December 13, 2015 § Leave a comment
Skrillex’s remix of GTA’s “Red Lips” is one of the best videos of the year so far. Great costume design and amazing choreography and dancing of Brooklyn’s Adedamola Orisagbemi.
November 20, 2015 § Leave a comment
2015 has not been a very memorable year for new music. Sure, I’ll have plenty of great stuff to add to my top 15 albums of the year list. But unequivocally, Grimes new album Art Angels is staggeringly good, perhaps the best over all album of the year. It’s like something way out of the past–an entire album that is nearly brilliant through and through. Song after song Grimes reinterprets and adds to the language of pop music. There is an almost rapturous quality to these songs, something sorely missing in this genre. Grimes wrote every song, and produced the entire thing from her tiny home studio. It doesn’t hurt to be managed and supported by the likes of Jay Z and on the storied 4AD label. A new star is born.
October 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
A new discovery of mine is the Virginia cum Austin-based trio Eternal Summers. Birthed back in 2009 during the Summer of Beach Music they were unfairly attached to that now dated sounding genre.
But Eternal Summers have grown into their own and have survived as they have pushed the envelope while keeping steady to their roots. The music is rich and all over the place: Shoegaze, Dreampop, Post-punk, Surf, but through it all the passionate voice and guitar of Nicole Yun is the glue keeping the songs from falling apart. See what you think of their new album entitled “Gold and Stone“.
October 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
What a pleasant surprise to discover such a great band out of Minneapolis called Bad Bad Hats. Fronted by lead vocalist/guitarist Kerry Roy BBH offer up a refreshing take on love and life. And this is really Alexander’s show given that she writes the lyrics, plays the guitar and whose voice carries the day. She has a jazzy inflection and twang a la Jolie Holland that lifts the most mundane songs about love lost into clarified pop gems. The full length is entitled “Psychic Reader” and there is an equally good self-titled EP.
She’s nothing if not a dervish in making the stories of her life–her heartaches and disappointments, into an universal language. On the opening track “Midway”, Alexander confesses, “I knew that I’d leave you by the middle of June/ You touched me on my shoulder blade, soft like a tomb/ I wanna hear you tell me you don’t know what you’ll do/ The words you were not saying nearly filled up the room.”
All in all a memorable and lovely record and one I’m sure will make it to my end of the year top ten list. The last link is for a song that I think is the best entitled “Cruella.”
August 7, 2015 § Leave a comment
Vinyl Williams is the 25 year old grandson of famous film composer John Williams, but don’t expect mediocre LA corporate rock. Vinyl Williams music is hard if not impossible to pin down and that’s a good thing. Rather than sounding like this or that band I’ve got a feeling that the comparisons will be the other way around if this prodigious talent gets his due. There are traces of Mysterious Traveler era Weather Report, the polyrhythmic cadences of Jon Hassell, 10cc, Todd Rungen, and moments of prog expansiveness. In some of the longer pieces the heady bridges and beautiful, abrupt shifts of a classic Can song.
The words innovative and audacious come to mind when trying to clarify the superlatives that add up quickly when listening to this music. Williams first full length 2012’s “Lemniscate” was a harbringer of what was to follow with 2014’s ep “Trance Zen Dental Spa” and finally his 2nd full length 2015’s “Into“shows a steady maturation and honing of his unique sound collage. He also has two nice mixtapes posted on Youtube that are also worth a listen. Check out these four examples from the newly released album and last year’s ep.
And finally this monster ten minute epic cut:
July 4, 2015 § Leave a comment
Hailing from Montreal No Joy just keeps getting better and better and their new album More Faithful is their best yet. Yes, you’ve heard this sort of thing before with My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins and Slow Dive. But to be labeled as Shoegaze means more than just staring down at all your guitar effects. Fronted by Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyds vocals and guitar No Joy have managed to carve out their own and original take on the genre. Rather than the a wall of noise and feedback or looping, reversed guitar, No Joy write great and catchy songs. Check out the video clips below.
July 4, 2015 § Leave a comment
Francesca Belmonte is best known as the singer and collaborator with Tricky on some if not all of his greatest albums. For his part Tricky has been talking up Anima Belmonte’s brand new album every chance he gets and not just because he sings on some tracks and is a co-producer. He really respects Belmonte as an artist in her own right. His influence on her sound is obvious but all throughout Anima Belmonte creates track after track of slinky trip-hopish songs that stick in your head. Great stuff. A rare work through and through.