Listen Now: Two New Releases with Area Ties

Feb 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Two new releases featuring Southwestern Ohio connections are currently available for listening at AOL’s music site, Spinner. Both released yesterday on the Brooklyn-based Ernest Jenning Record Co. imprint, one recording features a prominent guest contribution from a member of Brooklyn-via-Cincinnati Indie darlings The National, while the other is the latest branch on the already quite branchy Guided By Voices family tree.—-

Cincinnati native Matt Berninger of The National lends his distinctive low-register croon to the lead vocal on “Fire to the Ground,” the first track on the unusual “remix” EP Derealization by NYC Indie duo The Forms. Rather than soliciting a bunch of computerized slice-and-dice remixes from DJs, musicians and producers, The Forms’ Matt Walsh and Alex Tween decided to do something more hands-on. After accidentally spinning a vinyl version of The Forms’ last album on 45 instead of 33 and marveling at how the songs sounded in a different context, Walsh began tinkering with the band’s previous recordings and ultimately developed a plan to not so much “remix” the earlier songs as “rebuild” them. Tracks from The Forms’ previous two releases were broken down, rearranged, combined and augmented with guest contributions by members of Dirty Projectors, St. Vincent and Shudder to Think, resulting in a collection that, despite being based on long-completed and released Forms songs, sounds like a completely different species all together.

The Forms’ tour for Derealization comes to Newport’s Southgate House (on the Parlour stage) this Saturday. You can listen to the EP in full here.

The other new Ernest Jenning release streaming on Spinner is Waving at the Astronauts by Lifegaurds, the latest in a seemingly endless stream of “side band” projects from Indie Rock legend Robert Pollard of beloved Dayton musical institution Guided By Voices. Lately, Pollard has been touring with the “classic” GBV lineup and Lifegaurds is also a reunion of sorts, reteaming Pollard with Doug Gillard, GBV’s anchor during his lengthy tenure as guitarist from 1997 until the band’s dissolution in 2004.

Waving at the Astronauts is the second Lifegaurds release, following 2002’s Mist King Urth. The new album was initiated last year, with Gillard composing and recording all of the music at his home and Pollard adding lyrics and melodies to the instrumentals later. It’s a surprisingly strong, cohesive effort (Pollard side-project releases can sometimes come off as toss offs) sure to have dedicated GBV/Pollard fans everywhere doing windmill kicks of joy.

Listen to Waving at the Astronauts in its entirety here.