There aren’t many things to look forward to right now; thankfully, Shoegaze greats Slowdive have announced a 2017 tour with dates in Europe and the United States. Find the North America tour dates here and check out this post on the documentary covering the making of the band’s 1993 album Souvlaki....more
Posts Tagged: This Week in Posivibes
Depending on how you track Tim Cohen’s prolific songwriting, Luck Man is either his first solo record or his fourth. This is a testament to the number of monikers that Cohen has used over the years to release the range of psych-inflected pop that has made him one of the pillars of San Francisco’s musical community....more
It’s getting to be year-in-review season, the time when everyone sits back and catalogs the songs that blew their minds, the album art that inspired the most memes, the top five tracks that clearly violated copyright, the ten best songs for driving down the highway in a little rain, but not a lot, like maybe it’s just misty?...more
Embers, directed by Claire Carré, has received a long list of awards for the ingenious way in which it employs a sci-fi landscape to explore memory and what we would be—as humans, as partners, as higher thinking beings—without it. The film’s score was created by Kim Henning and Shawn Parke, multi-genre composers living in Portland who have found the beautiful place inside eeriness....more
This week, Flying Nun is reissuing work by the Features, particularly 1980’s X-Features. Besides the fact that the record is some great post-punk, Raven Sings the Blues did a fine job of highlighting their importance in terms of time and place:
The band acted as an angular and jagged counterpoint to the majority of Kiwipop’s more jangled stable of players and in some ways ushered in a focus on post-punk in the [New Zealand] scene.
Austin-based Hidden Ritual’s second album Always is receiving some great attention from those who respect well executed takes on sounds from music’s past. Still Single describes the band’s sound on this album by piecing together a massive collage:
They take minimal, strummy, percussive post-punk (think the Feelies ca.
Light in the Attic Records is reissuing Jerry Goldsmith’s 1974 soundtrack to the movie Chinatown in a limited release of 2500 copies. The reissue comes on gold vinyl, with album art by Sterling Hundley and layout by Jay Shaw. The soundtrack was an incredible feat—Goldsmith wrote the score in a mere ten days, creating a surprising, hard-to-place, and unforgettable piece that:
It wasn’t quite straight jazz, it wasn’t quite classical.
Scott & Charlene’s Wedding have released a video for “Distracted” off of their recent album Mid Thirties Singles Scene that speaks for a whole mess of people we can really understand. As Raven Sings the Blues writes, “The band’s pop hides a wealth of insight to the kind of restless energy that crops up in a generation lost to debt, dead-end jobs and armed only with guitars and some jangles to dig them out.” Watch the video after the jump and buy the record here....more
Michael Collins’s latest project has an enviable list of collaborators, including Weyes Blood, Ariel Pink, Mild High Club, Sheer Agony, and members of Mac DeMarco’s band. While some reviews seem preoccupied with the tongue-in-cheek names Collins gives to each of his projects, it seems to us that the more important thing to notice is that these songs are pleasingly jammy, with modulating trippy pacing at times and exactly the kind of throwback pop sound we’d expect from its collaborators....more
The Caretaker’s Leyland Kirby will be chronicling through music the changes wrought by dementia on his own newly diagnosed mind. Kirby released a statement outlining the project:
The series aims to enlighten our understanding of dementia by breaking it down into a series of stages that provide a haunting guide to its progression, deterioration, and disintegration and the way that people experience it according to a range of impending factors.
Mangy Love, Cass McCombs’s latest, is one of those records where an artist makes the most compelling argument for their sound and content possible. During his career, McCombs has eschewed interviews and the kind of lifestyle-sensationalizing journalism that usually surrounds music coverage....more
We were excited about Teenage Fanclub’s upcoming tenth album back when it was just a fact on a calendar, and now the reality is, thankfully, really beautiful. Here is being called “their warmest and subtlest effort to date,” and showcases a familiar pop sensibility for the band’s first effort in six years....more
James Hoare (of Veronica Falls) and Jack Cooper (of Mazes) are releasing their third LP under the name Ultimate Painting on September 30 on Trouble in Mind Records. Dusk is an “autumnal opus…[of] gentle pop hum,” meaning it sounds a lot like Velvet Underground in a good way and that’s fine by us....more
The Russian trio’s self-proclaimed “disturbing and depressive” apocalyptic electronic music has hit an incredible, eerie place with PHOENIXXX, one of their seven (!) releases from 2016. Members Lit Daw, Lit Eyne, and Lit Internet met via the web, beginning their collaboration over an encrypted messaging service to evade the censorship of the post-Soviet russian landscape that their music explores so masterfully....more
It’s not hyperbole to say that everyone is losing their minds over Frank Ocean’s release of Endless, Blonde, and Boys Don’t Cry Magazine. After a four-year wait between albums, this outpouring offers a lot of incredible material to unpack....more
Brooklyn’s Big Eyes have been putting out solid pop punk for some time now, and the upcoming Stake My Claim seems to be more of the same—which is to say it seems great. Kaitlyn Eldridge, the lead creative force behind Big Eyes, said of the album: “‘Stake My Claim,’ the song and the entire album, is about not letting anybody control you, and taking responsibility for yourself....more
There are groups you love as a teenager, and whose music becomes a memory, something entwined in your life, but no more directly relevant to it than old episodes of Grange Hill or drinking cider in churchyards. There are records that soundtracked a distant part of your life, but which you still love, that you can sing every word to as you drive some godforsaken A road through the world’s dullest landscape.
With a new album out, the Pet Shop Boys’s residency at the Royal Opera House in London is likely a preface to a large tour of arena shows. Fans will be happy to hear that the residency performance has not disappointed....more
Mild High Club’s sophomore release, Skiptracing, is out on Stones Throw and gathering some pretty enviably wild descriptions from reviewers. Alex Brettin’s sound is described in psych-loungey terms like, “smooth, psychedelic jazz/funk infusions with spacey tinges that sound like warped AM radio hits from another galaxy.” Intergalactic metaphors abound, with another reviewer claiming one track, “Homage,” “opens a door onto a colorful, dreamy outer-space place, arpeggios gliding across the page like comets.” Another argues that through the album’s noir conceit, this alien vibe is satisfyingly recast over a remembered past: “…in investigating the spirit of American music, Mild High Club re-imagine AM radio hits as blasting in from a parallel universe, the sound of early ’70s LA in a smog of sativa.”...more
In addition to his song “Spiritual,” which deals with the issue of police brutality, Jay Z has released a playlist of songs to get us through the crushing violence lately exposed by social media. “Songs for Survival” includes music by Beyoncé, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Common, Outkast, Gil Scott-Heron, Fela Kuti, Kendrick Lamar, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Kanye West, and others....more
Freetown Sound, Dev Hynes’s third album under the moniker Blood Orange, is garnering praise for both its sound and its substantial examination of racial identity. Pitchfork writes, “Freetown resonates with everyone sagging under the weight of systemic oppression.” Consequence of Sound’s review celebrated Hynes’s achievement in the marriage of sound and subject matter:
Hynes has built a career of combining seemingly divergent and outdated musical genres to find emotional resonance, and in that sense Freetown Sound is the culmination of what he’s been building towards.
The Atlanta-based post-punk band is releasing their first album, Deluxe, on July 8th and have been garnering anticipatory kudos around the Internet. Raven Sings the Blues wrote, “All the songs on their debut, Deluxe are bent and battered into metal shapes, though it’s their vocals that betray their new wave nods under the veneer of true grit punk spirit,” and Pitchfork noted that the group has “caught that essential combination of steely rigor and fiery energy, ripping out quick gems that exude control without sacrificing guts.” The trio includes Frankie Broyles (formerly of Deerhunter), Billy Mitchell, and Philip Frobos (of Carnivores)....more
To kick off its series of free concerts in Central Park, the New York Philharmonic is paying tribute to the victims of the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. Alan Gilbert, the Philharmonic’s music director, dedicated the performance to “not just to the memory of the victims,” but also to “the idea that we are all part of a shared humanity,” the New York Times reports....more
Every day’s a good day to admire the genius of Kate Bush. We assume it’s in that spirit that Pitchfork published a piece on Hounds of Love, the artist’s 1985 album. The author interviewed Bush upon the album’s release, and the piece follows the trajectory of “the most musically serious and yet outwardly whimsical star of her time.” One of the review’s more stand-out lines refers to an earlier album, The Dreaming:
Both “Breathing” and its video is set in a uterus; “In the Warm Room” exalts vaginas the same way Led Zeppelin sang about dicks.
A new treatise on the importance of the genre-melting artist has been published by the New York Times, inspired by the New York Public Library’s acquisition of Arthur Russell’s archives.
The acquisition itself is massive, sprawling, and difficult to catalogue, according to the NYT piece:
[It] includes a thousand-or-so reels, cassettes, DATs, Beta and VHS tapes with hundreds of hours of unreleased and probably unreleasable material, representing how Russell made his work—laying down individual tracks, or practicing, or jamming—often in long sessions, and with musicians who may have had little idea what they were working on at the time....more
MOJO is once again paying Bob Dylan tribute in its next issue, this time in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Blonde on Blonde, and they’ve put together an album to commemorate the occasion. Titled Blonde on Blonde Revisited, the album is a compilation of covers by contemporary artists such as Kevin Morby, Marissa Nadler, Jim O’Rourke, Phosphorescent, Night Beats, and Steve Gunn....more