Vaporwave, a past due review, and more [single reviews]

By Ryan G

Sløtface – “Telepathic”: The music video for this song is essentially a piece of surrealism that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which actually describes the song too. If you want depth, it’s there. But if you want to enjoy its absurdity at face value, there’s that too. This synth-influenced pop punk is definitely a banger, and this song will be a crowd pleaser at shows and festivals alike. This act from Norway has the potential to take over—and I mean that. I’m not just parroting what a publicist told me to say. The vocals remind me of songs I’ve heard from Charly Bliss and Days N Daze… chew on that for awhile [featured photo credit – Jonathan Vivaas Kise].

Paper Lions – “Rhythm & Gold”: I feel like I could just type the title to the song out again and that would suffice as a review summing up this track. It’s an upbeat summery track that seems to shimmer. It would fit on many a “golden hour” playlist. You know when a band starts their set at an outdoor show, and they’re headlining? The sun is starting to set, but you know the fun is really about to begin. This song captures that mood. Get ready to dig into the best band you know from Prince Edward Island.

FANTAZMZ – “The Mall”: I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve sat down and intentionally written a reaction to a vaporwave tune on this blog. “The Mall” certainly exists on a plane that hugs the line between nostalgia and futurism. The swells within make me wonder what I’ve been missing within this genre, and remind me a bit of M83. The Peter Gabriel-esque vocals are the ideal emotional complement to the tone established by the composition, which utilizes a fade-out at the end of the song—something you don’t encounter too often these days. This NYC artist certainly carries within him an accessibility that ought to cross over to mainstream radio.

Deza – “Oslo”: The ever jam-packed pop scene in Nashville is always releasing bops, and one of the latest is to emerge is Deza’s “Oslo,” a bouncy, airy bop. The cadence of Deza’s single conveys emotions that seem to be at once unassuming and flirtatious. You know—the fun sort of flirtatious. Not so much the seductive kind. I get the sense that there’s realness being expressed here too—it’s not a song for a sake of a song. But it could just be that for you, and that would be okay too.

Speak Seldom – “California”: Lingering somewhere between dream pop and indie rock is the new duo that is Speak Seldom. Cory Heddleston can often be spotted playing with his other project Ledges (who have supported Kings Kaleidoscope on tour in the past), and Trudi Kurtz is someone I initially encountered as a singer-songwriter, and later as a part of folk group Out of the Pine. Since we’ve gotten that lengthy intro out of the way, on to the song, eh? “California” feels sun-baked, which in a way isn’t surprising. It doesn’t have that lo-fi feel that a lot of their peers have, but they definitely have that drenched-in-reverb effect. That outro has the effect of playing out like the embers of a fire: kind of comforting and calming, but very hot to the touch. I could as soon see Speak Seldom opening a Manchester Orchestra or The War on Drugs show as I could CHVRCHES or Sylvan Esso, judging strictly from the singles they’ve released so far.

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