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Artist of the Month
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February 2015
Suburban Living
"Suburban Living
"
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Suburban Living’s self-titled debut LP (PaperCup Music) is a memorable showcase of moody dream pop and lush emotives. The anticipated follow-up to the well-received Cooper’s Dream EP and 2013’s “Always Eyes” 7” single, Suburban Living enhances a sound familiar to fans of Beach Fossils, while channeling the percussive pulse and melancholy of post-punk legends like Joy Division. 

Opening with “Faded Lover,” the album’s first track unfolds with guttural riffs and an unrelenting backbeat that perfectly frames frontman Wesley Bunch’s emotionally wrought yet controlled vocals. The song falls somewhere between the driving tempo of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “Stars Are Stars” and The Cure’s “Primary,” making it a suitable metaphor for willing romantics. A crystallization of everything quintessential about the dissonance of post-punk and the catchy melodics of shoegaze, “Faded Lover” lingers like a ghost with its listener, dissipating into a silence that begs for subsequent returns.
 
“New Strings” impresses with cinematic reverb and percussion that gradually swells into a melodic narrative that proves to be just as upbeat as it is brooding. Bunch’s knack for crafting duality and juxtaposition keeps tracks like it from becoming merely sentimental. The sincerity of Bunch’s diction is one equally fostered by disenchantment and passion alike. As if tapping into the emotional core of what made fellow shoegazers The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart so relatable, Suburban Living’s “New Strings” manages to tug at the heartstrings without playing puppeteer. 
 
“Wasted” kick-starts with beach-y chords and mellow diction that intensifies midway through the song’s duration via shouts that seem to beckon a sense of urgency in Bunch’s audience. With ease, it signals a shift in the album’s tone preparing listeners for the more subdued yet earnest “Dazed,” whose instrumentation embodies the state evoked by its namesake. As if it were a millennial epilogue to the sentiments of Psychocandy, the song proves to be just as pensive in its own rite. With jangly hooks and introspective vocals, it feels synonymous with early cuts by Real Estate or a kindred spirit with the unabashed sincerity of the Stone Roses. Here, Bunch is anything but withholding.
 
The dance-y synth and cadence of “No Fall” perfectly compliments the track’s energy. Suburban Living’s sixth track is a probable favorite for fans. “Hotel Unizo” serves as an instrumental prelude to the album’s closer, “Different Coast,” which is similarly orchestrated in the sense that it captivates. Fashioned by straightforward feelings that confess of vulnerability and modes of coping, “Different Coast” is deliberately constructed to mesmerize its listener towards catharsis. 
 
In the end, it is clear that Suburban Living’s latest release is the beginning of something monumental. - Dianca Potts

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Your Children is Beautiful, Synth Sircus, and More at Millcreek Tavern June 16

Your Children is Beautiful, Synth Sircus, and More at Millcreek Tavern June 16

It’s been pretty quiet in the Your Children is Beautiful camp. Maybe it’s because they are busy working on a 15+ song album entitled DIE COOL or it could just be that the scraggly crew’s chilled-out, gentle indie pop is generally not that loud in the first place. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make some noise when they take the stage tonight at Millcreek Tavern armed with plenty of new tunes. And from improvisational progressions and sonic frequencies to talking computer and classic video game consoles, Synth Sircus is one of those collectives that you can’t exactly figure out until you experience them live. To a point, even they don’t know sometimes since their musical collage is often designed as they play along. Debuting in 2010, the analog sideshow has featured members of Agent Moosehead, Grimace Federation, Music For Headphones, Aunt Dracula, and a whole host of other performers so expect the surprises to continue. Also on the lineup are Cannons, who will be injecting some rock into the evening of chillness. They recently released their new EP Cuddled By Giants (which you can take a listen to and purchase HERE) so there should be plenty of new material circulating among the bands. Add in the one-man synth project of Time Ghost and New York’s You Bred Raptors?, and you now have a reason to swing by the Millcreek to grab a drink or ten. Millcreek Tavern, 4200 Chester Ave., 9pm, $5, 21+ - Bill McThrill
 

 

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