What difference does it make?

It makes some

What difference does it make?
“Autriche III,” Flore Laurentienne [Bandcamp]

This week, I had a few things I thought about writing here. How the view of Monday’s eclipse in Austin is under threat by inclement weather, and how a local meteorologist’s empathy toward the situation provides some comfort. The luxury of being able to cite “creative differences” as a reason to no longer do a thing, and finding ways to employ it in everyday situations. Philip Sherburne’s 27-years-in-the-making (and worth it) review of Photek’s Modus Operandi. Allergies.

I always write something here, I have to write something here, but I can’t decide what it should be. And so I did something I never do, and dusted off my Oblique Strategies deck (which I own because I am exactly that predictable), drew a card, and this is what I got.

And here’s this week’s music. (Spotify, Apple Music)

“Autriche III,” Flore Laurentienne

First impressions are everything, and when a song begins with an assertive strum of a phased electric guitar, followed by a gulf of silence—as this one does—it’s Slowdive’s “Trellisaze” all over again for me, and I am rapt. That tone announcing the start of the song makes all the ensuing openness so much more heard. It’s minimalism through balance, though this song’s pendulum soon swings magnificently and meaningfully the other way.

Autriche III, by Flore Laurentienne
from the album 8 tableaux

“Pooling Rain,” variety

One of the more overlooked aspects of the shoegaze revival is the vocals. The first time around, there were certainly a lot of bands that—like many in the latest wave—buried them to an indecipherable depth in the mix. However, that wasn’t the case in shoegaze-before-it-was-shoegaze, such as Isn’t Anything-era My Bloody Valentine. And while that album makes a good reference point for this track, what’s hapenning here a lot more than that, and I’m interested to hear where this band, with three songs to its name now, heads next.

Pooling Rain, by variety
track by variety

“I So Liked Spring,” Linda Smith

Newly reissued by Captured Tracks, this is one of home-taping pioneer Linda Smith’s best-known tracks from her series of ’80s and ’90s self-released cassettes, and which sets Charlotte Mew’s poem of the same name to song. Lovely and spare.

I So Liked Spring, by Linda Smith
from the album I So Liked Spring

“Boxing,” Mount Kimbie, King Krule

My interest in Archy Marshall’s music ebbs and flows—and it’s been on an endless ebb since 2017’s The Ooz, which is “what if King Krule but too much?” But I feel like that’s about to change with this gorgeous new song with longtime collaborators Mount Kimbie.

Boxing (feat. King Krule), by Mount Kimbie
from the album The Sunset Violent

“Drive Too Fast,” Sculpture Club

Every so often, something very Smiths-y comes along, and it’s almost always very very bad, mistaking Morrissey’s wit for simple moroseness. While the ’80s references in this song (and of course the band name) are clear, it’s having fun (or maybe “fun”) within the space.

Drive Too Fast, by Sculpture Club
from the album Sculpture Club

“Good Was Ages Ago,” C.B. Carlyle & the Desert Angels

Blues-y, blistering rock and roll dripping with intensity. I wouldn’t have thought this would be my thing, but I’m also not going to deny the excitement of hearing this song tear through three minutes of scorched, emotional upheaval.

Good Was Ages Ago
Provided to YouTube by DistroKidGood Was Ages Ago · C.B. Carlyle & the Desert AngelsThe Howling℗ PineTreeLake StudiosReleased on: 2024-03-31Auto-generated by…

“Dream State,” Kamasi Washington, André 3000

The best thing about André 3000’s New Blue Sun, from last year, is that it brought more attention to the free-jazz ambience Leaving Records has been exploring over the past 15 years. And while the intent definitely means a lot, what that album misses is a sense of purpose—a gap nicely filled with this Kamasi Washington collaboration, where André’s 3000’s now-familiar flute tones supply an effective, ever-expanding bedrock for Washington’s driving sax work.

Dream State, by Kamasi Washington & Andre 3000
from the album Fearless Movement

“a sinking relief,” Sevendeaths

Steven Shade’s work as Sevendeaths remains highly under-appreciated, but perhaps the newly expanded version of 2014’s Concreté Misery—where this track is from—could change that, because this music sounds as fresh today as it did a decade ago.

a sinking relief, by sevendeaths
from the album Concreté Misery Decayed Edition

“Play in the Void,” Arushi Jain

From Delight, Jain’s new album that I’ve been increasingly getting into, this takes ethereal to a new height (kind of literally, with that voice, which soars). Extremely beautiful and moving stuff.

Play In The Void, by Arushi Jain
from the album Delight

“Buried at Westwood Memorial Park, in an Unmarked Grave, to the Left of Walter Matthau,” Adam Wiltzie

Highly composed and intentional ambience from one half (formerly) of Stars From the Lid and (currently) A Winged Victory for the Sullen. It’s about the journey and the mood.

Buried At Westwood Memorial Park, In An Unmarked Grave, To The Left Of Walter Matthau, by Adam Wiltzie
from the album Eleven Fugues For Sodium Pentothal

“try to finally,” twin coast

A heavily distorted, textured track from some of the more interesting new shoegazers around. It’s a detail for sure, but the chirping delay on the tube amp—that whipping sound that comes in every so often—provides a nice, noisy touch.

try to finally, by twin coast
from the album noie! noie! noie!