Fuzzy Low-Fi Fun
February 12, 2010 2:36 AM   Subscribe

Music Nerds! I need help finding fuzzy, low-fi pop gems.

Recently, I've been listening to a lot of fuzzy, low-fi pop music, examples being Night Control, Washed Out, Neon Indian, and some of Ariel Pink's more coherent stuff.
The overlying theme seems to be straight-out pop songs, but with low-fi production values and weird synths- something like My Bloody Valentine meets Alexander Robotnick.
Given that I like these bands, what other music should I check out?
posted by dunkadunc to Media & Arts (36 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Mew! Luscious future-techy-pop.


Your first stop should be the song "Mica" if possible - distilled pop genius.
posted by greenish at 3:24 AM on February 12, 2010

Whoops - they have weird synths but are a bit more produced than perhaps you were looking for.

Never mind, check them out anyway!
posted by greenish at 3:35 AM on February 12, 2010

the Magnetic Fields record called "Holiday"
posted by timshel at 3:42 AM on February 12, 2010

You mentioned fuzzy and lo-fi in the one sentence, so what you really meant was Elephant Six. Try Apples in Stereo's Velocity of Sound, or The Gerbils' 'Are You Sleepy?'
posted by scruss at 4:15 AM on February 12, 2010

His Clancyness is pretty awesome - myspace, HypeMachine.
posted by carbide at 4:18 AM on February 12, 2010


and finally the first few Stereolab albums & compilations:
Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements
Refried Ectoplasm
Mars Audiac Quintet

These are all in the spirit of what you're looking for, in one way or another.
posted by timshel at 4:20 AM on February 12, 2010

Flying Saucer Attack
posted by anagrama at 4:38 AM on February 12, 2010

Lo-fi and fuzzy.

The Thermals Album "More Parts Per Million" has a great lo-fi production

The entire Guided By Voices catalog

Saturday Looks Good to Me

The Sonics
posted by orville sash at 4:45 AM on February 12, 2010

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, especially the first three or four albums.
posted by aparrish at 4:59 AM on February 12, 2010

Crystal Stilts

posted by timshel at 4:59 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

And yeah, if your list doesn't include The Mountain Goats, Beat Happening, Olivia Tremor Control, and a bunch of Jewelled Antler Collective stuff (Skygreen Leopards, maybe?) then I don't know what you're doing.
posted by aparrish at 5:07 AM on February 12, 2010

I came in to say Stereolab's first few albums so instead I'll second timshel and raise you a My Bloody Valentine and a Sonic Youth.
posted by merocet at 6:36 AM on February 12, 2010

Find What You Get by Bang Gang

Hey...Ok! by Sarah Hepburn
posted by chillmost at 7:00 AM on February 12, 2010

Guided by Voices
posted by downing street memo at 7:03 AM on February 12, 2010

Sleigh Bells
posted by whiskeyspider at 7:27 AM on February 12, 2010

High Page Delay
Chad Vangaalen
The Sally Fields
posted by spicynuts at 8:10 AM on February 12, 2010

R. Stevie Moore, "I like to Stay Home"

Seriously, this dude is awesome.
posted by DeltaForce at 8:15 AM on February 12, 2010

Asobi Seksu
posted by avianism at 8:23 AM on February 12, 2010

Meho Plaza
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:31 AM on February 12, 2010

Kleenex Girl Wonder, specifically Graham Smith is the Coolest Person Alive. Jesus. How is that album 10 years old.
posted by clockwork at 8:37 AM on February 12, 2010

James ("unrepentant thief") Ferraro's Lamborghini Crystal project - Cool Runnings and Dial 747-Creepazoid. Grab them off of a blogspot.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:54 AM on February 12, 2010

Pretty much any time someone says "fuzzy" and "lofi pop", I immediately think of the whole first Raveonettes record. Here's Noisy Summer. I don't know if they use a whole lot of synths, tho.
posted by bitterkitten at 9:43 AM on February 12, 2010

I highly recommend Of Montreal. They were part of the aforementioned Elephant Six. Two albums in particular: The Sunlandic Twins and Satanic Panic in the Attic. Their later work is less poppy and lo-fi (and not as good IMHO, though this is very contentious).

Passion Pit.

The Strokes song "12:51."

You might like the Fiery Furnaces. They're really weird, not for everyone, so I don't know if they're "straight-out pop" enough for you. But give them a listen.

If you're interested in instrumentals, The Octopus Project would be right up your alley. (Some of their later work has vocals, I think, but I haven't really listened to it.)

Prince's album Purple Rain. (!!!)
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:46 AM on February 12, 2010

Lo-fi fuzzy pop gems? Phil Elverum.

Not just The Microphones
and Mount Eerie
and Old Time Relijun
but all the stuff he produced too like Mirah and Calvin Johnson and Karl Blau and and and

Um, basically just go look at his credits.

Also, hopefully Ryland Buchard is still making music as The Robot Ate Me. I recommend starting with the 'They Ate Themselves' album and seeing how you like it from there.
posted by carsonb at 10:50 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Are The Dirtbombs fuzzy & lo-fi enough? They do some great Motown covers, and are never without a healthy sampling of fuzz guitar.

If nothing else, they ooze cool.
posted by Turkey Glue at 10:56 AM on February 12, 2010


Here are The Dirtbombs. For real.
posted by Turkey Glue at 10:58 AM on February 12, 2010

In the vein of R. Stevie Moore, Gary Wilson.
posted by carsonb at 10:58 AM on February 12, 2010

Small Black
posted by bobafet at 11:07 AM on February 12, 2010

Dude, you need The Olivia Tremor Control.

They are the greatest band ever to make "lo-fi" pop, though when we interviewed one of the members on the radio, he said that low fidelity is actually kind of a misnomer. It's more like music that is recorded with "an interest in fidelity."
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:31 AM on February 12, 2010

Nite Jewel
posted by Ultra Laser at 1:49 PM on February 12, 2010

Sebadoh. Lou Barlow pretty much invented fuzzy lo-fi pop. Okay, not really, but... yeah, really. I'd go with 'Rebound' and 'Ocean' for pop gemminess. If I had to choose one Guided by Voices song that might fit the sound you're looking for it'd be 'Game of Pricks'.
posted by Mael Oui at 9:03 PM on February 12, 2010

How about...

Heavy Times ...sort of like a non-wanky version of wavves

Or Reading Rainbow ...Surf / Girl band / lo-fi sort of sound. Have a listen to their new song 'restless' for a start.
posted by brisbane at 10:13 PM on February 17, 2010

ooh, here's another good one: Bobby Conn
posted by carsonb at 4:39 PM on March 4, 2010

how could I have missed Thee American Revolution?
posted by scruss at 11:34 AM on March 10, 2010

I heard this Rogue Wave song yesterday and immediately remembered this question. The real goodness kicks in at about a minute.
posted by peep at 8:54 AM on March 24, 2010

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