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The Music Sounds Better: Dirty Projectors, Beach House, Rollerskaters produce clever indie pop

By Michael Mandeville ’11
THE ROUNDUP

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Welcome back to The Roundup’s podcast “The Music Sounds Better.”

This edition we’ll be covering avant-garde rockers Dirty Projectors, Brophy’s own Rollerskaters and the neo-shoegaze duo Beach House.

So getting started, Dirty Projectors is one of those bands for all the music freaks out there.

They’ve been on the underground radar for some time now, but after their 2009 release “Britte Orca,” this group has been on the top 10 list of seemingly every blog and music Web site.

Recently they’ve released a new EP titled after one of the tracks on “Britte Orca” called “Temecula Sunrise.”

The EP offers a few new tracks from the band, but the most notable is “Ascending Melody,” which they’ve been playing live for about three years.

The track offers a distinct Dirty Projectors-esq tone from its sunny guitars and jumpy beat, to say the least.

This band is known for its erratic structures and riffs, and “Ascending Melody” is complete proof of the band doing what they are best at.

There is a reason why they are considered “avant-garde rock” and it’s their unique experimental sound that has set them apart from any other band in music today.

Moving on, I think students and teachers may enjoy the hungry melodies of New York’s Beach House.

Having released two albums before their most recent 2010 release “Teen Dream,” this band is producing beautiful, special music.
My current favorite song off the album is called “Walk in the Park.”

I love its simplicity in using only guitar, organ and drums to create a true attempt at what bands like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth did some 20 years ago.

The atmospheric sound conducted by a reverb-shocked guitar and vocals allows for the sound to seem much larger than it actually is.

To finish off, I’d like to talk about what Brophy senior Andrew Mckee ’10 is currently up to.

Aside from playing in post-surf band The Young Friends, which I am a member of, Mckee is making songs out of boredom, and that is exactly what happened for the most recent track “Sleep Tight” by pseudo band Rollerskaters.

Mckee had only shared his new track limitedly among friends before posting it on Myspace in mid-April.

Long story short, the song went viral and a few dozen music blogs have unexpectedly gotten hold of the track, including the ever-pretentious Pitchfork.

The song itself is a marvelous pop tune building off of various guitar loops and a consistent early 90s hip hop drum beat you’d find in songs by Positive K or A Tribe Called Quest.

This just goes to show that you never know who’s actually watching you on the Internet. A bit creepy, but fortunate in Mckee’s case.

Well that is it for this edition of “The Music Sounds Better.” Be sure to listen online at roundup.brophyprep.org.

3 Responses

  1. Yeah where can you download this lovely podcast?????

  2. Editor’s Note: Thanks for the comment. The podcast will be loaded soon. Stay tuned.

  3. Michael, I feel that your articles are very well written, but the music you discuss is almost too obscure. I would be much more enthusiastic and supportive of your articles if you critiqued more popular artists and bands. I am not saying you have to only talk about pop stars or rappers, but the discussion of more mainstream artists would be nice. Thank you, and I hope you take this idea to heart.

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