front and center on this one while his signature complex rhythms pound away in the back, low enough to get you to lean in closer but wild enough to whip your neck around in dangerous ways and hushed vocals float like clouds between the spaces. Be sure to check out the trippy DIY vid made with friendos as well, and you can pay-what-you-want for the single here. (socials: Facebook, Instagram)

 

A4: Inning  – “Aix en Provence”

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Evan Frolov of Inning

Closing out the first program, we have Inning, a Charlottesville, Virginia band with their recent single “Aix en Provence”. Named for a small French university city which Evan Frolov visited on a backpacking trip post-college graduation, it’s a rich and almost daunting pop track propelled forward by a quick electronic drum melody and broad strokes of cello before a sudden shift where the cello is left to stand on its own, symbolic of the spontaneity and independence inherent to the excursion. “Aix en Provence” is only one of 10 Inning singles released since last year’s D.C. Party Machine EP and while we don’t have a hard confirmation, we’d imagine that based on the last three sharing artwork, a new EP or full-length is on the way. You can pay-what-you-want for “Aix en Provence” (and the rest of Inning’s catalog) here. (socials: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

 

Program 2

 

B1: Tyler Osmond – “Time Gets Wasted”

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Tyler Osmond

We kick off the second program with a sweet little tune called “Time Gets Wasted” from 16-year-old Tyler Osmond, a North Carolinian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with mature pop sensibilities well beyond his years. The intro slowly swells with the quiet buzz and rumble of guitar while drums pitter patter just above and bright tones wash over the track, giving the song a sense of sonic depth that feels as though it could swallow you whole. Immediately after, the chorus comes, bursting forth with a vocal performance full of boyish charm punctuated by single chords to create dramatic tension. There’s only one verse, provided Tyler’s brother and co-writer Sammy (of Mother’s Friends), which is more muted and earthy in tone by comparison, before it explodes once again into the sunny chorus. It’s a simple song, but that’s only to say there’s no excess fat: an essential quality of the best pop music. Osmond’s had a pretty busy 2019 with EPs Dark Pink and Orange Summer preceding the release of “Time Gets Wasted”, and you check it all out via Spotify or Apple Music. (socials: Instagram)

 

B2: No Museums – “The Bell Horse”

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No Museums (circa 2016)

Edmonton’s No Museums (fka Twin Library) are gearing up for the release of their ninth album Moths (to be released this Friday, the 27th) and early single “The Bell Horse” has us looking forward to what’s in store. A simple but expertly executed lo-fi jangle jam coming in at a mere 1:42, “The Bell Horse” begins its march with acoustic guitar, bass (wonderfully audible), and drums before stacking a gentle piano melody and finally the climactic, noisy electric guitar. Fans of Guided by Voices and especially C86 bands like The Wedding Present should love this one, so keep an eye on their Bandcamp for the release and check out the other pre-release single “An Engine Submerged” here. (socials: Facebook, Twitter)

 

B3: Rondald James* – “Enter-Net”

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Ronadald James*

While our next track “Enter-Net” largely plays out as a captivating hybrid of alternative R&B and conscious hip hop, we might assume ourselves that Rondald James* has a background in slam poetry. Riding a soulful and airy instrumental courtesy of Darkcloud, James* hits high and low vocal beats with ease, switching up his flow regularly without ever forcing it and appropriately highlighting impact words. The lyrics represent his experience with the internet, social media in particular, and take the form of an overwhelming stream of terminology in constant flux, itself symbolic of the relationship. The key lines here are “yeah I know they love you on your URL, tell me know they feel about you irl” and “we’re not people, we’re just profiles“, which may read as a bit “we live in a society” for some, but that doesn’t make it ring any less true in a modern world where people have such divided online and offline personas that they can no longer tell which is the real them. James* doesn’t seem to have a storefront at the moment, but you can keep up with his music via his Spotify and SoundCloud. (socials: Twitter, Instagram)

 

B4: Day & Dream – “Paralysis by Analysis”

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Day & Dream (left to right: Mike Fassano, Erik Jan, Abby Amaya, Peter Frizzante)

Finally, we have the sweet and subdued anthem of introversion that is Day & Dream’s “Paralysis by Analysis”. Accompanied by video of an elegant trapeze performance under red light, the song drifts gently, drenched in reverb, as vocalist Abby Amaya softly sings as a recluse, stricken with an inability to act or interact as she over-analyzes every situation, preferring to be alone in her “echo chamber”. The tones on this one are as pretty as you’ll hear, but the direct relatability is what’s particularly striking (though I am speaking as an anxiety-riddled homebody so your mileage may vary on that front). “Paralysis by Analysis” is from late-summer singles pair Fading Summer (appropriate), available to purchase here. They also recently released a new single entitled “Hidden Cinema”, which you can check out here. (socials: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

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