“Yeah, Tonight” — Gold-Bears
From the opening notes of “Yeah, Tonight” it is clear that Gold-Bears love three things: unrelenting reverb, jangly guitars and lo-fi fuzz. The energy on this track is absolutely contagious, driven forward by the three part harmonies of Jeremy Underwood, Pam Berry and Emma Cooper. “Dalliance” is the group’s latest record, championing the finest of what indie-pop has to offer in 2014.
“Honey Do” — Beverly
“Honey Do” hits with a glittering wall of sound like something straight out of a dream. The ethereal vocal harmonies of Frankie Rose and Drew Citron are a hypnotizing accompaniment to a monolithic guitar tone that is equal parts crunchy and crystalline. This Brooklyn based duo is set to release their first album on Kanine Records this July, and if “Honey Do” is any indication, there are great things to come from these two.
“Scissor Me Cigs” — The Donkeys
This track by The Donkeys is what some WRUW programmers like to call audio sorbet. “Scissor Me Cigs” is a refreshing, musical palette cleanser that sounds like a relaxing day spent on the sun-washed beaches of California. The guitar and vocals wander throughout this song in a decidedly lighthearted way, inviting the listener to stop by and stay awhile. “Scissor Me Cigs” can be found on The Donkeys’ latest album, “Ride The Black Wave,” released on June 3.
“Tarifa” — Sharon Van Etten
Picking just one song to represent Sharon Van Etten’s fourth album is a monumental task, but the organically textured “Tarifa” is a personal favorite. This track builds on the utterly transfixing qualities of Van Etten’s voice with a patchwork of harmonies, understated guitar, Hammond organ and pronounced horns. Be sure to give the week old “Are We There” a spin; it’s guaranteed to be on many “best of” lists come the end of the year.
“Alexandra” — Hamilton Leithauser
It was only a matter of time before the wickedly talented front man of The Walkmen embarked on a solo career during the group’s extended hiatus. Adopting a Bob Dylan-esque vocal sneer that breaks into a breathtaking falsetto, Hamilton Leithauser is at his best on “Alexandra.” This song is a romping mixture of rock and folk supported by jubilant clapping, harmonicas and showy piano flourishes. Leithauser’s first solo album, “Black Hours,” was put out on Ribbon Music on June 3.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Thank You for Talkin’ to Me, Africa” — Sly & The Family Stone
The bass line that begins “Thank You for Talkin’ to Me, Africa” is life changing. The dark, narcotic grooves of this song evolve over its seven-minute running time, becoming more seductive with each passing repetition as vocals, keyboard and other instruments slowly add themselves to this musical stew. “There’s a Riot Goin’ On” is a masterpiece album, serving as a physical manifestation of Sly Stone’s drug addiction and political cynicism following the decline of the civil rights movement in the late 60s.
Teddy Eisenberg is a third year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.