Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Week That Was #15: Summer Special

Vacation kicked off in full force over the last week, and I'd like to think that my music consumption expanded as a result. Although there's still a staggering about of new albums coming out in the next few months, including from some from my favorite artists, I've become attached to a few new releases already. Enjoy!

Remember when I talked about missing a band that I didn't know I liked? Well, Fields definitely fits that bill, although I would have been pretty willing to see them open for Blonde Redhead last week had that show not sold out. To add a bit of salt to my wounds, the band is playing at Union Hall and the Mercury Lounge this weekend, and my attendance is uncertain at best. Anyways, I'm not quite sure where to categorize them, which is probably why I like them so much. They're kinda folky at times, with the occasional electronic flourish, but above all a really good indie rock group (despite being affiliated with Atlantic). Expect a exhaustive review of their full length, Everything Last Winter, in the near future, but for now, enjoy one of my favorite cuts from their EP, 7 From The Village.

MP3: Fields - Brittlesticks
Buy: Here

Apparat just released a new album, entitled Walls. Although we already know he's a master of glitchy IDM, he's taken the vocals to a whole new level. As much as I adore Orchestra of Bubbles, Apparat's guests on this album exude a far more organic vibe, which is refreshing. "Hailin From The Edge" features the groovy falsetto, backed by tribal chanting and whispered repetition of the title line, making for some of the most accessible, enjoyable electronic music that I've ever heard.

MP3: Apparat - Hailin From The Edge
Buy: Here

I've actually had Cranes' Future Songs for a while, but haven't really given it much of a chance before this week. "Fragile" remains a standout, and it's pretty much the first thing that comes to mind when describing the band's sound. Singer Alison Shaw's child-like vocals float around a languid atmosphere, and while it's not a particularly exemplary of songwriting skill, there's much to be said about sustaining a mood.

MP3: Cranes - Fragile
MP3: Cranes - Fragile (Remix)
Buy: Here

Single Gun Theory is Australian, and Jacqui Hunt's tonally pleasing vocals might somehow be linked to their geography. Sure, it's nothing too groundbreaking, with its downtempo beats, suitably dramatic sampling, and general pretty singing, but it's a style that greatly appeals to me. I've only given the full album one semi-conscientious listen, but I have been spinning this track a few times, and enjoying it.

MP3: Single Gun Theory - I've Been Dying
Buy: Here

I'm kind of late to the party on this one. PB&J have been lighting up the blogosphere, as well as playing a slew of New York dates, over the past few months. This success is understandable after hearing this breezy, infectious track, with it's distinctive whistling. Sweden really is a gold mine for pop music of all sorts these days, and this is one of the more memorable tracks, even in such a saturated environment. But you already knew that, right?

MP3: Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks
Buy: Here

When I read about Jesu's Justin Broadrick and his seemingly noisy background, I was a little apprehensive about checking out his latest project. I expected something exceedingly loud and post-rocky, with little to hang my pop leanings on. Thus, I was completely disarmed by this track, with its effortless vocal hook and downright pretty guitar effects. The rest of the album isn't nearly as accessible, but with this fantastic track, Jesu proves that poppy shoegazing is alive and well.

MP3: Jesu - Conquerer
Buy: Here

Starting off with an immediate 4/4 beat, and quickly moving to a dirty bass line and sassy female vocalist, Shiny Toy Guns' "Le Disko" probably resembles more than a few dance punk acts. I'm not completely enamored with the band, and I find Gregori Petree's vocals (which show up only sporadically on this track) to be a little off-putting, but when this track breaks into a somewhat floaty interlude, I do realize that there's more to them than wicked synth lines (which are present, as well). It's reasonably interesting.

MP3: Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko
Buy: Here

I got into this song through Morr Music's Blue Skied An' Clear compilation, and while that album is a collection of Slowdive covers, this track just screams (shreds, even) MBV. Through Guitar, Michael Lückner really relies his namesake, chopped up as it may be, but pretty-if-simple lyrics from Regina Janssen of Donna Regina take it to another level. Conveniently enough, Guitar's fifth full length, Dealin With Signal And Noise, just came out.

MP3: Guitar - House Full Of Time
Buy: Here


rgsc said...

It is interesting to see Single Gun Theory on your list. I picked up that album a few years ago because of the Delerium connection (which I can't recall exactly what that is now - both on nettwerk?). Its alright - certainly no Delerium - but I found myself kinda bored with it quite quickly. Not bad to have come up on shuffle but I don't sit down and listen to it front to back anymore.

Oh, and the link to the Jesu mp3 is leading to the wikipedia site (just listened to the Jesu remix from the Explosions in the Sky remix disc - its fantastic, you should check it out if you haven't already)

Roland said...

Oops, sorry about that; Jesu should be working now. Thanks for the thoughts!

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