jman & the pigs – Happily
There’s this sound that 90s alternative-rock band The Primitive Radio Gods made that, even though I haven’t heard often, I can’t quite shake out of my head. It feels like several songs collapsing on top of each other at the same time, or the music that would soundtrack a walk through someone else’s imagination.
This is what lo-fi stars jman & the pigs remind me of on their single Happily. On the surface, this is a slow-rock tune about avoiding tragedy just barely and with only a few scraps to use as proof. However, it is the delivery that really has me sold. Jonny, the singer for The Pigs, languidly recites the lyrics like someone recovering from a night of downing sleeping pills with vodka.
The murmur of the keys and the slashed-out guitar lines make the song come in and out of focus. Jonny intervenes once in a while like the friendly tour guide through this odd dreamscape.
jman & the pigs’ tunes occupy a space of their own, far away from the pressures and anguish of reality. For that and more, they are worth an investigation.
Tamar Aphek – Russian Winter
There’s never been a bad time for making psychedelic-rock or escaping to the outer limits of one’s mind. If the original psych-rockers were, generally, weirdos using feedback as a means to describe their lysergic-influenced visions, modern psych-authors are production gurus.
Given the complexity of the layers of sounds that are needed to create a modern psych-rock masterpiece, these artists need to have their wits about them. The feeling of otherness is compensated instead by songs and lyrics that hint at the idea of breaking boundaries, seeking freedom, or, simply, putting scattered elements together in an experiment meant to determine just what kind of musical combinations are indeed possible.
This is the case with Israeli singer’s Tamar Aphek’s single Russian Winter. The singing, lyrics especially, are the star attraction here with their confession about a love affair approaching extinction. But, the tune is really sold by the excellent, well-tailored production that finds clever ways of integrating the hard grooves and alt-rock stylings of the electric guitars here. It’s modern psych-rock for a generation where weirdness needs no sort of chemical enhancement.