Follow us:

Soundposts

A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

September 22, 2014 at 1:50 PM

S makes ‘Cool Choices’ and King Tuff casts a ‘Black Moon Spell’ | New recordings

S, ‘Cool Choices’ (Hardly Art)

Fall is a good time to blast cathartic rock music through headphones — or a Bluetooth Beats pill, whatever works. In that vein, “Cool Choices” excels, a steely, hushed album from Seattle singer-songwriter S (Jenn Ghetto of Carissa’s Wierd). It carries the thrill of this indie-rock-guitar player pushing into synth pop and piano ballads — and writing her best songs, with unflinching lyrics about failed/failing relationships. Highlights include the oceanic “Loser,” about how some people were born losers, will die losers and how you lose friends as you get older. Another track, “Tell Me,” is cutting and confidently chilled with electronics: “Did you [ …] tell her the same things? And when you were through, did you find out the same things about you?” Ghetto keeps it more real than other writers, and has less  time for her characters’ hangups. The way she arranges songs from tense to release is cleanly highlighted by producer/engineer Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie. They make a good team.

King Tuff, ‘Black Moon Spell’ (Sub Pop)

The new King Tuff album features  guitar player Kyle Thomas in demon mode, inhabiting an Id-driven character somewhat like Eminem’s Slim Shady or Madlib’s Quasimoto, mixing cigarette butts with bubble gum (and sex and drugs). The music sounds like the Ramones, Exploding Hearts, T. Rex and, um, Stone Temple Pilots, full of righteous electric guitar riffs and nasally vocals.  “Eyes of the Muse” is his glistening entry into the temple of song — totally majestic and sophisticated. His transitions between tracks are also perfect (“Headbanger” into “Beautiful Thing,” for instance). He’s thought of everything, down to the sequencing. With production by Bobby Harlow at Studio B in Los Angeles,  the sounds are in their right place, giving great heft to high school (anti-) jock jams (“Black Holes in Stereo,” “Eddie’s Song”). Drums tumble and guitars get louder exactly when they should, hand claps are expertly placed. This might be too derivative to be a classic album, but it frequently transcends earth to rock heaven.

Comments | Topics: Hardly Art, King Tuff, S

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►