grebes – house creature

– featured image courtesy of malcolm donaldson –

house creature, the debut effort from jacob ungerleider’s new solo project, grebes, is an intimate affair. across a sparse setting of eight songs, ungerleider navigates a more muted realm of pop, one populated by soft vocal hooks, enveloping synthesizers, and faint percussion.

the album’s opening third houses its singles; “one trick pony” is the syncopated prelude providing misdirection before “wyd” and “beleev” land, each of which use synths as means to subtly different ends.

“crown” and “halo” function as similar complements, another indication of ungerleider’s attention to thematics and sequencing. “halo” is the more fleshed-out of the two, easing in to a smooth backbeat punctuated by a lead vocal that flirts with falsetto and a crystalline synth motif that wanders in and out of the foreground.

the final section of house creature begins with an about-face: “always home” trades electronics for delicate, finger-picked acoustic guitar, an organic palette for ungerleider’s whispered vocal that’s eventually answered by a soulful, brassy countermelody. with “plum” and the standout closer “always new” in tow, house creature leaves its mark as an exemplar of introspective isolation, an aural companion for late nights of solitude.

house creature is out now via broken circles. listen in below.

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grebes – “one trick pony”

– featured image courtesy of malcolm donaldson –

when he’s not putting in time as a member of natalie prass’s backing band, jacob ungerleider records warm, enveloping pop songs under the moniker grebes. after releasing the swirling, downtempo “wyd” earlier this year, grebes returned last week with a follow-up single, “one trick pony,” ahead of a full-length release.

brushing up against the two-minute mark, “one trick pony” grounds itself in aqueous synths, stuttering percussion, and ungerleider’s tender lead vocal, percolating to the surface before suddenly dissipating. as the album’s lead track, it’s the perfect introduction to grebes.

house creature, the debut effort from grebes, arrives june 28th via broken circles. listen to “one trick pony” below.

premiere – manatree

– featured image courtesy of the artist – 

after trimming its membership in half, the richmond, virginia duo manatree approached their next album slowly, methodically recording tracks in various locations over the span of many months.  the end result is engines, a new collection of songs as intricate as they are accessible.

on engines’ first single, “on and on,” jack mayock and alex elder disrupt a straight-ahead pop landscape with stuttering subdivisions, guitar and bass motifs percolating before releasing tension in agitated spurts.  with a fluid lead vocal that seems to burrow in the contours of the arrangement that envelops it, “on and on” becomes an irresistible three-minute groove, one that drums up further intrigue and anticipation of manatree’s larger forthcoming project.

engines is due out july 12th; for now, absorb the nuances of “on and on,” premiering right here on the dimestore, below.

premiere – vivian fantasy

– featured image courtesy of bee cardoso –

the kaleidoscopic expanse of vivian fantasy wouldn’t be a bad place to spend the rest of eternity.  danny bozella’s output under this moniker is measured and polychromatic, a collage of shoegaze and electronica swirled with accents of pop.  on november 17th, the richmond, virginia, artist will release his latest ep, deep. honey., via seattle’s hush hush records.

bozella constructs songs either from the results of weekly self-imposed ambient exercises or from an initial loop; deep. honey.’s title track could stem from either process, but seems to hinge on a bleary-eyed motif that sometimes burrows deep into the song’s pillowy texture.  sitting more prominently in the mix is bozella’s lead vocal, its delivery a delightful newfound comfort that spurned the creation of “deep. honey.”

says bozella, “that excitement put me in a headspace where i just had the desire to make something more urgent-sounding and emotive.  it was actually one of the first tracks in a long time where i really surprised myself.”  and what a gorgeous boost of confidence it is; “deep. honey.” oscillates between hazy ruminations and a persistent four-on-the-floor pulse, bozella’s pleading vocal melody the main constant.

“deep. honey.” premieres right here on the dimestore.  get lost in the vibrant soundscape that is vivian fantasy below.