Pet Owner – Hi-Res
Similar artists: Broadcast, Stereolab, Helena Deland
Genre: Shoegaze, Psychedelic Rock
The most basic rules of songwriting are easy to grasp, and few musicians have any real problems following on to them. This is the reason why you will always have a newly spawned version of your favorite band. It isn’t hard to copy the formula as long as the elements of it are visible for all to see.
There are certain advantages to having pop music remain predictable. However, this is not something that truly reflects the unpredictability of modern life. Unlike pop music, there are few certainties. Furthermore, the all-forgiving, blissful chorus of hit singles does not reflect the redemption that people are actually due to receive.
Life is much more like Pet Owner’s Hi-Res, a mixture of hallucinatory images dancing around maddingly over a static backdrop. It’s an electro-driven sort of sound that found favor in the early part of the 1990s, and its pulsating grooves and the colorful palette with which the musicians paint here remain an antidote for life’s most difficult moments.
Matte Blvck – Midnight & Angel
Genre: Indie Rock, Garage Rock, Alternative Rock
Most musicians learn the basics about crafting songs through methods that have more in common with military drills. Guitarists first learn scales and chords. These are sounds arranged by perfect rules. Drummers learn to keep a groove in a way that they never stray from the pattern that is given to them. Singers learn to find the perfect pitch for the notes that their voices project.
Such perfect harmony is glorious for many and terribly upsetting for some. There are undoubtedly budding songwriters that do not find themselves or their dreams within the confines of this kind of perfection. For them, music must resemble reality which is far from ideal.
Matte Blvck’s Midnight & Angel is a monument to disturbing asymmetry. It’s a song that leans into distorted sounds and danceable but menacing grooves. It is also a tune that feels built on the dark-alternative foundations built by the likes of Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails. And overall, it’s a pop tune built around imperfection.