The Ghost of a Good Thing Yes That Is a Reference to Dashboard Confessional
Sam Beam’s latest Iron & Wine production is different, but it’s still money. Ghost on Ghost exhibits a strong stylistic shift towards New Orleans-y jazz and reminds me a bit of Feist’s Metals. Beam’s same signature croon and songwriting chops are at highest visibility on every track here, but there’s a brass instrument for every cryptic lyric this time around.
Tall, Gawk and Trance-some
By Eric Webb
Shoot. I don’t even know what to say. James Blake has broken my word hole.
You know that thing that writers do when they aren’t smart enough to deftly craft complete sentences, so instead they pump out a string of adjectives to appear concise and perceptive? No? Me neither.
Blake’s second album, Overgrown, is rare. Sumptuous. Rich. Narcotic. Phantasmagoric. I didn’t make that word up, but I also threw up in my mouth right after I typed it. As far as electronic music goes, James Blake is the perfect remedy for the tackiness often found in bleepy-bloopy music (what with your ACIVIIs or whatever), as well as a fascinating counterpoint to even the best dance pop. Overgrown displays an ear for textures reminiscent of The xx, fused with a Robin-Thicke-meets-Justin-Vernon vocal style — far more soulful a sound than should come out of that skinny boy’s mouth. I’m 24 too and my voice doesn’t contain the hollow pain of a thousand years of heartache, so one of us is doing something wrong, I guess. Continue reading
This Is an Album by the Band Dawes
There’s an episode of This American Life that investigates the idea of “imitation calamari,” a less-than-savory alternative to the popular fried squid appetizer that’s purportedly being passed off as the real thing in restaurants across America (warning: gross). Of course, Eric told me about this rumored phenomenon right after we had finished a big ol’ plate of calamari (my first experience with the stuff) at Olive Garden.
Subtlety Is A Superpower
By Eric Webb
Telekinesis is a golden retriever. Singer-mastermind Michael Benjamin Lerner doesn’t want much from you. He just wants to you to throw the metaphorical stick of approval, and he will return with his no-frills Seattle emo-tinged power-pop. Or a dead bird. My family’s golden retriever would bring back dead birds a lot. Continue reading
IO Echo’s debut album, Ministry of Love, is good. But it’s not very good. It’s a frustrating listen, because it reaches some exhilarating highs but draws up a sort of middling compromise between shoegaze and dark alt-pop in between. Unfortunately, it’s a compromise that renders the album wispy and unsubstantial as a whole instead of channeling the strengths of those elements.
It is a day for summery music, and also for unadulterated fun. These songs come with a money back guarantee.
Hard Core Parkour!
There’s been a swell in productive output from the “pop-punk-meets-melodic-hardcore” genre in recent years. Bands range from the more pop-punk (Fireworks, Transit) to the more hardcore (Set Your Goals, Title Fight, Such Gold). 2013 is shaping up to be a huge year for the genre, with Transit, Man Overboard, The Wonder Years, and The Story So Far all having put out an album or due to put one out. The last of these have one of my favorite pop-punk albums in quite some time with their sophomore LP, What You Don’t See.