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Album Picks: Electric Youth, Lucinda Williams, Christopher Owens

Posted by Billy Gil, September 30, 2014 11:01am | Post a Comment

Electric Youth - Innerworld (LP, CD, Download, Deluxe Download)

electric youth innerworld lpElectric Youth broke out in a big way with “A Real Hero,” a song that came to define the sound of the film Drive and its corresponding soundtrack. The duo double down on that impossibly romantic synth sound on Innerworld, their long-awaited debut album. That slow-burning pulse is back in songs like “Innocence,” perfectly capturing the romantic ideal of first love with synthesizers that at first sparkle like eyes being rubbed awake and then dazzle with gentle orchestration. Subtly enough referencing the soundtrackers of ’80s proms like Yaz and Alphaville, Bronwynn Griffin’s breathy voice sometimes floats by as a dream and other times catches onto a lighter-waving sentiment, like “we are the youth, we like to sing” (on “WeAreTheYouth”). Though Electric Youth may lack a bit for originality, Innerworld pretty skillfully avoids sameyness by appealing to current Europop-indebted dance music on tracks like “Runaway,” though they’re at their comfortable best on songs like “Without You,” building from their favored digital throb into a lovable freestyle couple. Griffin and her partner, Austin Garrick, have been a couple since the 8th grade, and thus their ability to make every synth stab feel like a dizzying first crush rings authentic. It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard some of the sounds here before, or that they even include the three-year-old “Real Hero”; Innerworld’s swoony romanticism makes you feel like it’s the first time.

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His Name Is Alive Channel Afropop and Study Thin Lizzy For New Album

Posted by Billy Gil, September 25, 2014 11:10am | Post a Comment

his name is aliveHis Name Is Alive, the experimental music project by Warren Defever that had a remarkable run of records during the glory days of 4AD, have a new one coming out Oct. 28 called Tecuciztecatl, due from Light in the Attic.

As Pitchfork points out, the press release calls it a “psychedelic rock opera.” However, the lovely “African Violet Casts a Spell” suggests an Afropop vibe, so we’ll see:

 

While making the album, Defever and guitarist Dusty Jones made a study guide of sorts of every Thin Lizzy guitar solo recorded between 1971 and 1983. So we’re hoping for harmonic guitar glissandos aplenty on this one. Hear the whole hour-plus mind-melting Lizzathon below:

 

More details about the rock opera element are here:

The rock opera is imagined vaguely in the shape of a 1969 Hammer horror film: bloody, British, gothic, and brimming with beguiling and attractive vampires. The songs are written from the perspective of five characters: the mother, the doctor, the twins and the librarian whose side hustle is demon hunting. The story begins with a young woman getting an ultrasound who discovers she's pregnant with twins. Realizing something is going terribly wrong, "I think I'm missing something on the inside," she visits a local library for research. The librarian instructs the woman on how to kill the demon baby without harming the other twin, and together they carry out the various rituals necessary. Eventually one baby is born.

New Neil Young Album 'Storyone,' Coming in November

Posted by Billy Gil, September 25, 2014 10:49am | Post a Comment

neil youngNeil Young has a new album on the way called Storyone, coming out sometime in November on Reprise, as Pitchfork reports.

Whereas earlier this year, Neil Young released A Letter Home, an album of lo-fi covers that was recorded in Jack White’s recording booth studio, Storyone could have an altogether different feel. Young talked to Billboard about wanting to record an album with an orchestra on mono using one mic:

“I want to do something like that where we really record what happened, with one point of view and the musicians moved closer and farther away, the way it was done in the past. To me that's a challenge and it's a sound that's unbelievable, and you can't get it any other way. So I'm into doing that.”

He’s already released “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?,” a pro-environment rally song with a 92-piece orchestra and choir. You can hear that and check out the lyrics below:

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Album Picks: Aphex Twin, King Tuff, The Growlers, The Drums, Perfume Genius

Posted by Billy Gil, September 23, 2014 12:15pm | Post a Comment

Aphex Twin - Syro (LP, CD, Download)

aphex twin syro lpIn a rare double-blessing, the last two years have given us not only a new album by My Bloody Valentine but another artist iconic of the ’90s, Aphex Twin. Syro plays as a collection of just about everything Richard Davis James does best, fusing jungle beats to gorgeous ambient tapestries on stunning opener “Minipops 67 [120.2][Source Field Mix],” taking us through dense synth explorations on tracks like the 10-minute “Xmas_Evet10 [120][Thanaton3 Mix]” and vibing off hip-hop and synth funk on “Produk 29 [101].” Vocals appear now and then (from James and his family), offering skewed, incomprehensible chatter that adds to the liveliness of “Produk 29 [101]” and giving “Minipops 67 [120.2][Source Field Mix]” its grabbing human element, pulling you into the rest of the album. Though he used some 138 pieces of equipment and shifted his set up every few minutes while recording Syro, that seems to have had an energizing effect on James, and the result is a sharp, if varied piece of work that hangs together beautifully, flowing from scenic but heady pieces like “4 Bit 9d Api+E+6 [126.26]” to hard-hitting bass tracks such as “180db_ [130].” There aren’t many shocking moments on Syro like, say, “Come to Daddy’s” shrieking wail, nor does it push listeners to their extreme limit like the challenging Drukqs did, but accessibility doesn’t mar Syro. Rather, even despite their straight-off-the-hard-drive titles, tracks like “Papat4 [155][Pineal Mix]” are really breathtaking pieces of music, designed for immersion rather than to filter listeners out. Just like mbv, we had no right to expect Syro would be this good, much less that it would be released at all, which makes it all the better. Simply put, it’s one of the most instantly enjoyable collections of music James has ever released.

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New Pink Floyd Album 'Endless River' Is Coming Nov. 10

Posted by Billy Gil, September 22, 2014 11:57am | Post a Comment

pink floyd the endless riverPink Floyd has announced the release date and specifics about its new album, The Endless River, and you can preorder the album now!

First off, it's due Nov. 10, Rolling Stone reports. And check out that zen album cover!

It's a four-sided mostly instrumental album, with lyrics by David Gilmour’s wife, Polly Samson, on the song “Louder Than Words.” The music was largely culled from more than 20 hours of sessions recorded during the band's last album, 1994's The Division Bell, which was then reworked for this new album.

According to drummer Nick Mason, it's a tribute to keyboardist Rick Wright, who died in 2008. These sessions were the last recorded with Wright.

"I think this record is a good way of recognizing a lot of what he does and how his playing was at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound," he said. "Listening back to the sessions, it really brought home to me what a special player he was."

Roger Waters has no involvement with The Endless River project, and no plans to tour have been announced.
 
The tracklist is below:
 
SIDE 1
1. "Things Left Unsaid"
2. "It’s What We Do"
3. "Ebb and Flow"
 
SIDE 2
1. "Sum"
2. "Skins"
3. "Unsung"
4. "Anisina"     
 
SIDE 3
1. "The Lost Art of Conversation"
2. "On Noodle Street
3. "Night Light"
4. "Allons-y (1)"                         
5. "Autumn’68"                         
6. "Allons-y (2)"                        
7. "Talkin’ Hawkin'"
 
SIDE 4
1. "Calling"
2. "Eyes To Pearls"
3. "Surfacing"
4. "Louder Than Words"
 

 

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