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#NewMusicFridays – Autumn Kick-off Edition


Musicheads,

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.

 

After an album like that, where does one go?  To The Dead Weather, that’s where!  The band’s third album Dodge and Burn is an interesting one and a distinct change of pace after listening to CHVRCHES.

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.

 

Lastly, in terms of acquisitions today we have Silversun Pickups latest album, Better Nature.

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.

Lastly, we have a new track shared by Sia, who had originally written the song to be performed by Adele, but instead she kept it for herself.  You can listen to that below.


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

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

Spotify Playlists:

-Akwitz

Now Playing: SiaAlive

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#NewMusicFridays – The Week of The Solo Act Edition


Musicheads,

It was another interesting release week this past week, touching on the old and the new, with a lot of solo performers both first timers and the repeat offenders.  This week we saw solo releases from David Gilmour and Keith Richards as well as Lana Del Rey, Metric and Skylar Spence.  My favorite release of the week however has to fall to the solo work from Chris Baio, who may be better known for his bass guitar work for the little-known band Vampire Weekend.  It is with that album, that I will kick off this week’s #NewMusicFriday post.

While it may not be his first solo release, Baio did share with the world his first full-length EP, The Names.

The album is a synth-pop driven electronic album that is dance-y and light and all things enjoyable.  Led by the single Sister Of Pearl which utilizes a catchy piano and snare beat and fun guitar riff to drive the track into an easy memorable dance tune.

The other track that was shared pre-release was the album opener Brainwash Yyrr Face which is another  enjoyable electronic romp.  The album tends to stay light and fun in its beats, rhythm and sound, with vocals being used more as just additional tracks to layer in rather than as the more traditional storyteller role.  Lastly I will call attention to the second to last track on the album, Endless Rhythm.  This is another well manufactured track easy to listen to and enjoy.

The 9-track, 38 minute album is a breeze to listen to and positive and enjoyable.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this multiple times over.

Next was the much talked about new album from Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour with his latest solo album Rattle That Lock.

The album leans heavily on the traditional Pink Floyd guitar sound that is unique to Gilmour.  The album opener 5 A.M. is a nice instrumental which eases the album in with that classic sound that is heavily audible from The Division Bell.  The lead single also doubles as the titular track in Rattle That Lock.  While the lead guitar is pretty spot on for the track, the rest of the track seems just a little stale.  The music video that accompanies it however is quite interesting and follows in the twisted, trippy animated history familiar with that of The Wall.

I would strongly suggest you listen to this album on a Hi-Fi stereo system, or else you will miss the rich warm tones that comprise that tracks on this album.  Gilmour continues his wailing throughout and for that alone you will want to listen to the album in its entirety.  If you are any more than a casual fan of Pink Floyd, you ought to enjoy this album.

 

Lastly, I acquired the latest album from Metric this past week, Pagans In Vegas.

The Toronto band’s sixth full-length studio album is still championed by the unique vocals of lead singer Emily Haines. The album is bolstered by the single The Shade.  The album also features tracks Cascades and The Governess.  The first has a funky synth beat driving the track which I really dig and the latter is a slower, more direct track centered around a pace-setting guitar.  While it may not have as much kick as previous albums like 2009’s Fantasies, I actually thoroughly enjoyed this album as a whole.  The album opener Lie Lie Lie is bouncy and simple, yet catchy.  The album is laden with synth-heavy tracks that have become a staple of the band’s sound.

 


When it comes to singles, this week felt a little light compared to previous weeks.  We did see tracks from Lionlimb which is comprised of musicians who made up some of Angel Olsen’s backing band with their catchy track titled Turnstile

Also, a new track came out from Portland’s Pure Bathing Culture simply titled Palest Pearl.

Then there is a new remix of Porter Robinson’s Worlds opening track Divinity remixed by ODESZA that made it’s way onto SoundCloud over the weekend.

Lastly, I will leave you with a pretty enjoyable little track from a real youngster in Declan McKenna, with his track Brazil.


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

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

Spotify Playlists:

-Akwitz

Now Playing: Declan McKenna – Brazil


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#NewMusicFridays – The 200th Edition


Musicheads,

This week’s releases had its share of  music to talk about.  On top of that, this is the 200th post for the Audiophile since its inception just over two and a half years ago.  I consider that a sizable accomplishment considering the amount of content delivered in as much detail from a singular contributor whose day job eats up 50-60 hours per week, is not a professional copy writer or in the music industry (although I had been in the past).  While I would have loved to have reached this milestone a lot sooner, things like life and work have gotten in the way and slowed the pace of my output.  While that is simply an excuse, don’t think for a minute that the music discovery (and sharing) will stop, so hopefully you will be able to count on The Audiophile for 200 more!  All-in-all, I am proud of the body of work shared so far and expect much more for the future.

Well now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way, let’s get into the music!  As of this week, we now have a complete late night television roster with the début of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  The shows début ended with a star-studded musical performance that MUST be seen, as the star-power on stage was just marvelous as the group performed the equally epic track Everyday People originally performed by Sly & The Family Stone.

Here is the link: http://video.vulture.com/video/Late-Show-Musical-Performance

Aside from that, new releases from Empress Of, Ben Folds, Superhumanoids, Low, Chick Corea & Béla Fleck, Beirut and Gary Clark Jr. all hit stores on Friday.


 

We start off with the guitar virtuoso that was hailed as the next rising star in Blues a few years back when he came out with his track Bright LightsGary Clark Jr..

His second studio album The Story of Sonny Boy Slim lives up to the hype (which was fairly non-existent) after his début album was raked over the coals for “not being Blues enough”, over produced and having too many features on it.  While that may be harsh criticism for his début, it still holds true, since his best work was his guitar-led Blues.  Well, this album tends to stay more true to what works best for Gary, and this is why this album lands a lot better than Blak And Blu did.  The album opens with a very solid single in The Healing, which relies on Gary’s bluesy guitar work and raw vocals.   Shortly thereafter arrives another excellent bluesy track in Grinder, still staying strong in Gary’s wheelhouse.  The third track on the album happens to be one of my favorite from Gary’s latest release.  The track is titled Star and is slower and less bluesy than its predecessors, but I thoroughly enjoy it all the same.

The fifth track on the album, Church is an excellent delta blues type track, emphasized ever further with an acoustic guitar and harmonica combo and a tambourine backing percussion.  The last track I will bring to your attention is Can’t Sleep as it has a very Chic-esque guitar rhythm that drives the entire song, and I really dig it.  As for the rest of the album, I will let you discover it for yourself.  I have left the entire album here for you to stream accordingly for your listening pleasure.  I can tell you that if you liked the tracks above you won’t want to miss the rest of the album.

 

 


The other album purchased this week was the latest album from Albuquerque, New Mexico’s very own BeirutNo No No.

The gypsy-esque sound of the group is less visible on the latest creation from the group, but it is not a bad thing either.  The album is spearheaded by the title track and lead single No No No.

The second single Gibraltar actually kicks off the album and is quite an enjoyable bongo-beat track.  As Needed is the next track I will mention.  It lacks words, yet is fully engrossing nonetheless, pulling you in with rich crescendos and crisp instrument sounds that wrap around your ears ever so soothingly.  The track is very autumnal and fairly jazzy, so as the seasons begin to transition further, you will probably really dive into this track.

The 9-track album as a whole flows along quite nicely and before you even know it, the album is over.  This actually lends to this album’s appeal in my mind as you easily get caught up in the smooth, warm and rich sounds created in the music that flows through this album seemingly naturally.

 


When it comes to singles, this week isn’t too shabby either.  We start with a new track from Neon Indian titled Slumlord.  Although the track didn’t show up this week (but mid-August), I still feel the need to share it.

Then, we’ve got yet another track released from Scotish trio CHVRCHES ahead of their September 25th sophomore album release.  Take a listen to Clearest Blue:

Next are a trio of new tracks from Small Black, the first two are respectively titled Back At Belle’s and No One Wants It To Happen To You, which go along with the first track released, Boys Life, all being released in anticipation of the group’s next album.  These tracks offer a newer, different sound than the band’s previous release.

I will close out this post with a track that is also slightly less than new, but just feels right for a 200th post, so enjoy the remix!


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

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

Spotify Playlists:

-Akwitz

Now Playing: Funk Le Blanc – Waves (La Felix Remix)