Walls that spoke to me…

Anyone who knows me even vaguely will no doubt have been told by now, that for the first time in my life I am driving regularly, and to be honest I’m surprised just how much I’m enjoying it. I’m genuinely amazed.

One of the hitherto undiscovered pleasures of driving has been the whole quality time with my CD player experience. Why did no one tell me how much fun this is?

Grass Widow

The CD that has kept me company this week has been Past Times by three women from San Francisco called Grass Widow. It’s a bit of a post punk treat, all trebly guitar lines, and slightly aggressive twin vocals. It sounds a lot like the Au Pairs to these elderly ears.

It doesn’t have quite the same heart-beating-like-a-sparrow nerviness to it that the Cloud Nothings record does (maybe a small mammal…) but it’s still pretty energetic stuff, full of spirit, industry and intelligence.

The lyrics are tricky and hard to pick (not least because both vocalists sing different lines over the top of each other), and by all accounts quite private:

“We write lyrics about very personal and often dark subjects” Raven Mahon, the guitarist says, “but present the ideas in a way that disguises the content within metaphor and upbeat instrumentation”. So there you go.

There’s a couple of cracking videos shot by some feller calling himself unARTigNYC (possibly not the name his mother knows him by) which captures some of these qualities:

(If you’re wondering, a “grass widow” is apparently, an obsolete term for a woman – possibly of easy virtue – abandoned by her man.)

“Shadows”, the first song, is available as a free download from KillRockStars. Past Times is released by Wizard Mountain and is I think their second release, in that Emusic seem to have another record available. There’s also an EP around too, so a bit of investigating to be done, methinks…

Can’t You See?

For a change, today, I thought I’d post something about a record that I just can’t decide whether I like or not. I blow hot and cold…

Women

Women are a Canadian band of four blokes who have just released their second album, on Flemish Eye records, called Public Strain. And right now, on my headphones, it sounds like a bit of a belter – all spiky alt-punk guitar chords and sparse atmospheric sounds, vocals recorded in the room next door, etc… Problem is over the car stereo (a new and unexpected pleasure for me), it sounds bassy and atonal, hard to penetrate. I’ll let you decide.

You can read more about them here, but I’m guessing the members of Women are Velvet Underground fans and will also have a smattering of Jesus and Mary Chain records in their bedsits. Today’s records? Maybe the Girls record from last year… There’s also a fair amount of drone in there too, meh, sometimes I go for that, sometimes not…

Flemish Eye will allow you to download four tracks, two from each of their records, So I’ll put one of them up here, and let you go over there to pick up the others:

Narrow With the Hall

There’s also this rather fine YouTube clip, recorded in Heidelberg of Women looking very arthouse: