Let me reiterate how much I dislike the release date of new music to Fridays. Not only are Fridays jam-packed with the kickoff of the weekend and other events that may disrupt or make one unable to purchase new music physically, but the weekend in general is usually just as busy and therefore hinders writing in a timely manner that I would like to relatively stick to. Well, rant now over, it was another big week in terms of releases. What better of a way can one kick off the beginning of Autumn than with lots of good new music worth your ears’ attention? Among the groups releasing music this week we have Kurt Vile, Silversun Pickups, Disclosure, Arcade Fire, Jr. Jr. (formerly Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.), The Dead Weather and my favorite from the week, CHVRCHES.
While all these artists released new music, I only purchased a few, with intent to listen to all at a later date. That being said though, I was incredibly excited for the sophomore effort from Scottish trio CHVRCHES, with Every Open Eye.
After the album was hosted on NPR the entire week prior to the album’s release for listening (which I listened to a handful of times), the band paired their album release with a live broadcast performance at Rough Trade in NYC which streamed on Sirius XM and was rebroadcast all weekend. Then performance was a mix of tracks from the new album and the group’s début release with excellent banter in between. If you get a chance, I’d strongly urge you to try to find it. Anyway, all that aside, the new album is a relentlessly upbeat, bouncy album. Kicking off with Never Ending Circles, the album starts on a high note and never sways from that spot.
Lauren Mayberry’s unique voice rises above the electronic trills and beats created by Iain Cook and Martin Doherty on synthesizer and sampler. The next four tracks are all single worthy tracks as well. The second track on the album is the lead single Leave A Trace and although it is no The Mother We Share, it has a lot of kick.
Then we’ve got Keep You On My Side, Make Them Gold and Clearest Blue which all were performed during the live show in Brooklyn. This is followed by a track titled High Enough To Carry You Over where Lauren takes a vocal reprieve and Iain takes the vocal reins. After that slight rest, the album gets right back into it with the bouncy and very 80’s bubblegum pop beat of Empty Threat. After a more somber track in Down Side Of Me, Lauren and company kick it back into high gear for the final set of tracks. Playing Dead is a confident vocal track with a lot of heart-felt throughout the recording, even with the sampler usage. Bury It relies on a heavy synth beat that gets you moving and dancing and would have just as easily fit on the first album. We then come to the closing track on the 11-song 42 minute album, Afterglow. This final track is just the right pace and energy for a closing track. The album had been high energy and fast-paced throughout and this track slows it down with a more ethereal feel to it before finally drifting away to its close.
The album breathes synthpop success over and over. The album is all aspirational and inspirational and the group doesn’t miss a beat throughout its entirety. I have already placed the album in my car with heavy rotation online as well. This album will no doubt make top 10 lists for 2015.
The album kicks off with the lead single I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) and immediately you can feel the energy. The track has a heavy blues rock feel to it along with a less than crystal clear production feel to it. This lack of crispness in the recording may have been intentional to give it a distinct edge apart from most of today’s releases which are often over produced into perfect sound (which can never be recreated live, mind you).
The rest of the album maintains the intensity found in the lead single. Whether you are listening to Let Me Through with its raucous guitar solo or the odd track Three Dollar Hat which is sung by Jack White and feels like an odd blend of 90’s Beck, Grunge and Hip-hop. Allison Mosshart’s (of The Kills) vocals throughout most of the album are raw and full of feeling. You can tell Jack White had a major influence on the writing as his similar musical progressions and instrument sounds are prevalent which have been heard over and over in his other projects. Despite the previous comment, I did thoroughly enjoy the rambunctious track Open Up. I will let you discover the rest of this rock album for yourself.
This album kicks off with its title track, Cradle (Better Nature) and immediately one can notice that the group has maintained its familiar sound and feel, choosing to stay in its comfort zone rather than venture into uncharted territory. The album is championed by two tracks in particular, which arrive back-to-back in the middle of the album, Nightlight and Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance). Both of these tracks follow previously used patterns of the band’s other singles, so it is easy to single them out, quite literally.
Outside of these tracks however, the band is pretty much on a familiar musical path. I do want to draw particular attention to the track Friendly Fires which did stand out to me in particular. I am not sure if it is because of the track’s pace or the fact that it is reminiscent of other artists (in particular Cold War Kids and The Smashing Pumpkins), but I was oddly enthralled by this track. Another catchy track was that of Tapedeck with its original xylophone resembling rhythm.
If you enjoy the Silversun Pickups previous albums, I can’t see why you would not like this album. I am just disappointed they didn’t try to diversify their discography with something a bit different.
When it comes to singles, this week was a bit sparse in the new music department. I only have three tracks for you, and one isn’t even new, it just got a music video. This track is from Jamie xx’s 2015 album In Colour and one of my favorite tracks from the album, I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) feat. Young Thug and Popcaan
The other track that did release this week was a new track from Sam Smith, Writing’s On The Wall, who also shared with the world that this would be the latest James Bond theme song and posted it on Spotify.
And now, as always, here was everything acquired on this New Release Tuesday: