April 25 2014
This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To. It is a secret we pass to you, letting you in on the tapes that we are hyped about this week. These are the songs that we rip to our phones and play at the gym. These are the songs that we are going to play at the party this weekend. These are the albums that we are going to drop the needle on this Sunday morning. Be there with us.
Last Saturday we added to the 646% boost in sales at independent record stores and the 2,042% increase in vinyl sales at independent stores for Record Store Day. Those numbers are just incredible. So listening to music this week has been partly giving those albums the time that they deserve, and partly listening to the newest/latest. Let’s do this.
Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks- Little Fang
The song is like a Halloween costume itself. There is a scary costume on the outside, and inside, there is a cute little kid. The costume is the project, Slasher Flicks. The group itself is costumed and shrouded in spooky imagery. The song itself is a bit of a costume. It's called Little Fang and it’s about Little Fang with spikes in her hair. There are hints of Avey Tare (of Animal Collective)’s off kilter instrumentation. But, underneath the mask is a precious little kid. Avey Tare says, “You’re something special/want you to know you are,” in the first verse and the song continues to be an encouraging and touching note to “Little Fang.” Under the mask the melody sings what the words can’t say. Drums, synths, mad scientist bubbles, and distorted voices improvise around a core of what is a very happy little melody. The song is just what you were when you were trick-or-treating. It’s kind of scary, kind of cute, kind of confused, kind of excited, and something that made everyone smile when you knocked on their door.
Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks- “The Slasher House” is out now.
Damon Albarn- Everyday Robots
Damon Albarn continues to thrive musically because of his ability to adapt. He was the front man for Blur, one of the biggest bands of the 1990’s, gave it up, and created Gorillaz, which went on to be just as big of a band in the ought’s as Blur was in the previous decade. By dropping old, successful projects in favor of new ones, Albarn has avoided the major failures of once successful bands. His bands haven’t faded away. They haven’t dealt with being a “middle aged” band. He has been able to release handfuls of albums without people saying that the band is sticking too much to “their sound” or veering too far away from “their sound.” It has also let his music flow with the musical soundscape instead of being cemented in the time that the band was created. It’s risky starting from scratch, but Damon has done it. This time he is just himself, releasing this album as Damon Albarn, no moniker. It sounds contemporary. It samples from possibly the greatest monologist of all time, Lord Buckley. Like the soundscape of 2014, it layers loops on loops (a la James Blake, Reggie Watts, and many others), it is largely computer produced, it is spare, and it is beautiful. Damon Albarn does it again.
Damon Albarn’s new album, Everyday Robots will be available Tuesday, April 28th.
Listen if you like: James Blake, Sylvan Esso, Chet Faker, Sohn
WOODS – Moving To The Left
Brooklyn-based indie rock band, WOODS, just released their 8th LP, on April 15th, called With Light and With Love. The new album was produced by WOODS’ own recording company, Woodsist Records. Songwriter, Jeremy Earl, experimented with different techniques in the studio for With Light and With Love, which made for an overall cleaner sound than his previous, noisy albums. The folk pop group used new tricks, like the use of Leslie speakers, an idea borrowed from The Beatles, and played with instrumentals by using raga-styled guitar, wispy electric guitar, groovy bass, powerful percussion, saloon piano, and over-driven organs. The jam-band vibe of the album is reminiscent of psychedelic rock from the 1960’s, which makes sense, considering the band found inspiration from The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour. Captivating instrumentals accompanied by Jeremy Earl’s falsetto of emotionally driven lyrics makes for a complex, yet chill album that is satisfying to the ears. Check out lead track “Moving To The Left,” below, and get lost in the mysterious wonderment created by these unique indie rockers.
Open Mike Eagle- Dark Comedy Morning Show
Open Mike Eagle could be called a philosopher just as much as he could be called a musician. Recently getting signed to the independent powerhouse label Mello Music Group, Open Mike is looking to pack a punch with his debut. The guitar loop reminds me of some 90s alt-rock (in a good way), while the drums bring out the cool abstract style of what’s going on in the L.A. electronic scene right now. His latest offering “Dark Comedy Morning Show” is about as progressive as progressive-sounding hip-hop can get. Listen to Open Mike spit with conviction below.
LCD Soundsystem- Someone Great (Live off The Long Goodbye)
Okay, full discretion here. I spent a lot of money on Record Store Day and I’m still reeling over the amazing releases that I scooped. I have mostly been gushing over LCD Soundsystem’s The Long Goodbye. A 5 LP, unabridged pressing of LCD Soundysytem’s last show at Madison Square Garden in April of 2011. LCD Soundsystem’s music is already emotionally dense and there is a noticeable heaviness in James Murphy’s voice in songs like Someone Great, which is a song about the end of something beautiful and the void that it leaves once it has come to an end. Okay, I’m going to stop writing before these turn into full blown tears.