Amoeblog

New Albums Out Today: Lianne La Havas, Antony and the Johnsons, Niki & the Dove and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 7, 2012 07:14pm | Post a Comment
liane la havasLianne La HavasIs Your Love Big Enough?
 
Liane La Havas’ debut is the kind of globally appealing pop record that comes along so rarely. The title track has the funky bounce of a Meshell Ndegeocello track with a big pop vocal that could land it on radio stations across the dial, while the catchy “Forget,” with its alternately belted and cool chorus, suggests a rockier Kelis. It’s La Havas’ ballads, though, where she often shines brightest. On “Lost & Found,” her lyrics are so bleak that it’s almost shocking (“You broke me and taught me to truly hate myself,” begins the chorus), given how sprightly she sounds elsewhere. Shades of classic soul (“Au Cinema”), bossa nova (“No Room For Doubt”) and jazz (“Age”) color other tracks, while somehow it avoids becoming a mishmash of unmatched ideas — everything sounds ideally effortless and true to La Havas’ identity. It’s a dynamic and addictively listenable debut that poises the 22-year-old as one of 2012’s breakout stars and one who could deliver quality records for years to come.
 
antony johnsons cut the worldAntony and the JohnsonsCut the World
 
Antony Hegarty’s latest release consists of live performances of his work with The Danish National Chamber Orchestra. As a collection it is a consummate summation of the incredible work put forth by Hegarty and his collaborators over the course of four albums, as well as some of the messages threaded throughout Hegarty’s music. The title track, which begins the album, is a stunning piece created for The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, a theatrical representation of the life of the renowned performance artist. Hegarty then launches into a speech labeled “Future Feminism” which puts forth ideas Hegarty has represented in his music — of ecology, queer identity and feminism, exploring the idea of matriarchal forms of government being the hope for a humanity, even with the rise of Sarah Palin, as it ties to the moon, menstrual cycles and religion. It’s a fascinating, sprawling discourse that provides a setting for highlights from Hegarty’s catalog, including “Cripple and the Starfish,” “Another World” and “I Fell in Love With a Boy,” the long pause of which grows more chilling given the song’s more lush presentation. It’s by no means a greatest hits selection — no “Hope There’s Someone” or “Aeon,” for instance — but it’s a great reinterpretation of material that actually calls for such orchestration. Antony’s quivering voice soars over ballooning strings, and we’re reminded of the healing power possessed by these songs of loss and hope.
 
niki and the doveNiki & the DoveInstinct
 
Niki and the Dove create a sort of fantasy pop on Instinct. It sounds beamed in from an alternate futuristic universe of space tribes and robotic unicorns. In a more corporeal sense, the electronic pop duo drum out tribal beats electronically and unleash claustrophobic chants on “The Gentle Roar,” one of their strongest tracks. Vocalist Malin Dahlström sounds lost in the forest of metallically lush sounds created by keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf on “Mother Protect.” She comes on like one of Prince’s many protoges on the slow funk of “Last Night,” singing intoxicatingly, “last night we got married in a back seat.” Niki and the Dove share some qualities with their Swedish brethren — the warped, chirpy vocals of The Knife/Fever Ray; the space-age disco of Robyn; the alternately dark and naïve introspection of Lykke Li; and yes, the operatic drama of Welsh band Florence & the Machine. However, lyrically and vocally, Dahlström harkens back to Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks in a truer sense than some of her contemporaries — when she’s left spinning through a digital wilderness among the lovely surroundings of “Tomorrow,” you feel like you’re out there with her.
 
elle varnerElle VarnerPerfectly Imperfect
 
Glossy yet classy pop R&B with some surprises — take the fiddle (!) running throughout “Refill.” That song and its refrain (“Can I get a refill of your time?”) are a lot of fun, while other tracks leave a more lasting impression, like the incredibly soulful “Sound Proof Room,” in which Verner’s vocals sound like they could burst through any sound proof that would hold her.
 

Continue reading...

New Albums Out Today, New Ones Coming in July/August

Posted by Billy Gil, July 3, 2012 06:36pm | Post a Comment
Today saw the releases of new albums by Belle & Sebastian member Stevie Jackson, comedian Doug Benson and a 7” from Animal Collective, among others. Check out what’s out today and what’s coming down the pipe:
 
Stevie Jackson
Stevie Jackson – (I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson
 
(I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson makes a name for itself quite outside of Belle & Sebastian, coming off like the next in line of a lineage of singer-songwriters who exist on their own terms, from John Cale to Brian Eno to Elvis Costello. Far from just being twee, Jackson rocks out to a new wave beat on “Try Me,” singing “I got pills and I’m lookin’ for thrills/At the same time I want to start a family.” The distinctive, reverb-laden lead guitar he lends Belle & Sebastian is on songs like the lovely display on the Kinks-y “Richie.” And even at his most clearly indebted to Summer of Love-era rock, he creates a varied and thoroughly rewarding listen, notably on the swinging, Mamas & Papas-style “Where Do All the Good Girls Go?”

doug benson
Doug Benson – Smug Life
 
Huge pot fan and hilarious comedian Doug Benson releases two different versions of the same jokes on Smug Life, both performed on April 20 (4/20!) at the same club. It plays like a case study in how varied performances of the same material can yield such different results — in one case, you hear a comment yelled from the audience that gets incorporated into the joke in the later performance.

Continue reading...

out this week 10/12 & 10/19...Belle & Sebastian...Antony & the Johnsons...Sufjan Stevens....Morrissey Bona Drag 20th Anniversary

Posted by Brad Schelden, October 28, 2010 01:16pm | Post a Comment
sufjan stevens
October
is always one of my favorite months. I love when summer starts to go away and it starts to get cold again. We have been having some October rain out here in Los Angeles that has been fabulous! This also means that Halloween is right around the corner! Many labels save their big releases for the end of the year, which also makes this time of year exciting for those of us that love music. October 12th is a big release day -- three of my favorite artists have releases on this date! It's almost too much to handle! Sufjan Stevens, Belle & Sebastian, & Antony & the Johnsons all have new albums -- all in one day! I have been patiently waiting for Sufjan to continue his series on all the 50 States. He gave us the brilliant Illinois and Michigan and then nothing else. I am of course wanting California and New York, but also all the States in between. I am hoping that he has actually been working on them in secret. He just continues to release these other albums to distract us, right? But then in a couple of years he will release a comprehensive 50 state box set. It will have an album for each state and also contain 2 7"s for the commonwealths and it will come with a puzzle. I could even be satisfied with an album of 150 songs with 3 songs for each state -- just give me something, Sufjan! A 7" for each state would also be amazing! His new album is called Age of Adz. I sort of had a strange reaction to it at first. It incorporates some electronics and at times sounds like a Lil Jon album...but it is still Sufjan, and I still love it. I just takes a couple of listens.

Belle & Sebastian
's new album Write About Love also belle & sebastian stuarttook a couple of listens to fall in love with. I was sort of still on my Belle & Sebastian high from seeing them in Vegas. And I do love the contest they ran to get fans to write about love. There are some great songs on Write About Love for sure but I really could have lived without the Norah Jones duet. I know this band is both easy to love and hate. Some people are very proud of their hatred of the band. I am one of the lovers of the band and I always will feel the same.

Continue reading...

out this week 8/10 & 8/17 & 8/24...blonde redhead...conan o'brien...antony & the johnsons...sufjan stevens

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 26, 2010 12:20pm | Post a Comment
jimmy fallon emmy's
It is hard to believe that September is almost here -- it seems like summer just started! But before we know it the kids will be back in school and we will all be getting ready for the holiday season. I love this time of year... The end of summer, I mean. I was actually one of those weird kids who didn't mind going back to school. I looked forward to the end of summer and the beginning of fall and winter. The award season is also right around the corner and the Emmy Awards are this Sunday! I am thinking they are actually going to be very funny this year since they are hosted by Jimmy Fallon. I do still love Jimmy Fallon from his SNL days. I am rarely up late enough to catch his show but I do like it whenever I manage to watch it. I still think that Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon should host the Oscars together. And yes, the Oscars are also right around the corner -- the Oscar nominations will be given out January 25th and the actual Oscars will be on February 27th!
                                                                                                                                                                        blonde redhead new album
It has been a couple of slow weeks for music new releases. Arcade Fire week was amazing a couple of weeks ago but it was all sort of downhill after that. Now things are getting exciting again this week! The great end of summer albums are coming out and there are some fantastic albums right around the corner to get us through the end of the year. Additionally, there are some exciting new EPs and singles and 7"s out this week. No Age put out a new single called "Glitter" on 12" and 7". They have a new album, Everything in Between, out on September 28th. Blonde Redhead released "Not Getting There" as a 12" this week. They are one of my absolute favorites who never let me down and I can't get enough of them! They have a new album out on September 14th called Penny Sparkle. I still remember the first time I heard Blonde Redhead. That girl has one of those amazing voices and I have never heard anyone like her. Glad to have them back in my life! I assume by now that everyone has heard them but if you haven't, check out A Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and In an Expression of the Inexpressible first.

Continue reading...

best of the 00's...my top 100 albums of the last decade 2000-2009...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 1, 2010 04:00pm | Post a Comment



#1
Sigur Ros
-Agaetis Byrjun
(Play it Again Sam) 2000




listen to "Ny Batteri" by Sigur Ros....




#2
Yeah Yeah Yeahs-Fever To Tell (Interscope) 2003







listen to "Y Control" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs...






#3
A Place To Bury Strangers-
A Place To Bury Strangers
(Killer Pimp) 2007


Continue reading...
<<  1  2  >>  NEXT