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Music, Music News

Track Awareness: "Hall of Mirrors" by The Helio Sequence

August 17, 2012

Four years after their last effort, 2008’s Keep Your Eyes Ahead, Portland-based indie rockers The Helio Sequence are set to release their fifth LP Negotiations this fall on Sub Pop Records. Earlier this summer, the duo unleashed “October”, a simple gem of a pop song  rife with soaring melodies and spacious, Eno-esque production. Now they’ve treated us to “Hall of Mirrors”, a song with equal parts of melodic goodness and sonic interest. Both are streaming below for your listening pleasure.

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Music News, Original Sounds

Panda Sanchez; Gracias, Pero No Gracias; and Tigertronic to play @ DC9 Tomorrow Night

August 14, 2012
In Harsh Light

Hello Party People,

Panda Sanchez @ The Velvet Lounge in NW DC (July 25th)

In Harsh Light editor Richard Sanchez here.  Bandmate Tayne Kim and I (a.k.a., Panda Sanchez) are playing at DC9 tomorrow night in NW DC.  Doors open at 8PM.  The Panda takes the limelight at 8:30 PM, opening for Tigertronic (9:30 PM) and headliners Gracias, Pero No Gracias (10:30).

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Film, Film Commentary, Music

Watch: Fjögur píanó by Alma Har'el (Music by Sigur Ros)

August 11, 2012

A couple months ago, a rather odd (viral) film emerged out of the Icelandic ashes of one Valtari* (XL; 2012), the latest soundtrack-friendly album by Sigur Ros — one of the seminal pre-millennial disestablishmentarian tilrauninas (Icelandic for “experimenters”) that helped define and shape the very landscape of what many music connoisseurs affectionately refer to as “post rock.”

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Music, Music Reviews

Review // Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan

July 20, 2012

Dirty Projectors have always come across as more of an experiment than a traditional band. Between their 2003 debut The Glad Fact and 2009’s landmark Bitte Orca, singer/songwriter David Longstreth and his collaborators treated each album as an opportunity to explore new, uncharted sonic territory. Like scientists of sound, they drew from such diverse palates as African drumming patterns and R&B  vocal runs to create their unique and intellectual compositions. Dirty Projectors seemed inventive, but their uniqueness also lent itself to an air of pretension.

After listening to Swing Lo Magellan (Domino; 2012), Dirty Projectors’ latest release, I was thrilled to discover that David Longstreth has finally relaxed. Both lyrically and sonically, this is the simplest record that the group has ever produced. The sparse arrangements, distinctive vocals and full harmonies are refreshing, yet they feel more comforting than Bitte Orca did three years ago. If that album was a wave, then Swing Lo is a breeze. Gentler, warmer and ultimately, more rewarding.

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Music News

Collab Spotlight: David Byrne and St. Vincent To Release New LP

July 19, 2012

In the sphere of mildly-to-wildly unlikely indie/pop music collaborations (see The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends and/or Little Broken Hearts), a quirky co-LP comes in the form of Love This Giant (4AD), courtesy of St. Vincent‘s Annie Clark and former, iconic Talking Heads lead David Byrne.  According to the excerpts on their official site, the pairing was a clever matchmaking effort by Housing Works (a HIV/AIDS awareness community) in the fall of 2009 to conjoin Clark and Byrne for a night of new music on behalf of a charity event.

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Music, Music News

IHL Music Round-up: Cat Power, Paul Banks, Echodrone, Fantasy Rainbow, and … Eraserhead?

July 15, 2012

Hello folks, In Harsh Light (IHL) editor Richard here coming back from a barren, tumbleweed-ridden hiatus.  Fear not, however, as I’m gradually finding new footing in advance of planned content, so thanks for bearing with the dearth of the regularly scheduled updates, reviews, and pseudo-intellectual drivel you’ve inexplicably grown fond of (like an ugly but endearing pug) over the past few months. 

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Music News

Halifax Pop Explosion Announces Initial Lineup

July 3, 2012

Earlier today, Halifax Pop Explosion announced the stellar initial lineup for the 20th edition of the five-day event, set to take place in the third week of October.  The festival is known for its innovative programming, pairing up international headliners and up-and-coming talent on the same stage. Artists who have been announced so far include  psych-pop group of Montreal, electronic/darkwave singer Zola Jesus, Cold Specks, Atlas Sound  and perennial east coast favourites Wintersleep. You can check out the full list of announced artists below, or visit the festival website for more information.

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