Its sound ranges from bouncy pop-rock bordering Bloc Party, to echoey-ambience like Mogwai, and then includes everything in between. Track 5 ‘Forever Ago’ starts out very gentle and melodic making good use of a piano to create a melancholy atmosphere, and then builds into a full-fledged pop-rock-dance track incorporating standouts like a fast paced drum beat, a catchy saxophone hook and a few reverbed vocals. Every track on this album is progressive.
Player Piano was meant to be a collection of “keyboard-based psychedelic girl group songs,” as promised by Hawk. Certainly keyboard-based, the album relies heavily on the instrument to create the abstract sound Memory Tapes is so noted for. He certainly delivers on “Sunhits”, an upbeat, throwback jam, with swirling guitars, summery keys, and flashy synths.
No review for this one. A somewhat discordant and eclectic start mellows into short, sweet, twee songs. Spangly production – the tracks sparkle out of the speakers with just a hint of background grit. Progressing joyfully through the album we encounter twangy guitars and pounding, energetic drums. Frequently taking breaks and going on segues, this would be a fun album to clean your bathroom to, if you really, really hate cleaning your bathroom, and use orange scented cleaner, and want to feel really good about yourself afterwards.
Heard from one angle, Woon is the sort of singer-songwriter that record companies love to turn into James Morrison. His mother was a session singer; Woon went to the Brit school. His voice is soulful; there’s Youtube footage of Woon in years past, playing guitar quite conventionally. If it didn’t start with the sound of a carbonated drink being poured into a glass, or bump along on little shards of digital ice, “Middle” could be a perfectly middling soul-pop hit. “I can’t get enough of your love,” Woon purrs smoothly, sweeping up a listenership who find his fellow-traveller James Blake too austere.
Invites you to listen either on a November day when you want to feel that cool air against your face, or a summer road-trip south on California’s Highway One. Do not be turned off by the more abstract lyrics and titles. Eureka is accessible; you will like it for the catchy, gentle melodies, the dreaminess instead of dreariness found in even the most melancholy of songs on the album, the male-female vocal combination, and the right arrangement of drums, keyboard, bass, and guitar throughout.
It’s not so surprising the Rural Alberta Advantage are creating this kind of buzz given the Elephant 6 in the room—the aesthetic similarities to indie-BFF Neutral Milk Hotel are more than conspicuous, and put the band squarely in Rock Plaza Central OMG! NMH-revivalist territory. In fact, it’s curious that so few reviews have noted the stylistic overlap between the two Toronto buzz bands, particularly given the similarity between Rock Plaza Central’s lead warbler Chris Eaton and the Rural Alberta Advantage’s own Nils Edenloff. And like Rock Plaza Central’s terrific Are We Not Horses? (2006), Hometowns‘s juxtaposition of country twang and abrasive bombast—mixed in with the ideas of other Neutral Milk Hotel-revivalists like Beirut and Okkervil River—will certainly satisfy any desires you have for more of the same.
If Mogwai hadn’t been inching toward experimental metal before, it is now. There still are uplifting hints of indie slow pop lurking around its seventh studio album, “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will,” the sort of requisite sounds one hears when watching TV dramas about football-playing teenagers in Texas or Prius commercials directed during the Obama campaign, but there are also brief glimpses of ’70s sludge — and it is refreshingly wonderful. As an instrumental band, it would only make sense that Mogwai would arrive here eventually. There is only so much strumming and twinkling an outfit can do before its needs to axe it up or fuzz it out.
Daniel David Allen posted a series of very relaxing videos showing a train ride from Schaumburg to Union Station in Chicago from multiple angles. Daniel writes in the video description and subsequent comments that he was in a front-facing caboose and used his phone propped on a window ledge to take the videos. Each video/angle has different accompanying music.
Schaumburg to Western Ave (facing forwards)
Western Ave to Union Station (facing forwards), my favorite
Like its predecessor, Zonoscope strings together a dizzying array of electronic textures and nocturnal rhythms meant to get the bodies moving. This time around though, things feel even more ethereal and ambient, no doubt the result of the band’s deliberate move to engage in more open-ended improvisations and extended jams. Cut Copy has always excelled at injecting some zeal into a genre filled with sterile and soulless repetition, and their latest collection of songs takes an even more organic approach with a swarm of percussion instruments that include roto-toms, congas, and bongos.
Antoine Dufour – Hide and Seek (Imogen Heap cover)
I had high expectations of this cover of a song I consider quite high-quality and thus fairly un-cover-able. My expectations were very well-met by this solo. The note-bending is something I’ve never seen/heard on an acoustic guitar before and is one of the most impressive parts of this piece.