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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: Kirin J Callinan, Zomby, After Dark 2

Posted by Billy Gil, July 2, 2013 08:33am | Post a Comment

Kirin J Callinan - Embracism

kirin j callinanCD $12.98

LP $18.98 [out 7/16]

Download $9.98

Kirin J. Callinan’s music defies easy explanation. It’s hard and corrosive, full of distorted guitars and grinding beats, while his serrated voice consistently sounds on the verge of collapse, on songs like the title track, with lyrics that fuck with gender, sexuality and social norms (“"A man can meet another man in a bar/On the sportsfield/At his place of work/Or in his own apartment/Or on the Internet right now!” he explains in a hilarious verse). It’s also full of towering beauty, as his voice reins in the terror but none of the drama for the glorious “Victoria M.” The Australian native is the rare, charismatic singer/songwriter who can keep us enthralled whether he glowering or swooning, like his Aussie forefather, Nick Cave. While his attempts at more global social commentary don’t always work — “Come On USA’s” jabs are a little hokey, despite the music’s fury, and “Way II War” is effective more for its extremely creepy atmospherics — his personal freakouts are always compelling, as “Love Delay’s” sexual outcry and hairpin turn halfway through will attest. The freewheeling Embracism loudly announces the arrival of a new, singular talent to watch — with any luck, Kirin J. Callinan is just getting fired up.

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