Published Aug 28, 2008Philadelphia's Hail Social seem destined for indie stardom, be it through soundtracking a crucial moment in Serena van der Woodsen's latest meltdown on Gossip Girl or hitting it big with a Virgin Mobile ad. Those aren't knocks but the way in which indie bands seem to be reaching the outsiders in the hostile music industry. Somewhere in between the snaky gloom of former tour-mates Interpol and Of Montreal's less kookier moments, they can get irresistable.
But check out their side-project, the Hawkwind-nodding Weird Tapes, coming up quickly from the rear. Actually, it's just singer-songwriter Dayve Hawk, but you'd never know it judging by his Get Religion EP. Opener "The Heavens" is just what it sounds like: space disco that hovers above the clouds at a marathon runner's pace. From there, "Glorious" gets modern just barely digging into some slow-mo, trancey house that has a euphoric breakdown filled with some nifty a cappella harmonizing. "Home," on the other hand, is a straight-up micro-house track, "Nikki" breaks out the neon for a smattering of that French Touch sound and "Party Trash" eschews its obvious urge to bang, and takes the form of a chilled slab of oscillating, late-era disco.
And he's also a DJ! I don't mean to drop another mixtape on you but Blue Skies Captain is just what folks need to wind down to after work. It's your happy hour drink in the shape of a 38:49 MP3. Though it's not as fine-tuned as a lot of mixtapes floating around cyberspace, the track selection is a fine collection of '70s and '80s rare groove, funk, soul, disco and, well, I do believe that is the Highwaymen sandwiched in there. And that is most certainly the Pogues brought in for last call.
Weird Tapes Get Religion EP
Weird Tapes Blue Skies Captain