Jeanette Berry – With You
NYC’s Jeanette Berry (of currently-on-hiatus Philadelphia-based jazz ‘n’ b group Jeanette Berry and the Soul Nerds) has crafted an aching breakup ballad with “With You,” a track from her new EP, Solivagant. Everything about the song is smooth, from the slow burn groove of the rhythm section to the freeform saxophone and piano embellishments, not to mention the interplay between Berry’s singing and the unnamed velvety-voiced dude contributing passages of spoken word. If only heartbreak always sounded so good.
NOTE: I’ve been informed that the unnamed velvety-voiced dude is actually a named velvety-voiced dude, and his name is Rodney Harrison. Spoken word words were written by Brian Jones.
Operations – Temporary Movement
Come on over to the Fog Museum, a place filled with all sorts of achromatic wonders! In the main exhibit, you’ll find the shoegazers of Milwaukee, WI’s Operations, cranking out dreamy, melancholy tunes while shrouded in a thick cloud of vapor. “Temporary Movement” is one of Fog Museum‘s livelier tracks, featuring a motorik drumbeat that blasts the group’s overcast palette into overdrive. Frontwoman Alisa Rodriguez manages to convey a profound sadness despite her voice being largely obscured by the surrounding blur of instruments. It’s a grayscale watercolor for your ears.
Castrum Doloris – I Shall Become
A castrum doloris (Latin for “castle of grief”) is an opulent, funereal structure that would accompany the body of a prestigious dead person in the Long Ago Times. Castrum Doloris is also a Norwegian black metal band whose album, I Shall Become, was just released in digital format on the Terratur Possessions label after its inception many years ago. As you would expect from a band named for a tower of woe, the album’s music is lugubrious as shit. The title track mixes passages of atmospheric doom with punishing barrages of guitar and rasping vocals; it’s the perfect song for a stately funeral procession.