The unmistakable voice of one of the members of legendary avant-garde, multi-media pop group The Residents can be heard throughout polyheDren’s “Sixteen Gold Candles” telling a surreal coming of age. As can some fairly intricate drumming courtesy of Josh Freese (the Vandals, Devo, Guns N’ Roses, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails and others). The music video a stream of dream logic psychedelic narrative with the candles featuring prominently as well as a bevy of otherworldly beings seemingly existing inside an interactive Rube Goldberg-esque setting as a bizarre art studio. Juxtapose that with graphic design and video art imagery reminiscent of something one saw in the early 2010s during which many video artists free-associated ideas and colorful imagery to unmoor the imaginations of viewers from conventional conceptions of time, proportion and visual thinking conditioned largely by classical conceptions of what art should look like. Don’t bother looking for a linear plot in the video because even the “sixteen gold candles” seem to be a metaphor for awakening into your own sense of self separate from being defined in ways that are simply utilitarian for the dominant economic and cultural paradigm in which one’s identity must be subsumed by the exigencies of the narrow concept of the marketplace favored by so-called free market advocates. But these considerations aside it’s a playful jazz funk pop piece set in a fantastical realm where creativity is king and a place you don’t mind visiting for the duration of the song. Watch the video on YouTube and connect with polyheDren at the links below where you can further explore the album Psychic out now on Bandcamp and other online sources.
Imagine a lo-fi blend of Devo, The Fall and Quintron and that will give you some idea what you’re in for listening to “Xuxu” by Japanese band DISCHAAAGEEE. Its propulsive pace, regimented yet borderline unhinged dynamics, playful synth melodies and enigmatic vocals sit in the sweet spot between garage rock, synth pop and post-punk. It sounds futuristic in the way it free associates musical ideas and recontextualizes them to make something that draws inspiration from what has come before without being beholden to it stylistically even if the spirit of that music can be heard echoing in the distorted gyrations and frantic pulses of “Xuxu.” Fans of Pow! and The Screamers will appreciate the songs surrealistic soundscaping and raw energy as well as its undeniably catchy tunefulness. Listen to “Xuxu” on Spotify and connect with DISCHAAAGEEE at the links below.