For Stereo Off, third time's definitely the charm.
Earlier this week, Popdust interviewed Stereo Off about reforming as a trio and their sonic shift from unadulterated Brooklyn indie rock to a synth-tinged sound. A few days later, they've finally released III, an EP that's as much reclamation of their sound as proclamation of the new Stereo Off. The self-released effort is frontman Sebastian Marciano and bassist Niall Madden's first with new member Bridget Fitzgerald, a classically-trained viola player who takes up guitar on the record.
The band is unique for their mutable nature; rather than sticking to their guns with the instruments they're best at, each member fills in as necessary. According to Marciano, the band's "flexibility and willingness to get outside [their] own boundaries definitely [helped] shape the sound" of the new EP, and it's absolutely self-evident in the EP's range. Each of the five songs, and the way they're curated, celebrate the sound Stereo Off fans are familiar with while keeping a keen eye on the future.
The record opens with "Sunsetting," a beach town urbanite call to adventure strung together with a sensual, spacey saxophone reverb. The power of the track lies in its details: the percussion and tribal drums that form the heartbeat of this funk-laden opener make the Marciano's beckoning call to "come get in [his] vehicle" that much more alluring. Dance floor banger "Venir" works as the album's centerpiece, combining disco and deep house influences with an electric guitar that signals the album's shift in a more rock direction.
The last two tracks, electro-rock "Disaster Plan" and "Ordinary Lives," end the record on a powerful note: both songs may be framed with electronic flourishes, but they serve as throwbacks to the sound that put the band on the map. By combining intense guitar with a fast-paced electronic sound, the band gives a nod to their old sound while keeping themselves moving forward. Marciano sings "We sinners take our chances / Beginners, watch out for me" on "Disaster Plan," and it feels equal parts daring and genuine.
There are glimpses of Beach House ("Wolves"), Miami Horror ("Sunsetting"), and The xx ("Venir") in Stereo Off's artful new record. They're absolutely in good company, but that's not to say they don't carve out their own place. On III, we see a band that's grown comfortable in their sound, and is more than ready to continue contorting it.
Stereo Off's III is out today. Stream it below.
The classic He-Man meme video stands the test of time as an iconic example of queer-coded art.
In December of 2005, Brokeback Mountain shifted queer-coded cinema into the mainstream.
Prior to 2005, "New Queer Cinema"––a term coined by film scholar B. Ruby Rich in Sight & Sound to define the queer-themed independent film movement, which focused on rejecting heteronormativity and concentrated on LGBTQ protagonists––existed on the fringe of the film world. It's worth noting that while the movement primarily refers to the boom in independent LGBTQ films from 1992 onwards, queer cinema existed for many years prior, albeit without a proper name. But regardless of nomenclature, New Queer Cinema was typically designated for niche audiences, relegated to arthouse showings at best.
There's a big problem with the trailer for Morbius, Sony's upcoming Marvel outing that is definitely not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe even though it has Michael Keaton reprising his role as Vulture (please let us keep our license, Disney!).
See if you can spot it.
MORBIUS - Teaser Trailer www.youtube.com
If you answered, "Sampling Beethoven's 'Für Elise' to line up with blue-tinted action shots is the absolute lowest effort, brain-dead attempt to signify 'gothic vampire movie' in the entire history of movie trailers," you're correct, but that's still not the biggest problem with Morbius. No, the biggest problem is that Morbius is played by Jared Leto.