The Madison tracks and EPs we’ve been listening to in June.
Rettir Leinahtan, Contemplations V
Nate Ritter has spent much of his musical life melding folk, early music, and eerie experimentation, as a member of Kinit Her, a contributor to projects like Burial Hex, and cofounder of the Brave Mysteries label. Under the moniker Rettir Leinahtan, he’s been releasing a series called Contemplations, which capture him in a mode of free-form experimentation. V is the latest and also the most substantial, consisting of one 25-minute track that floats through elements of ambient music, field recordings, sparse percussion, and, at least toward the end, some flickers of skeletal melody.
Ritter says he’ll keep adding to the Contemplations series, and has another solo release (outside that series) due out in the fall.
Broadway, “Make Me Rich”
Chicago native Taniesha Broadway came to Madison as a student in UW’s First Wave program, and for the most part I’ve only experienced her work in brief, show-stopping spots alongside other First Wavers. (She was a guest on our podcast back in February with fellow rapper Rich Robbins, before appearing in a big collaborative show he put on.) Broadway is working on a recording project for release later this summer, and she recently teased that with “Make Me Rich.” Over a stark, slinky beat, she starts of with a slow and methodical flow, then escalates into stinging and skillful rhymes: “He just mad he can’t access 99 percent of me / round it up to 100, that don’t mess with all the in-between.” The track’s only two minutes long, but she crams in a lot of wordplay and twisty cadences here.
Trophy Dad, “Addison”
Scruffy guitar-pop outfit Trophy Dad’s new single is a little more patient and somber than anything on their 2015 debut EP, Shirtless Algebra Fridays. “Addison” also draws me in a lot more than I expected, as bassist Abby Sherman and guitarist Jordan Zamansky trade vocal lines that evoke a rocky, if sweet, youthful relationship: “I’m sad because I see myself in you,” Sherman sings at one point. The song also goes a bit beyond a typical pop structure, with a few distinct melodic sections but also a minute-long finale that goes from bright distortion to wistful jangles. The band just returned from an East Coast tour, but plan to start working on new recordings soon.
Tippy, Public Displays Of Affection EP
Spencer Bible of Christian Dior and Mid Waste‘s first release under the name Tippy, Public Displays Of Affection, delves into bedroom pop and wrings some warped dimension from it. The catchiest track, “Harmonica,” shows how the scratchy, lo-fi quality of Casios and reverbed-out vocals can be manipulated into something full- rather than chintzy-sounding. He does venture off into more drone-y and dissonant territory at times, especially on “Day Bye Day.” This EP showcases the solo incarnation of Tippy, but there’s also a full-band version—with Mike Pellino on guitar, Max Arthur on bass, and Erik Fredine on drums—and that lineup will be putting out another Tippy record later this month. Both versions of the project will play next weekend at Bible’s Bluelight Festival in Highland. The next Tippy show in town is July 7 at Mickey’s Tavern.
Cap Alan, June 3 live set at Ritual Barbers
All in one week, Andy Fitzpatrick played the Sydney Opera House and a barbershop in Madison. The former was as a member of Bon Iver, the latter as one half of Cap Alan. The experimental duo’s live sets combine Fitzpatrick’s synth and guitar improvisations with tense but equally adventurous drum work from Jeff Sauer (of much-loved Madison math-rock outfit Czarbles). They’ve posted a stream of last week’s live set at Ritual Barbers in downtown Madison. Their next show is June 20 at The Frequency, opening for Julianna Barwick.