Today, we just hosted a stream of Mogwai's film Burning, created by the fine folks at La Blogotheque. This is just another brand new Take Away Show -- #109, if you haven't gathered -- featuring a performance by Sharon Van Etten. It's a minimal video...
Sometimes with music, especially when you're listening to a genre that's not a personal favorite, an album just needs time to grow on you. You may give it a few listens and walk away without much, if anything, to say. When you return a second...
On a recent hour-long drive, I burned a CD of mp3s, and all that would fit on the disc was CocoRosie's entire Grey Oceans album and nine tracks from Jamie Lidell's latest effort, Compass. Five tracks from Compass were missing from the burn, starting with...
With GAYNGS' first composition, "The Gaudy Side Of Town," record producer Ryan Olson crafted what would later be the album opener for GAYNGS' first release, entitled Relayted. This early track was so impressive that it reeled in collaborations from members of Megafaun, Bon Iver, The Rosebuds, and Lookbook. Relayted became almost like a songwriting challenge, given its intense collaboration and the fact that every track on this album shares a common 69 BPM's.
As the album's first single, "The Gaudy Side Of Town" is a brilliant example of soul influences in modern indie rock. Jazzing up traditional R&B songwriting structures, beats, and vocal stylings with psychedelic guitarwork, the first two tracks of Relayted give off a relaxed vibe like one conjured up by freak folkers, Woods. But when a cover of Godley & Creme's "Cry" appears, the album veers strangely into alt-country territory. Yet, it is not so far removed from the previous tracks that it's a huge shocker; perhaps "Cry" is just a stylistic anomaly, and that seems true when "No Sweat" steers the album back into R&B territory
Having just reviewed GAYNG's upcoming release, Relayted, I thought that I'd share their first video for "Cry". "Cry" is actually a cover of Godley & Creme's pop version of the song, but both videos follow the same vibe and style; one just utilizes newer technologies....
Jamie Lidell's new record, Compass, comes out May 17th, and this is certainly one of the best videos I've seen so far this year. (The synopsis, as copied straight from YouTube:)
"Jamie and fellow musicians including Chilly Gonzales and Dan Rossen (Grizzly Bear) lift their hammers...
I put Portugal. the Man's new album as one of my outside favorites. The Satanic Satanist is a brilliant soul-influenced album that really shows the Portland band is coming into its own. This is the absolutely bizarre video for the track "Do You"...
Robert Francis has just dropped his second full-length record, Before Nightfall, but it's his first on a major label. And as he spends a few days in New York City with his cronies from Atlantic Records, the frosty November weather is just another reminder that he's thousands of miles away from his hometown and inspiration: Los Angeles.
"When you're in a city like L.A. or New York... they're fast-paced cities that can tear people apart," Francis explains. At only 21-years-old, Francis not only chooses his words carefully, but each one exudes insight beyond his years.
Insightful words combine with insightful sounds and vocals on Before Nightfall. The record steers clear of what other 21-year-olds seem to be peddling these days with vocoder voices and electronic beats. The music itself lends a fresh outlook on what can only be described as soulful alternative with a heavy helping of classic rock; National Public Radio (NPR) has already compared Francis to the likes of Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle.
Francis' voice radiates an authentic, haunting sound that reaches not only into the soul of the listener, but into his own, as well. Every note drips with a drawling sadness of the past but simultaneously conveys an urgency to cultivate an optimistic future. A listener doesn't need to know anything about Robert Francis or his music to feel like he or she has been touched by his voice and his story.
Before Nightfall takes listeners through a 12-track chronicle of Francis' love life. "It's centered around a singular relationship that was set in L.A. that haunted me and consumed my life for about five years," reveals Francis.
While he has no problem identifying the inspiration for his new album, his boldness recedes when asked to identify who this muse is or the problems surrounding their relationship.
"A lot of the record is about growing apart from the person you love," says Francis. "Time changes people, especially when you fall in love at an early age and you both are still growing and changing. The theme of 'Junebug' is the dissipation of a relationship. There's a lot of nostalgia on the record for better times."
INTERVIEW CONTINUED BELOW
All bands -- or at least the good ones -- have an album that, in future years, will be judged as the pinnacle of their successes.
Some start out strong but never achieve much recognition with their first and second albums. Some build up to a grand finale but crumble right as their greatest album is released. Some are so consistent, with each new album being a fitting reinvention of their sound, that the debate will rage on for years as to which album defines their legacy. Such is the case with Portugal. The Man, whose fanbase is constantly at odds with itself over which album is the band's most important release to date.
With their fourth disc, The Satanic Satanist, the debate continues to rage on. From its fantastically elaborate album packaging to its upgrade in record production quality, The Satanic Satanist marks a definitive, significant change in Portugal. The Man's career; it solidly extends the band's sphere of influence into pop, folk, and funk territories.