Audiophile : Akwitz

From A to Z: Discovering new music so you don't have to…

New Music Tuesdays – Anniversary Edition

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Musicheads,

This week marked the 2nd anniversary of The Audiophile’s inception.  Yes, this site started the day before Valentine’s Day back in 2013.  Well, a lot has changed since then, personally, professionally and musically.  One thing hasn’t changed though, New Music Tuesdays.  So let’s get that started!  2015 is still off to a fairly slow start, but I feel like with a number of headline-making releases due out in March, 2015 will really be turning on the afterburners soon. Well, before we hope for tomorrow, let’s appreciate today, and this week’s new music to grab your ears’ attention.

We start this week with a new album from Junip frontman Jose Gonzalez simply titled Vestiges & Claws.

The Argentinian Swede follows a familiar vein with the new album.  Recently off the critically praised tracks for the blockbuster remake of The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty which included the breakout tracks Step Out and Stay AliveJose Gonzalez went a little more reserved and more Junip-esque with his latest batch of music. Sticking to his guns with a blend of acoustic folk and bossa nova, Gonzalez has quietly put together a quality album.  Led by the single Leaf Off / The Cave, the 10-track album relies heavily on the South American guitar style as its staple sound.

What Will is another quality track (and probably was the inspiration for the album title) with a simple, yet mesmerizing guitar riff and clever lyrics.  Lastly I want to draw attention to the close-out track Open Book, which uses a vocal harmony throughout to create a hauntingly intimate song.   If you are a fan of Junip and indoor, rainy day coffee shop music, you will want to get your hands on Vestiges & Claws.

 

Next up, we have the sophomore album from Utah arena rockers Imagine Dragons with their album Smoke + Mirrors.

The sophomore slump is a real thing, and it’s surprising how many bands truly undergo this type of disappointment after such a meteoric rise from a début.  Imagine Dragons hit the ground running in 2012 and their album  Night Visions was a massive success.  The sound was new and they had put all their blood, sweat and tears into the crafting of their début album. Three years later, it appears that either the massive success has gotten to the band, or they were a one-and-done act, with only enough music to create that one good album.  Following years of touring and fans worldwide, the band seems to have rested on its successful formula of anthem-friendly arena rock.  Once again, this is another much-trodden path.  Take major acts such as Mumford & Sons and Coldplay and look at their discography and you can spot where the band went from a creative powerhouse to crafting a crowd-pleasing album.  Well using words straight from the lead single off the album “I let you down tonight” is an accurate description of the new album.  Sophomore slump achieved.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it’s a horrid hodgepodge of music, it just lacks passion.  Tracks like the singles I Bet My LifeShots and Gold are pop enough to get radio airplay and be used for ad campaigns, but they are just that, formulaic pop lacking true emotion.  That was one thing Night Visions never lacked, emotion.  Other than that, the album is over-produced and has a lot of strange and unnecessary sound effects built-in to the music that add very little value.  While the first half of the album is jam-packed with the singles and arena-friendly songs, the second half of the album features more heartfelt and personal songs.  There are really only three songs out of the thirteen that I feel good talking about.  The first of which is PolaroidPolaroid is one of the more redeeming tracks on the album, and will probably never see any airplay unfortunately.  That track is the closest to the passion felt on the first album. The other two tracks I would like to highlight are It Comes Back To You and Dream.  Outside of these tracks however, the album lacks zest and the gusto to make it truly impactful.

Finally today, the last of the recurring major music festivals in the US released its lineup. The 2015 Firefly Music Festival in Dover, DE lineup officially announced today, almost three weeks after a lineup leaked which entailed pretty much the entire thing and the world was left guessing if it was the actual lineup.  Well, now we know:

firefly 2015

Lastly, it seems like you can’t escape Modest Mouse these days with new music everywhere and their first album in over eight years coming out in just a few weeks, not that I’m complaining.  Well, it seems like every other week now for the past month we have gotten a new track ahead of the album release, and this week is no exception.  Be sure to give a listen to their latest release The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box.

And now, as always, here was everything acquired on this New Release Tuesday:

and be sure to follow on Facebook and on Twitter @AudiofileAkwitz at to get even more music updates that don’t make the posts.

Spotify Playlists:

-Akwitz

Now Playing:  Modest Mouse – The Ground Walks, With Time In A Box

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