Nerdist is based in California, yes, but we try to avoid any ethnocentric, anglo-centric mindset. Quick definition for those unfamiliar with the term: Somebody who is ethnocentric looks at the world through a lens informed by their own culture. That’s kind of a natural human thing, so it really takes effort to break out of it, but this week’s international Bandcamping selections were some of the easiest choices we made all week.
Most of the picks today are non-American, and if they do happen to be native to the States, then there’s nary an English word to be found. Take a leap with us:
5. The Un-Crow by Max McCargar
Genre: jazz, alternative
If you like: Jim O’Rourke, Sun Ra
Jazz has a strange reputation of being an inaccessible genre, and I think it’s because the more avant-garde stuff is what people base that off of. Max McCargar’s newest album definitely tries some stuff, but its tangents and explorations are based on a foundation that makes this a strong ambient listen, but also worthy of strong foreground focus.
4. Avete Vinto Voi by Le Pinne
Genre: indie pop
If you like: Belle and Sebastian, Noah and the Whale
This Italian album has a kitschy charm that might be overlooked by those who take their music too seriously: It’s vocal rhythms are sometimes goofy, but if anything, that means that this is a super fun record. It’s off the beaten path, and it’s worthwhile.
3. L’amour Propre by Ephèbe
Genre: electronic, indie pop
If you like: Com Truise, Chromatics, The xx
This record is sung in French, but any language barrier doesn’t matter with music as vibe-driven as this.. L’amour Propre could have been ruined by trying too hard, but Ephèbe sounds natural as they navigate a diverse but grounded soundscape.
2. Shapes & Symbols by Bennett On
Genre: electronic, instrumental hip-hop
If you like: Blockhead, Lymbyc Systym, Arms and Sleepers
I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for a good beat tape, and that’s exactly what this is. High quality hip-hop instrumentals ought to stand on their own without vocals, and Bennet On has figured out how to make material that’s both engaging in a vacuum but is also ready to slide into the background in case an MC were to grab the mic.
1. St. Dominique by Coco et Co.
Genre: electronic, indie rock, alternative
If you like: Nine Inch Nails, Low, Warpaint
Youth Lagoon was the first artist I heard who proved that simple, sometimes-cheesy drum-machine drums could be effective if put in the right context. Montréal duo Coco et Co. only further that belief, but that also doesn’t define them. Their songs are generally brooding and dark-electro, but their sense of melody (namely, on “Hesitate”) cuts through the malaise for a truly full-bodied effort.
And now, here’s another album that we also really liked:
Reaper by Yung Death
Genre: alternative hip-hop
If you like: Earl Sweatshirt, Yung Lean
That’s it for today, but until next time, let us know in the comments which of these albums were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on last week’s list, you can find it here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are here).