You'd be forgiven if you didn't know that experimental Orlando musician Jonas Van den Bossche could play it straight. I didn't. He's a well-known figure in the city's outermost avant-garde circles, usually in the society of noise and free-jazz freaks. But popular music? Come on.
As it turns out, though, he can and will do it from time to time. His latest release — a two-track record titled A Little Insecurity Goes a Long Way — is astonishingly ... normal. While not quite like Rat Bastard suddenly turning into Taylor Swift or anything, it'll be at least a mild shock to anyone who's ever seen one of his raw improv performances.
Van den Bossche, an artist who's typically just as apt to play his guitar with a toolkit as with a pick, is here actually strumming (!) melodies (!!) and even singing (!!!). Across the two lovely compositions "Nothing Goes to Waste" and "∞", he goes all singer-songwriter on us with acoustic contemplation that daydreams without the schmaltz.
The music's up on his Bandcamp, but there are also fitting videos for each song worth checking out on YouTube. Made by fade theory (the nom d'art of Van den Bossche's creative and life partner, Rachel Kinbar) using found footage, the videos are warm with vintage texture and flicker with handheld human character, all of which suits the reflective and halcyon music well.
Orlando artist As Seas Exhale has been on an ambient sabbatical for a while now. Finally, though, the pulse has picked back up for the recently released Light Source. Filled with elegant post-rock that packs climactic drama, it's an album sprawling in expanse. The songs go from around five minutes on the short end to nearly 20 minutes on the marathon end. And in scope, they range from ambient meditation to day-breaking, Explosions in the Sky-esque release. The 11-track collection is up on Bandcamp.
Orlando's Jankyswans just released an EP of nicely distilled electronic music. The five-song By Post is minimal without being stark or background. The sounds are serene but not comatose, kept in motion with a crisp rhythmic sensibility. The result is instrumental pop that's abstract but intimate. By Post is up on Bandcamp as a name-your-price download.