This week, the choice of tracks traverses what is by now a well-traveled triangle between London, New York, and San Francisco, though not perhaps along the most obvious of routes, while the wavelengths on which it moves will be dreamy and slightly downtempo.
Leading things off tonight is a song from Telepathic Love, the debut of the New York band Heaven, comprising Matt Sumrow on guitar and vocals, Mikey Jones on drums, and Ryan Lee Dunlap on keyboards, which the group’s record label, the Williamsburg-based Goodnight Records, has loaded on its own Soundcloud page; the number is a dark pæan to their city itself which is impressive not least because it can be at once spectacular and sinister, a song replete with a droning delivery and anxious arrangements, one that, in a nod to New York’s origins (as though much of its present-day urban environment were prefigured in microcosm in those beginnings) they’ve entitled “New Amsterdam.”
Second in line is a song called “Lost” from the album Garden of Dreams, released several weeks ago by The Psychedelic Manifesto in London; this track, with music by Chris Garland and Matthew Leigh Embleton, lyrics by Garland, and the vocals by Garland and Hong Guo, is tranquil in mood where the former’s was tense, and although its topic bears some resemblance to the other’s, at least insofar as the two touch on the manner in which an environ can at one and the same time both encompass and flee from those who are placed in the middle of it and who seek to ascertain where they are, here the space in question does not seem to be anything so literal as the urban setting. Rather, the surroundings have evidently been made strange even until the point of estrangement on account of something that’s so much a matter of the mind as a belief, namely, the belief in reincarnation. And this peculiar change effected in perception which the lyrics recount, is well-accompanied by the ethereal arrangements.
Last in tonight’s line-up is a venture in a genre the San Francisco sound artist and singer Bryce Albright, who records under the moniker Bosmink, terms art pop – though it is a music very different, to be sure, than that which one has been hearing lately in advance of the release of the eponymous album. This number is entitled “Hang My Hat” and, accordingly, it is a song about the place where one comes to rest, even if the latter idea by the end is turned inside out; in a few lines the lyrics go quite a distance towards accomplishing this, but not before the arrangements, which are both innovative and odd, already have led the way, taking the tune considerably further still. As a result, in spots the whole manages to be simultaneously atmospheric and edgy, rather of a piece with the city which he calls home, in fact.