Frog Eyes – Pickpocket’s Locket

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“It’s a rich man’s world. I’m a poor, poor man.” It’s not autobiographical in this case, but Carey Mercer’s lamentation on Pickpocket’s Locket’s opening track is tailor-made for the Frog Eyes milieu. Regardless of sales or recognition, Mercer has always come across as the underdog sort.

Pickpocket’s Locket was itself built as a poor man’s record; Mercer abandoned electronic instruments in favour of an acoustic guitar that he inherited from his father. He next recruited piano and upright bass players, and his wife returned to drum, after skipping the last album. The result is a tame LP by Frog Eyes standards, but it’s no less impassioned than anything that came before.

Stripped of some of some of their usual eccentricities, these new Frog Eyes tunes nearly fall in line with recent Destroyer output. In truth, they plainly reveal just how comparable Mercer and Destroyer’s Dan Bejar are, in their ambition and temperament. Check out “Joe with the Jam,” courtesy of Pitchfork, below.

-Scott Bryson

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Mercury Rev – “The Dark Is Rising”

It’s a twister! It’s a twister! Crossing the countryside was clearly a dangerous game for intrepid astronomers in centuries past.

Wait a second… are they looking at two moons? Are they on Mars?

“The Dark Is Rising” comes from 2001’s All Is Dream. Nearly a minute was cut from the tune for this video version, but it’s mostly orchestral flourishes that are missing.

Mercury Rev have a new album due out next month: The Light In You; their first since 2008.

-Scott Bryson

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The Burning Hell – “Grown-Ups”

Not enough beard in your life? There’s a cavalcade of hair singing along with this one, including The Burning Hell’s Mathias Kom. It’s a proper reminder, too, that winter’s on its way.

“Grown-Ups” is the lead track on People (2013). The Burning Hell have since released a live album and (according to their Web site) have plans to put out a new record in about a year.

-Scott Bryson

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Great Bloomers – “I Wanna Die Young”

Well, we missed another break-up: 2013, Toronto’s Great Bloomers called an end to their six-year run. The Stills-like “I Wanna Die Young,” from their final disc (Distant Fires, 2012), thus becomes a fitting mantra.

If you’re literally looking to die young, matador seems like a logical choice for an occupation. The key ingredient this guy’s missing, though, is the bulls (granted, a diner burger can do you in just as quickly).

Looks like two Great Bloomers have started a new band called Only Yours.

-Scott Bryson

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Fresh Snow – “Proper Burial”

Some firsts, here. Fresh Snow’s videos have in the past tended to lean in a less dramatic direction. And their enlisting of gal about town, Carmen Elle, handily dismisses their mostly instrumental ways (though they did deviate once already, on the holiday single “Snow’s Victory”).

Not sure exactly what’s transpiring in this video, but the sinister dude’s giving off a definite Cancer Man (The X-Files) vibe. Where’s she travelling to in just a nightgown? Did this all take place in her TV? Was it a dream? How’d she do that trick with the mirror?

“Proper Burial” comes from Fresh Snow’s Won, out next month.

-Scott Bryson

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Towkio – “Reflection” (prod. Kaytranada)

No matter how large your group of friends may be, we all have that one friend who makes us wonder “Why am I friends with you again?”

Case in point; the girl hoovering blow up her nose. Everything seems fine at 11:23 pm as she and her friend finish getting ready for the party that’s happening right outside their door. All seems normal until she actually starts to mingle, then she becomes a cock-blocking-friend-abandoning nightmare.

Consider this as a super slick “Really Me” campaign.

-Michelle Farres

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Teen Daze – Morning World

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Forget everything you know about Teen Daze. It may as well be a different band that released all of this.

The Manitoba-like twerks and doodles that filled out the majority of the Teen Daze catalogue ’til now are still present on this new full-length, but they’re playing strictly introductory/background roles. For Morning World, Jamison—the one-named man behind the music—did as countless others before him: he picked up a guitar and sang.

The result is something like Sufjan Stevens Plays Death Cab For Cutie’s Transatlanticism (not a real thing). It’s calming and immersive—though it carries a few heavy hitters; see the title track down below—and steeped in marine symbolism. “Green and blue now,” Jamison sings. “I feel them in every sentence.”

Best about-face I’ve heard in some time.

-Scott Bryson

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