Beverly Glenn-Copeland has spent the past half-decade basking in his role as a New Age elder statesman during the often-maligned genre’s recent indie revival. Last year’s Transmissions comp is a solid primer, and 1986′s almost unbearably empathetic Keyboard Fantasies saw a well-deserved reissue last Friday. But the artist’s best album is one of his earliest: a self-titled from 1970, whose hair-raising intensity has little to do with the sedative tones he’s become known for.
San Francisco singer-songwriter Field Medic has been knocking around the Bay Area music scene for a while, but signing to vaunted indie label Run for Cover hasn’t reduced his penchant for recording the first thing on his mind as fast as he can. His new EP, Plunge Deep Golden Knife, is so dense with room noise it almost feels ambient, but the strength of his songwriting shines through more than everything else—and the song “I Get Drunk Every Day Because I’m Bored and Lonely” is about a lot more than its title.
Fire Escape Corn is surely an odd title. Fire escapes are a reasonable workaday image to accompany Airhead DC’s shy electro-pop. But “corn”? Arthur Russell fans know, and they’ll also recognize the world of echo that D.C.-born Portland producer Vishal Narang puts on his voice. This is pop that’s distinctly bedroom, but it has an air of sophistication that sets it worlds apart from your average GarageBand experiment, and its drums drive it forward rather than letting it settle like a cloud of smoke.
Vladislav Delay is on a midcareer roll. Twenty years after blowing everyone’s minds with his releases on the Mille Plateaux and Chain Reaction labels, the Finnish producer is serving up two of his most exploratory albums this spring. Rakka II, which drops Friday, uses blasts of noise to evoke the rugged Arctic expanse in which he lives, works and travels. More accessible is Fun Is Not a Straight Line, a respectful and viciously realized exploration of Chicago footwork music that drops in June under Delay’s given surname, Ripatti.