In the last week since we got our advanced copy of Coexist, the second and hugely-anticipated new album by London’s The xx, it’s pretty much all I’ve been listening to.
Naturally because of the success and critical acclaim of their self-titled debut, there’s a lot of excitement and expectations for Coexist, and having listened to it roughly seven times or so I can say that those expecations are slowly being met. I say slowly, because you can’t spend three years with an album (their debut) and then fairly compare their new one to it after a handful of spins.
Singles from the album so far include one of the year’s best love songs “Angels”, and its follow-up “Chained”, and if those got you excited for the new album then break out your favourite black turtleneck, throw on some silver jewelry, turn off the lights, and immerse yourself in Coexist below, thanks to NPR, released next week via Young Turks.
If you’ve been following the trajectory of this collaboration since its rumoured conveption, you’ll know that it’s been far too long in coming. Years in fact, but rest your weary hearts because now it’s a real (almost tangible), existing thing.
St. Vincent and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne have been working on Love This Giant amidst their busy schedules for the last couple of years, and the result is an exultant collaboration that has already produced one of the best songs of the year with “Who”, and its equally-as-good successor “Weekend In The Dust”.
The title track leans more in a laid-back synth direction as opposed to some of their fat, jumpy bastards of songs from their LP, and changes in direction like this are welcomed by me at least. Lucky Numbers will be released on October 2nd and you can check out the title track below, and as always, you’re gonna wanna wear the shit outta that replay button.
The Vaccines are getting older, more mature, and louder, and that all makes for a better-sounding second album than their first.
If you’ve been paying attention then you’ll already have a little bit of an idea as to what their new album Come Of Age might sound like, after “No Hope” and “Teenage Icon”. If they left you feeling like you needed more spiky, melodic, attitude-laden music in your life, then you can rejoice at their album streaming in full below.
Come Of Age is released on September 3rd, and you can listen to it below thanks to The Guardian.
It’s been a couple of years since Everything Everything dropped their stellar debut EP Schoolin’ and subsequent debut LP Man Alive, and now the band are ready to infect the shit out of your brains again like one of those dodgy grubs that burrow into your skull when you go swimming in rivers in Thailand.
Their new album Arc won’t see the light of day until January 14th next year, but they have given us the first taste of music from the album in the form of the skittish, electronically-charged rock/scissors/rock “Cough Cough”, like The Futureheads covering Egyptian Hip-Hop.
“Cough Cough” will be released as the first single from the album on October 14th and below you can watch its video and stream its MP3. If you only do nine things today, make sure it’s hitting that play button below repeatedly.
Damon Moon And The Whispering Drifters released the softly resplendent Lungs, Dirt And Dreams earlier this year, which has steadily become one of my favorite releases to revisit every few weeks. Damon Moon and his group of his aptly named drifters (Moon plays with an ever-expanding, ever-changing lineup of performers join him) have a new single out called “Gild The Lily”. With humble beginnings, the song swells into a chorus of chaste voices around Moon, as guitars pine in the background.
It’s a gentle reminder that you still haven’t heard all the evidence to make your best of year end lists. Listen below, but hear and purchase the rest of Lungs, Dirts and Dreams and previous releases on their website.
A month ago he shared his song “Ichiro’s Theme” written about Japanese Baseball player Ichiro Suzuki, but today we have “Teardrop Windows” which will be on the album, whereas “Ichiro’s Theme” won’t be. The album, Former Lives, will be released on October 16th via Barsuk Records.
This shit is fresh! Jorge sent the team this video this morning and I’ve watched it about 107 times already.
Young Cairo (Andrawis George), the son of Egyptian scientists presumably researching infectious indie-pop music, is almost unheard of. But today that should change, with his debut song and video “Ghosts” from his debut album Sing Don’t Sleep.
The video is fantastic and fun, and the song itself is upbeat, jovial, and lots of other cool describey words that I don’t know but the song makes me feel inside when I listen. Don’t sleep on this guy, if the first track is any indication he’s probably got another 11 of these little gems tucked away.
Watch the video below, and download the track here.
Earlier this year, Brooklyn foursome CHAPPO released their debut album Moonwater and have steadily seen their star climbing thanks to a steady slew of tour dates with none other than of Montreal, the infectious “Come Home” being used by Apple in a 2010 commercial and most recently getting primetime presence in an ad during a certain major internationally watched multi-sporting event.
After nice words about their excellent first two EPs, Plastique Universe I and II , CHAPPO’s first full length delivers a confectioners kiss of MGMT and The Flaming Lips and a healthy testament to Beck’s sphere of influence. And while the band may resemble Mr. Hansen’s eccentricity at its most coolheaded, they only need a dash to make something special here. Maybe most importantly, CHAPPO succeeds at being fun (like their recent tour mates, the stage shows can become your inner kindergartener’s arts-n-crafts dream - see band photo above).
Guitarist David Feddock, drummer Zac Colwell, keyboardist Chris Olson and vocalist/guitarist Alex Chappo serve up a psychedelic antidote of pop for the heavy-hearted. Body-moving percussion pairs nicely with vocalist Chappo alternating between anthemic crooning and verse-chorus cheekiness - surprising me as he periodically channels Perry Farrell. Just when the tempo slows down so sweetly (“Don’t”), they burst right back to it - mastering the transition of bubbly indie-fare to a twinkling slow dance that reminds me of some of Arcade Fire’s best moments (“What Are You Kids On?”).
These guys may not be household names yet, but they have been around enough to hold an impressive repertory that is paying off: Colwell is a touring member of of Montreal and one of Moonwater’s producers is Hector Castillo, who has worked with none other than Beck. Their latest boasts a zestful helping of songs mixed and produced to sonic finesse, worth plenty more than a 30-second iPod Touch plug, at the same time deserving of the exposure.
Keep the blues at bay: listen to “What Are You Kids On?” and their last EP Plastique Universe II: Pisces Princess below, and watch the (NSFW) video for “Hell No”.
On Wednesday I’ll get to fulfill a dream of mine since discovering Bob Dylan’s when I was a kid: I finally get to see him live, and I’m fucking pumped!
I still remember laying on my top bunk back home in Edinburgh watching VH1 Classics and his live video for “Tangled Up In Blue” came on, and I was instantly mesmerised. Since then I’ve been having a musical love affair with the man’s music, and as he’s getting ready to release another album, his 35th in his 50 year career, we can now listen to the first piece of music from it.
“Duquesne Whistle” is fantastic, and lines like “You say I’m a gambler. You say I’m a pimp. But I ain’t neither one” show that his mind is still as sharp and as witty as it was 50 years ago. It’s taken from Tempest, out on September 11th and you can listen to it below!