This time tomorrow I will be headed to the other side of the world. Not sure how long it will be before I settle back down into the music blogging mode. If you’re interested though check out my adventure at sokoandlime.com
Take care, take care, take care by Explosions in the sky
Am I the only one that finds it difficult to sit down and listen to an hour of instrumental guitar music in one sitting? And thats not to bash this album or Explosions in the Sky in general. As far as lengthy instrumental guitar music goes, this is pretty damn good. I just always feel like I’m waiting for something that never arrives. Anyways, this album is basically the same thing Explosions in the Sky has done throughout their career. It’s well composed ‘post-rock’ that does a really great job of conveying intense emotions. It’s the type of music that is easy to make up a story for. Probably the most ‘cinematic’ album that I’ve listened to this year. Not surprising considering how stellar the band’s work was on the “Friday Night Lights” soundtrack years ago. In short though, unless I’m making a movie or feeling really emotionally scattered I’m not sure when I’m gonna listen to this again.
A collection of music this ‘sweet’ and ‘kewt’ just shouldn’t have the right to be any good, but for some reason I completely diggin’ this one. Maybe it’s just because it’s spring and the weather is warming up and I’m in a particularly good and unsnarky mood these days. Maybe, it’s because Acid House Kings harvest a nice collection of retro influences to keep it classy. Maybe though, it’s just that these guys know how to effing play pop music. The whole thing is really a clinic in all things sugary sweet. “Would You Say Stop?” is the type of track that will have just about anyone boppin around innocently in no time. Then there is “(I’m in) a Chorus Line” which is an absurdly catchy song that has the instrumental feel of a particularly bouncy Jens Lekman tune. Overall you might get the musical equivelant to a cavity, but it’s probably really worth it.
The cave singers, more so than almost any other band, have a way of making me feel comfortable and at ease. Maybe it’s lead singer Pete Quirk’s way of crawling through the lyrics with his trademark grainy voice. Maybe it’s the relative simplicity of the key elements of their songs. Whatever it is, it gets me. “No Witch” has a rustic, but not at all antiquated quality that is hard to pin point. It’s the type of music that the band seems to feel so at ease making that at times it feels like Quirk is just improvising the verses. In general, The Cave Singers keep things pretty low key, but their are enough exuberant and rowdy numbers to avoid any sort of monotony. Every once in a while a record comes along that just ‘fits’ with me. This is one of those records.
This is another one of those semi-dubstep / hipster pseudo-R&B type deals. And I can’t say that I’m a big fan. It is however significantly better than that James Blake album in my eyes because it does actually sound like music as opposed to a broken 80’s cassette player. Also, Woon can really sing (even without the help of autotune). In general though I just found this record undeniably boring. It doesn’t even have the raw sex appeal of that album by ‘The Weeknd’. The only track worth mentioning was “Night Air”, a quiet to loud gem that’s carried by Woon’s smooth vocals and is just way cooler than anything else on the album.
It’s amazing how a band that formed in 1976 can still sound so relevant today. Forget ‘indie-dads’ these guys are ‘indie-grandparents’. I’m not completely sure if The Feelies are ‘timeless’ or if they just have adapted really well. Although, I’m leaning towards a conclusion that is closer to the former. I think I feel the same way about them as I do REM. It’s like their sound is timelessly ‘un-hip’, in the best sort of way. They are the sort of band that has never given any sort of mention or nod to what is trendy in the industry during their 4o some years of making music. “Here Before” is for the most part a remarkable combination of meticulously layered guitar, and Glenn Mercer’s trademark soulful buzz of a voice. ‘Grace’ and ‘class’ are two words that come to mind while listening to this one.
A Part of Something Bigger by The Eclectic Moniker
If tropical electro isn’t what you instinctively think of when you think of Denmark. Then you are in the same boat as me. Especially if you don’t really think of anything outside of windmills when you think of Denmark. Windmills are Denmark right?… Anyways, “A Part of Something Bigger” is a quick little 4 song ep filled with nothing but warm equatorial breezes and drum machines. The lead track “Easter Island” was almost too much for me to handle. With all the steel drums/marimbas it felt like I was listening to a ‘Sandals’ commercial or watching Weekend at Bernie’s 2 or something. You could say that track was a bit tacky. But I’m glad I stuck with it because the rest of this ep was much more tasteful and much less phony. “A Part of Something Bigger” is full of gentle electronic beats accented by hints of umbrella’d drinks and sunburn. It’s all pretty legit, especially the song “2 officers”.
The Kills keep chuggin’ on with another collection of gritty ‘indie biker chick’ rock songs. I imagine they do pretty well with the ‘Roller Derby’ demographic. “Blood Pressures” is an album that definitely rocks. No doubt about that. It’s just also an album that sits kind of heavy with me. Not in the sense that it dealt with a lot of sad or downtrodden subject matter, but all that ‘tough girl’ (or guy) vibe just starts sit with me the same way that eating too much fried food sits in my stomach. It’s just something I personally can only take in limited quantities. That shouldn’t stop you from giving it a listen if you so desire, and mean mugging anyone in your path.