July 9, 2012

Sound Bites: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Passion Pit and the Soft Pack

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti's "Only In My Dreams"

Avant pop weirdos Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti will return later on this summer with Mature Themes, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2010 effort Before Today. For those of you who've been readers of AwkwardSound from the very start, that LP was not so ceremoniously awarded the first ever Most Overrated Album superlative, but here at AS, every band gets a second (and third, fourth, fifth, etc.) chance to wow us. The Los Angeles experimental collective does just that on the new LP's latest preview, the sundried '60s radio-hued listen "Only In My Dreams." Mature Themes will be released on August 21st through 4AD. They'll be touring all over North America and Europe from September until the end of the year.

Passion Pit's "Constant Conversations"

Thus far, the build up toward indie dance darlings Passion Pit's highly anticipated sophomore effort Gossamer has given us two solid listens that fulfill AS' expectations of the Boston band's electro-pop archetype, but the album's latest preview delivers on the promise of change, as "Constant Conversations" grooves into R&B territory filled with fluttering choruses, a hand-clap beat and Michael Angelakos crooning up his falsetto. Gossamer is due out July 24th on Columbia Records.

The Soft Pack's "Saratoga"

Los Angeles-by-way-of-San Diego garage rockers the Soft Pack may be evolving away from the lo-fi surf pop tides they rode on their 2010 self-titled debut if the first listen off their forthcoming LP (and first for Mexican Summer) Strapped is a sign of things to come. The hooks here on "Saratoga" are still turbulent, yet wield vocals washed over with reverb and layers of stretching guitars, shining a new side on the quartet's indie influences in the vein of Broken Social Scene. Strapped arrives on September 25th, with a fall tour announced in support.

The Soft Pack - "Saratoga"

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