Electric Youth broke out in a big way with “A Real Hero,” a song that came to define the sound of the film Drive and its corresponding soundtrack. The duo double down on that impossibly romantic synth sound on Innerworld, their long-awaited debut album. That slow-burning pulse is back in songs like “Innocence,” perfectly capturing the romantic ideal of first love with synthesizers that at first sparkle like eyes being rubbed awake and then dazzle with gentle orchestration. Subtly enough referencing the soundtrackers of ’80s proms like Yaz and Alphaville, Bronwynn Griffin’s breathy voice sometimes floats by as a dream and other times catches onto a lighter-waving sentiment, like “we are the youth, we like to sing” (on “WeAreTheYouth”). Though Electric Youth may lack a bit for originality, Innerworld pretty skillfully avoids sameyness by appealing to current Europop-indebted dance music on tracks like “Runaway,” though they’re at their comfortable best on songs like “Without You,” building from their favored digital throb into a lovable freestyle couple. Griffin and her partner, Austin Garrick, have been a couple since the 8th grade, and thus their ability to make every synth stab feel like a dizzying first crush rings authentic. It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard some of the sounds here before, or that they even include the three-year-old “Real Hero”; Innerworld’s swoony romanticism makes you feel like it’s the first time.
Some of our staff have picked out essential albums from Blue Note Records that should satisfy both the purist and the newcomer to go along with Sonos Studio’s brilliant exhibition celebrating the label's 75th anniversary.
A bit about Blue Note’s history: The label was in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis, getting its name from the “blue notes” of blues and jazz, or notes sung a bit lower than the major scale for expressive purposes. Moving from traditional jazz to some bebop (including artists like Thelonious Monk) in the 1940s and hard bop (artists such as Horace Silver) in the 1950s, Blue Note distinguished itself by paying musicians for rehearsals as well as recordings, in order to ensure a better final product. With iconic album artwork by Esquire designer Reid Miles (using photographs of the musician in session, taken by Blue Note’s Francis Wolff), Blue Note made its name as one of the most influential labels in jazz music, later issuing records by free jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman and popular musicians like Herbie Hancock, having records sampled in hip-hop records by the likes of Madlib and, now, seeing massive success with mainstream artists like Norah Jones.
Led Zeppelin on Oct. 27 will release reissues of their biggest album—their fourth, self-titled album from 1971, regularly dubbed IV, as well as its follow-up, Houses of the Holy. Ahead of those releases, the band has made available an alternate version of Houses' "The Rain Song," which you can hear via Pitchfork.
As with their reissues of I, II and III, the deluxe versions of these reissues will come with a bonus disc of previously unreleased tracks. The albums have been remastered by Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page, who had this to say in a press release:
"The Rain Song" is the sort of piece of music that Led Zeppelin could approach and do so successfully and so masterfully. This whole genre of the sensitivity, where it can sort of caress you, it’s something that I’ve always been very proud of. The companion disc version is really a good blend of everything that’s actually being played.
The reissues will each come in CD, deluxe edition CD, vinyl, deluxe edition vinyl, digital download and vinyl versions, as well as a box set that includes both the CD and LP deluxe versions as well as a coffee table book with the cover art and other Led Zep goodies. Preorder below:
We’re starting a new series where we talk about records that personally made a difference in our lives. Today we’ll talk about Smashing Pumpkins' cult favorite fourth album, Adore, which was just re-released on a seven-disc Deluxe Edition CD set and will be re-released on vinyl Oct. 7 (pre-order here).
When Smashing Pumpkins released their fourth album, Adore, I was about to turn 16. It was the summer of 1998 and I was all set to start band camp, complete with bleach-blonde hair and an injured toe.
This track from L.A. producer RL Grime sounds like how you remember the best of late ’90s R&B in your head. With Grime’s bass-heavy, lingering production, “Reminder” does have a dreamy, lovelorn feel, but How to Dress Well’s Tom Krell, who’s pretty much the king of dreamy and lovelorn, is actually as lively and engaging as you’ve ever heard him before here. You’ll get a kick out of hearing him sing rapid-fire lines like Justin Timberlake. The track will be on RL Grime’s new album VOID, due Nov. 18 on WEDIDIT.
Wand – “Flying Golem” video
Wand’s video for their stomping psych-rocker “Flying Golem” (off the recently released Ganglion Reef) is an explosion of ’90s- style animation, from the pixilation of old video games to early CG-animation to the sleazy cartoons of MTV’s “Liquid Television” (kids, look it up if you don’t know it). Man, MTV was cool in the ’90s. What the fuck happened. This would’ve been right at home on “120 Minutes.”