Every now and again I stumble across a band that I have previously been completely unaware of and then all of a sudden they are in my life. Buried deep in my consciousness, their songs provide a soundtrack to all of my experiences and I wonder how I ever survived without them. Railcars are such a band.
The brainchild of San Franciscan singer-songwriter Aria C Jalali, Railcars utilise a DIY ethic to harness their unique energy and breadth of ideas. For me, DIY recordings only usually capture a single element of an artist’s sound, albeit in brilliant isolation – something that would no doubt be lost within a different recording process.
The overall DIY package is frequently less than satisfying; it’s like having a fry-up with the best sausages ever but then crappy eggs, bacon and cold tea. Cities vs. submarines is that rare thing of being a DIY recording that explodes with total clarity of expression, a blistering cacophony of fully-realised ideas.
Recorded in Xiu Xiu main man Jamie Stewart’s kitchen and at only ten minutes long, Cities vs. submarines is something special, full of a unique vigour and urgency. You get a sense from its brevity and compactness that this is an EP that had to be made and it is consequently possessed with that rare vitality of something that needs to be listened to. Over the course of these five experimental pop songs, fuzzy layered noise drips with distortion, chugging guitars and synthy laptop hooks all of which reach transcendence when the vocals emerge, espousing remarkable visions. Cities vs. submarines sounds fresh, alive and dangerous.
Cities vs. submarines was released through Gold Robot Records – I highly recommend that you purchase it now. The pressing is limited to 500 so be quick; oh and did I mention that the artwork is spectacular as well.