A PARTY AIN’T A PARTY UNLESS THE RULER IS AROUND: Hot off the burned rubber of the most scorching political track in recent Athens history, WesdaRuler just released a new mix named Dance Bii. The single-track mix slides around through Wes’ many moods, but mostly has him out front with his strong lyricism and his signature sing-song flow. Stylistically, this dips deep into ‘70s R&B and proto-disco (I mean, hell, peep the cover art), but also has some of Slick Rick’s oddball-ness, Kendrick Lamar’s sense of structure and even sparse instances of DJ Screw-style slowdowns. This is also a very personal record, much like his LP Ocean Drive, and lyric heads will take much appreciation of Wes’s attention to detail and unbridled openness. This runs at just about half an hour long, and there’s no reason I can imagine that would keep this from being on a near-constant loop for a good while. Check it out at wesdaruler.bandcamp.com. It’s also available on limited edition CD and cassette via HHBTM Records at hhbtm.bandcamp.com.
TRIPLE PLAY: Sensational pop maestros Heffner have been on a slow tear all year long, evidenced most recently by the new single “All Alone Baby.” It’s the third for the group this year. Whereas earlier singles—“You Don’t Even Know Him” and “Higher Education (Electronic Dance Music)”—traded on pub rock masculinity tempered with fashionable melodicism, “All Alone Baby” pulls the throttle back into crafty reverb territory. First, it’s a much gentler tune than the other two, and the vocals are a lot more lethargic—specifically so and not merely slow. The buried guitars provide much of the power here. There are slight traces of a vapor wave aesthetic, so slight it can hardly be an apt descriptor, but mostly this is the sound of the band performing that crucial third-track on a mixtape action. They took it up two notches and now pulled it back a little. Find all three on Spotify or your favorite streaming service. Follow along at facebook.com/Heffnerband.
LAY YR MONEY DOWN: Austin, TX label Chicken Ranch Records (current home to Athens’ own Five-Eight) is now taking pre-orders for the upcoming two-song vinyl debut single by Pinky Doodle Poodle. The featured songs are “Are You Ready”—which you can stream at the pre-order link—and “Go Ahead.” Featured guests on the first track include Athens folks Lucy Calhoun, Sienna Chandler (Monsoon) and Timi Conley. Please see facebook.com/pinkydoodlepoodle for more information, and head over to store.chickenranchrecords.com to order.
GREEN GROW THE RUSHES: Every few months, like dependable clockwork, Love My Truck releases a new batch of songs. On Independence Day, the duo released the four-song set, Girth Of A Nation. It opens with the metaphorical hymn to perseverance “Gumby,” slides into the mixed-media heft of “Odd Shape,” heads into the buoyantly lowly celebration of friendship “Beer Smoke,” then closes with the clarity of “See It.” On this set, Love My Truck heads back into the heady use of empty space, which serves their drop-dead gorgeous melodies very well. I mean, what’s left to say? Celebrate this all by yourself at lovemytruck.bandcamp.com.
STOP. POTTER TIME: I swear, y’all, the sun never sets on Michael Potter’s empire. To wit, yet another album by his long-running solo and ensemble project The Electric Nature just came out. This time credited to Michael Potter and The Electric Nature, it’s titled Trance Music and is composed of four long tracks (Trance I-IV), but they’re arranged in the order of III, II, I, IV. These live recordings are described by Potter as “ambient primitive,” which is pretty much on the mark and nods heavily toward what I can only imagine is a trove of heroes for Potter running from Eno to Fahey. While “Trance III” develops the record’s tone with minor swells near the middle, the very next track, “Trance II,” brings a pretty big howl-n-scrape in its midsection as well as some acoustic noodlin’. “Trance I” follows in much the same fashion with similar construction. Closer, “Trance IV” begins with very audible audience chatter and the music builds in a lonely manner off in its own corner. By the end, though, the volume has increased, and the audience seemingly recedes. It’s the audio equivalent of a camera slowly moving in for a closeup. This album is available via streaming and also as a cassette tape, and pre-orders are being accepted as we speak. To do either or both, please see gardenportal.bandcamp.com
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