Monday, April 29, 2013

#MusicMonday 90: Johnny Marr, The Neighbourhood, Julia Brown & more

What the CL team is jamming this week, audio & video included

Posted by , , , and on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Find out what the CL Music Team is jamming to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.

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Joel - The Neighbourhood, I Love You (2013)
I would love nothing more than to sit at my desk with I Love You on repeat all day. Alas, I have to actually get some work done at some point. Only the popular singles “Sweater Weather” and “Female Robbery” are held over from the teaser EP I’m Sorry… released last fall. On first impression — and I’m writing this literally after my very first listen — dark, slinky, sexy grooves fill this album from start to finish. I love it. Because I Love You is something of a moody, bedroom record, I expect some sameness to reveal itself once we’re better acquainted. But right now, it’s the best album of 2013 so far. "Sweater Weather" video after the jump, along with the rest of this week's entries...

Deborah - Flume, Flume (2012,)
I'm loving how fantastically schizo this release on Future Classic is - several tracks are simultaneously glitchy and hip-hoppy, others filled with slinky R&B, and just a bit of ambient electronica thrown in to truly confuse. A plethora of contributing vocalists are distorted and chopped into oblivion, then reconstructed and layered over alternately creeping and danceable beats. Add in drops that drip with synths, spacey chipmunk-y effects, and occasional bursts of bass, and it's no wonder I'm having trouble picking a favorite track. Below, check out "Sleepless," a huge hit in this 21-year-old's native Australia.

Shae - The Blue Hit, Move In (2009)
A three-piece band from Austin consisting of acoustic guitar, cello and vocals, The Blue Hit play music that is part Americana, part jazz, part calliope. It's more driving than the average music-sans-drums and chanteuse Rose Park offers up lyrics so quirky they give Regina Spektor a run for her money. Video of their song "Africa" below.

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Gabe - Johnny Marr, The Messenger (2012) Sire Records
Ex-lead guitarist of legendary British outfit The Smiths steps out on his own for his first proper solo album. The results? Pretty damn impressive. Marr has moonlighted with other bands since the Smiths' demise in the late 1980's but on this release, he really gets to shine. His vocals are strong and impassioned and his guitar work is sparkling, as always. He covers a lot of ground here; the album is a pastiche of Brip Pop from the last couple of decades. I hear the influences of Teardrop Explodes, Stone Roses and Blur in the mix but Marr puts his own stamp on all the cuts of this fine album. Morrissey purists might shun this release but do yourself a favor and give Marr's record a spin or two.

Colin - Julia Brown, To Be Close to You (2013)
Over the past several years Baltimore's Sam Ray has quietly turned his bedroom into a prolific recording empire. Between the narcotized ambient excursions of Heroin Party and Ricky Eat Acid, he's made time for pop songs via the nihilo emo of Teen Suicide and now in the sunnier realms of his newest project, Julia Brown. Recorded around the time of Teen Suicide's dissolution on a boombox with former Teen Suicide bassist Alec Simke and new drummer John Toohey, the trio's debut record is an opiate-addled tapestry of early K Records sonics and the hooky indie pop instincts of bands like Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. While To Be Close To You's trashed sonics might be a turnoff for some, Ray and company have a knack for turning the tape hiss and warble into an instrument on itself. "I Was My Own Favorite TV Show The Summer My TV Broke" masks the voices of Ray and frequent collaborator Caroline White in a swath of noise before the acoustic guitar balladry gives way to a bleary haze of nauseatingly beautiful string parts. This song, and this little record, are a perfect reminder that songs that strip away the veil of studio trickery can even more easily and honestly reveal their warped and beautiful backbones. "How I Spent my Summer" below.

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