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.
It’s Labor Day here in the U.S. so most of the awesome music we publish today we’ll be non-US-based, in fact I might even just leave it with this Frightened Rabbit video.
This marks the fourth post we’ve done on “State Hospital” and the fifth it’s been mentioned if you count our post on their other new EP track “Wedding Gloves”, but this time around it’s a gorgeous acoustic live session filmed on the remote Scottish island of Skye before a show there earlier this year.
Their State Hospital EP is out on September 24th, but keep yourself warm with the live video below.
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”.
Azealia Banks has released a new video for her song “1991”, the title track of her EP. Just like Azealia’s last video for “Van Vogue” the clip follows in a similarly trendy and chic pattern. Azealia sports what look like designer outfits and tease the viewer by interrupting the seemingly hip choreography with silly facial expressions where she takes on a Nicki Minaj-esque alter ego that reminds us that she isn’t taking herself too seriously.
The track rocks club-y beats with Azealia’s signature rhymes where she proves why she’s gained so much respect and why you should just respect the damn lady.
Catch the super chic and brilliantly badass video below.
Very few bands can filter into the mainstream with their integrity intact, the exceptions albeit rare are huge (ie Arcade Fire, The Black Keys), The Avett Brothers look to be one of those exceptions with their new album The Carpenter.
I don’t care if I’m sharing the same sentiment as ten thousand Justin Bieber fans… “I And Love And You” is an amazing song no matter how you listen to it. All Avett music to date has been creative and passionate so whatever recognition they have gained is well earned. I’ve listened through the entire The Carpenter album and although not as energetic or as folky I don’t believe we have another Kings Of Leon on our hands. The new album shows that success hasn’t piled more weight on their shoulders than they can carry but the opposite, unlike Mumford And Sons, they seem to wear it well.
There are a couple of tracks which will get much more recognition than “Pretty Girl From Michigan”, there is a slight shift in The Avett Brothers sound from David Donderoesc folk to traditional country overlain with 50’s doo-wop and this tracks pull those two sounds clearly into the light.
Some bands are worth not looking down our hip noses at and The Avett Brothers and their recent success are more than worth it,The Carpenter will be here on September 11, you can stream it in it’s entirety over at NPR, take a minute to do so before passing judgement… it’s solid for sure.
Just like the sparse and thumping “Ima Read”, “W8WTF” is also barely there and makes way for echoing space and his gradually warping rhymes. The video is reminiscent of the artwork for The Weeknd’s album “House Of Balloons”, which I think I’ll go and listen to again.
Check out the video below along with a couple of remixes from Brenmar and Rizzla.
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.
Seldom do you find a new band with such a defined sound on their first effort such as Divine Fits. Embracing pop music from a different arsenal than the current trend, they are idealizing more straightforward new wave bands like Love and Rockets and The Birthday Party, including covering one of their early incarnations, “Shivers”, from their earlier band, The Boys Next Door. Working with The Birthday Party producer, Nick Launay, there is a fluid transition from recent outputs from both Dan Boeckner and Britt Daniel, continuing the dynamics they’ve had in their respective bands. Trading off lead vocals on nearly every song, egos are set aside for something far more pure, making for an attentive listen from start to finish.
Boeckner’s past work with Wolf Parade and the recently defunct Handsome Furs left him with ample opportunity to finally venture out of his comfort zone, giving more of a standout role in the band instead of the usual anchor that he had been in his past efforts. For Britt Daniel, there’s a sense of relief to be part of a musical collective, opposed to his role as frontman and sole songwriter for Spoon, the liberation to share the creative load has done wonders to the eventual results of the album. With the additions of Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks and Alex Fischel of Papa as the drummer and keyboardist respectively, there’s few qualms as to what attitude this record possesses. Fleshing out the swagger that the two lead cohorts provide, Fischel accentuates the gritty and minimal base into something that could have easily been released in 1987 by These Immortal Souls or from the aforementioned Birthday Party’s Rowland S. Howard.
Most of the tracks could have easily been affiliated with past Spoon albums, most notably, the track “Flaggin A Ride”, which showcases Daniel’s rasp and swagger, the most poignant moments of the album are brought to you by Boeckner, “Civilian Stripes” being a standout. While the opener and lead single, “My Love is Real” has a playfulness that could be found on any of the latest album of Handsome Furs, it’s “Would Not That Be Nice” has a more collaborative feel that ferments these talents, making them more a “band” rather than a “group”.
The resulting debut is a cohesive album showcasing Boeckner and Daniel’s creative chops supported by a tight budget of sound and rhythm. Albeit the delight of working with an equal or the immeasurable potential this band can produce, it’s a breath of fresh air to have something as riveting and accessible as this. I caught them at one of their first shows earlier this month at Chicago’s Schubas Tavern, a last hurrah for the Lollapalooza weekend, and remarkably, there wasn’t much mention of the their previous efforts. It was their evening to bring this new work, without the tension that came from a big production. It was bare-bones, with little fanfare. It was about the music and the audience witnessed their egos placed aside. The band enjoyed themselves, as did everyone in the tiny club. It’s easy to fall into the pitfalls of the title “supergroup”, especially when associated with such talent. Daniel’s charisma and Boeckner’s heart keeps this mold from breaking, and it’s only time that can predict how far these two can go. I’m hoping it’s for years to come.
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.
I love it when crazy-fun, indie pop groups put out something acoustic. It’s like they’re whispering softly into my ear, “Hey baby, let’s get personal.” That is exactly how I felt when I heard The Royal Concept’s Black and White Session of “In The End.”
The track is off their self titled debut EP, which came out in June. It’s a great reminder that there are real musicians behind the music that inspired all those hipster dance battles I was mixed up in all summer. Tickle that ivory and tell me you’re mine.