Friday Five: Kawsaki, Laurel Premo, Same Eyes, Safa Collective, marto.matic
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features retro-futuristic vaporwave by Kawsaki, droney folk-blues by Laurel Premo, synth-pop by Same Eyes, environmental sounds by Safa Collective, and indie-folk by marto.matic.
Kawsaki, City Funk
The first song on Ann Arbor native and Detroit resident Kawsaki's latest album is called "MegaMall 秋葉原." The name provides contextual clues about his style of retro-futuristic vaporwave, with a particular focus on Japanese culture ("BulletTrain" and "Tokyo 3AM" are some other song titles). Put on your zipper-pants and boogie on back to an imaginary 1980s club in the Shinjuku district. I spoke with Kawsaki back in April.
Laurel Premo, Golden Loam
Former Orpheus Bell and current Red Tail Ring duo member Laurel Premo, who graduated with a BFA from the Performing Arts Technology Dept. of the University of Michigan School of Music, steps out on her own for Golden Loam. Now based out of Traverse City, Premo's known for her fiddle and banjo work, but she's also an amazing guitarist. This 10-song collection features her playing droney, fingerstyle electric bluesy Americana and is highly recommended for fans of John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Jack Rose. Terrific record.
Same Eyes, "Such A Shame / Changing Flights" single
This is the fourth single since Ann Arbor synth-poppers Same Eyes released their fantastic debut album, Parties to End, in January. It's another fab throwback to a different era, both accurate in its devotion to '80s synth sounds and showing how this style of music is a perfect vehicle for excellent songwriting, not just angular haircuts. (Though I was so inspired by these songs, I may cut my hair to look like a water fountain so I can act like a lost member of Depeche Mode circa 1982.)
Safa Collective, Highway 1, Summer '21
This environmental EP by Ann Arbor-based Safa Collective collects natural audio from various locations and mixes them into a slightly spooky, slightly meditative batch of soundscapes.
marto.matic, marto.matic EP and "Kept in Caves"
The eight songs released this month by Ypsilanti solo act marto.matic are homebrewed acoustic indie-folk that reminds me of music from the early 1990s lo-fi and DIY scenes. Literate and lovely tunes.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.