out today 5/8...bjork...elliott smith...sea & cake...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 7, 2007 07:30pm | Post a Comment
So if you thought the Patrick Wolf album cover from last week was ridiculous, you are gonna love the cover of the new Bjork album "Volta." It has already grown on me and I have now decided that I love it. However, I can't think of anyone else who could pull off an album cover like this. There is nobody quite like Bjork. Love her or hate her, she is one unique lady. "Volta" is her sixth full length album. She launched her verysuccessful solo career after leaving her Icelandic group "The Sugarcubes." Those Sugarcubes albums sure are great fun. I have some great memories attached to those old albums. But I have to say, the dude singer in the band always kind of annoyed me, and I was not sad when she started her solo career.

I was not a huge fan of Bjork's last album "Medulla." But she has for sure won me back with this new one. I had been a big fan for years but had maybe overdosed a bit on Bjork. But I am ready again. She won me over with her performance on Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks ago. And Scarlet Johansson was actually funny! I have now also had a chance to listen to the album. Its actually really good. While I am not in love with the single "Earth Intruders" as much as maybe she would like me to be. The album as a whole is great. The album not only features a ten piece Icelandic female brass section, but also Antony (Antony & the Johnsons), Timbaland, Chris Corsano, and Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt). Did you hear that what I said. Antony is on the album! This is reason enough to pick it up. Bjork and Antony are a really good match. It just makes sense that they would work together. Seriously, fans of Bjork will not be disappointed. And even old fans who have not necessarily loved her the last couple years, might find themselves liking Bjork again. Bjork has the amazing ability to experiment with all these different instruments and sound manipulations and somehow make it accessible. She makes brilliant pop albums but there is always something weird there. Something to make it more interesting than your normal pop album.  I am going to see her live in a couple weeks. I can't wait to hear the album live and see those amazing sets and costumes and all those 50 or so people on stage. It's gonna be awesome!

The new album by The Sea & Cake also comes out today. It is called "Everybody." This album is released on Thrill Jockey Records. I love this label. They have been putting out great albums consistently for a while. Tortoise, Trans Am, Adult, and Mouse on Mars have all called Thrill Jockey home. The Sea & Cake make feel good indie rock albums. They just make you feel good. Singer Sam Prekop has a magical voice. It just flows beautifully through the albums. Every time I hear him I get a little smile on my face. This is their seventh album.

Sea and Cake were formed in the mid 90s in Chicago. The band is Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, John McEntire, and Eric Calridge. They are often labeled post rock. They basically have a jazz rock kind of feel but mix it up with electronics and synthesizers. Sam Prekop has an amazing voice that is somehow very soothing. It is some powerful stuff. They have been very consistent with their albums and have created another wonderful little album.  It also comes packaged in a nice little cardboard fold out thing, There are some nice pictures of ducks taken by Sam inside the album. This album has that felling of being perfect but seeming effortless. Like you know they spent months perfecting the songs on the ablum, but they have the feeling of just pouring out of them with little effort. I can't really stop talking about his dreamy voice. It really is what first drew me into those earlier albums, "The Biz"(1995) and "The Fawn"(1997). Easily two of their best. Its like he draws you into the albums with his voice and makes you feel at home. Once you are there the music keeps you interested. Its kind of like what I imagine new age or smooth jazz music to be for those people who are into that kind of thing.  Nobody else really gets it. But if you are into it, it totally soothes you and captures you and makes you feel good. So I guess The Sea and Cake is kind of like smooth jazz to me.  Just without the smooth jazz part.

also out today...

"God Save the Clientele" by The Clientele

"No Shouts No Calls" by Electrelane

"Silver Tree" by Lisa Gerrard

"New Moon" by Elliott Smith


"Shapes We Make" by Mary Timony

"Boy With No Name" by Travis

"Keren Ann" by Keren Ann

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Sea & Cake (1), Elliott Smith (14), Bjork (24)