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Album Picks: Beach House, The Weeknd, Tamaryn, Destroyer, Yo La Tengo, Tijuana Panthers

Posted by Billy Gil, August 28, 2015 11:30am | Post a Comment

Beach House - Depression Cherry

beach house depression cherry lpBeach House’s latest album strips back some of the pop shimmer of their last two albums while maintaining the more confident songcraft they started debuting on 2010’s Teen Dream. It’s a bold move, and one that proves to be the right one for Beach House, as they’ve kept the reins on their trajectory and integrity while furthering the quality of their songwriting. First single “Sparks” is a powerhouse shoegazer that showcases the duo’s strengths, pairing Alex Scally’s emotive guitarwork with Victoria LeGrand’s lush, layered vocals. “Space Song” is a luscious, swaying love song built on a bubbling synthesizer and sighing guitar slides. “10:37’s” deliberately chintzy drum machine keeps time like a cheap alarm clock while Legrand’s vocals and synths float by hazily like nighttime clouds. Album highlight “PPP” reimagines girl group devotion in a serpentine, whispery ballad that ranks among the band’s finest songs. You might miss some of Bloom’s bombast, but you also can’t argue with the quality here. Beach House remain the most consistently great band of their ilk on another album of uncommon, unflinching beauty.

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Weekly Roundup: Julia Holter, The Mantles, Ezra Furman, DRINKS

Posted by Billy Gil, August 27, 2015 03:33pm | Post a Comment

Julia Holter “Sea Calls Me Home”

julia holterAccording to L.A.-based artist Julia Holter, her new song “is about moving away from things that trap you, the scary wonder in discovering freedom.” With a Beach Boys-ish beat and a jaunty whistle, the song can’t help but feel like getting out of a bad relationship or quitting a shitty job and staring out at the ocean, finding excitement and clarity before the anxiety of what’s next hits. It’s a difficult emotion to capture, and Holter does so masterfully, capturing a difficult in-between moment. Have You in My Wilderness is due September 25 on Domino.

 

The Mantles – “Doorframe”

the mantles band
Photo by David Armstrong

Bay Area jangle-pop kids The Mantles are back with a new album called All Odds Ends, due Oct. 16 on Slumberland. The first song is a forlorn little ditty called “Doorframe” that throws some wonderfully gloomy synths over the band’s spirited guitar interplay, feeling like a shady cloud on a summer day. We were big fans of their last album, Long Enough to Leave, so can’t wait to hear what else All Odds has to offer.

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20 Albums to Look For at the End of Summer

Posted by Billy Gil, August 25, 2015 01:16pm | Post a Comment

albums end of summer

Summer isn't over yet, and there are tons of great releases coming in the next few weeks. Check out our list of 20 upcoming albums, including new records from Lana Del Rey, David Gilmour, FIDLAR and more.

Beach HouseDepression Cherry

beach house depression cherry lpOut Aug. 28

Beach House’s latest album strips back some of the pop shimmer of their last two albums while retaining the more confident songcraft they started debuting on 2010’s Teen Dream. First single “Sparks” is a powerhouse shoegazer that showcases the duo’s strengths, pairing Alex Scally’s emotive guitarwork with Victoria LeGrand’s lush, layered vocals.

 

DestroyerPoison Season

destroyer poison season lpOut Aug. 28

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Lana Del Rey's 'Honeymoon' Up For Preorder

Posted by Billy Gil, August 21, 2015 12:15pm | Post a Comment

lana del rey honeymoon album art

Lana Del Reythe gangster Nancy Sinatra of our dreams, has a new album on the way called Honeymoon, due Sept. 18 on Interscope. You can preorder it now on LP and CD. Check out the album art above, which was revealed today.

She also shared a new song with the classy, swaying "Terrence Loves You," which you can stream below. This comes on the heels of "High By the Beach" and the title track, which taken together offer an idea of the diversity to expect from album No. 4.

Watch a performance of "Without You" live at Amoeba below:

Album Picks: Dr. Dre, Wilco, Gardens & Villa, Deradoorian, DRINKS

Posted by Billy Gil, August 21, 2015 11:27am | Post a Comment

Dr. DreCompton

dr. dre compton cdWith the release of the biopic Straight Outta Compton about pioneering hip hop group N.W.A., Dr. Dre has found himself rejuvenated as an artist. The rapper and onetime N.W.A. member has long been largely behind the scenes as a producer and businessman, but there’s still been hope he’d release something of his own, with a long-promised Detox album now shelved. That’s for the better; with an artist of Dre’s caliber, we’d rather have something polished to compare with his first two solo albums, and Compton, a companion piece to the film, doesn’t disappoint. Among A-list guest spots (Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Eminem) and lush jazz-funk production by Dre and a score of others, the album finds Dre looking back at his legacy. “Goddammit, I'm too old, I forgot I got it all/But Andre young enough to still get involved” he says on “Talk About It,” embodying his younger self to hang with the next generation he’s helped mentor. Dre tells the story of Compton’s troubled history (along with fellow Compton native Lamar) on standout “Genocide,” with dizzying production by Dem Jointz and a sick hook by Marsha Ambrosius. It should go without saying that the rapping across Compton is jaw droppingly great, not least of all by Dre himself, who raps circles around the young’uns on tracks like “It’s All On Me.” I would have liked to hear more of Dre and fewer guest spots (two tracks don’t have him at all), but taken together it’s an incredibly solid amalgam of compilation and solo album. It’s too soon to call Compton a new hip hop classic, but with countless memorable moments across the album’s 16 tracks, it’s looking that way. Certainly it’s an appropriately great finale to Dr. Dre’s rap career, though with as great as Compton is and as much acclaim as its received, hopefully it’s just the start of his next chapter as an artist.

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