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Woongi "Fruits of the Midi"

Woongi are preparing to release their latest album, Fruits of the Midi, this Friday, June 25th.

The album will include the group's last two singles, "Slow Reaction" and "Yield". The latter was released back in April and was accompanied by the video below.

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Cookie Tongue bequeath a "Soggy Miracle"

I can't claim to know why Cookie Tongue are called Cookie Tongue. But in my imagination they took it from the title to an ancient fable, or a long lost Grimms' Fairy Tale, about a child granted three wishes with her first wish being for her tongue to be turned into a cookie because how great would that be. Except her wish backfires horribly because having a cookie in your mouth that you can’t swallow would be torture. Needless to say the girl nearly goes mad and ends up biting off her own tongue off to end the torment. So she can't communicate her next wish (“I’d like to have my old tongue back”) which is a pretty harsh way to learn a basic lesson like “be careful what you wish for.”

This is no doubt completely off base but much like a Grimms' fairy tales the Brooklyn-based combo are made up of equal parts playful/fanciful and twisted/demented. And it’s not an easy balancing act to pull off which is why not many people write good fairy tales and not many people are in Cookie Tongue. Another parallel is that Cookie Tongue clearly appeals to children and adults alike, a fact I can verify first-hand having just seen them perform live on the opening date of their upcoming (now ongoing tour) summer tour—SEE HERE for dates—because the adults at the show were rapt and the kids were losing their minds they were so into it.

The show was held outdoors on a perfect equinox evening with plenty of little rug rats running amok as their parents drank beer and cocktails no doubt happy to be given a break thanks to the Cookie Tonguers and their exquisitely ramshackle songs playing on a Ren Faire style stage decked out with flowers and mannequins and an array of glockenspiels and puppets and Casio keyboards and other implements of their trade. Rest assured Cookie Tongue know how to put the “freak” in freak folk with an extra helping of dollop of freak on top while providing suitable entertainment for the whole family.

A Cookie Tongue performance feels like if the roustabouts tied up the clowns and took over the circus; and then went on an afternoon-long drinking binge and raided the wardrobe/makeup cabinet and put on a crazy pastiche of stuff; and then went on stage and performed a surprisingly coherent set of calliope-inspired music with bizarrely poetic lyrics sung by a male-female combo in warbling, breathy tones that you're not sure if it's funny or disturbing or just different. But really that’s too easy an explanation, better to just go listen to their music like their last full length, Dream Seed Ceremony (2020), on which Omer Gal and Jacquelyn Marie Shannon inhabit a rogue’s gallery of vocal personas. So you can see why these two would be into puppetry with all the voices they clearly have trapped inside.

On their new EP from earlier this month, Soggy Miracle, Cookie Tongue continue to refine their quaint yet ornate junk store aesthetic forming a bed a sonic fertilizer for the lyrics and their sinuous twisty trains of thought and mantra-like repetitions--like the one sung from the perspective of a ten-year-old child tempted to eat his own baby teeth out of a cereal bowl with milk on them along with his friend but they don't know if they'll be soggy or crunchy.

Soggy Miracle closes with “Orange Sky” which is centered around a rousing yet doom-laden melody that'll make you wanna raise your mug in the air and toast the impending end--a song about taking “the back road out of here / away from the orange sky” which certainly sounds more than a little apocalyptic--especially at the end when the song turns into a swirling miasma of breathy vocalizing and megaphone man ranting and rat-a-tat snare drumming before concluding with a dramatic almost a cappella epigram or epitaph take your pick. (Jason Lee)

n.b. Credit must be given to Michele With One 'L' whose weekly Tuesday afternoon WFMU radio show called "Feelings" first turned this writer on to Cookie Tongue and to several other artists featured on this blog.

 

 

 





Langan, Frost & Wane Run the Gamut on New Album

           Folk rock trio Langan, Frost & Wane combine psychedelia and world music elements in their new single, King Laughter. The song shows off melodic acoustic guitar, polished vocal harmonies and exotic percussion sounds. Though they could easily be dubbed as folk-revivalists, the variety of instrumentation and textures opens the door for them to be categorized in many different ways. After listening to King Laughter, you can tell that the trio is rooted in tradition, but it’s clear that they also have found their own sound, thus placing them in their own unique sector of contemporary music. 

A few songs come to mind immediately as the song progresses. The rhythm section is reminiscent of the 2011 mega-hit Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye, as well as Long Gone Day by the 90s supergroup Mad Season. The vocal harmonies draw similarities to the classic band, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and the psychedelic overdubs slightly remind me of the Houston-based trio, Khruangbin. I assume that dabbling in musical styles on this broad of a spectrum was unintentional for Langan, Frost, and Wane, but that’s precisely why they’re so unique. Their sound includes Appalachian Folk, Middle-Eastern flavors and a touch of rock n’ roll. Yet their style remains defined, coherent, and grounded. Folky would probably be the quickest and simplest way to describe King Laughter, but it would be a disservice to stop there because the song consists of many complexities and subtleties that make it much more than just a folk song. 

One of the things I admire about the group’s lyricism is something that contributes to all great writing, that being the use of vivid sensory details. With lyrics like “King Laughter, who will come after/He pranced like a dandee and drank like a fisherman,” we’re immediately able to visualize this story that appears to take place in older times. Additionally, lines such as “White bowl and blueberry wine/Over-flamed all the cock and swine” highlight the use specificity, enabling the listener to formulate distinct images in their minds. Not only do Langan, Frost, and Wane provide something to hear, but they also stimulate sensations of taste, smell, and sight. The poetic nature of King Laughter certainly adds to their artistry and allows for creative visualization to occur. 

A lot of artists who pay homage to older influences, I believe, struggle to obtain freshness and originality so that they can find success in today’s world of music. This issue doesn’t appear to exist for Langan, Frost, & Wane. They have elements to their sound that very well could have made them a popular act during medieval times, but they also incorporate many modern flavors, impressively tying everything together. This trio of musicians have cultivated something that is unlike anything else, and we should all be eager to check out their soon to be released LP.

 

-- Quinn Donoghue


 





Dead Tooth head on down to the "Hell Shack"

We here at DeliCorp Enterprises would like to wish a happy two-week songaversary to “Hell Shack,” Dead Tooth's latest single and their disquieting but not at all quiet answer to the B-52's "Love Shack." And since two-week anniversaries are known as the aluminum foil anniversary (editor's note: there is no known evidence this is true) we hope that they enjoy the tin foil hats we just dropped in the mail for all the band members because judging from their latest song it seems they've maybe been receiving some alien transmissions lately.

On "Hell Shack" the Dead Toothers continue to refine their post-punky trailer-parky electric blues psychedelic electro-rock sound and no I don’t get paid by the word. Speaking of words, band frontman Zach James describes the song as an “almost dumb and brutish voice of a self deprecating ephemera addict who's trying to find words for indescribable feelings of anger, hurt, mistrust, doubt and shame [and] it’s about setting fire to what was and being at war with the id [and] it’s the destructive and creative forces working together to build my heaven like I built my Hell Shack” and well hell he took the words right out of my mouth.

But damn if "Hell Shack" doesn’t live up to this hype because it's a pretty epic piece of music squeezed into three minutes and seventeen seconds--starting with a minimalist guitar/keyboard backing which sounds kinda like the B-52s in a rare funk (see what I mean) but then vocally you've got more of a “Subterranean Homesick Blues” vibe with stacatto verbiage and mashed-up imagery and rhyme-schemery (opening lines: “a terse versed vulgar purse snatching witch / I’m on the back of the bottom of your itch”) that hooks the listener from the get go (editor's note: no listeners were consulted for this write-up) and builds in intensity before a runaway Beastie Boys riff enters the picture about a minute in and then it’s straight into some techno-phallic guitar riffage and lyrics about “fight[ing] fire with fury and full choir” and “tell[ing] that fat headed pig we want out tomorrow.”

So you're thinking "OK Dylan meets Zeppelin it's been done before" but halfway through the song drops into an ambient "Kid A" style K-hole for a short spell before launching into an extended outro over a groovy syncopated beat and ghostly reverb slow-motion melody with a vocal line that becomes increasingly chant-like unleashing who knows what malevolent forces with lines like “the idol kills, the idol grows.” But in the end its Dead Tooth who kills it with a nicely vibey final minute that builds in intensity riding off into the sunset or would that be the sulpheric flames of Hell? Needless to say wherever you end up it was a journey getting there.

 

Oh and there’s a video too which you may have noticed up top, but if you prefer your music remain unvisualized check it out directly above. In the music video for "Hell Shack" people chase each other around a lot (mostly members of the band I think) but it's definitely not the screaming teens of A Hard Day's Night chasing after Dead Tooth's limo. There’s a kidnapping or something involved and maybe some gangsters and definitely a skateboard theft. So hey maybe it doesn't set a very good example for the children but it’s fun and there's some slow motion parts but be forewarned it gets a bit violent at times—like when Zach gets bashed across the face apparently right after he just ingested a bunch of tator tots because he spits ketchup everywhere all over the pavement. It happens. And while I'm forced to dock the video one star for not including any Trans Am sports cars (plus no cameo by Nathan Wind) it's still a fairly entertaining piece of work. (Jason Lee)





Kitty Coen Cultivates a Holy Sound in New Single

 Kitty Coen encapsulates a slew of sounds in her latest single, Holy. She proves that she has no barriers, displaying an ability to induce dancing, headbanging and hypnotic swaying all within a three-and-a-half minute stretch. Though many artists and genres come to mind when listening to Kitty Coen, she has undeniably formed her own musical identity and we should all be extremely excited about what the future holds for her. 

After seeing Kitty perform live for the first time a little over a year ago, I remember thinking of her as a more rock n’ roll version of Mazzy Star. But after listening to more of her music, and with every new single, the scope of artists that I’m reminded of continues to grow, including acts like Billie Eilish, Stevie Nicks, Tame Impala and David Bowie. “Honestly, genre isn’t something I think about when creating my music…I’ve gotten everything from ‘grunge-country' to 'electro-pop', so I try not to think about genre and just make the music that I believe expresses the moment best,” Coen said. In modern music, genre-blending and embodying many influences are more prominent than ever, but finding cohesion and originality can be a struggle. For Coen, finding this balance doesn’t seem to be a challenge at all. 

What makes Holy stand out amongst her other releases is the fact that it leans, perhaps, a bit more heavy on the rock side of things. The song features a prominent guitar part that hooks you in from the beginning, as well as a disco-ish drumbeat that really drives the song forward in the second verse. Of course, as the song’s energy builds, so does the intensity of Kitty’s vocals, showing off her dynamic singing abilities. She provides some backstory into the creative process of Holy, saying “I met up with a friend after months of not playing music with anyone during quarantine and he started laying down a guitar riff. I was just kind of improvising and came up with a melody I liked and the phrase ‘holy with a broken heart.’ From there I used sounds and tones that reflected the feeling of transcending and floating while still making it slap.” Indeed, she makes the song “slap.” One of the things that really makes Holy a great song is that it constantly feels like it’s going somewhere new. The textures, overdubs, and energy continuously build and there isn’t a dull moment throughout the duration of the song. 

The fact that she only has six releases under her belt is mind-boggling. She continues to prove that she has no creative limitations, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if she is one of the next breakout artists from Austin. Stay tuned for her debut EP to gain even more insight into the Kitty Coen experience.


-- Quinn Donoghue

 

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