#MusicMonday, Vol. 60: Sleigh Bells, Gayngs, Delta Spirit + more

What the CL Music Team is listening to on this fine Monday to rocket launch the work week.

Gabe - Eddie & the Hot Rods, Teenage Depression (1977)
Britain's hard rocking Eddie & the Hot Rods gained acclaim as a blistering live act in the mid-70s pub rock scene and were able to wisely channel that energy and excitement into being forerunners in the burgeoning punk rock explosion that was occurring soon after. This album is the exact sort of high octane, pure, unadorned rock n' roll blast I need to get me motivated this Monday morning.

Taylor - Henry Wolfe, Linda Vista (2011)
Charming, Harry Nilsson-meets-Little Joy ditties comprise this technically skilled debut album from Meryl Streep's son. It's been on repeat all week since I discovered it. God bless Spotify.

Leilani - Gayngs, Relayted (2010)
This record flew completely under my radar and I am lovingly getting caught up. Gayngs is a conceptual music project led by singer-songwriter Ryan Olson with Zack Coulter and Adam Hurlburtm; Relayted is their modern take on easy-going art rock and features a huge array of guest musicians (upwards of 25) sitting in, among them, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Mike Noyce, Megafaun (Joe Westerlund, Brad Cook, Phil Cook), Ivan Howard (The Rosebuds), Rhymesayers rapper P.O.S and fellow Doomtree artist Dessa, and songbirds Channy Moon-Casselle and Katy Morley. The songs were written at 69 BPM, so the overall feel is measured and deliberate, though it never comes off as sluggish and there are the occasional driving moments amid the expansive overall feel of the album along with moments that border on downright schmaltzy. Washes of sonics and experimental ooze are broken up by low-key synth and keyboard grooves, sensual sax and a textural range of vocals, from Vernon's eerily familiar falsetto to the breathy soulfulness of Howard. Their cover of Godley and Creme's "Cry" [video below] is simply stunning psychedelia reminiscent of 80s-era Floyd. This album is meant to be listened to from start to finish for full effect.

Valerie - The Black Keys, El Camino (2011)
Although I only just discovered this band due to the commercial success of their previous album, Brothers, I wish I had found them sooner. I'm a sucker for their bluesy guitar-driven jams that I can't help but roll down the windows and blare while cruising around. This album works best when you want to just tune out the rest of the world and get lost in the music. Check out "Gold On The Ceiling" below.

Shanna - Telepopmusik playlist
I got hooked on Telepopmusik after hearing them on Groove Salad (the greatest chilled-out iTunes radio station ever) many years ago, and then again during an L-Word-watching kick my ex-boyfriend and I went through, the electro music trio's song "Don't Look Back" featured during a profound lesbian moment between characters, Carmen and Shane. Frequent guest vocalist, Angela McCluskey has this unmistakable, scratchy, jazzy tone that I just can't get enough of. Dig it.

Ray - Delta Spirit, Delta Spirit (March 13 via Rounder Records)
It's safe to say that Delta Spirit is a patient band. Despite existing in a media environment where critics' tastes seemingly change by the hour, the San Diego, Calif.-based outfit has maintained a commitment to honing and perfecting a sound that has evolved from the trashcan-banging, countrybilly madness of 2006's "Crippler King" to wispy atmospherics and introspective lyrics on "Ransom Man" from their last LP, 2010's History From Below. Google videos of live sets from their club tour with Cold War Kids and Toyko Police Club made them minor legends, and frontman Matthew Vasquez's handsome croon, which has always adapted to the band's sonic mining, has grown stronger with each of Delta Spirit's releases (a total of two LPs and two EPs over the last six years).

Everything seems to have come together on their forthcoming, self-titled long player.

Delta Spirit opens with "Empty House," which finds Vasquez & Co. finding the perfect mix of the raucous arrangements and the modern-rock sensibilities they seem to have been exploring on Ode To Sunshine and History From Below. Every bit of their reflective songwriting is intact and they still manage to completely lose their shit every now and then (listen to album highlight "Tellin’ The Mind" and try to contain yourself), but songs like "Idaho," "Into The Darkness," and "California" are all intricately textured and nuanced. It’s the sound of a unit growing better and cementing their status as one of our generations finest rock outfits.

Shae - Geeshie Wiley, "Last Kind Words Blues"
During a flight to Pennsylvania, I was reading Greil Marcus’s Invisible Republic, and in it he mentioned Geeshie Wiley’s song, "Last Kind Word Blues." I'd never heard of Wiley, but I'm interested in old blues — and by a woman, no less — so as soon as the plane landed, I found the song on YouTube and listened to it several times over. Even now, a year later, I can't listen to the song just once; as soon as it ends, I hit play again. Everything about this recording is haunting: the white noise hiss, the plunky, snaky guitar lines stitching through plaintive, graveyard vocals, the shifting perspective in the often-undecipherable lyrics (is she singing about her father, herself or her lover? All three?). Check it out below.

What the CL Music Team is listening to on this fine Monday to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.

Joel - Sleigh Bells, Reign of Terror (2012)
Sleigh Bells' second album retains every bit of Treats’ bombast but with less migraine-inducing noise. Plenty of metal riffage and heavy beats remain, but with more melody and better production, Reign Of Terror is definitely more listenable and a little bit more diverse, too. Derek Miller capably restrains his axe on the mostly tender "End Of The Line" and "Road To Hell" while Alexis Krauss sounds as angelic as ever when she isn't shrieking elsewhere. "Leader Of The Pack" isn't a cover, but under distorted guitar lurks a classic sickly-sweet melody that hearkens back to another era. Sleigh Bells bring plenty of attitude to the party, attempting to redefine the hype track on "True Shred Guitar," but much of the later tracks on the album are mellower by comparison. Reign Of Terror is a great follow-up and shows Sleigh Bells' musical growth, but I'm not sure it will displace Treats as the group’s defining work. Watch the video for "Comeback Kid" after the jump along and see the rest of this week's entries.


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Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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