Album Picks: Kisses, Protomartyr, Alex G

Posted by Billy Gil, October 9, 2015 12:02pm | Post a Comment

KissesRest in Paradise

kisses rest in paradise lpKisses continue to make smart, chilled-out disco-pop on their third album, stripping back some of the atmospherics of previous releases and upping the grooves. Spareness reveals how lovely Jesse Kivel’s voice and melodies are on a song like “Sun,” as Kivel moves from singing over a solo beat into a falsetto over romantic synth touches. Freestyle and ’80s synth R&B inform tracks like “Control” without them being mere homages. Most of Rest in Paradise sits comfortably as headphone-friendly electro pop, but a track like “A Groove” also gets your blood pumping with its high-hats, rubbery bassline and pure disco strings and guitars. Rest in Paradise is perhaps the L.A. duo’s best and boldest album yet, building on their easy appeal while delivering the disco jammers in spades.


Protomartyr The Agent Intellect

protomartyr the agent intellect lpProtomartyr make no-bullshit indie rock. Guitars are as in-tune as when they pick them up. Joe Casey’s vocals are declarative and fierce, eschewing melody in favor of direct emotion, spitting “I will make them feel the way I do” on surging opener “The Devil in His Youth.” This isn’t to say Protomartyr are sloppy. Everything on The Agent Intellect feels finely honed, drawing from bands like Husker Du, R.E.M. and Guided By Voices to distill bile-ridden diatribes into taut, nihilistic post-punk. Protomartyr’s tunneling rhythms and mangled notes aren’t particularly pretty, but The Agent Intellect feels true and cathartic. “Tell me how you really feel” might be one of the most annoying phrases in the English language. Protomartyr answer in kind.

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Beach House Is Releasing a New Album Next Week

Posted by Billy Gil, October 8, 2015 12:27pm | Post a Comment

beach house thank your lucky stars lp

What! Another new Beach House album? You heard that right.

Even if you haven’t finished digesting the delicious stew that is Beach House’s most recent album, Depression Cherry, which was released just two months ago, there’s a new one coming out Oct. 16 called Thank Your Lucky Stars. Which is what we’re all doing right now because you can never have enough Beach House in your life.

The album will first come out as a full-length LP, with the CD out a couple of weeks later. You can preorder both now on Why might you want to do that now, you may ask? The early birds who preorder now will get Sub Pop's "Loser Edition," the label's early color vinyl releases (this one's green). The LP also comes with a download card of the album.

According to the band’s Twitter account, it’s not a companion album nor a B-sides comp but rather its own album, as Pitchfork reports.

beach house tweet new album

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Preorder Ryan Adams' Taylor Swift Cover Album '1989' on Vinyl and CD

Posted by Billy Gil, October 5, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment
taylor swift ryan adams

One of the most prolific and idiosyncractic songwriters of his generation has covered an entire album from one of the most ubiquitous pop stars of her generation, and soon you can own the results on LP or CD!

ryan adams taylor swift 1989 album lpRyan Adams' full-album cover of Taylor Swift's megaselling 1989 album was an welcome surprise, as Adams filtered Swift's maximalist radio pop into his world-weary Americana style. The album will be released by Blue Note on CD Oct. 30 and on LP Dec. 11.

Reviews for the album have been overwhelmingly positive, with Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt claiming, "If turning the biggest, shiniest pop record of the past year into a survey course in classic rock economy sounds like a novelty, it is. But it’s also the best kind—one that brings two divergent artists together in smart, unexpected ways, and somehow manages to reveal the best of both of them."

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Album Picks: Deafheaven, Wavves, Girls Names, Shopping

Posted by Billy Gil, October 2, 2015 12:28pm | Post a Comment

Deafheaven - New Bermuda

deafheaven new bermuda lpDeafheaven’s fusion of black metal, shoegaze and post-rock continues to grow richer and bolder on their third album. Following the crossover success of their much-celebrated second album, Sunbather, it may have been tempting for the band to trim off their rough edges — namely, the black metal influence that accounts for a large part of their sound — to focus on the more accessible parts. The fact that they didn’t speaks highly of their integrity, sure, but it’s also ensured Deafheaven stays an original. With five extended tracks, New Bermuda feels like one massive, evolving piece, making it easier to point to moments rather than entire songs that speak to you — the way “Luna” folds melodic chords into its double-bass barrage and ends up in a scenic place as lovely as anything on Souvlaki or Agaetis Byrjun; or how “Come Back” clears the way for Kerry McCoy’s chugging power chords and harmonic descending scales and George Clark’s shriek from the depths; or “Baby Blue’s” heroic, Pumpkinsy wah-wahed solos. Any metal fan can extoll the genre’s ability to soothe not in spite of, but because of its brutality and decibel level. There’s something about the music’s capacity to overwhelm and obliterate outside noise, memories, anxiety and trauma that’s rather unparalleled. Deafheaven’s commitment to bringing that sound into an indie-rock setting and vice versa has helped make them the best and most important metal crossover act since Metallica. Whatever your preferred noise is in which to lose yourself, New Bermuda is a crucial meeting point.

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9 Awesome Albums That Came Out This Week

Posted by Billy Gil, September 25, 2015 06:30pm | Post a Comment

This week was a huge one for new releases. Instead of doing my usual handful of album picks, I’m picking out nine that stand out.


Chvrches - Every Open Eye

chvrches every open eye lpScottish trio Chvrches made electro-pop gems splattered with emotion on their beguiling debut. For album No. 2, they just get craftier, creating songs that sound like the soundtrack to your wildest dreams. “Never Ending Circles” opens the album on a note of big, open-armed camaraderie, the kind of drinking song or team anthem that’s nearly impossible to pull off. That sense of momentum carries through song after song. “Leave a Trace” finds frontwoman Lauren Mayberry’s vocals at their strongest — hers is the kind of voice that makes it impossible to feel lonely or sad when you’re listening to it. “Keep You On My Side” is a hi-NRG-inspired jam that calls to mind the best of Erasure or early Depeche Mode with its fluttering synths, but its hard-hitting beat updates the sound for the EDM generation. Every Open Eye doesn’t quite have a song that lands with the same power as “The Mother We Share” or “Gun,” but The Bones of What You Believe was an album of peaks and valleys, whereas this one is a steadier ride, coasting on the band’s increased confidence. It’s life-embracing pop music of the highest order, something we all need from time to time.

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