INCHES reviews vinyl from Koushik, Avi Buffalo, Nerve City, Psychic Powers (MP3s)
In the strange wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES reviews the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community (artists and labels, indie or other), believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.
Avi Buffalo has had a good year to say the least. After rising to the top of the pack in its native Long Beach, the quartet led by Avi Zahner-Isenberg completed a highly touted residency at The Echo, went on tour with Beach House, and inked a deal with Seattle mega-indie Sub Pop -- all before Zahner-Isenberg hit the ripe old age of 19. This 7-inch is the band's first official release -- ever -- and features the inescapable "What's In It For?," a pretty wonderful slice of free-wheeling folk-pop. Zahner-Isenberg's clever love-obsessed lyrics and gorgeous guitarplay are well-complimented by howling harmonies, acoustic jangle and rolling bass -- proof that Avi songs sound just as fresh coming out of the studio as they do the frontman's bedroom. But even if you've heard this one enough to take its eccentricities for granted, the organ-borne "Jessica" is a reminder of the imperfect bliss found in the catchy, scratchy demos that first put Avi Buffalo on our radar.
Download: Avi Buffalo - "What's In It For?" (MP3)
Even if you don't know Psychic Powers, there's a good chance you're already familiar with one of its constituents. The transpacific project combines the respective gifts of New Zealand's Nik Brinkman (of electrogaze group Over The Atlantic) and L.A.'s own Alejandro Cohen (of Dublab, and ambient popsters Languis). With their powers combined, they make up a scrappier, more depressive New Order only just updated for modern ears. The single "Wellington" is a shining example of great downer pop, with fuzzy guitar swells, percussive blasts and crystalline synth sounds buttressing Brinkman's airy vocals. B-side "Foreign Photographs" is breathier still, less outwardly catchy, but equally rewarding for its gauzy atmosphere.
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