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Album Picks: Marissa Nadler, Methyl Ethel

Posted by Billy Gil, May 20, 2016 08:53am | Post a Comment

Marissa NadlerStrangers

Marissa Nadler’s latest is one of her best yet, adding a little warmth to her haunting rendition of goth-Americana. Whether she’s playing vague with evocative line, as in “Divers of the Dust” (“the waves were screaming/city streets/you look out the window to see/seven lines of stunted trees”), or singing directly, as in “Katie I Know” (“it’s hard to know when to let go/cause I can bury this heart of mine”), Nadler’s words and voice cut deep. Musically, Strangers is a blend of old and new sounds, but the mixture works. “Hungry Is the Ghost” effuses spectral beauty, with slowcore guitars and swelling cosmic sounds, balancing out a song like “Skyscraper,” which is full of spare acoustics and medieval flutes. Though the feel is wintry as per her usual style, “All the Colours of the Dark” is actually one of the sweetest sounding songs Nadler has put to tape, full of genteel fingerpicking, Southern sounding strings and layered organ and piano. Wading through the album’s melancholia, which is pleasurable in its own way, it gives way to the sighing steel guitars of the title track, as well as perhaps her best song yet, “Janie in Love,” in which her swooping, birdsong voice calls out in shudder-inducing beauty, “you’re a natural disaster, and I am watching you blow up everything, you touch and the earth will crumble.” Though bleak, Nadler’s previous albums have never been short of stunning. This time, the music offers not just commiseration but light at the end of the tunnel.

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Radiohead's 'A Moon Shaped Pool' Out June 17, Up for Preorder

Posted by Billy Gil, May 9, 2016 10:47am | Post a Comment

Radiohead recently revealed a couple of new songs and then promptly dropped information on the release of their ninth album, A Moon Shaped Pool, which will come out June 17 on LP, limited color vinyl and CD. You can preorder from Amoeba now.

Here's a breakdown of what recently went down in the world of Radiohead. First, the band deleted its online presence May 1, leading to speculation about a new album. Then, May 3, the band released a new single and stop-motion animation video, "Burn the Witch," which you can watch below. Then, May 6, the band released another video, from The Master director Paul Thomas Anderson, for the song "Daydreaming." Both songs feature a symphonic sound more in line with guitarist Jonny Greenwood's recent soundtrack work and less like the more digital sound found on the last Radiohead album, The King of Limbs, as well as Thom Yorke's solo work and supergroup project, Atoms for Peace. Then the album was released digitally over this past weekend, and the band announced details for the physical album, which brings us up to speed.

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Album Picks: ANOHNI, Beyonce, Drake, Julianna Barwick

Posted by Billy Gil, May 6, 2016 11:32am | Post a Comment

ANOHNI - Hopelessness

Just as the artist formerly known as Antony has chosen to go by the name ANOHNI in her personal and professional life, Hopelessness, her debut sans the Johnsons, dramatically refashions the artist’s sound world. With production by Oneohtrix Point Never and Hudson Mohawke, ANOHNI takes her socially conscious lyrics to the world of experimental synth-pop. Read more here.

 

BeyonceLemonade

On her bold new album, Beyonce takes on the image of the wounded lover and owns it while continuing to make heartfelt, intelligent pop music of the highest order. As her previous, self-titled album was a vibrant ode to fidelity, Lemonade represents the other side of relationships. Read more here.

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Drake's 'VIEWS' Coming May 6, Up for Preorder Now

Posted by Billy Gil, April 29, 2016 02:46pm | Post a Comment

On the same day, we’ll get two blockbuster albums: Beyonce’s Lemonade and Drake’s VIEWS, which is finally coming out May 6 after nearly two years of announcements regarding the album.

The album features production by Kanye West, Noah "40" Shebib, Boi-1da, Nineteen85 and others. Future, Rihanna, dvsn and others make guest appearances.

The tracklist is below. It includes one of the biggest hits of recent memory, “Hotline Bling,” plus recently leaked song “Controlla.”

1. Keep The Family Close
2. 9
3. U With Me?
4. Feel No Ways
5. Hype
6. Weston Road Flows
7. Redemption
8. With You (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR)
9. Faithful (feat. Pimp C and dvsn)
10. Still Here
11. Controlla
12. One Dance (feat. WIZKID and Kyla)
13. Grammys (feat. Future)
14. Childs Play
15. Pop Style
16. Too Good (feat. Rihanna)
17. Summers Over Interlude
18. Fire & Desire
19. Views
20. Hotline Bling

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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.

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