Sunday, August 27, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending August 26)

It was my 30th birthday this weekend, on Friday to be exact. My weekend has been filled with good friends, celebrations, and the impending dread that life is pretty much over (just kidding). I've been blessed to have a pretty good life, and to have a few dedicated readers of this blog. To those of you out there reading this, I thank you, and remind you to check out my Upcoming Releases page!

This week, the RZA announced a new album, Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues.

Though not billed as a Wu-Tang Clan album, many members of the legendary hip hop group will appear on the record. As a group, they released their last widely-available album, A Better Tomorrow, in 2014. They did follow that up in 2015 with Once Upon a Time in Shoalin, but only released one copy of the album and sold it ’to the highest bidder.

That album saw them become mired in a controversy not of their own making because that buyer was the much-beloved [*sarcasm*] Martin Shkreli. The band placed 88-year commercial ban on the record (not all members were on board with that decision). With that ban coming to an end in 2103, it's unlikely any of us will ever hear the record.

The new album was announced on Friday along with a new track, "People Say".

Also announced this week:

Beck - Colors (October 13)
The Jet Age of Tomorrow - God’s Poop or Clouds? (September 15)
Karl Blau - Out Her Space (November 17)
King Krule - “Czech One” (out now)
Lindstrøm - It’s Alright Between Us As It Is (October 20)
Morrissey - Low in High School (November 17)
Quiet Slang - We Were Babies & We Were Dirtbags (October 20)
Stars - There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light (October 13)
Syd - Always Never Home (September 8)
Wiki - No Mountains in Manhattan (out now)
William Patrick Corgan - Ogilala (October 13)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New Music Friday - June 30, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Jay-Z - 4:44

In case you didn't know, Jay-Z is married to Beyoncé. Last year, she released, Lemonade, which seemed to reference his infidelity. 4:44 serves in part as a response to that record, owning up to those transgressions. Similar to records released by his wife and sister-in-law last year, the album mixes the laying bare of personal issues with a broader community message. It also features some surprising collaborators, particularly James Blake, who also worked on Lemonade.

Watch: "The Story of O.J."
Watch: "Moonlight"

Moon Diagrams - Lifetime of Love

Moon Diagrams is the project of Deerhunter drummer Moses Archuleta. He's recorded his debut over the course of a decade. To construct the record, he chose thrifted LPs, based only on their covers. He took samples from the records, broke them apart and put them back together. Finally, he layered vocals on top, but never pulls away from the unique tapestry created with his ransom samples.

Watch: "Bodymaker"
Listen: "End of Heartache"

Public Enemy - Nothing Is Quick in the Desert

Though no longer the most immediate group to come to mind in the modern hip hop landscape, Public Enemy has been going strong for more than 30 years and have reliably released new music every few years. The 14th studio album follows their 2015 effort, Man Plans God Laughs. Time has made them no less political, though this is not Chuck D's only channel of rage. He has also recently joined with former members of Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave and B-Real from Cypress Hill as Prophets of Rage.

Listen: "Yesterday Man"
Listen: "Toxic"

Terry - Remember Terry

Terry is a supergroup of sorts. The Melbourne, Australia-based indie pop band consists of members from UV Race, Total Control, Eastlink, and Dick Diver. Remember Terry is their sophomore album, following last year's TERRY HQ.

Watch: "Take Me to the City"
Watch: "Glory"

Other Full-Length Releases

Baio - Man of the World

Watch: "Man of the World"

Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

Watch: "Feels" (featuring Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean)
Listen: "Prayers Up" (featuring Travis Scott & A-Trak)

Lapalux - Ruinism

Watch: "Rotted Arp" (featuring Louisahhhh)
Watch: "Flickering" (featuring JFDR)

Washed Out - Mister Mellow

Watch: "Get Lost"
Watch: "Instant Calm"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

The Beach Boys - 1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow

Listen: "Aren’t You Glad"
Listen: "All Day All Night" (Whistle In)

Beach House - B-Sides and Rarities

Watch: "Chariot"
Listen: "Baseball Diamond"

Clams Casino - Instrumentals 4

Listen: "Wavey"
Listen: "Summertime"

The Coathangers - Parasite EP

Watch: "Captain’s Dead"
Listen: "Parasite"

Echo & the Bunnymen - It’s All Live Now

Listen: "Crocodiles"
Listen: "She Cracked"

Nots - Cruel Friend/Violence 7”

Listen: "Cruel Friend"
Listen: "Violence"

of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? Reissue

Watch: "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean"
Watch: "Gronlandic Edit"

Trouble - "Snake Eyes"/"Mother’s Gone” 7"

Listen: "Snake Eyes"
Listen: "Mother’s Gone"

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending August 19)

St. Vincent was on one of my favorite podcasts this week, Song Exploder, in which she discussed how her most recent single, "New York" came together. It's a pretty awesome episode; Ms. Clark curses... a lot! With the new single and a tour this fall, it seems only a matter of time before we get a new album. If there is an announcement, keep an eye out for it on my Upcoming Releases page!

This week, Alice Glass surprise-dropped her debut self-titled EP.

Glass was a member of the glitchy pop duo Castles until 2014. Her departure was less than amicable, with her former bandmate looking far worse in the aftermath. Crystal Castles continued with a new vocalist and released a new album exactly one year ago.

Alice wasted no time in starting on her solo career, and released her first single, "Stillbirth", in 2015. Her second, "Without Love", premiered just over a week ago. This single appears on this EP, released to the world yesterday.

Also announced this week:

The Body & Full of Hell - Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light (November 17)
Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings 10-Year Anniversary Reissue (August 25)
Daniele Luppi - MILANO (October 27)
Death from Above - Outrage! Is Now (September 8)
Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions - Son of a Lady (September 15)
Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights (October 27)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Sketches of Brunswick East (out now)
The Knife - Live at Terminal 5 (September 1)
Makthaverskan - III (October 20)
Philip Selway - Let Me Go: Original Music from the Film by Polly Steele (September 15)
Robert Plant - Carry Fire (October 13)
Weezer - Pacific Daydream (October 27)

Monday, August 14, 2017

New Music Friday - June 23, 2017

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Algiers - The Underside of Power

When a band is named for the location of one of the first anti-colonialism struggles, you know their music is going to be politically-tinged. The Atlanta-born band released their debut album in 2015 in the midst of race struggles here in the U.S. Events over the intervening two years have only served to bolster their anger, but also focus their music. They serve as the perfect post-punk/gospel voice to all of our collective anger.

Watch: "The Underside of Power"
Watch: "Cleveland"

Bedouine - Bedouine

Bedouine is Azniv Korkejian, a Syrian-born, Saudi Arabia- and U.S.-raised singer and songwriter who immigrated to the United States as a child. With a folk sound reminiscent at times of Joni Mitchell or Nick Drake, she sings both of her childhood in Syria and Saudi Arabia, and also responds to the current climate in her country of birth. This incredible album has made Korkejian one of my favorite newcomers of the year!

Watch: "One of These Days"
Watch: "Solitary Daughter"

Laurel Halo - Dust

Halo is an electronic artist from Ann Arbor, Michigan, influenced in part by the techno scene in nearby Detroit. She's released three albums (including this one) on the influential Hyperdub label, all of them earning her high praise. She often works with artists from a variety of disciplines, including John Cale and Julia Holter.

Watch: "Jelly"
Listen: "Moontalk"

Love Theme - Love Theme

Love Theme is the new project from Alex Zhang Hungtai, formerly of Dirty Beaches. The new project is in collaboration with Austin Milne and Joshua Frank. The project is far from being Hungtai's only undertaking since ending Dirty Beaches. Two years ago, he released a music video as Last Lizard; last year, he released a record, Knave of Hearts, under his own name; and just earlier this year, he appeared on "Twin Peaks" as a member of the band Trouble with David Lynch's son, Riley.

Listen: "Desert Exile"
Listen: "She's Here"

Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

Vince Staples released an incredible debut album, Summertime '06, in 2015. While no doubt a modern hip hop album, it was reminiscent (to me, at least) to West Coast hip hop from the mid-90s. His follow-up is a more experimental album, pulling styles from club music and techno. He also brings an impressive list of guests to this album, including Kendrick Lamar and a returned favor from Damon Albarn (Staples appeared on Gorillaz' latest album, Humanz).

Watch: "Big Fish"
Watch: "Rain Come Down"

Other Full-Length Releases

DJ Khaled - Grateful

Watch: "I’m the One" (featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, & Lil Wayne)
Watch: "Wild Thoughts" (featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller)

Ex Eye - Ex Eye

Watch: "Xenolith; The Anvil"
Listen: "Opposition/Perihelion; The Coil"

Guerilla Toss - GT Ultra

Watch: "The String Game"
Watch: "Skull Pop"

Jeff Tweedy - Together at Last

Listen: "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart"
Listen: "Laminated Cat"

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Murder of the Universe

Watch: "The Lord of Lightning vs. Balrog"
Watch: "Invisible Face"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

The Aces - I Don’t Like Being Honest EP

Watch: "Physical"
Listen: "Baby Who"

Baby Driver: Music from the Motion Picture

Watch: Danger Mouse - "Chase Me" (featuring Run the Jewels & Big Boi)
Listen: Kid Koala - "Was He Slow?"

Crumb - Locket

Listen: "Plants"
Listen: "Locket"

Daphni - fabriclive 93

Listen: "Face to Face"
Listen: "Tin"


Listen: BADBADNOTGOOD - "To You"
Listen: Boards of Canada - "Olson"

Mutual Benefit - Just Another Diamond Day

Listen: "Diamond Day"
Listen: "Glow Worms"

Prince - Purple Rain Reissue

Listen: "Electric Intercourse"
Listen: "Father’s Song"

Radiohead - OKNOTOK

Watch: "I Promise"
Watch: "Man of War"

Silicon Valley: Music from the HBO Original Series

Listen: Danny Brown - "Kool Aid"
Listen: Wu-Tang Clan - "Don’t Stop"

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending August 12)

I heard a pretty awesome new tongue twister this week, a play on the classic "woodchuck" one:

I saw it pop up this week on Twitter (not sure of which user). In trying to find a user to credit the original to (this is the earliest use I could find of it on Twitter), I found that it's not quite new. But it's still pretty awesome!

I'm not sure what the answer is exactly, I would guess two, but if 2chainz ever decides to make an album inspired by the tweet, look for it on my Upcoming Releases page!

This week, Destroyer announced their 11th album, ken.

Destroyer is fronted by Dan Bejar, who has also become known as a member of Swan Lake and The New Pornographers. He began his career with Destroyer, releasing their debut album, We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge, in 1996, and the band has been his primary creative output.

Bejar's been known to sit out tours with The New Pornographers in favor of Destroyer, but when it was announced that he would not appear on their latest album, Whiteout Conditions, it seemed clear that he was working on something new with Destroyer.

The new album was announced on Tuesday, along with a new song "Sky's Grey". The album is set for release on October 20.

Also announced this week:

Beck - Colors (October)
Ben Frost - The Centre Cannot Hold (September 29)
Cut Copy - Haiku from Zero (September 22)
Hans Zimmer - Live in Prague (November 3)
King Khan - Murderburgers (October 13)
Small Circle - Cyclical (September 8)
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 10th Anniversary Reissue (October 20)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending August 5)

So, I just watched an incredibly strange music video for one of the worst songs I've heard in awhile. It was the song and video for "I Feel Everything" from Cara Delevingne.  It's apparently off the soundtrack to her new movie Valerian. She dated St. Vincent, so surely she got some sense of how to make a good song and interesting music video, but I guess that didn't rub off.

Anyways, for a list of better artists releasing new music soon, check out my Upcoming Releases page!

This week, Kelela announced her debut album, Take Me Apart.

Kelela tried her hand with a variety of music styles, including indie rock, metal, and jazz, before settling into her alternative R&B sound with her 2013 mixtape Cut 4 Me. The mixtape made it onto multiple year-end lists. She followed that up with the Hallucinogen EP in 2015 and numerous guest appearances, including with Kindness, Mocky, and Solange.

She announced her debut and released a new song, "LMK", on Tuesday.

Take Me Apart is set to be released on October 6.

Also announced this week:

A$AP Mob - Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy (August 25)
Circuit des Yeux - Reaching for Indigo (October 20)
Ducktails - Jersey Devil (October 6)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers (September 22)
Grooms - Exit Index (October 20)
Hand Habits - “Yr Heart” 7” (August 25)
Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference (September 29)
Linda Perhacs - I’m a Harmony (September 22)
Mirah - Sundial (October 4)
TOKiMONSTA - Lune Rouge (October 6)
Weaves - Wide Open (October 6)
Yumi Zouma - Willowbank (October 6)
Zomby - GASP! (September 8)