The summer return of Music Monday! Find out what the CL Music Team is jamming to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.
Gabe - Willy Moon, Here’s Willy Moon (Universal Island Records, 2013) Been digging the debut album from 23-year-old New Zealander Willy Moon this week. Willy is quite an anomaly; at first glace he resembles a Crispin Glover-lookalike/David Lynch film actor. Musically, it gets a little stranger...on first listen, it almost seems as if his primary inspirations are Nick Cave and Justin Timberlake. Mr. Moon effortlessly switches from dark readings of blues covers (“Shakin’,” “I Put a Spell On You”) to straight-up thumping dance-pop. The 12-song album clocks in at just under a half-hour and never loses any steam or momentum. Moon caught the eye of Jack White, who in turn put two of Moon’s tracks to wax and released a vinyl 45 on his own Third Man record label. I have a feeling Willy Moon will be grabbing lots more attention in the near future thanks to his unique look, his indescribable music style (or styles) and his complete and utter disregard for convention. Check out first single "Yeah Yeah" after the jump along with the rest of this week's entries.
Shae - Brass Bed, Melt White (2010) The Lafayette, La. band, Brass Bed, describes themselves as a "louder version of the Beatles." Offering self-styled comparisons to one of the most popular bands ever may seem like undue bravado, but I've got to admit: I like Brass Bed more than I like the Beatles. I'd compare them to Modest Mouse at their most radio-friendly along with Okkervil River, to the point where the songs on Melt White sounded familiar the first time I listened to them. Brass Bed do that indie-pseudo-surf-pop-with-a-liberal-dose-of-whimsy thing, but they do it so well that I keep hitting repeat. Even if the music itself isn't ground-breaking, it's quite enjoyable. Video for "Begs Me Not to Beg" below.
Colin - Sunn O))), Monoliths & Dimensions (2009) There's doom metal and then there's Sunn O))). Slow sludgy riffs and the menacing bark of an obscured frontman are the bread and butter of a whole host of post-Sabbath riffers, but Sunn O))) — the Seattle-born and now multinational collaboration between Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson — manages to be both sludgier and more menacing than any of their forerunners. Much was made of the massive scope of 2009's Monoliths & Dimensions, which took nearly three dozen collaborators (not the least of which was longtime live vocalist Attila Csihar, of the Black Metal godheads Mayhem) to construct its four tracks. But despite the grandiosity suggested by the album title and by, well, having so many cooks in the kitchen, Monoliths & Dimensions manages to be most compelling (and intimidating) in its smaller moments. Csihar's shuddering entry to "Aghartha" and the slow waver of the choir led by Kenney stand out as just a couple of the many moments that give this record both its immense power and intricate construction. So if you're feeling a need to be bummed out, startled, and/or flat out terrified, the wall-rattling drones on Monoliths & Dimensions function as a compelling entry point to a duo who deal more articulately in those feelings than most. Be careful, though. It's easy to get caught up in the widescreen nature of it all, but with Sunn O))), the devil is really and truly in the details.
Deborah - Yo La Tengo, Fade (2013) Sometimes it's so comforting to wrap your ears around something familiar and let the calm sink over you. Putting on an older Yo La Tengo album always gives me that sense of security, but many of the newer releases have been a bit of a disappointment. Sure, there's always one or two songs I really love, but in the midst of a lot of drawn-out, somewhat forgettable, experimental fluff. Fade is a return to the sound I adore; a tight, cohesive release full of ear-pleasing joy. "Is That Enough" is one of the loveliest love songs Ira has sang in a while, and Georgia's voice is delicate and soothing as ever on "Cornelia and Jane" (audio below). I'll be playing this one over and over, straight through, for a while to come.
Leilani - Big K.R.I.T., King Remembered in Time (2013) I've been jamming alot of hip hop lately and my music peeps turned me onto this Mississippi rap artist and producer, Big K.R.I.T., real name Justin Scott. His production is soulful and at the same time beat-driven with just the right amount of crunk to make you wanna shake it, his flow is tight, quick and cadenced, his observations are thoughtful and earnest, and topics include anything how he copes when things get tough ("Meditate"), to enjoying the rise of his star and dealing with all the inevitable haters ("Shine On," "Talkin' 'Bout Nothin'"), to getting relationship serious with Ashton Jones in an upbeat disco funky duet ("Go Good Together"). He's the sort of artist who slings bravado in a way that seems far from self-important - in fact, you get to feeling that the dude deserves to give himself a pat on the back. Click here to download your own copy; listen to "REM" below.