Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Week That Was #11: Changeling

2007 really seems to be hitting its stride as far as new releases go. While I'm still not as on top of things as I'd ideally like be, there have been a number of new releases that I've taken to, as well as the continual process of exploring older works. Of course, old favorites are still very much in force, but that's why they're favorites. Incidentally, I've got a feature on Mahogany in today's Washington Square News, and I may end up putting up a full transcription of the interview around Thursday, when they play at the Mercury Lounge with Land of Talk. (Vampire Weekend, too!) But anyhow, onward with new tunes, enjoy!

I discussed CocoRosie just recently, and the album has leaked. The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn is about as weird as I expected, but it also features sublime moments, such as this track. It actually opens with the familiar spoken word sample, similar to "Tekno Love Song," and then develops with Bianca's pseudo-rap and sparse percussion, finally culminating with a glorious hook courtesy of Sierra's operatic vocals. CocoRosie plays at Warsaw on April 20th, and I do believe I shall attend.

MP3: CocoRosie - Werewolf
Buy: Here

When your album is boldly proclaimed "Best New Music" by Pitchfork, it's reasonable to assume that you'll receive some listens. While I expected something pensive, ambient and generally in line with whatever I thought Pitchfork-approved electronica was from the Field, I was wrong. This is incredibly upbeat and deceptively simple stuff, essentially endless looping, but very appealing. I'm not sure if it warrants such a high mark, but it is definitely one of the best (and dare I say, sublime) electronic albums I've had the pleasure of experiencing.

MP3: The Field - Little Heart Beats So Fast
Buy: Here

I got into these guys (and gal) through recommendations from my friends at Pretentious Prattle and Musicality - two bloggers can't be wrong! Despite the name, the Manhattan Love Suicide hails from the UK, continuing that great tradition of fuzz. What really distinguishes them is the sassy, Lushesque vocals, giving some immediacy to what's often a vague style. After an appearance at SXSW, the band seems to be playing some dates in their hometown, Leeds, and London this month, and hopefully they'll be visiting their namesake soon.

MP3: The Manhattan Love Suicides - Kick It Back
MP3: The Manhattan Love Suicides - Suzy Jones
Buy: Here

Okay, I have to admit that I was taken in with the whole supposed Interpol leak last week. Despite some agreement with a friend (whom I now owe a chocolate bar), I was pretty convinced that it was Interpol, strange vocals aside. It turns out I was listening to the new album from Cut City, who originate from Sweden. While Interpol is a very clear comparison, I think the band rocks out in its own right. In retrospect, it is pretty amusing that the track "Manoeuvres" was changed to "The Heimlich Manoeuvre" to conform with the rumored Interpol track list; that's dedication.

MP3: Cut City - Like Ashes, Like Millions
MP3: Cut City - Anticipation
Buy: Here

My first encounter with Tracey Thorn's lovely voice on Massive Attack's "Protection" was instant gratification. Regrettably, the only other work I had heard from her is Walking Wounded, a critically acclaimed album from Tracey and her partner, Ben Watt, aka Everything But The Girl. So when I saw that Tracey had a solo album coming out in the spring, it was definitely one of my more anticipated releases. She's really a master of transitioning seamlessly from singer-songwriter balladry to more dance floor-friendly electropop, often within the same track. Hopefully, this will motivate me to check out the rest of her work.

MP3: Massive Attack - Protection (ft. Tracey Thorn)
MP3: Tracey Thorn - Falling Off A Log
Buy: Here

Pitchfork-approved Patrick Wolf is one talented guy. Despite being only 23, He's just released his third album, The Magic Position, a winsome concoction of strings (Wolf plays violin), electronic elements, and Wolf's voice, which - and I could be completely off here - sounds like a smooth fusion of Jarvis Cocker and Bright Eyes. Here are the first two tracks off that release. If you can't make the Mahogany show, Wolf's playing a free show at the Hiro Ballroom on Thursday, then Studio B on Friday (ever get the feeling we're kinda spoiled here?), and then he's touring Europe for the rest of the month.

MP3: Patrick Wolf - Overture
MP3: Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
Buy: Here

It was a bit of a convoluted path to One Dove (not to be confused with Doves). I was a bit curious as to who was singing some of those songs on that recent Massive Attack set, and a quick Google search suggests it was Dot Allison, who joined the band on tour during that year. She was also in One Dove, who released this one album. Despite a glowing review from AMG, I haven't totally warmed up to it, but perhaps it will grow on me.

MP3: One Dove - Breakdown
Buy: Here


Christy said...

Chocolate is good for the soul. You should disagree with me more often.

Anonymous said...

Dot Allison's solo stuff is pretty good. I bought "Afterglow" a while back and like the ambient/electronic feel of it. I think it would fit right it with your tastes. My only critique is that some of her songs feel a bit too long, especially the otherwise-lovely "Morning Sun."

beketaten said...

They were definitely an underratedly genius band.

Thank goodness Dot is still going at it.

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