Carlyn Bezic comprises one half of one of our favourite new (relatively) and current bands, Ice Cream. On stage and on record she’s all ace of bass taking Suicide dives alongside the gangsta beat she and partner Amanda pro-vide swaying hypnotized crowds. Here she’s further in her element discussing favourite records made and/or discovered in the year that was…
It takes being asked to make a list to realize how many new records you didn’t listen to, and how many records you thought were from this year but were actually from 2013 (or 2011, even!), and that maybe you should consider listening to something other than Prince (and not even deep cut Prince. 2014 was my Year of Parade). On top of that, you don’t need me to also tell you to listen to the Ariel Pink record, or Jennifer Castle, or D’Angelo, etc. etc., so with that preamble, here’s some records and tracks that I got into over the course of 2014 that you may also find interesting.
Three Records That Are From This Year:
Where We Come From
This record is the musical equivalent to those lamps that are used to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. Full credit goes to my bandmate Amanda Crist for pushing this record on me– whenever I was feeling low her advice would be “listen to Where We Come From at least once a day,” and it took me way too long to finally do that. It has very smart and tasteful production, and I think today marks the point at which I have officially listened to “Waiting So Long” over a million times.
Call 4 Fun
Actual Water always feels like a trip through the history of music in some sense or another. The influences are obvious and obscured at the same time, and each song feels like a new pop discovery but also very familiar, because that’s what good pop songwriting does. And whenever I listen to this record I feel like I understand Rock Music better, and I understand songwriting better, but I can also not think about it too much and dance around my room like a teenager who just discovered the Ramones. “Latoya” should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was at all relevent and included Big Star and Guided by Voices).
(Weyrd Son Records)
Ice Cream opened for Marie at the Tone Deaf Festival this year, and it was the best set I’ve seen in a long time. Everything she did was satisfying. This record feels like walking alone down an alleyway at night; you feel defiantly free, but unshakably paranoid, against a backdrop of concrete and trash.
Two Records That Have Nothing To Do With This Year:
I found out about this record when a friend posted “Sportsmen”, an addictive, dancey, electro-pop song with a nice underlying melancholic vibe, that’s probably the most radio-friendly point of the record. Hosono was in Yellow Magic Orchestra and there’s definitely a similar Kraftwerk-but-Japanese-and-with-a-goofier-sense-of-humour vibe to Philharmony, but while Kraftwerk is often essentially pop songwriting through synths, this record has more of an operatic, orchestral vibe (hence the name, I guess). There’s a Sparks-esque theatricality to it, with fun, danceable songs mixing with tracks like “Luminescent-Hotaru”, a composition of xylophones and bells with swelling, forboding synths coming in at the end. The record as a whole paints a really interesting picture. A wild ride you should take!
Nao Fale Come Parades
This is really amazing Brazilian prog-rock with great organ and guitar tones. All I was going to say about this record was “turn off your mind, relax, and float down stream”, but there’s too much of a proto-metal vibe for you to just “float downstream”… Maybe it’s like, turn off your mind, relax, and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times?* Credit, again, goes to Amanda for turning me on to this. Maybe you liked the Goat record from this year? Then you will like this.
Two Tracks I Discovered This Year Because Kind Music Store Employees Suggested Them To Me:
So Good, So Right
This song is worth the $5 you will pay for this record. A crowd-pleaser while DJing. Perfect the entire 7 minutes through. It’s too good, too right! Fuck you Imagination! Fuck you for making this amazing song!
The Alessi Brothers
I realize a lot of people have heard this song but I had never heard it until this year and it’s so beautiful and perfect and it’s absurd it’s not a radio classic. The first few listens had me on the verge of tears.