>Recency Under Review – Tuesday, March 08, 2011Posted: March 9, 2011
>All 7 of these albums were released yesterday, March 08, 2011.
AUTHOR’S TOP PICK: Wye Oak – Civilian
I saw this band live back in August, 2010. I loved the stage presence of their attitudes; so thick that they have a physicality, so tender it can be touched by anyone, and it touches back. They long to play their instruments, they mourn in front of you, they wail their tools as part of their dollar trade. Please buy this album below to support this touring band. Also, check them out at SXSW 2011. STANDOUT TRACK: Holy Holy – this song’s physical texture is warm and inviting, yet detached enough to impress, while raw enough to evoke many emotions. I love this type of droning rock and roll.
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX – We’re New Here
A small revolt is outside your front door. This album mixes toro y moi’s up-and-down frequencies on the volumizer. It also includes smooth beats and synthetic, very busy / very minimalistic. The music contains many opposites and fascinates me regardless of its classicism. I hope these concepts stick around a minute in indie music. Thank God Scott-Heron is finally “be[ing] televised” on the internet. STANDOUT TRACK: NY Is Killing Me has groovy, masculine vocals with slick production from Jamie XX; this is a hit.
Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
Oh melodious Mr. Vile, gracias for this new music which we’re about to ingest like bile. Thank you for providing interesting lyrics, droning yet nostalgic vocals, and a simple but unique acoustic guitar sound, also somewhat droning. What more can I say? I just became a big fan yesterday. STANDOUT TRACK: Try all three. Trust me. They’re each individual songs in their own beautiful ways. If I had to pick one though, try Ghost Town – beautiful, stripped down sounding something like a ghost from your more youthful days, say an old childhood friend who had died; that came back from the grave and decided to visit. No wonder they call it Ghost Town, yeah?
Cut Copy – Zonoscope
I must have blinked as this band fad-ed by. Many man was once a fan until the style once grand later became bland. They may have done something new back then, but they’re sticking to it. Nonetheless, if you want solid background music that does not demand too much attention, intrigue, or though, then listen to his album all the way the fuck through.
R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now
The band has so many sore spots on this album I would say it is too stained for these tracks to save it. However, these sweet spots hit a rhythm unlike their classics in the absence of any epic style, but more like a band that has a few more songs in them. Was it enough to warrant an entire album? No. Despite the band having so many completist fans, someone should introduce R.E.M. to the concept of an EP.
Alexi Murdoch – Towards The Sun
I’ve been watching him for years now. The production looks something like grass or old paint. Nonetheless, Mr. Murdoch, quite the veteran, has made what I’ll call his best album to date. These songs are much fresher than his mid-notties days, when it was more bland. Sure, the lyrics lack depth, and the instrumentation is far from challenging; nonetheless, this guy makes a great, simple, honest folk song. I forgot what he was good at. I’m glad this album reminded me so I don’t have to leave a dick review about the guy. STANDOUT TRACK: At Your Door
Grails – Deep Politics
Here I see some interesting intrumentals. All The Colors of the Dark has a catchy, snappy beat. Try that if you like hip-hop beats but want to stick to a near-Devotchka feel on the multitude of organic instruments. None of these songs feel stale. Thank god for new music like this. I’m now won over as a fan as of three hours ago. STANDOUT TRACK: Deep Politics – the title track begins with a swooning piano introduction, until the string section swells and breaks out into an electric guitar. This sets the stage for the band to slice your throat around the 2:38 mark.