Reviews for [RL79]
Imaginary Pants "Channels/Seacliff"
- Half Gifts
If you've heard songs by any of the many bands she's been in, or have read issue one of Half-Gifts, you'll expect great things of a record when you see Rose Melberg's name in the credits. Her newest project, Imaginary Pants, is a collaboration with Jon Manning, founder of Seattle's Lost Sound Tapes. With its wintry sense of tranquility and simple song structure, the duo's new single, Channels/Seacliff, fits right along with the rest of Melberg's discography, which spans an impressive two decades. There's a sense of timelessness to be found in this record, faintly fuzzy atmospheres that brighten the pastel tones of the perfect pop it delivers.
"Channels" is the single's A-Side, a track lacking in percussion, yet delivering twee dreaminess in spades. Warm ripples of acoustic guitar wrap around whirling keyboards. The gentle and sparse aura emits the same vibe as the Julia Brown tape that came out earlier this year. The B-Side, "Seacliff", brings drums into the mix, and is a fast-paced and upbeat supplement to "Channels". It delivers the pop-punk energy of past Melberg ventures like Tiger Trap and Go Sailor with great vocal harmonies and frantically strummed guitars. Whether you're a diehard fan of K-Records releases from the 90s or a frequent consumer of brand-new punk cassettes, this record is worth a listen.
- Tuning Into the Obscure
The cover art alone drew me into this. The sound on this single is what would happen if you took the best elements from Make it Plain and Giant Peach and sat them in front of a camp fire in the middle of the forest. This is some prime musical magic here; the indie folk/indie rock goodness oozing from my speakers is jam packed with harmonic vocals and songwriting that just makes me so damn happy. (4.9 out of 5)
- 7 Inches.blogspot
Sometimes I accidentally get things right.
I wrote up some first impressions about this single from Imaginary Pants before even checking Rok Lok Records and putting the final post together. I wrote some things about how it reminded me of other guy girl duo's like The Yips or Kitchen Floor combined with The Softies. I even read the back of the sleeve that listed the members as 'Jon and Rose' but didn't put it completely together until reading this description from Rok Lok:
Words don't justice to describe the great emotions I feel about being a part of this release. For starters it feels great to document more of the great music that my friend Jon Manning (Sandy City, Blanket Truth, Lost Sound Tapes) creates but it feels even greater knowing that I am also helping document music that the other half of Imaginary Pants, Rose Melberg, has created. To put things in perspective, as of this writing I am 35 years old and I have been listening to music the Rose has written/recorded with her various projects (Tiger Trap, The Softies, Go Sailor, Gaze, as well under her own name) since I was a 16 sixteen your old indie rock kid in highschool. If a past version of me got knowledge from the future about this release he (I) would be freaking out. Fanboy nonsense aside, it feels great to simply document great music by people such as Rose and Jon who have an impeccable track record of being a part of some of the best indie pop music my ears have ever been fortunate enough to hear.
Of course. I have a section on the record shelves that's grouped together by records I used to listen to nonstop in high school and still are great (and a lot that didn't make the cut). Records from The Cure, Pixies, The Smiths, Morrissey, Dead Milkmen and two from The Softies, Winter Pageant and Holiday in Rhode Island. Mind you I listened to them on CD or on mix tapes but I found myself picking these up years later because I missed them. Later I managed to get their singles and go further back to Go Sailor and Tiger Trap. It was the gold standard to measure other unpretentious music with feelings and it's great to randomly come across this latest from Rose without even have tried.
A-Side's "Channels" features warm acoustic with hints at The Polyphonic Spree or Sufjan with a twee element, just acoustic and centered on the vocal. Jon and Rose's high register unassuming vocals that work at getting the harmonies just right. Before I realized this was THE Rose, it always surprised me when I would listen to The Softies and it would always hit me that there's no percussion and here it is again, nothing but the slight echo in the vocal and this mellow electrified acoustic...or just an electric? Calming indie pop that soothes in a melancholy way. I always found her vocal to be sad without even trying. Bunnygrunt, The Swirlies, Bearsuit...all of these are coming back with Imaginary Pants lyrics about the shore, summer, the channel that runs out to the ocean; lofty, epicly sad sentiments from a back porch or lazy days in the screened in porch. You had it pretty good before winter started to set in. We're left with this salt stained stack of Hipstamatic prints all stuck together.
"Seacliff" picks things up which I guess is unusual for a B-Side, but the A-Side was so perfect, here's a jangly buried electric twanging away, franticly strumming in a pretty serious rhythm. The great mix of loose carefree sound of Jon's higher vocal...an introspective bedroom Mates of State. They get into this chorus of chanting and the whole thing is a little loose and surfy sounding with barely an effect on the vocals like the Besties with odd choppy rhythms of Dog Day that they make work completely with sheer creation and layered harmonies. It's a specific style but one that's closely associated with DIY and cooperation and not stomping the shit out of each other in a warehouse like assholes. There's room for a nicer scene like this. Instead of mean Mr Rollins yelling at Calvin. I always hated that story...reminds me how much more punk this is because it isn't trying to be punk to the point it can be actively hated? Ugh, forget all that, I'm glad to hear this...a great new release and I'm going back now through her catalog thanks to this single.
Pick it up from Rok Lok Records. Another label that seriously cares - the most important thing.
- Get It On Vinyl
First up is a fantastic 7” from Imaginary Pants. The band is a duo consisting of Rose Melberg and Jon Manning, who both have impressive individual projects.
The A-side “Channels” is a softer song, consisting of just an acoustic and the amazing vocals of Melberg. In Many ways it echoes her previous works with The Softies, but the sound is rawer with the harmonies less distinct. It is a great track that is simple without losing its purity. It is repetitive without ever becoming monotonous.
The flip-side changes up the tempo and speeds into a surf rock style jam with a great drumbeat and dominating vocals from Manning. With roses harmonies, “Seacliff” becomes a foot stomping sing along. While it is so summer anthem, it has found a place on the playlist and is sure to inspire some carefree dancing.