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Promote This: Basement Surfers, Tim Turner & Tim Held

Posted by May 24th, 2017 No Comments »

Promote This is a long-running feature wherein we write about songs and videos by emerging and unsigned bands. This installment includes Basement Surfers, Tim Turner and Tim Held.

Basement Surfers – “Beyond”

Of the many BandCamp tags Basement Surfers (pictured above) uses to describe their genre, “psychedelic wonky rock” seems to just about do it. The self-described Seattle DIY collective appears to specialize in distorted, sunny surf pop songs that are perfect for when (or, at this point, if) the sun ever comes out again. “Beyond” is a great starting point because ebbs and flows from a nautical murmur but grows into a messy riptide of sound. – Cameron Deuel

Tim Turner – “Keep Us Together” and “No More Love”

Tim Turner makes polished pop music of the type that often ends up in the soundtracks of movies starring Renee Zellweger. “Keep Us Together” is a little less mellow than Jason Mraz and more funky than Hootie, with a surprisingly satisfying horn arrangement. “No More Love” would be playing in the middle of the movie while Renee was looking out of a rain-spattered window, reminiscing about the time she and her now ex-boyfriend threw autumn leaves at each other while on a walk through Central Park. You can bet your ass they were wearing comfy sweaters. In fact, Tim Turner is what I shall now refer to as “Comfy Sweater Pop Music,” and there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s your thing. Turner is clearly a talented man, there’s no Autotune to be found, and these tracks are smooth but not overproduced to death. Not quite raunchy enough for my tastes, but I get what he’s going for here. – Andy Bookwalter

Tim Held – “Expanse” and “Birth” 

If Tim Turner makes music for Renee Zellweger movies, local guy Tim Held’s songs belong in movies starring robots. Like Keanu Reeves. (Look it up! You heard it here first!) I always pictured electronic musicians as sweatpants-ed loners, fiddling with their knobs and keys in a basement, but then I was pleasantly surprised by M83 and Major Lazer at Sasquatch and now I can easily picture Tim Held, his eyes still sensitive to the harsh glare of natural night, emerging from his basement and playing to a crowd of living human beings. Held makes IDM, which I totally didn’t just have to look up (It stands for Intelligent Dance Music, as I already knew). “Expanse” is a little more angular and ambient than the Major Lazer bombast that got me all worked up last spring. “Birth” is less dancey, more drone, with industrial leaning sounds and less of a beat. I might not seek it out but I wouldn’t lunge for the dial if it got played on KEXP. – Andy Bookwalter

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