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Youth Lagoon Announces New Album 'Savage Hills Ballroom'

Posted by Billy Gil, July 13, 2015 03:21pm | Post a Comment

youth lagoon savage hills ballroom Trevor Powers has unveiled his third album as Youth Lagoon, Savage Hills Ballroom, due Sept. 25 on Fat Possum. It’s the follow-up to 2013’s strange and gorgeous Wondrous Bughouse.

He’s also revealed a new song, “The Knower,” a minimalist pop song with intriguing production. Propulsion is mostly provided by electronics that sound like ’80s toys on the fritz, but these are balanced by a splashy drum beat and horns that show up halfway through. Meanwhile, Powers’ voice has only gotten higher and more ethereal, painting him as the male heir to Kate Bush’s odd empire.

Check out the song below via NPR. Savage Hills Ballroom is available for preorder on Indie Exclusive LP, regular vinyl and CD.

Stream Tame Impala's 'Currents,' Album Up for Preorder Now

Posted by Billy Gil, July 13, 2015 02:55pm | Post a Comment

tame impalaWe’ve been dying to hear the new Tame Impala album, Currents, since hearing about its release in the Spring. The album is coming out this week, hitting stores Friday, July 17, and you can listen to the album now via NPR.

Our first impressions are very strong. It’s a synth-heavy affair compared with the band’s previous two albums, Lonerism and Innerspeaker, but still just as psychedelic, as songs like opener “Let It Happen,” which takes its time to move from a pensive, proggish uphill chug to a silky disco beat. While we’ve enjoyed singles “Eventually” and “’Cause I’m a Man,” the album’s other songs are proving just as strong, especially synth-soul ballad “Yes I’m Changing” and crystalline psych-funk jam “The Less I Know the Better.”

Check out the album below. You can preorder it now on CD, LP and Colored Vinyl (while supplies last).

Album Picks: Four Tet, Ghostface Killah, EZTV, Ezra Furman, Lee Bannon

Posted by Billy Gil, July 10, 2015 11:55am | Post a Comment

Four Tet - Morning/Evening

four tet morning/evening lpThe title of Four Tet's new album refers to its two extended tracks, split into a "Morning" and "Evening" side.  The release provides dueling meditations that are indeed best listened to at the time period they're ascribed. "Morning" moves with purpose on a skittering beat, but its sampled Indian singer and undulating synth tones feel like they're gently nudging you awake. As such, the 20-minute track evolves and begins piling on more geometric synth runs and string drones about halfway through, seeming to take flight as the beat slowly dials down to just a bass pulse and then nothing at all. "Evening" by comparison, begins more amorphously, unmoored without a beat, its vocal more divided, but it is no less affecting as its tones blink in and out of focus and its arrangement becomes more apparent. Given the suggestive nature of the song title, "Evening's" high-end notes call to mind the sight of stars and sound of nocturnal birds and insects, while its whooshing cymbal sound soothes. Like its predecessor, the track evolves and becomes more saturated with sound about halfway through before becoming more minimalist, its swaying synths evoking a dream state, though a heavy, thudding beat that emerges free of tones suggests nighttime hedonism or a mind-clearing erasure that comes with sleep. As a kind of concept album about how we begin and end our days, Morning/Evening is totally successful. It could be ideal for winding up or down, accompanied by yoga, meditation or quiet listening, but it also stands on its own as an intriguing pair of sound pieces that can be explored at leisure.

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Stream the New Beach House Song "Sparks"

Posted by Billy Gil, July 1, 2015 04:43pm | Post a Comment

beach houseIf you needed any convincing that Beach House is one of the best bands on the planet, their new song "Sparks" is a strong argument. Ever since their first of two masterpieces was released, 2010's Teen Dream, every new song and album by the Baltimore duo feels like an event. After announcing weeks ago that Depression Cherry, their fifth album and first since 2012's Bloom, would be released Aug. 28 on Sub Pop, we've been waiting with bated breath to hear a new song, and now we've finally got it. "Sparks" first premiered first on a Spanish radio show RTVE and has now been made available to stream via YouTube:

beach house depression cherryI keep listening to it over and over again to figure out what the hell is going on. That first blast of heavily saturated guitar and Victoria Legrand's layered vocals portend something special, which is just what we get with this gorgeous track. Legrand's organ and voice drone in perfect unison over a corroded digital beat, while Alex Scally's guitar's lay back and add small bits of texture, unleashing that volcanic noise again at select moments. Legrand's voice is more restrained than on previous singles, heavily breathy like My Bloody Valentine's Bilinda Butcher but with her same unmistakable husky tone, which comes through more clearly as the song progresses.The chorus is subtle but lovely, like Neil Young by way of Broadcast, but the best bits are the details—that skip in the beat right before the chorus, those high sliding guitar notes that sound like reverb-drenched shooting stars. It's somewhat long and amorphous but never outstays its welcome. You could listen for days and find new things to like about it.

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Album Picks: Vince Staples, The Internet, Miguel, Jaill

Posted by Billy Gil, June 30, 2015 10:55am | Post a Comment

Vince Staples - Summertime 06

vince staples summertime 06 cdOn his gutsy, double-disc debut studio album, Long Beach rapper Vince Staples introduces the world at large to a tough, world-weary persona who at only 22 has seemingly been through enough drama to fill a book. “My pain is never over, pills ‘n’ potions pick me up” he declares on the gnarled beats of “Pick Me Up.” Atonal sound wails in the background of “Norf Norf” as Staples offers slice-of-life tales of growing up in gritty North Long Beach (“I ain’t never run from nothin’ but the police,” he says tellingly). There’s a nihilistic slant to everything Staples puts to tape, which extends even to more decadent party jams like “Loca” and “Dopeman” and love songs like “Lemme Know,” pairing lyrics like “I’ll be fightin’ for you” with “I love to see you cry.” Everything in Summertime ’06 sounds strangely disembodied and cynical, yet it’s not lacking in energy, as with single “Senorita,” on which No I.D.’s creeping production offers the ideal space for Staples’ grim verses and Future’s motoring chorus before morphing into an ’80s horror film-style breakdown. The album’s second disc is mellower, reveling in No I.D. and Clams Casinos immersive production work; “Get Paid” and “Hang N’ Bang” are lively highlights. Though it’s a double-disc, Summertime ’06 doesn’t feel the slightest bit overstuffed, and we never lose sight of the man behind the rhymes.

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