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Top Five Fridays: Abi Reimold

August 26, 2016

Hey Folks,

Welcome back to Top Five Fridays.  The part of the week where someone much cooler than myself takes over this lil’ ol’ blog and turns us all on to five records they have been jamming out to lately.  Last edition we were in Philly hanging out with the lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll of Public Health, and this week we remain in the City of Brotherly Love to have a sit down with Abi Reimold, the singing, songwriting, introspectively guitar bashing rock architect behind “Wriggling,” my hands down current favorite album of 2016.

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Abi Reimold

I have to shout out to the excellent crew over at Animal House Productions for turning me onto the sounds of Abi Reimold.  In late 2015 they booked Abi as the opener for the equally lyrically insightful and grunge guitar rocking Jessica Lea Mayfield. My attention was piqued from that moment on, but it was not until seeing her again at Everybody Hits in Philly (Go see a show there, you haven’t heard punk rock till you’ve listened to it in a batting cage) on a triple threat line up with Mannequin Pussy (new album coming) and Chastity Belt (would see them any day every day), that I brought a cassette copy of “Wriggling” and my musical year was turned on its head.

The word that comes to mind in regards to Abi’s debut record is “raw.”  While I know many of you may be ready to shut this page the second I stooped to such a cliche descriptive banality, hear me out.  Listening to album opener “Arranged” is like grabbing onto an exposed live wire.  The song starts bare and exposed, with just Abi’s instantly recognizable vocal and guitar playing.  When the band kicks in just after the minute mark, her voice is surrounded by guitars, but remains untouched by excessive reverb, effects, or anything else that would mask or hinder the visceral emotion of her performance.  There is an immediacy and an urgency that is present on this record that is a requirement for true rock ‘n’ roll. And be assured; this is rock ‘n’ roll of the highest caliber.

“Wriggling” is also an amazingly textured and dynamic record.  Tracks that start off in a whisper often ramp up to a roar and back in a matter of seconds.  I love that there is room on this album for crescendoing rockers like “Arranged” but also lo fi solo introspective torch songs like “Vessel.”  Finally I must commend the lyrical work on this record.  Abi’s command of the english language is obvious, and she makes dropping phrases like “stranger watch me as I sleep/ consume concessions I concede” seem like they are effortlessly tumbling out of her.

Abi’s music has been getting fantastic reviews from the likes pitchfork and stereogum, and so I’m so thrilled to have her on board to talk about some music that inspires her.  Give it up for Top Five Fridays with Abi Reimold!

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Emily Yacina–Overflow(demos)

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Emily is one of my favorite songwriters and these songs are beautiful and cathartic. I love how honest and thoughtful Overflow is. Emily’s songs are all so different from each other but her arrangements, voice and recording style tie them all together very neatly. Her songwriting is unique and original without being over complicated and inaccessible. Sometimes when people write songs this personal (myself included), listening to the record is a little too overwhelming or painful, but Overflow is emotive without being overly intrusive. We just toured together and it was lovely hearing the songs live every night for a week!

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Rihanna–ANTI

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I fall in love with a different song from this record everyday. Rihanna’s voice is obviously amazing. I love a record, especially from a singer/songwriter or solo artist, that showcases their different moods, abilities and dynamics by providing a sampling of songs from different genres. Whether she’s singing a complicated, jazzy melody over the cerebral “James Joint,” getting angry to a beat on “Kiss it better,” or letting out those singer-songwriter vibes on “Close to you,” her voice is a heartbreaking conveyer of emotion, personality and beauty in a way most listeners are able to relate to.

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blue smiley– return 

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Bryan’s guitar playing is so original, quirky and thoughtful without being over-cerebral or inaccessible. The melodies and chord changes are so refreshingly unique and complicated, but he ties them together with haunting, questioning vocal melodies. I love how this record has a variety of types of arrangements, but every instrument really pulls its weight on every song with a badass part.

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Richard Drueding– Wissahickon

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Richard was an amazing guitarist from Philly who passed away this winter. I got this CD at his memorial and have been listening to it in the car ever since. It’s really peaceful and helps with driving anxiety. But it’s not at all boring– Richard’s playing is so technical while still being soulful and not at all show-offy. It’s all instrumental. While it’s clear that Richard is pouring his emotions into these songs, he does it in such a way that the listener can easily paint whatever they need to onto the songs to be touched in the moment.

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Porches– Pool

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This record is a little less of a variety pack than the other ones I mentioned, but it’s hard to get enough of these synthy, groovy emotive jams crafted with a palette of carefully selected sounds. I feel like this record could be so accessible and enjoyable to so many people– the songs are a kind of artfully crafted moody pop with delicious hooks that are perfect for driving, working, partying, or thinking through things.

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Thanks so much Abi! Killer list.  That Rihanna record is so stellar. Don’t even get me started talking about the guitar on “Kiss it Better.”

I must also take a second to note that Abi Reimold is not only responsible for my favorite long playing release of 2016, but also her three part harmony all girl punk trio Fake Boyfriend released “Mercy,” a four song EP that is just flawless.  I discovered Fake Boyfriend due to Philly punk trio Cayetana being amazing people and sharing great music on twitter.  It is my mission to deliver a Fake Boyfriend T5F to you all in the next year if I do nothing else.  Check their goodness out over here via bandcamp.

Dear readers, you know what to do: Go buy Wriggling.  Buy it right now.  Go over to her store and download this.  If you, like myself, are more down with tangible forms of music media you can also order it on CD or Cassette.  Go for the cassette. That’s what I got and apparently as I write this there are only six more.  Plus it’s “cactus green.”  After that, be sure to do the usual social media square dance and LIKE Abi on facebook and FOLLOW her on twitter.  On 9/25/16 Abi Reimold is playing a show at Space 1026 in Philly with the INCOMPARABLE Ava Luna (Infinite House was one of the best records of 2015) and Laser Background.  That is a stacked line up people, more deets HERE.  There is also a fantastic short video on Abi and the making of “Wriggling” that you can find on youtube.

Remember, you can check out past editions of Top Five Fridays (including lists from the likes of Radiator Hospital, Stupid Bag Records, The Goodbye Party, and Laura Stevenson) by wandering over to the ARCHIVES.

 

well peace out good people of the world,

 

Peter Winter

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Peter Winter is trying to just enjoy the end of Summer and not think about all the Horror Movies he is going to be watching in a couple short months.  Follow the journey on twitter.

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