Ambient indie-pop and summery surf sounds take over Boston in the second half of August.
By Thomas Samph
At a Deerhunter show, the sight of frontman Bradford Cox’s skeleton-like figure striding on to the stage through a thick mist (sometimes wearing a dress) is as ethereal and spooky as his band’s music. The band’s sound, bound together by Cox’s songwriting philosophy, is the aural manifestation of the lanky, almost ghostly, frontman’s physical appearance. When it comes to songwriting, Cox lets stream of consciousness rule his vocal chords and his fretwork: the result is various shades of ambient sound. The band’s new album Halcyon Digest comes out in late September.
If you aren’t stuck in the sand when you listen to Beach Fossils, at least you’ll feel like it. With whispered, airy vocals, plucked guitars, and brushy drums, Beach Fossils’ music is casual, light, and warm. Beach Fossils’ latest album cover, a closeup of wood paneling painted white, matches the simple accessibility and clean cut ambiance of the band’s sound.
Is that Nico singing? No, actually it’s Sharon Shy of The Ropes. The duo from New York released an EP earlier this year called Love Is A Chain Store, a lonely and isolating, darkly comical look at love with lyrics like, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in love,” “Settling is the status quo,” and the chorus of, “Love is a chain store.”
You won’t find rackets or fuzzy yellow balls here, only crackling tape echo, twangy surf-like guitar, and a nostalgic voice plucked straight from a female pop band in the 60s. Tennis is the husband and wife duo of Patrick Riley on guitars and Alaina Moore on keyboard and vocals. Originally from Denver, the couple recently spent close to a year on a boat that they sailed around the east coast of the U.S., a trip that inspired most of the music and the sound of their latest album.
Music brings people together—even the French and Germans. Françoise Cactus of France and Brezel Göring of Germany form the Berlin-based duo Stereo Total, draw influences from French and German pop music in the 1950s and 60s, and give it their own twist by incorporating electronic and new wave. They’ve got both the throwback sound and the neo-throwback, all wrapped with a sense of humor. They even do a pretty good cover of Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It.” The band has recorded 11 albums in the last 15 years, and they’ve remained faithful to their fun, upbeat pop sound.
Neptune – August 14 – Great Scott
Funeral Party – August 16 – Great Scott
The Delta Mirror – August 16 – O’Brien’s
The Ropes – August 16 – O’Brien’s
John Caress – August 17 – Harper’s Ferry
Crystal Castles – August 17 – House of Blues
Beausoleil – August 19 – Regattabar
My Morning Jacket – August 19 – Comcast Center
Tom Petty – August 21 – Comcast Center
Marconi – August 22 – Middle East
Chiddy Bang – August 23 – Harper’s Ferry
Scissor Sisters – August 28 – House of Blues
Gina’s Picture Show – August 29 – Middle East