Jessica Presents

Double L Cuts o’ The Month: March 2013

Dear Cutters,

Spring is almost here, and with it we bring you our not-quite-Spring-cuts for the month of March, a mere three days behind schedule. We’re getting better, day by day. We hope you enjoy these cuts, and we hope that you’re able to do so with the windows open soon enough.

Spotify Link: Double L Cuts o’ The Month: March 2013

  • Little Green Cars, “Big Red Dragon”: This is an Irish quintet of 20-somethings that know how to craft a perfect folk-rock song. I mostly like the repetition of the line “I’m not gonna wait for it/Oh My God.” Because that’s a sentiment I can understand. (Lindsey)
  • Har Mar Superstar, “Lady, You Shot Me”: Har Mar Superstar channels his inner Sam Cooke*, which is weird because he’s a white dude. *Sam Cooke’s last words are rumored to be, “Bitch, you shot me!”  (Leo)
  • Flume, “Holdin On”: Broken keyboards and old soul man croonin’ “mama, I love you” while a possibly-synthetic gospel choir repeats his laments back to him: Now go bounce with the crowd. (Leo)
  • Gameday Regulars, “Kids of the Cove”: These guys really want to be Hot Water Music (even down to their acoustic sound). That’s not a knock against them. I happen to enjoy me some Hot Water Music, so as far as I’m concerned the more bands out there that sound like them the better. (Leo)
  • Josh Ritter, “Joy To You Baby”: A beautiful, mature, and heartbreakingly bittersweet breakup song. The opposite of a “Fuck you, I don’t need you”, it’s a “I’m glad we had our time together, you made me a better person, and I hope you’re happy wherever you are, even though it’s not with me.” (Lindsey)
  • Icona Pop, “I Love It”: Hell hath no fury and WE JUST WANT TO DANCE. (Lindsey)
  • The Jealous Sound, “This Is Where It Starts”: “…and all of these things that I’d thought I’d outgrown,” you know, like The Jealous Sound. (Leo)
  • Caveman, “In the City”: NYC-based group that’s reminiscent of The Shins and The War on Drugs. This is a breezy, drawling (I don’t even know if that word makes sense in this context but whatever, I’m going with it) hazy-guitared indie rock. (Lindsey)
  • The Babies, “Get Lost”: This song is probably about drugs. Or love. Or both. (Leo)
  • Dan Croll, “From Nowhere”: Casio keyboard drum loop. Check. Reverb drenched surf lead guitar. Check. Song about about getting lost in someone’s eyes. Check.  (Leo)
  • The Joy Formidable, “The Leopard And The Lung”: True to style we’ve come to expect from The Joy Formidable, this is atmospheric stadium rock personified. With their signature pulsing, building format, this is one of TJF’s most epic-sounding songs yet.  (Lindsey)

Leo’s Music Video Corner

Biting Elbows, “Bad Motherfucker” aka Insane Office Escape 2: I’m not a huge fan of violence in music videos (or short films in general) because it’s usually used as a crutch, but in this insane video, the violence is just one of the ingredients in an extraordinarily planned shoot.

Lindsey’s Music Video Corner

While You Slept, “Havoc”: It’s enough that this video features athletic and gorgeous gymnastics and dance elements, then you find out that the actual take was only 18 seconds, 300 frames per second, slowed down to make a 3.5 minute music video and you’re like, “Damn. Damn.”


Double L Cuts o’ The Month: February 2013

Spotify Link: Double L Cuts o’ The Month: February 2013

  • The Thermals, “Born To Kill”: Clocking in twelve seconds shy of two minutes, this unrelenting barrage of garage pop is a return to form for The Thermals: all noise, all words, all true. (Leo)
  • Shout Out Louds, “Hermila”: I had no idea this was the Shout Out Louds when I first heard it, I thought it was girl-pop from Iceland. (Lindsey)
  • American Aquarium, “Savannah Almost Killed Me”: This band sounds like a poppier and less drunk Lucero or a more drunk Good Old War. Either way, this is pretty fantastic alt-country jam with one of my favorite lines about a girl in a song: “She knew every word to Born to Run.” (Leo)
  • MMOTHS, “All These Things”: Atmospheric. Beautiful. Cinematic. Drums ‘n Bass. Expansive. Ethereal. Majestic. Playful. Somnambulistic. Space. Xylophone. “All These Things” is all these things (except maybe for ‘xylophone’). (Leo)
  • Frightened Rabbit, “The Oil Slick”: So classic Frightened Rabbit, it makes you feel like all their best songs do, without feeling stale. (Lindsey)
  • Pascal Pinon, “Somewhere”: Icelandic twin sisters: That’s both what this band is comprised of and an apt description of their sound. I can’t multi-task while listening to this song because my brain automatically begins daydreaming, so don’t drive while listening to it. (Leo)
  • forgetters, “I’m Not Immune”: Don’t know how I slept on this album for three months. My favorite song, hands down. So angry, so human, so Jetsbreaker. (Leo)
  • Wildlife Control, “Different”: ETHEREAL. (Lindsey)
  • Darwin Deeze, “Alice”: Most DD songs make you feel like you’re 18 and it’s summer and you don’t give a f-ck about anything and this song is no different. (Lindsey)
  • Cory Branan & Jon Snodgrass, “Walk Around”: I feel like this song exemplifies the Cory Branan live experience. He loves changing tempo mid-song, has a sinister sense of humor and just exudes the vibe that if things broke right for him, he’d be the alt-country version of Ben Folds. (Leo)
  • Foals, “Bad Habit”: This song came via a fellow Cutter who put Foals’ “My Number” on his February cuts. This song feels like it’s from the 80s, and I’m from the 80s so now I’m rambling. (Lindsey)
  • San Cisco, “Awkward”: Doesn’t this song make you feel like summer is on the way, with its poppy, jangly guitars and “da da dada, da da dada dada da” refrains? (Lindsey)
  • Alkaline Trio, “I Wanna Be A Warhol”: Probably not my favorite Trio song that they’ve released from their upcoming album thus far (that title probably belongs to “I, Pessimist”), but this is one of those cases where the less a band fucks with their signature sound, the better. This sounds like every Trio song I’ve liked since 2005 (or whenever Good Mourning came out). (Leo)
  • Grouper, “The Man Who Died in His Boat”: I’ve never done heroin, but I imagine this is what it feels like. (Lindsey)

Leo’s Music Video Corner
Cold Mailman, “My Recurring Dream”:
This is one of those videos that astounds and upsets, in that when I watch it, envy washes over me. This video is so elegantly crafted. A wonderful reminder of what film can, and maybe, is supposed to do.

Double L Cuts o’ The Month: January 2013

Oooooh snap! We did it! We totally got the January cuts out by February 5th – fuck you, you didn’t think we could do it! Bahahahaha, joke’s on you!

Enjoy, Cutters!

Link: Double L Cuts o’ The Month: January 2013

  • Free Energy, “Girls Want Rock”: Modern take on “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” sung by a bunch of dudes from Philadelphia. Catchy and easy to sing along with after just one chorus, a great way to kick off the new year of cuts. (Leo)
  • Tegan & Sara, “Closer”: Damn is this song fun and poppy and dancy. It makes me want to jump up and down dancing in a club with my girlfriends. Because I totally have girlfriends. (Lindsey)
  • Lana Del Ray, “Ride”: I watched this on Jools Holland’s program and was fairly nonplussed by Lana’s performance, then I sought this track out on Spotify and lo and behold it became entrenched in my skull. This song is like a virus. (Leo)
  • Palma Violets, “Best of Friends”: Solid garage rock out of London, where some of the best garage rock emerges. (Lindsey)
  • The Last Royals, “Only The Brave”: Lindsey thinks these guys sound like The Gaslight Anthem, I like to this of them as a pop-punk version of The Strokes or The Killers singing all their songs about an octave higher than normal. Either way, this is a fun power pop jam. (Leo)
  • Tift Merritt, “Sweet Spot”: A slow burner of a country song about finding the right person at the right moment with just the right amount of commitment and whoamIkidding, I just love the chorus. (Leo)
  • Yo La Tengo, “Before We Run”: A good friend of mine used to have “Who has time to listen to all of this Yo La Tengo?” as the “About Me” section on Facebook. I had no idea who they were, so my interest was piqued when I saw this song on Stereogum and I was stunned by how beautiful it is. The album is getting a lot of hype and this song is a pretty clear indication why. (Lindsey)
  • Cymbals Eat Guitars, “Hawk Highway”: I never really got into Cymbals Eat Guitars last album after love, love, loving their debut album. This seems to be a return to form (At least from my stand point), what with all the howling vocals and guitars drenched in echo and reverb, somehow psychedelic and yet pop at the same moment. (Leo)
  • Night Beds, “Ramona”: This band had one of my favorite songs of 2012 and they kicked off 2013 with another gorgeous composition.
  • Camper Van Beethoven, “Come Down the Coast”: Former Cracker frontman David Lowery can be kind of a dick when talking about the music industry, but goddamn if he don’t got a sweet ear for melody. Inspired by The Beach Boys’ Holland, this track from CVB’s latest album is the perfect song to end the perfect way to kick off the the new year of cuts. (Leo)

Leo’s Music Video Corner
Alpines, “Lights”:
A moving video that showcases the grandness of our human emotional experience, as if it were a big comfy blanket we all share. Also, a nod for including one of my favorite elements of Vanilla Sky.

Lindsey’s Music Video Corner

Tegan & Sara, “Closer”: Yeah, I included a video for one of my songs because it makes me so happy. Tommy, this video is the only thing that might convince me to do a sleepover and play Spin the Bottle at your birthday party next month.

Double L Cuts o’ The Month: November 2012

Please let the record show that we got our picks in on December 5, then neglected to send an e-mail out with the link to the Spotify playlist along with our blurbs.

Spotify Link: Double L Cuts o’ The Month: November 2012

  • The Heavy – Can’t Play Dead: This band loves to make soundtrack-worthy songs over heavy garage rock guitars. This song is about a woman or the music industry or heroin. Or whatever.  (Lindsey)
  • Jinja Safari – Toothless Grin: I don’t know where I first heard this song, but wherever it was I assure you I was immediately grabbed by its funky guitar, tribal drums, “wall of sound” vocals and then, to top it off, its singalong choruses.   (Leo)
  • Daughter – Youth: A song about death that somehow manages to be simultaneously haunting and uplifting (at least as uplifting as any song about death can be). With a message that seems to state that even sadness proves to be an affirmation of living, of life. (Leo)
  • Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love: Leo says, “This song is about Robot Love!” Pop-synth party time, everyone. Get into it. (Lindsey)
  • Veronica Falls – Killing Time: A young, newish band hailing from London that seemingly came out of nowhere. This song is a dream. It also has an organ in it, so it’s indie as f-ck. (Lindsey)
  • Grizzly Bear – Yet Again: Grizzly Bear are back at it, what with the harmonies and the repetitive riffs and the songs that get stuck in your brain on loop for days.  (Leo)
  • Passenger – I Hate: A fun joke song from a singer/songwriter about the hating of things, a pastime I am trying to wean myself of. Also, I love the way he says, “Fajitas” and the way he rips on “Cher.” Such a weirdly dated, but somehow still accurate reference. (Leo)
  • The Joy Formidable – Cholla: Big Guitar. Fun Song. You know, Joy. Formidable. (Leo)
  • Night Beds – Even if We Try: You would be hard-pressed to find a song as beautiful as this one this year. It’s Bon Iver meets Fleet Foxes meets Holy-shit-this-singer-is-only-23-years-old. (Lindsey)
  • Andrew Bird – Three White Horses: A song from Andrew Bird’s fiddle companion album to his proper March release, Break It Yourself. This song is either about the end of days, or quite literally, about three white horses. Either way, it’s beautiful in that ethereal Andrew Bird kinda way. (Leo)
  • Spiritualized – So Long You Pretty Thing: When Jason Pierce writes a good song, it makes me feel like I’m floating.  As one critic wrote, his music can be, “paralyzingly gorgeous.” From what I’ve read, this song is a farewell to Bowie-era rock-n-roll. Sure. Whatever. Just play it again. (Lindsey)
  • Guards – I See It Coming: I agonized over the decision between this song and “Resolution of One.” I read about this band on Stereogum and binged on their music one afternoon – it’s just solid indie pop rock. (Lindsey)

Leo’s Music Video Corner
- An okay song, with a painstaking rotoscoping visual effect that I can only imagine took hundreds of man-hours.

Double L Cuts o’ the Month: October 2012

Spotify Link: Double L Cuts o’ The Month: October 2012

  • Passenger – Let Her Go: Such a solid, solid love song, albeit about a lost love. Ala Jason Lee’s Brian Shelby in Vanilla Sky: “You can do whatever you want with your life, but one day you’ll know what love truly is. It’s the sour and the sweet. And I know sour, which allows me to appreciate the sweet.” (Leo)
  • Ke$ha – Die Young: Duh. (Lindsey)
  • Youngblood Hawke – We Come Running: The first of two songs from the FIFA 13 soundtrack. Super light and bouncy with a singalong anthemic chorus.(Leo)
  • Are You a Lion – Your Stranger: These guys are like a Dutch Walkmen, but with a stronger tendency to fill out their hooks in a pop way. (Leo)
  • Flatfoot 56 – I’ll Fly Away: Lindsey loves this song the most of all my picks, probably because of her Irish roots. Personally, I just love the general sentiment, it’s “Born To Run” meets the gift of flight meets The Dropkick Murphys. (Leo)
  • Admiral Fallow – Old Fools: There must be something in the water in Scotland, and whatever that something is it’s definitely not an anti-depressant. This track is kind of a slow burner, but if pays off with a nice little sardonic denouement. (Leo)
  • Sea Wolf – Old Friend: A song that feels to me like the embodiment of autumn, an old friend on a cool day, just waiting for you to accept them and vice versa. (Leo)
  • Astro – Panda: The second song from the FIFA 13 soundtrack, this sounds like to me like Passion Pit if their lead singer forgot to take absolutely all of his meds. Also, have you ever want to feel like you were inside an arcade machine?  (Leo)
  • Gary Clark Jr. – Bright Lights: This guy sounds so much like Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys that it’s crazy. (Lindsey)
  • Chevy Thunder – Spector: Similar to The Vaccines in both sound and content, this song also harkens to the tropes of good ol’ fashioned 1950s-era rebel rock. (Leo)
  • Jens Lekman – Every Little Hair Knows Your Name: One of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard gets the final spot on this month’s list. Jens can write some of the greatest and most fun pop songs imaginable, but he can also be heartbreaking, as evidenced here. (Leo)

Leo’s Music Video Corner
True Romance – Citizens!
Directed by We Are From L.A., this video takes the idea of the kissing couple from the Vancouver riots of 2011 and then extrapolates out on a mass scale. Kiss through all the awful stuff guys. Just keep kissing, just keep kissing. Also, kissing = full-on making out.