Friday, July 29, 2011

Listening, Lately to Loops

Music is a big part of my life again, so it might as well be a presence on this blog too.

I find myself drawn lately to musicians in solo or small projects using loop pedals. I have long felt limited by my solo music, just keyboard and voice, so it's inspiring to hear the potential for what loops let you do on your own.

Originally a solo project using vocal loops to create harmonies, texture and rhythm, Yellow Ostrich now also has a drummer and trombonist/bassist. And really good songwriting. Since their newest album The Mistress is going to be re-released by Barsuk, you can no longer get it off bandcamp, but you can hear the wonderful "The Whale" below, a song of love carrying you into the great unknown. I missed the first half of their set at McCarren Park during the Northside Festival (with Sharon Van Etten! and Beirut!) because I was signing the lease on my new apartment, but I got to chat with Alex afterward and express my appreciation for his music. They're playing at Glasslands on August 19. Sadly I will be out of town.

I also am paying closer attention to music featuring organs, since I'm now playing organ in my band and wanting to learn about its features and what kinds of sounds and playing styles work best. So I'm enthralled by the new project Moonface, from Wolf Parade's frontman whose album Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I Hoped comes out next week. For now you can stream it at Spin. "It's music played with an organ, organ beats, organ beeps and bloops, and some digital drums. Music based on layers and loops, the hypnotizing sound of a Leslie speaker, and the onslaught of melody." Not to mention Philip Glass-like arpeggios.

Idiot Glee is another one man project from Kentucky that's got an organ and vocal loops and 50s doowop melodies. You can download his new single "Trouble at the Dance Hall" over here.

And speaking of excellent use of looping, let's not forget Andrew Bird who fills out a complete sound with guitar and mandolin and violin and whistling all on his own. This video of "Tenuousness" is a great example.


  1. YESS. I love Yellow Ostrich. That video is low-budge at its best.

  2. did you see andrew bird when he was in bk?

    also, headed to listen to idiot glee now!

  3. kacey, glad to see another yellow ostrich fan.

    very married, no i was sadly out of town and missed andrew bird.