Review: Ilyas Ahmed – “Closer To Stranger”

How this one flew under the radar is just beyond me. Released Jan. 26 by MIE Music, Ilyas Ahmed’s Closer To Stranger is a hazy-edged dream riffing on the notion of identity that is set at the intersection of singer-songwriter acoustics and avant-garde initiation rites, a bizarrely listenable and sweetly digestible record whose textures will…

REVIEW: Yes Selma – “Songs of Happiness”

When Chad Beattie, a 24-year-old from Baltimore, first told me about his bedroom project Yes Selma – a Dancer In The Dark nod – he referenced a lot of the Drag City musicians adored by those in the lo-fi singer-songwriter boom of the 1980s and 1990s. And, yes, listening to Yes Selma’s ambitious and ironically…