In case you didn’t already know (I didn’t until just a few moments ago), it was four years ago today that Elliott Smith passed away. Losing such a prominent young musician is always difficult, and the suddenness of his death only exacerbated the already tragic situation. It’s hard to overstate what a massive blow his death was to all of us, but Sweet Adeline has summed it up with all the brevity Smith would have wanted:
“elliott, you are still in are hearts, and sorely missed. xo”
[From XO, released 1998 on DreamWorks]
I’ve had this on repeat for longer than I care to disclose. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way after your eight listen.
[Out November 20th on Virgin]
While 80’s synth pop may be the most pervasive element of John Maus’ latest LP, don’t yourself be fooled; Love Is Real is a dark and fractured affair. A subtle, but effective, filter causes Maus’ vocals to sound slightly muffled, as though he’s singing from beneath a thick quilt. The entire record is marked by a sense of an abstruse sense of unease, as though something darker lurks just beneath the surface of this seemingly benign pop; there’s more here than you may initially believe.
[From Love Is Real, out soon on Upset The Rhythm]
Two words: epic shoegaze.
[From Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde out now on Prophecy]
When you’re tired of listening to In Rainbows, be sure to check out Alaska In Winters latest, Dance Party In The Balkans. AIW are one of those mysterious bands who can’t seem to gain any amount fame, despite richly deserving it. Think Beirut, with a dark electronic tinge. Zach Condon features on a few tracks.
[From Dance Party In The Balkans, out now on Regular Beat]
When I heard that Radiohead would giving away their new album for whatever price fans were willing to pay (including nothing), I promised myself that I wouldn’t post a track from In Rainbows. After all, if people wanted to hear the album, it’s only a click away. But I can’t justify not posting Faust Arp. When fans saw an unfamiliar song on the tracklist, most expected an interlude ala Hunting Bears; they didn’t expect a Beatles/Elliot Smith style pop masterpiece. If, for whatever reason, you’re on the fence about downloading In Rainbows, for God’s sake, do it! You don’t want to miss this album! Even though you can technically download it for free, please don’t do that; remember, this money goes directly to Radiohead, there’s no greedy label snatching up 95% of your money. And a band like Radiohead deserves all the money we can possible throw at them.
Download In Rainbows/Order In Rainbows discbox (Site is swamped with orders, be patient)
[From In Rainbow, self-released and available now]
I know I haven’t posted anything this mainstream in a while (save for Radiohead, but come on, it’s Radiohead) but I think Band Of Horses sophomore album, Cease To Begin, deserves your attention. I went into it with low expectations, after hearing a fair amount of backlash over the album’s “low-down” feel, and maybe even more over recent marketing decisions made by the band. Well, I never heard Everything All The Time, so I don’t really know anything about the shift in sound between the two. I don’t particularly care about who the band licenses their songs to, either. So, judging CTB purely on it’s songs (what a concept!), it’s a pretty damn good album. It’s completely unpretentious, and wholly enjoyable, even if it drops into slightly hackneyed territory at points. Still, I’m not sure I can see the “indie” community embracing this one, which is a shame; they’re missing out on a great album.
Band Of Horses – No One’s Gonna Love You.mp3
[From Cease To Begin, out October 9th on Sub Pop]
The only way to properly describe Washingtons Old Time Relijun would be to smack you in the face with a guitar, and scream into you ear while simultaneously bludgeoning you with a clarinet. If this sounds harsh, or even painful, don’t worry; you’re gonna love every second of it.
[From Catharsis in Crisis, out October 9th on K Records]
Here’s a track that lives up to it’s title, from a Cornish group that may or may not be Richard D. James, the IDM-god of Aphex Twin fame. Whoever made it, it’s still awesome.
[From Rushup Edge, out now on Rephlex Records]
I’m not sure why, but I’ve been really into The Low End Theory lately. It’s pretty hard to believe it’s sixteen years old now.
[From The Low End Theory, released 1991 on Jive]