Fayetteville's The Wandering Lake — the recording project of Brian Kupillas (SW/MM/NG) — released a new set of songs on Bandcamp this week and they are lovely and wounded and predictably great. The EP, "From James' Garden" follows, Kupillas says, "what felt like a long drought of spirit." Find him on Tumblr, where he posts new music plus photos of elephants and body-builders.
2. Beedy ft. DMP Liq - "Wit The Stick"
One of my favorite songs of the year, courtesy of Rodney Cole, who goes by Beedy now. With a guest verse from DMP Liq — good to see DMP is still going strong (R.I.P. Darnelle.)
3. Love Ghost - "But Now I Know"
Last week also saw the release of "Skies Are Grey," by Love Ghost, the band fronted by producer Jason Weinheimer. It's a gorgeous and plaintive and deeply satisfying record, and it sounds as warm and sonically ambitious as you'd expect from Weinheimer, who in recent years has produced more good Little Rock bands than anyone. Also it reminds me of Tom Petty's "Damn the Torpedoes," and there aren't too many things you get a chance to say that about.
4. bLAck pARty - "You"
Little Rock ex-pat Malik Flint made great music before he left for L.A. last year, with collaborator Kari Faux, but his sound has continued to morph and arc in the direction of pristine sci-fi pop. He's a singer now, for one thing, and a good one — he's also one of Arkansas' most forward-thinking producers.
5. The Body & Krieg - "Bottom of the Bottle, Bottom of the River"
The first track from the wrenching, bleak, skull-scrambling new record by Arkansas natives Chip King and Lee Buford, The Body, who this time are working with Neill Jameson, frontman of the black metal band Krieg. It's pure weaponized sound, a cold-water bath of distortion and anxiety. The album won't ruin your day, it'll remind you what a horrible ruin your day has always already become. Or as Buford put it in a recent interview, "It worked out real cool."