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Archive for November, 2010

Twin Shadow – Forget out now on 4AD and Terrible

Perfect layering of keys and horns, eerie electronic scratches, low and subdued vocals swelling to an empty street in a busy city; the music of Twin Shadow has a slow-seeping quality that magnifies in the stand-still time between clubbers coming home and people waking up for work. Avoiding melodrama and self-imposed New Wave implications of many bands in the past 10 years, George Lewis Jr. instead draws on a balance of subtlety and intensity to hook listeners. A shower of synthesizers, distant hand-claps popping off like buckshot, vocals rising to an amplified chorus before giving way to a brief calm; Lewis knows how to build drama perfectly, building up songs, turning the sound down and finally concluding with all-out electronic assaults. Forget plays like a cultural melting pot of 80s film and songs like “Boys of Summer” and is a guaranteed repeat listen anywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

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Plants & Animals – La La Land

It’s almost too easy to get the wrong idea about a band based on one song – especially if you only listen to it in passing. Maybe you give a song a go once before you unjustly decide the frail lead vocals and shouting chorus sound way too much like those of Win Butler and his bandmates in the Arcade Fire. Such was the case when listening to “Bye Bye Bye” from Plants & Animals’ Parc Avenue. It’s got the makings of a certain theatrical baroque pop band: loud sing-along chorus, reverberated piano progression, strokes of a lush autoharp and the band, of course, being from Montreal. Unfair, I know. But that’s not to say Plants & Animals are carbon copies of that other loud, theatrical band from Montreal. In fact, upon repeated listens of Parc Avenue and the band’s latest album, La La Land, there’s a revelation of something different, something darker. Read the rest of this entry »

1999: A Tribute to Prince @ the Social, 11/12

However likely it is that Prince’s Welcome 2 America tour will touchdown in Florida, for the time being, a Prince tribute band will have to do. And on Friday night North Carolina’s 1999 paid tribute to His Royal Badness at the Social in downtown Orlando. Read the rest of this entry »

The War on Drugs – Future Weather EP

It’s been a little over a week since Philly’s The War on Drugs released Future Weather by way of Secretly Canadian. Much like the band’s previous releases and even those of guitarist Kurt Vile’s, the War on Drugs’s new EP continues to showcase a very textured, celestial sound that reveals itself to be calm and reflective; nothing new for those already familiar with the band but warm and inviting nonetheless. Underneath the layers of reverb and delay lies an aural meditation; finger-picking jams for the long haul on the highway underneath an emanating red sky; a spiraling guitar suitable for an evening spent lying on the hood of your car. The band, and in particular Vile, has a knack for creating a hazy sound doesn’t whitewash an empty sound. Instead the band plucks just the right chords and, in a similar Bob Dylan manner, stretches and bends just the right vowels.

Future Weather is available on the Secretly Canadian site

Ten

Songs you can reflect to, songs you can break your neck to. There are plenty of albums I enjoy getting lost in and the ones listed here are those that I always come back to; the ones that have spent weeks at the top of my own mental scrobbler. For each album here is a month’s worth of musical rumination, mental disarray and finally some sort of peace. Each has struck an honest chord with me and I’m fairly certain I’ve gone out to buy at least three of these (in the Digital Age, baby!) Read the rest of this entry »