Is it just us, or has music been wrapped in a blanket of derivative fuzz lately? Seemingly now more than ever, an excess of “lo-fi” and “shitgaze” bands have invaded the blogosphere, unabashedly riding on the coattails of their elders, Wavves and Vivian Girls. With so many carbon copies, how is one able to discern between good fuzz and bad fuzz? We’ll guide you through the perilous world of lo-fi, and let you know about three bands actually worth the buzz.
Made up of ex-Pocahaunted member, Bethany Cosentino, and Bobb Bruno, Best Coast crafts beautiful lo-fi gems about boys, weed and hanging out in the sunshine. Heavily influenced by The Beach Boys and the girl groups of the 60’s, their sound is sweetly nostalgic for a time when Phil Spector was known more for his “Wall of Sound” than for being a murderer and California was a bottomless source of free-spirited surfer chicks. After a recent write-up in Nylon magazine and The New York Times, it’s only a matter of time before Best Coast brings its sun-drenched hazy sound to the mainstream.
After receiving an ungodly amount of coverage from Pitchfork, Ernest Greene of Washed Out was plucked from Georgia obscurity and transformed into something of a superstar on the blogs. Making woozy and delicate bedroom pop, Greene has created a unique and intricate sound that sets him apart from his lo-fi peers. His songs evoke feelings better than they evoke sounds. His music conjures up visions of languid summer days, riding bicycles with friends and swimming in the ocean. After releasing an EP on Mexican Summer and a cassette, entitled, High Times, Pitchfork, along with everybody else, is waiting with bated breath to hear what’s next for Washed Out.
If bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive had gotten some Vitamin E exposure and gotten happy, they might have sounded like Pearl Harbor. Sisters Piper and Skylar are two blonde beach babes riding a wave of shoegaze summery pop. Releasing a 12” on Mexican Summer this month, Pearl Harbor has been touring Southern California, infecting the area with their ethereal vocals and mellow hooks. A major plus for seeing them live? You get to experience baby 14 year-old Skylar rip into her guitar like a seasoned pro.