First, assisting in Seattlest‘s City Arts coverage:
Crystal Castles combined the same heavy effects of their live recordings with the spontaneity of a punk show Thursday night, launching a weekend of City Arts Fest. They weren’t just there to play their hugest songs — and “Alice Practice,” oddly, had the lowest energy of the night — although some seemed to be there to mostly hear “Not In Love,” indicated by the crowd freaking out and by the conversations about The Cure I walked through after. Frontwoman Alice Glass maintained her composure and never missed a beat during her now-ubiquitous forays into the crowd; she’s gained this practiced, stiff poise, similar to a ballerina during a lift.
Then, yesterday, I started contributing to SSG Music:
As the fog settles, Feist’s movements are more confident and dramatic–like a solemn Kate Bush–and her hair ceases to be a prison, but an accessory. At the coda, darkness sets in, the trees blend into the background and she becomes a centerpiece instead of part of the scenery. While the song addresses a romantic partner, the video ultimately highlights its self-reflective elements, and the personal redemption that sometimes comes with loneliness.
More saccharine than Beach Fossils’ fuzzed-out, laid-back jams, the first peek at Heavenly Beat, “Faithless,” features upbeat, synthesized steel drums and woodblocks, cleanly syncopated guitar. Perhaps what’s most notable about the recording, though, is Pena’s work on the bass, easily the most free-form layer in the heavily looped song; it veers from jazz to Latin, with even a brief foray into disco. The basses of the world clearly got over him throwing one of their brethren in the East River.
It’s good to be back.