Group Rhoda is the project of one Mara Barenbaum whose debut Out of Time came out just last year. On 12th House you’ll find deftly crafted pop tunes that channel balearic and nostalgic feelings. Barenbaum’s “Heart” lets subtle drum machinery carry along her strong and bold (and I’ll go out on a limb in saying that her vocals sound Scottish tinged in this song) vocals and deep synthesized bass drives the beat. “Day Ruiner” echoes the same atmosphere as exuded in “Heart” in terms of infectiousness and nostalgia. Group Rhoda’s sophomore album is sounding strong and I really look forward to what else Mara Barenbaum has in store for us. Check out the earworms “Heart” and “Day Ruiner” below and see what you think of it. I’d also like to thank Not Not Fun for providing us with yet another great release. Cheers!


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The Details

Mara Barenbaum’s solo vessel Group Rhoda emerged last year from an introspective incubational phase with one of 2012′s deftest debuts, Out Of Time – Out Of Touch, an alluring, sensory sound-garden of jittery drumbox beats, moody exotica, DIY dub-pop, and elegantly aloof, shadow theater vocal melodies. A series of sustained, long-form tours – both foreign and domestic – soon followed, during which time she began blueprinting the bones of 12th House, her sophomore statement. Recorded and produced in collaboration with Ben Versluis in San Francisco, the album’s eight songs snake through similarly entrancing terrain as her past work but the production this time is starker and spikier, with an almost post-punk clarity in places, which energizes the collection. From witchy island pop (“Day Ruiner,” “Dust”) and dizzy, micro-cosmic disco (“Coral Castle”) through to paisley-flavored circus-psych (“Disappearing Ground”) and wobbly, haunted house dub-damage (“Space Race,” “Blk Mtl”), the record is rich with rarefied Rhoda rhinestones and reflections. Her vocals, as always, pirouette and perplex, detached yet discerning, casting strange dimensions into the music: “finally you look away / you look a way / do you see ghosts walking around? / it’s your town / it’s their town too.” A free-spirited and fascinating follow-up by one of California’s most intriguing young pioneers. Black vinyl LPs in vivid feline-fantasy collage jackets by Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough. Edition of 400.

Price $12

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