Hightek Lowlives “Free”
Aside from a band name they’ll regret in six months, Hightek Lowlives show superb taste throughout Humanoid Void, their debut on brand-new local label Cabin Games. “Free” is just one highlight on an album full of bold ideas and sharp execution, a timeless take on slow-burn R&B with barely-there drum-machine beats skittering under flawlessly over-sung vocals.
Big Spider’s Back “Strawberry Circuit”
Love house music but in a hurry to the club? Fingering fast-forward before that epic disco edit is half over? Big Spider’s Back—aka producer Yair Rubinstein—makes dance music for the impatient. At 4:13, “Strawberry Circuit” is the longest track on BSB’s new Ssoft EP. Reminiscent of Four Tet, its warm, luscious groove delivers twice the vibe in half the time. More less-is-more, please.
Ephrata “Waking Storm”
Just your average heavenly pop anthem here. Amid the soaring gorgeousness, Ephrata keeps things impressionistic, indecipherable vocals more choir-ish moan than verbal articulation. Organ glistens, ocean-sized drums crash, suggesting a landscape that may be inner or outer. Taken from the quartet’s I Scare No One EP, this song’s your soundtrack to summiting a windswept mountain—or getting out of bed.
The Queen Annes “You Got Me Running”
Old-school Seattle label Green Monkey Records reissues Something Quick by the Queen Annes, a quartet of young Anglophiles from Seattle’s pre-grunge heyday. (GMR originally released the album on cassette in ’86.) The Queen Annes might’ve been unique back then, beholden as they were to the Small Faces’ slick, jammy blooze-rock. Fueled by overdriven guitar and harmonica, “Running” is a vintage wrecking ball.
Constant Lovers “14 Missed Calls”
Maybe it’s the repeated riff that bores “14 Missed Calls” into your brain; maybe it’s the brain-boring volume. Constant Lovers wield both—repetition and volume—with a sly wit easy to overlook but impossible to deny. Their new album, Experience Feelings, injects heavy rock with a sense of humor (not irony) and their live show—catch the album release on April 4 at Chop Suey—is a ridiculous assault.
Photo of the Queen Annes courtesy of the band.