Posts Tagged ‘wild kindness’

Stutter Steps at Backseat Mafia

Stutter Steps, the Pittsburgh indie pop six piece outfit, are today premiering their debut video Fog right here on Backseat Mafia. Taken from their forthcoming self titled debut album, it features Dean Wareham from Galaxie 500/Luna on slide guitar. Singer/Guitarist Ben Harrison met the indie luminary through his job at the Warhol Museum, where he devised a project where bands wrote music and performed scores for the Andy Warhol Screen Tests.

Fog is this rather lovely slice of americana infused indie pop. Its full of wistful melancholy, wrapped up in jangling guitars and this shuffle from the rhythm section. It got the sort of tune thats its very hard not to fall in love with, especially when its sugared with these beautiful vocal harmonies. So sit down, make a cup of tea, and luxuriate in Stutter Steps Fog.

Check out the similarly wistful video, with views of misty (well, Foggy I guess…) forests and scenery below.

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Stutter Steps at Austin Town Hall

Okay, so maybe Stutter Steps aren’t your new favorites, not yet anyways. But, those of you who’ve carefully wrapped yourself in a world of indiepop and Australian/NewZealand guitar craftsmanship will surely find yourselves a new band to adore. This first single is as fine example of the art of songwriting as I’ve come to hear, which should come as no surprise; Ben Harrison, the man behind the band, can call himself a contributor/collaborator to the works of Dean and Britta(if you need to look that up then it won’t mean much). Still, I can hear the band’s references toFlying Nun, though I prefer to imagine Harrison crafting his own American version of the Go-Betweens. There’s incredible melodies and such a gentle warmth; you’re bound to find this the most endearing tune today. Their self-titled album will be out soon via Wild Kindness Records.

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Casper & The Cookies at God is in the TV

Athens, Georgia band Casper & the Cookies have produced their version of Welsh Britpop band Catatonia’s classic single ‘You’ve Got A lot To Answer For’. Recorded over this summer to celebrate 20 years of Britpop. And we are pleased to have the exclusive first airing of the track:

‘Casper & the Cookies released a new album earlier this year on Stuff Records / Wild Kindness called “Dingbats” which got a bunch of press in the states. The band are loosely part of the elephant six collective. Jason Nesmith the band leader has been in the Late BP Helium, Visitations, of Montreal, and the Sunshine Fix, Kay Stanton is also in Supercluster and New Sound of Numbers, and AJ Griffin is a member of Circulatory System and Olivia Tremor Control.’

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Casper & The Cookies at Razorcake

Casper & The Cookies are an Athens, GA pop band that can be loosely linked to the Elephant 6 Recording Company Collective because of one of the members having been in E6 bands Of Montreal and The Sunshine Fix, among others. Musically, they don’t stray far from the pop side of the E6 aesthetic—poppy and quirky with new wave tendencies at times. Athens has a long history of poppy and quirky indie-rock bands, starting with R.E.M. and the B-52’s, and this influence can still be seen and heard today, with this record being no exception.

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Casper & The Cookies at Whisperin and Hollerin

‘Dingbats’ is the latest album from Casper & The Cookies. I’ll admit upfront I haven’t heard any of the previous records so can’t say if this is the band’s classic album or not but it is a cool and interesting, if slightly odd indie record.

It kicks in straight away,from the odd drum patterns that litter opener Improvisamente Ardito. The cool vocals duel with the guitars that aren’t quite sure what to do, as the tune build and builds, going in circles once more and making for a compelling opener.

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Casper & The Cookies at Pop Matters

Casper & the Cookies have been knocking out jittery indie-pop records for a while now, but Dingbats may be the band at its most cut free. The album explores a variety of pop structures and textures, yet the overall effect feels connected and, at its best, charming. The album kicks off with the crashing drums and ringing chords of arena-rocker “Improvvisamente Ardito”. It’s a perfectly wide-open place to start a record that moves through the cheeky dance-punk of “Drug Facts”, or the lean power-pop of “Jennifer’s House”, or the winking psych-rock of “Lemon Horses”. “Thing For Ugly” mixes some of these pieces to twist basic rock structures into a Devo-esque exercise in nervy pop. Meanwhile, “Sleep Defense” simplifies the formula late in the record to create the its most direct standout.

Dingbats is an impressive and satisfying exploration of pop in so many of its derivations. There are moments—see “Thing for Ugly”—where you might wonder what Casper & the Cookies really look like under some of this costumery, and parts of other songs (“Lemon Horses”, for example) lose some of their impact in their heavy irony. But overall,Dingbats is a confidently played and exciting pop record, aware enough and dynamic enough to explore without painting itself into some revivalist corner.

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Casper & The Cookies at SoundsXP

A band from Athens, Georgia who’ve been around since 1998, this is their fourth album of smart, hooky pop. The “Casper” of the name is Jason NeSmith, who was part of the touring band for Of Montreal around Satanic Panic in the Attic, and the Elephant 6 connection that this suggests is partially confirmed when you hear Dingbats, but equally there’s a strong echo of 80s/90s US college rock. Crucial touchstones include the DBs (‘Sleep Defence’ especially), Game Theory’s quirky alt.rock and XTC’s strange, melodic pop. ‘Drug Facts’ has scattergun lyrics and myriad twists and turns while the weirdness of ‘Omni’ combines crazy Devo-ish 80s zig-zag rhythms with some of Apples in Stereo’s freakier moments (“I’m omni-directional/ the source is you”). The standout track ‘Lemon Horses’ wins for its superb catchy chorus and howling, showing that for all the oddness there’s a catchy core to this odd-pop.

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