Amoeblog

The 10 Best Albums of 2015 So Far

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2015 06:38pm | Post a Comment

best albums of 2015

Now that the year is officially half over, we’re checking back over the albums that have been released thus far in 2015. Maybe all of this will change in six months, but for now, here are the albums I’ve been most excited about this year. We’d love to hear some more under-the-radar albums that came out this year that haven’t been as covered by the blogosphere, so please leave a comment and suggest some more picks.  

1. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear

father john misty i love you honeybearThe former Fleet Foxes drummer has put out the most emotionally manipulative album of 2015, and that’s a good thing. Songs like “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” are all sweeping melodrama on the surface, horns and strings and Southwest jangle decorating Joshua Tillman’s sonorous voice, but his words destroy the superficial veneer the handsome troubadour puts out on first blush, sneaking snarky lines into a love song to his new wife (“I wanna take you in the kitchen/Lift up your wedding dress someone was probably murdered in”). Songs like “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.” and “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow” dismiss young would-be groupies with borderline arrogance (the oft-quoted “She says, like literally, music is the air she breathes/And the malaprops make me want to fucking scream”), Tillman’s use of detail flip your impression of him from douche to annoyingly charming dude who’s just telling it like it is. And as the album progresses, Tillman’s observations turn more self-effacing, and his pathos makes for some brutally candid moments—“Bored in the U.S.A.’s” white people problems are played for literal laughs, and the self-loathing present beneath the beard transcends its trappings and becomes entirely relatable. It’s also a great love album because it’s romantic but doesn’t sugarcoat shit, starting semi-sarcastically using the pet name “honeybear” and later featuring the line “Maybe love is just an economy based on resource scarcity/What I fail to see is what that’s gotta do with you and me.” There have easily been more sentimental singer/songwriter releases in 2015, but Tillman’s cynicism feels like the most honest thing I’ve heard this year.

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17 Songs To Shake Off That June Gloom

Posted by Amoebite, June 9, 2015 05:55pm | Post a Comment

17 songs to shake off june gloom

Close out the spring with this eclectic mix of dance-pop gems, hot hip-hop tracks and indie-rock favorites.

Crocodiles - Boys


Crocodiles - “Peroxide Hearts” from Boys

On the fifth album from the Boys from San Dog, this great krautgaze dreampop duo gives more of what you love -- tough, taut, fuzzed-out, soaring, unstoppable gems, a little bit Primal Scream, a little bit J&MC, but with plenty of their own energy and oddball vibe.

 

Peaking Lights - Cosmic Logic


Peaking Lights - “Hypnotic Hustle” from Cosmic Logic

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Knxwledge Discusses Stones Throw LP "Hud Dreems," Amoeba Crate Digging, His Church Upbringing, & Kendrick Lamar Production

Posted by Billyjam, May 19, 2015 11:43am | Post a Comment



Knxwledge (pronounced Knowledge) is known for such things as being a producer for Kendrick Lamar's current hit album To Pimp a Butterfly (for the track "Momma"); a regular contributor at the Low End Theory events; and, most importantly, as an incredibly prolific producer whose impressive catalog includes a long list of self-released cassettes, albums, and EPs for such labels as All City and Stones Throw. His latest album, Hud Dreems (pre-order on vinyl) was just released on Stones Throw.

The talented 26-year-old LA-based producer is a major fan of Amoeba Music and spends a lot of his spare time digging in the crates of Amoeba Hollywood for records with obscure sounds to sample. Naturally then the NJ born-and-raised producer was quite at home when he got invited to DJ a set at Amoeba Hollywood last month during Record Store Day celebrations at the Sunset Blvd. store. Around that same time I caught up with the producer to talk about making music, his new Stones Throw release, and of course crate digging at Amoeba - something he was more than happy to chat about.

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Album Picks: Kendrick Lamar, Tobias Jesso Jr., Nic Hessler, Wand

Posted by Billy Gil, March 17, 2015 12:42pm | Post a Comment

Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly

kendrick lamar to pimp a butterfly lpKendrick Lamar’s breakthrough second album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, left such an impression that hype for a follow-up has been through the roof. So forgive the Compton rapper if he kind of Beyonce’d To Pimp a Butterfly, teasing singles before announcing a release date and suddenly putting it out a week early. Pulling the rug out from hype and inevitable backlash, it gives us a change to all hear To Pimp a Butterfly at once, in all its glory. Butterfly doubles down on the idiosyncracies of good kid, eschewing club-friendly tracks in favor of those that cast a light on Lamar’s pure skills as a rapper and wordsmith—always celebrated, yet perhaps distracted by stellar production and good kid’s concept-album style—as well as his ability to put together a layered and compelling album. Tracks like the “For Free” interlude are showcases for Lamar’s dexterity, while “u’s” desperate, verge-on-tears delivery find him at his most vulnerable —Drake’s never done anything like this. The production across To Pimp a Butterfly, courtesy of such luminaries as Flying Lotus and Thundercat, like those artists’ work (and similarly to D’Angelo’s recently released Black Messiah), effortlessly melds hip-hop, R&B and jazz on excellent tracks like the off-kilter “Institutionalized” and gorgeous “These Walls” to exist in some mystery middle space, without drawing attention away from Lamar’s star power. While headier tracks dominate the album, Lamar unleashes a couple of huge singles at the album’s closing. At first, “i” could come off as Lamar’s “sell out” track, catchy enough to sit alongside Pharrell’s “Happy” as a crowd-friendly that sands off his rough edges, but it serves as a bit of a breather here, dressed up in The Isley Brothers’ unstoppable “Who’s That Lady,” though Lamar’s lyrics remain deeply dark, exposing his own depression, and a spoken word passage that delves into a discussion on racial slurs adds context. Following the reclaiming of racial stereotypes on the absolutely killer “The Blacker the Berry,” To Pimp a Butterfly ends ultimately feeling conflicted yet triumphant. It’s a deep, complicated work, yet not one that feels the slightest bit overstuffed or overwrought. Kendrick Lamar successfully defies all expectations yet again, on what’s sure to be one of the year’s best albums.

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Weekly Roundup: Kendrick Lamar, The Black Ryder, Bouquet, OOFJ

Posted by Billy Gil, February 13, 2015 11:30am | Post a Comment

Kendrick Lamar – “The Blacker the Berry”

kendrick lamarA razor-sharp indictment of racism in the United States without sounding heavy-handed, “The Blacker the Berry” is one of the best things we’ve heard yet from Kendrick Lamar, which, given the overwhelming quality of good kid, m.A.A.d city, is saying something. The Compton rapper hasn’t yet announced the details of that album’s follow-up, but having heard this track and “i,” we’re betting it’ll be every bit as remarkable.

 

The Black Ryder – “Let Me Be Your Light”

the black ryderAustralian shoegaze duo The Black Ryder are now Angelenos and have a new album on the way called The Door Behind the Door, due Feb. 24. If you’ve ever fantasized about a collaboration between Slowdive and The Verve, this is for you. Washy guitars, a post-punk bassline and soothing female vocals combine with angelic synths for a song that sounds like what they play when the Pearly Gates open. Go to the light!

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