Saturday, February 27, 2016

New Music Friday - February 5, 2016

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

DIIV - Is the Is Are

Following their well-received debut, Oshin, in 2012, DIIV hit a rough patch. They had an unfruitful recording session with Chet White, their bassist said some really stupid things online, and two members of the band, frontman Zachary Cole Smith and drummer Colby Hewitt, struggled with drug addiction; leading to Smith's arrest and Hewitt's departure from the band. The experiences fed into the band's music, which earned them another praised record.

Listen: "Bent (Roi’s Song)"
Listen: "Dopamine"

Junior Boys - Big Black Coat

Following their previous album, 2011's It's All True, the two members of Junior Boys embarked on a series of side projects. They came back together with Yellow Magic Orchestra and Robert Hood as inspirations and wrote an album about the lonely guy downtown. The "big black coat" is a metaphor representing an escape from the bleakness of life.

Watch: "Over It"
Watch: "Big Black Coat"

Other Full-Length Releases

Field Music - Commontime

Watch: "The Noisy Days Are Over"
Listen: "Disappointed"

Future - EVOL

Listen: "In Her Mouth"
Listen: "Ain't No Time"

John Cale - M:FANS

Watch: "Close Watch" (featuring Amber Coffman)
Listen: "Thoughtless Kind"

Luther Dickinson - Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook Volumes I & II)

Listen: "Hurry Up Sunrise"
Listen: "Ain’t No Grave" (featuring Mavis Staples)

Majid Jordan - Majid Jordan

Watch: "King City"
Watch: "Something About You"

Mass Gothic - Mass Gothic

Watch: "Every Night You’ve Got to Save Me"
Watch: "Nice Night"

Nap Eyes - Thought Rock Fish Scale

Listen: "Lion in Chains"

Listen: "Mixer"

Shirlette Ammons - Language Barrier

Listen: "Aviator" (featuring Amelia Meath)
Listen: "Earth Intro" (featuring Indigo Girls)

Trae Tha Truth - Tha Truth Pt. 2

Listen: "All Good"

Listen: "Spray" (featuring Jay'ton)

Working for a Nuclear Free City - What Do People Do All Day?

Listen: "Bottlerocket"

Listen: "New Day"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Holy Ghost! - "Crime Cutz"

Watch: "Crime Cutz"

Jherek Bischoff & Amanda Palmer - Strung out in Heaven

Listen: "Space Oddity"
Listen: "Ashes to Ashes"

Nick Grant - ‘88

Listen: "Royalty (Remix)" (featuring Killer Mike & Big K.R.I.T.)
Listen: "Somethin to Say"

The Soft Moon - Deeper Remixed Vol. 1

Listen: "Desertion" (Phase Fatale Remix)
Listen: "Being" (Ancient Methods Remix)

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending February 27)

It's looking more and more like Donald Trump might be getting the Republican nomination. It's depressing, but we can all find solace for ourselves in some of the more pleasant aspects of life, like new music! A lot of great albums are set to come out over the ensuing months, check out my Upcoming Releases list here!

This week, Marissa Nadler, one of my favorite vocalists and songwriters, announced her seventh full-length album, Strangers.

The album follows her excellent 2014 record, July and she joins up again with its producer Randall Dunn. The basic details, artwork, date, and tracklist, have been announced with the album, but not much more is known beyond that. She also released the album's first single, "Janie in Love," with the announcement.

Strangers is set to be released May 20.

Also announced this week:

Brian Eno - The Ship (April 29)
Burial - Burial Reissue (March 18)
Burial - Untrue Reissue (March 18)
Charli XCX - Vroom Vroom EP (out now)
Eagulls - Ullages (May 13)
Glitterbust - Glitterbust (March 4)
Karl Blau - Introducing Karl Blau (May 13)
iLoveMakonnen - Drink More Water 6 (March 18)
Minor Victories - Minor Victories (June 3)
Nai Harvest - “Just Like You”/“Jelly” (April 29)
Paul Simon - Stranger to Stranger (Spring)
Swans - TBA (May)
White Lung - Paradise (May 6)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Hateful Eight

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writers: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson (Major Marquis Warren), Kurt Russell (John Ruth), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Daisy Domergue), Walton Goggins (Sheriff Chris Mannix), Channing Tatum (Jody)

The Hateful Eight is Quentin Tarantino's latest gore-filled, violent, ensemble film. It's a western that largely takes place in one location, a stagecoach lodge in which the characters have taken refuge during a snowstorm. Warren and Ruth are bounty hunters, Domergue is Ruth's bounty, who he intends to chaperone his charge to see her hanged. At the lodge, they encounter a group of men and set out to determine their true motives.

I like Tarantino's films and this one hit his usual touchpoints: heavy dialog, intense violence, Samuel L. Jackson. But, for some reason, I didn't really like the film as a whole as much as some of his past work. I haven't yet figured out why exactly, but I do agree with Leigh's Oscar nomination!

Mini soundtrack:

The White Stripes - "Apple Blossom"
Crystal Gayle - "Ready for the Times to Get Better"
Roy Orbison - "There Won't Be Many Coming Home"

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending February 20)

I may only highlight one announcement each week, but much more gets announced on a regular basis. Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

This week, one of my favorite Scottish bands, Frightened Rabbit, announced their fifth album, Painting of a Panic Attack.

The announcement came in an email that made me think, initially, that the band was breaking up. The subject line read "The beginning of letting go," which I read as fans needing to let go of the band, but it turned out it was the band letting go of their new music. I was much happier after realizing what they meant; I had loved Frightened Rabbit's last album, 2013's Pedestrian Verse and was excited for what might follow from them.

The new album follows 18 months of writing and editing, cutting 30 demos down to a final 12 tracks for the final record. Along with the announcement, the band released a new track, "Death Dream."

The album is set for release on April 8.

Also announced this week:

DOOMSQUAD - Total Time (April 29)
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - PersonA (April 15)
Eric Clapton - Still I Do (May 20)
Head Wound City - A New Wave of Violence (May 13)
John Frusciante - Foregrow EP (April 16)
Kelela - TBA (May)
Mayer Hawthorne - Man About Town (April 8)
Sky Ferreira - Masochism (summer)
Tim Moxam - Soft Summer (April 29)
Tokyo Police Club - Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part 1) (April 8)
Yes We Mystic - Forgiver (April 29)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Dead Weather - "The Impossible Winner"

The members of The Dead Weather take a very strange ship ride (or is it a train, it's a little hard to tell). They're imprisoned by a pair of imposing, and sometimes deformed, guards who seem to enjoy screaming at their captives. The prisoners have some deformities as well, showing them off as they go about their lives in their cells.

The Dead Weather's third album, Dodge and Burn, was released back in September.

New Music Friday - January 29, 2016

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Bloc Party - Hymns

Bloc Party is a band that can't quite seem to make up its mind about its status. The band went on their second hiatus in 2013, not long after original drummer Matt Tong left the band. Another member, bassist Gordon Moakes, left during that time. Menomena's Justin Harris (bassist) and drummer Louise Bartle filled in for the departed members. New members mean a bit of a new sound for the band, with dance influences that take more after frontman Kele Okereke's solo work.

Watch: "The Love Within"
Listen: "The Good News"

Rihanna - ANTI

2015 seemed to be the year artists promised albums that they would not deliver. Rihanna kept her fans waiting through much of the year for her eighth album, with no absolute release date given until right around its release. She had released a series of well-received singles last year, but none of those appear on the long-awaited album. The unending waffling on album releases from artists lately continues to bother me to no end, but, sometimes, they make the wait well worth it.

Listen: "Work"
Listen: "Same Ol’ Mistakes"

Sia - This Is Acting

Sia spent years as an beloved indie artist and pop songwriter before reaching a level of fame all her own following 2014's 1000 Forms of Fear. She has continued writing songs for other pop artists, but sometimes those songs get rejected by the performers. Her follow-up collects some of those rejected songs, including songs originally written for Icona Pop, Adele, and Rihanna.

Watch: "Alive"
Listen: "One Million Bullets"

Walter Martin - Arts & Leisure

It's been a bit more than a year since The Walkmen announced their indefinite hiatus (sob), but members of the temporarily defunct band continue pushing out solo material. This is bassist Walter Martin's second solo outing, following 2014's children's album We're All Young Together. This album is more for the adults, inspired by years of traveling around the world with his band.

Watch: "Down By the Singing Sea"
Watch: "Amsterdam"

Other Full-Length Releases

Abi Reimold - Wriggling

Listen: "sugar"
Listen: "Vessel"

Bianca Casady & The C.i.A. - Oscar Hocks

Watch: "dog in a yard"
Watch: "Poor Deal"

Buddy Miller - Cayamo Sessions By the Sea

Listen: "Love’s Gonna Live Here" (featuring Kacey Musgraves)
Listen: "Just Someone I Used to Know" (featuring Nikki Lane)

Charlie Puth - Nine Track Mind

Watch: "One Call Away"
Listen: "We Don’t Talk Anymore" (featuring Selena Gomez)

Cross Record - Wabi-Sabi

Watch: "High Rise"
Listen: "Steady Waves"

Laser - Night Driver

Listen: "Disconnect"

Nevermen - Nevermen
Watch: "Mr. Mistake"

Listen: "Tough Towns"

POP ETC - Souvenirs

Watch: "Running in Circles"
Watch: "Bad Break"

Saul Williams - MartyLoserKing

Watch: "Burundi" (featuring Emily Kokal)
Watch: "Horn of the Clock-Bike"

St. Lucia - Matter

Watch: "Dancing on Glass"
Watch: "Love Somebody"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat Reissue

Listen: "Run Devil Run"
Listen: "Big Guns"

Mac McCaughan - Staring at Your Hologram

Sunday, February 14, 2016

New Music Friday - January 22, 2016

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Chairlift - Moth

Following the release of a solo album and an EP from frontwoman Caroline Polachek (under the name Ramona Lisa) in 2014, it seemed that this band was in the midst of a break. Turns out, the band was still hard at work, preparing their third album. They continue making their special brand of artsy pop. The album was highly anticipated and received glowing reviews upon its release.

Watch: "Romeo"
Watch: "Ch-Ching"

Eleanor Friedberger - New View

Eleanor Friedberger is a member of a band currently on hiatus. She was one-half of The Fiery Furnaces with her brother Matthew, but they went their separate ways in 2011, both embarking on solo careers. New View is her third album, on which she grapples with life as a solo artist and approaching 40.

Watch: "Sweetest Girls"
Watch: "He Didn’t Mention His Mother"

Savages - Adore Life

Savages had a hard act to follow in their 2013 debut, Silence Yourself. In a statement released along with the album's announcement back in October, they seemed to acknowledge some of the inherent difficulty in following up a much celebrated record, stating it was about "recognizing your potential" and "self-doubt and inaction," and so on.

Watch: "The Answer"
Watch: "Adore"

Shearwater - Jet Plane and Oxbow

Shearwater is one of those reliably consistent bands with a fairly well-defined sound and lyrical content. That consistency doesn't keep them from trying to expand and improve. On their latest, they've enlisted previous collaborators, tour mates, and film composer Brian Reitzell. The result is an album that still fits within my purview of the band's sound, but manages to add something new into that equation.

Watch: "Quiet Americans"
Listen: "Only Child"

Other Full-Length Releases

Adrian Younge - Something About April II

Listen: "Memories of War" (featuring Laetitia Sadler)
Listen: "Sittin’ By the Radio" (featuring Loren Oden)

The Besnard Lakes - A Coliseum Complex Museum

Watch: "The Plain Moon"
Listen: "Nightingale"

Bonnie “Prince” Billy - Pond Scum

Watch: "When Thy Song Flows Through Me"
Listen: "Rich Wife Full of Happiness"

Charlie Hilton - Palana

Listen: "100 Million" (featuring Mac DeMarco)
Listen: "Funny Anyway"

The I Don’t Cares - Wild Stab

Listen: "Born for Me"
Listen: "King of America"

Jesu & Sun Kil Moon - Jesu/Sun Kil Moon

Listen: "America’s Most Wanted Mark Kozelek & John Dillinger"
Listen: "Exodus"

Sam Means - 10 Songs

Watch: "We’re Alone"

Tindersticks - The Waiting Room

Watch: "Were We Once Lovers?"
Watch: "Hey Lucinda"

Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger

Listen: "Diversion"
Listen: "Leopard Priestess"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

METZ - "Eraser"/"Pure Auto"

Watch: "Eraser"
Listen: "Pure Auto"

SAD13 & Lizzo - "Basement Queens"

Listen: "Basement Queens"

Sonic Youth - Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star Reissue

Listen: "Winner’s Blues"
Listen: "Bull in the Heather"

Sonic Youth - NYC Ghosts and Flowers Reissue

Listen: "Free City Rhymes"
Listen: "Renegade Princess"