Album Picks: Brian Eno, Aesop Rock, dvsn

Posted by Billy Gil, April 29, 2016 08:03am | Post a Comment

Brian Eno The Ship

Brian Eno’s latest album combines the minimalist approach to his ambient work such as Music for Airports with the intrigue of his more pop-oriented work. On opening track “The Ship,” individual tones, thick, thin, solid and wavering create a transfixing horizontal drone. Vocals enter after a few minutes, deeply intoning strange truisms behind some swan-diving notes and radio noise that sound like a TV left on in another room. “The time is still, the sky is young,” the voice says, and the music feels eternal while the found sound of advertisements feels ephemeral. Through its contemplative, extended tracks, The Ship is a little unsettling but ultimately gives a sense of peace, a reminder of our short time on a greater vessel that sets us free from our preoccupations. Includes a gorgeous cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Set Free.”


Aesop RockThe Impossible Kid

It looks like a metal band made The Impossible Kid, judging by its album cover. But Aesop Rock’s latest is actually one of his most intimate, as the indie-rap hero opens up about his personal life, going deep on topics like depression, family, and the turbulent years that led him to leave San Francisco to live in a barn out in the woods, where he recorded the foundations of this album. After a couple of psych-rap jams, full of electronic flutter and tightly coiled rhymes, Rock digs in with “Lotta Years,” rapping about feeling his age and reminiscing about, bumping New Edition and doing ollies. “Dorks” starts out with some of his darkest lyrics (“If I died in my apartment like a rat in a cage, would my neighbors smell my corpse before the cat ate my face?”) over a grimy guitar riff and foreboding strings. On “Blood Sandwich,” over new agey synths, he tells an endearing tale of fighting with his parents to see an industrial show, dropping references like Skinny Puppy, Peel Sessions and the Village Voice. The specificity of his lyricism combines well with dreamier than typical production as Rock’s rhymes pour out like diary entries that have been neatly cut up and refashioned into perfect cadence. While not as immediately grabbing as its predecessor, 2012’s Skelethon, The Impossible Kid’s heart-on-sleeve detail make it a stronger one.


dvsnSept. 5

Canadian duo dvsn continue the invasion of excellent R&B and hip hop from our northern neighbors. Similarly to Miguel, dvsn make music about sex that manages to be frank and seem fantastical at the same time, without feeling too sticky (hear that, Weeknd?). Meanwhile, the music is a luxurious bed of velvety synths and silky rhythms. Now that we are bereft of the great Purple One, we need guys like dvsn to get us through.

See all of this week's new releases

Relevant Tags

Album Picks (146), New Albums (213), New Releases (214), Brian Eno (20), Aesop Rock (19), Dvsn (2)