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50 Essential Albums Released in 2013

Posted by Aaron Detroit, November 30, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment

Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for nine years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 -  at the San Francisco store. Here is my extensive list of new essential listening, released in 2013. There is a wide range of genres and artists represented here because musical passion shouldn't be static!

1. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
The Knife Shaking the Habitual    


After a seven-year hiatus (not including 2010’s collaborative opera with Matt Sims and Planningtorock,) the Swedish sister/brother duo crafted something utterly singular with this sprawling, conceptual, yet immensely thrilling triple-LP. Habitual lyrically challenges gender constructs and unchecked privilege against visceral (and sometimes monstrous) techno that also refuses any box you throw over it. 

 

These New Puritans Field of Reeds



2. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
   
 No guitars, no dubstep breaks, no angular post-punk posturing. Jack Barnett & Co. look to 20th century composers and Fado for inspiration on their third LP. Woodwinds, brass, field recordings, a magnetic resonator piano and additional vocals from Portuguese vocalist Elisa Rodrigues move TNP into a whole other category of artist, far away from the faceless NME hordes they once mingled with. 
 
3. David Bowie - The Next Day
 
 David Bowie The Next DayQuite honestly, it’s his best since his last great LP --33 years ago--Scary Monsters. This isn’t anything but Bowie being himself, but the emotional weight of his lyrics give the new tracks a vitality missing from much of his work in the previous decade. It’s exhilarating throughout, with most of his famous tropes (Space!!) sounding somehow fresh. New classics like the title track, “Dirty Boys,” the Scott Walker-nodding “Heat,” plus the stellar Bowie-doing-Morrissey-doing-his-best-Bowie moment on “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die.” 
 

Holden The Inheritors

Album Picks: Neko Case, Chelsea Wolfe, Holograms, The Julie Ruin, Jonathan Rado

Posted by Billy Gil, September 3, 2013 09:36am | Post a Comment

Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

neko case the worse things get lpCD $13.98

Deluxe CD $19.98

LP $20.98

Deluxe LP $26.98

It’s been four years since the last Neko Case album, but one listen to her verbosely titled new album and you’ll know it was worth the wait. As on her previous albums, Case borrows from folk, country and indie rock, opening with stunning guitar atmosphere on “Wild Creatures.” On “Night Still Comes” (download or listen free), she weaves beautifully strange melodies, both highly catchy and melodic and slightly discordant. Both lyrically and vocally, Case continues to be one of the strongest of her generation, articulating the intersect of man and nature with gorgeously twisted language. “I’m gonna go where my urge leads no more … a boreal feast, let it finish me please, as I revenge myself, all over myself,” she sings on “Night Still Comes.” Over jaunty electric guitar, she forcefully sings “I’m a man … that’s what kind of animal I am” on “Man,” continuing the gender play on acoustic ditty “I’m From Nowhere” (“I was surprised when you called me lady, ‘cause I’m still not so sure that’s what I want to be,” later qualifying that statement with “’cause I remember the ’80s, and I remember its puffy sleeves”). Though her lyrics are often clever, they’re more revealing here than ever—the most striking moment here is “Near Midnight, Honolulu,” a paralyzing portrayal of casually witnessed emotional child abuse that she then turns inward. Whether she’s describing the strange, corporeal world in which we live or her own inner workings, Case is always invigorating to listen to, perhaps never more so than on The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight...

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Where My Ears Went in 2012

Posted by J. Mark Beaver, January 10, 2013 01:33pm | Post a Comment
sandro perri impossible spaces
SANDRO PERRI Impossible Spaces
(Constellation Records)

Easily the most confounding sound I heard this last year. In all truth, this record was released in late 2011, but I didn't find any indicators pointing towards it until this year. Perri is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer from Toronto, Canada who also creates electronica under the name Polmo Polpo. On Impossible Spaces, Perri presents a light, meandering soul in a voice that sometimes reminds me of Michael Franks, sometimes Antony, sometimes Christopher Cross. It's a strange tone to hear in 2012, but it is all couched and wrapped in, levitated and nudged along by a busy production of electronica, (fretless?) bass, warped keyboards and processed saxophone that keeps pulling my ear deep into its sheer inventiveness. Guaranteed to confuse.








MOUNT EERIE Clear Moon
((P.W.Elverum & Sun)  

One of this year's two "sister" releases (with Ocean's Roar), Clear Moon, is issued, as it should be, on clear vinyl. Phil Elverum, the creative force behind Mount Eerie and its former incarnation, Microphones, is a master of mood. His albums are for headphones, for closed eyes, akin to sitting alone (or with silent friends) in the forest or on some chilled rocky outcropping from where you can see no sign of civilization and yet always aware that its there.
mount eerie clear moon

out this week 7/3 & 7/10...Holograms...The English Beat...Twin Shadow...Frank Ocean...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 13, 2012 06:35pm | Post a Comment

The new Frank Ocean CD Channel Orange was scheduled to be released next Tuesday on July 17th. But we are able to sell it a bit early and now have it out on the floor. So come pick it up at one or our stores! Or pick it up on amoeba.com. The LP is still scheduled for 7/31. You can Pre-order it here. Frank Ocean is of course part of Odd Future. This is his first official release. Everyone is super excited about this album. And you should be too!





Listen to "Pyramids" from the new album Channel Orange by Frank Ocean...



The new Twin Shadow just came out this week. And I am a bit obsessed with it. I honestly was not really that into the first album. But maybe I just never gave it a chance. Maybe I just had higher hopes for this one since 4AD put it out.  Confess is out on CD and LP. It is catchy and highly addictive. You will like.

Check out the video for "Five Seconds" by Twin Shadow from the new album Confess. The actual song does not start until 1:39. But the video is awesome. You should watch it...

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Albums Picks, New Albums Out Today: Twin Shadow, Holograms, Aesop Rock and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 10, 2012 01:01pm | Post a Comment
Album Picks:

Twin Shadow ConfessTwin Shadow – Confess
 
I must “confess” that I was a big old sucker for Twin Shadow’s first album. One of those “I’m wired to like it” kind of things. George Lewis Jr.’s second album has some of the same slow-motion bittersweet nostalgia thing that made the first album so great, but it also comes alive with a new romantic swagger that previously was just implied by the music. His songs have lost none of their immaculate detail, though. “Golden Light” is immediately memorable for its big chorus, with Lewis at the peak of his Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel style of throaty, emotive vocals, but the verses are impeccably put together, too. First single “Five Seconds” has the same sort of “Boys of Summer” rush that Forget’s “Slow” had, but it’s no cheap retread — it sounds taken apart and put back together, as Lewis unleashes his pipes at unexpected moments, and the whole thing has such a wonderful hushed tension that it’s enthralling throughout. Confess shows Lewis can really go for it pop-wise while still engaging listeners with layered songs and well-considered production choices.
 

hologramsHolograms – Holograms
 
Really great, ferocious stuff from Sweden’s Holograms. “Monoliths” plays its goth cards early, with foreboding riffs and similarly indignant vocals that seem to call out some impending tragedy, which comes in the form of the song’s second two-thirds, a straight-ahead rush of focused guitar energy punctuated by belted vocals. “Chasing My Mind” meanwhile has an almost comically simple and upfront synth riff that the band then undermines with its weird yelp vocals and riffery — which comes out an improbably perfect concoction. Seems like this year’s Iceage. More European post-hardcore, please.

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