Amoeblog

12 Albums to Look for in Spring

Posted by Billy Gil, March 17, 2014 11:57am | Post a Comment

Here are 12 great albums that are coming out soon. Better save your pennies!

Black LipsUnderneath the Rainbow (LP, Limited Edition LP or CD)

black lips underneath the rainbow lpOut March 18

Atlanta’s finest, scuzziest garage rock band is back with its seventh album. It’s co-produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. The video for “Boys in the Wood” has all kinds of homoerotic and drug-fueled forest mayhem.

 

 

Perfect PussySay Yes to Love (LP or CD)

perfect pussy say yes to love lpOut March 18

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Album Picks: Dean Wareham, Bradford Cox, Pins

Posted by Billy Gil, March 11, 2014 09:45am | Post a Comment

Dean Wareham - Dean Wareham (LP, CD or Download)

dean wareham lp amoebaOften when an established artist like Dean Wareham, the former lead singer of Luna and Galaxie 500, releases a self-titled album, it’s a restatement of purpose or sound. However, Dean Wareham really is the most Dean Wareham release yet, especially languid, dreamy and witty, even by his standards. The songs are milky and heavily reverbed, taking their cues from The Velvet Underground’s third album, while lyrically Wareham provides his typically engaging specificity—“This is not my home, stuck inside a drop down menu” he sings, venting the comic frustration of tech-enabled culture. On “Happy & Free,” the drums rise above the reverie to make for one of Wareham’s loveliest rock ballads in years, harkening back to the Galaxie 500 days. While Dean Wareham is short on surprises from the singer/songwriter, it’s also a terrifically concise, at nine solid songs, and immensely enjoyable. It’s thoroughly appealing for anyone who’s ever fallen in love with the Wareham’s music.

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Album Picks: Real Estate, Trust, Linda Perhacs, Axxa/Abraxas

Posted by Billy Gil, March 4, 2014 10:52am | Post a Comment

Real Estate Atlas (LP or CD)

real estate atlas lp amoebaIt should be no surprise that Real Estate’s third album is another impeccably crafted piece of beautiful guitar music. The New Jersey band has only made the necessary updates to their sound over the past few years, like polishing a statue into perfection. The album’s first few tracks offer everything we’ve come to love about this band, with sunny jangle-pop songs (opener “Had to Hear” and single “Talking Backwards”) butting next to nostalgic, minor-key songs about suburban splendor and decay—like being depressed about seeing a high school friend that never moved on, Matt Mondanile (also of Ducktails) sings “I walk past these houses where we once stood/I see past lives, but somehow you’re still here,” with perfect precision on “Past Lives.” Real Estate’s lyrics have often taken a back seat to their shimmering guitarwork, but here they’re a bit more prominent, shining a light on Mondanile’s minimalist approach—despite how lovely the music is, songs like “Crime” are pretty depressing when you get down to it, with lyrics like “I wanna die/lonely and uptight.” Musically things have expanded a bit, as the band throws in more overt nudges toward easy listening and ’70s singer-songwriters in “The Bend” and country tinges in the gauzy, pretty “How I Might Live.” Instrumentally, these guys are just top notch, as they make instrumental “April’s Song” an album highlight, even without Mondanile’s soothing vocals, allowing his tremoloed, romantic guitar lines to do the singing for him. Atlas is simply a stunningly beautiful piece of guitar pop.

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Album Picks: St. Vincent, Schoolboy Q, Beck, Wild Beasts, Neneh Cherry

Posted by Billy Gil, February 25, 2014 10:30am | Post a Comment

St. Vincent - St. Vincent (LP or CD)

st. vincent st. vincent lp amoebaSt. Vincent’s absolutely breathtaking new album begins, as Annie Clark’s previous albums have, like some unearthly musical. Clark seemingly touches down from another planet, asking “am I the only one in the world?” on opener “Rattlesnake” amid all manner of alien guitar and strange percussive squelches. “Birth in Reverse” similarly paints a vivid picture, starting with the lines “Oh what an ordinary day …  take out the garbage, masturbate.” “Birth in Reverse” explodes into an extraordinary, paranoid chorus of restless glee. Clark’s way with words has never been more cutting, as on “Prince Johnny,” which manages to be strikingly specific while keeping its deeper existential meaning vague (“Remember that time we snorted/That piece of the Berlin Wall you extorted?” is her best rhyming couplet yet.) Even her ballads bite—“I prefer your love to Jesus” is a thoroughly loaded line repeated on “I Prefer Your Love,” giving depth and conflict to what’s on the surface a beautiful, Kate Bush-inspired love song. Musically, Clark employs everything from decaying choruses (“Prince Johnny”) to hip-hop synths (“Huey Newton”) to Prince-esque atonal funk (“Digital Witness”), but it’s a remarkably cohesive listen, as though each element has been thoroughly considered and sanded down to perfection. As implied by naming her fourth album simply St. Vincent, it’s an album that seems to be about truly knowing oneself—or the thrilling discoveries that come with a lifetime of seeking that knowledge.

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Album Picks: Angel Olsen, Phantogram, New Bums

Posted by Billy Gil, February 18, 2014 09:24am | Post a Comment

Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire For No Witness (LP, Colored Vinyl, CD or Download)

angel olsen burn your fire for no witness lp amoeba“If you still have some light in you, then go before it’s gone,” Angel Olsen sings on the harrowing “White Fire,” the slow-burning centerpiece of her stunning new album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness. Olsen doles out hard-won truths and tragicomic observances in a voice that splits the difference between Emmylou Harris’ sweet coo and Cat Power’s smoky drawl, sometimes coming through just above a whisper, though she can wake the dead when she wishes, reserving her power for choice moments, belting at the core of the Velvetsy “High & Wild.” The former member of Bonnie “Prince” Billys band seems to have poured every inch of herself into her breakthrough album, going for a full-tilt rock stomp on songs like “Forgiven/Forgotten,” referencing Hank Williams on gleeful ode to loneliness “Hi-Five” and virtually fading into the ether on beautiful songs like “Dance Slow Decades,” begging you to sit closely. Burn Your Fire For No Witness is one of the best albums of the year thus far, an emotional trip that leaves its mark.

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