Find out what the CL Music Team is jamming to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.
Shae - Electrelane, The Power Out (2011)
In a never-ending quest to find more female-fronted bands to listen to, I've come across the British all-female act Electrelane. This Monday, I'm listening to their second album, The Power Out. Electrelane sounds like the musical lovechild of Carissa's Weird, The Raincoats and at least half of the K Records roster. The Power Out offers an eclectic assortment of sounds, with songs sung in French and Spanish, instrumentals, an a capella choir and a saxophone. If this sounds sort of disjointed, it's not: the album is anchored by poppy, dueling guitars and Verity Susman's doughy vocals. Check out "Love Builds Up" after the jump along with the rest of this week's entries...
Deborah - Frank Ocean, Nostalgia, Ultra (2011)
I'm extremely late to the Frank Ocean craze and been catching up with a vicious vengeance, listening to the man pretty much exclusively for the past two weeks. Though I gave last year's much-lauded Channel Orange quite a bit of ear time, Nostalgia, Ultra is by far the preferred object of my obsession. I start every morning hitting play on "Strawberry Swing" (a Coldplay cover that's lyrically nothing like the original), and more often than not end up playing the album clear through - which is extremely unusual given my typical musical ADHD. Ocean's subtle lyrics and smooth delivery are deliciously addictive, flowing seamlessly through other covers (The Eagles' "Hotel California" and MGMT's "Electric Feel") as well as completely original tracks. I can't even pick a favorite; some days it's "Lovecrimes," recorded over Nicole Kidman's monologue from "Eyes Wide Shut"; others it's "Novacane," and its strangely sexy lyrics that intertwine emotional numbness and complete infatuation.
For everyone else who's been paying attention as I've snoozed, here's a tasty little tidbit you may not have heard yet - an unreleased track from Channel Orange, "Eyes Like Sky." Acoustic guitars aplenty, but still those same smooth vocals I can't get enough of.
The whole thing clocks in at well under an hour, and while it has been on repeat for the better part of five hours now, all of its blips, synth-swaths, and hidden samples are still begging to be heard through studio headphones, hi-fi stereo systems, taken on a run, and slept with over and over and again. Right now, Bughouse doesn’t want to leave me alone, and I’m not going to let it. "Mute" below.
Buke and Gase is an experimental rock outfit with punk raucous tendencies, its two musicians performing on their own self-made instruments - Aron Sanchez wields a guitar-bass hybrid or "gase," while vocalist Arone Dyer plays a six-string made from a baritone ukulele, a "buke." Their second full-length was issued on The National's artist-run indie label, Brassland, and it's full of driving, fuzzy grind marked by Arone's sneering girlish vocals. Erin McKeown is an alt folk multi-instrumentalist with a deeper breathy delivery who first caught my attention with her anti-holiday album, F*ck That. She's political, but in a pleasant, non-confrontational way, like in “Baghdad To The Bayou,” a New Orleans-flavored rambler co-written via text message with longtime friend Rachel Maddow, or “The Jailer,” a brassy bright, jumping percussive number about border politics. Another alt folk artist, charming Brooklyn-based troubadour Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, has a big velvety voice that soars over stripped-down instrumentals or heavier rocking odes. (Video for "The Nothing Part II" below.) And PVT is dark, psychedelic electro-pop from London. Still not sure how I feel about any of them beyond the initial piqued interest, so guess I'll be spinning them all again...