Audiophile : Akwitz

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


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#NewMusicFridays – Return to Form Edition


Musicheads,

It’s been three weeks since the last #NewMusicFriday post, but in reality, there hasn’t been much to chat about.  This week however, is MUCH different.  As much as the past two weeks have lacked in terms of quality releases, this past release week made up for.  With 8 quality releases in the past week, there was more than a fair share of music to wrap your ears around.  You had new albums from BØRNS, Small Black, Keep Shelly In Athens, surprise releases from Baltimore’s Sun Club and Beach House (their 2nd release in as many months), YACHTMajical Cloudz and Neon Indian.  While I didn’t acquire them all, I do want to get right into the ones I did.

We start with the début full-length from Michigan born Garrett Borns, aka BØRNSwith Dopamine.

The album kicks off with the buzz track that hit the internet over a year ago and was featured by The Audiophile and as the Artist of The Week on EVRD back in February this year, 10,000 Emerald Pools.

BØRNS picked up a lot of traction earlier this year, and even featured in a number of commercials with his track Electric Love which has to be considered as the lead single on the album.  The rest of the album features 40 minutes of music over 11 tracks performed in a similar vein to these two tracks, featuring Garrett Borns’ falsetto vocals in a light, but refreshing approach over slower electronic-heavy accompaniment.  Another standout from the album also happened to be released on the previous Candy EPPast Lives.  The last song I do want to make mention of is The Emotion.  This track highlights exactly what makes Garrett worth listening to.  You pair his voice with an airy, West Coast living inspired backing guitar track and then heap on production value for a crisp final product.  If you enjoy these four tracks, you will also enjoy what the rest of the album has to offer.

 

Next, we move on to a former Artist Spotlight featureKeep Shelly In Athens. The Greek group returned this week with a new album and revamped lineup for Now I’m Ready.

The group’s sophomore effort brings a new lead vocalist into the fray and with it a relatively new sound.  The album starts off strong with the lead single, Fractals.

The title track is the second single, and I absolutely love it.  Now I’m Ready features fellow Greek artist Ocean Hope and begins as a very subdued track with an underwater feeling to it before building into this driving and expansive echoing finish.  I have also been deeply impressed by the track Benighted.  This track is built around an eerie melody comprised of synthesizer and keyboard while the new vocalist, Myrtha, sings, almost in the background of the track.  I also really dig the final two tracks on the album, Nobody and Hunter.  Nobody features a groovy bass line that drives the track while Hunter reminds me of Massive Attack. While the album only offers us 8 new tracks at just under 40 minutes, I’m excited to have new music from the group and far more optimistic about  more music to come in the near future.

 

We then move on to Brooklyn, by way of Texas/Mexico with that of Neon Indian and the latest album, Vega Intl. Night School.

The third release from the Alan Palomo project Neon Indian may be his best album yet.  Although it lacks the heavy-hitting single that Polish Girl was for Era Extraña, the album is packed with enough tracks you do want to listen to, including the lead single Annie,  and second single Slumlord.

The first track on the album, Hit Parade, is an excellent starter for the album and The Glitzy Hive, a track found smack dab in the middle of the album, is another one worth listening to as well.  With 14 tracks, there are a lot of different tracks with multiple builds to choose from to listen to.  The track Smut! feels like it could have fit on the previous album based on the synthesizer sounds utilized, while the following track Bozo has a sound that reminds me of Kavinsky.  It’s an interesting collection of tracks and the most complete album Palomo has released to date.  Each track transitions nicely into the next so listening through it in its entirety is seamless and enjoyable.

 

While I purchased a bunch of other albums, I’ll let you discover those for yourself.  I really would not sleep on either the Small Black or Majical Cloudz albums though.


This week offered a lot of new music from artists that have been featured by the Audiophile previously.  The singles world was no exception to this, beginning with Purity Ring getting a remix from HEALTH.

Then, we also got new music from Novo Amor in the form of the track Anchor.

Also this week, another artist that has been featured previously, Shura, partnered with Mura Masa to release a killer track Love For That.


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: Purity Ring – Begin Again (HEALTH Remix)

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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)


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Artist Spotlight – Wild Cub


Musicheads,

I bet you have heard Thunder Clatter on the radio by now, but what do you really know about the band?  Well I’m about to inform you!

 

The group’s debut full-length album Youth was just re-released on January 21 on Mom + Pop Records.  The re-release includes two new tracks that had not been released on the original, including a remix of their breakout song by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr..  The group hails from Nashville and isthe brain child of multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Bullock and the multi-talented lead singer Keegan DeWitt who has also composed music for a number of television shows and even scored the 2013 Oscar-winning short film Inocente.  In support of their original release, the group performed at a number of major events in 2013 including 8 shows at SXSW, as well as performances at Bonnaroo and CMJ.  The band is currently touring and are also slated to be on the lineup to perform at this year’s Firefly Music Festival and Hangout Festival.

Apart from having a remix added to the band’s re-release, Thunder Clatter has been remixed by numerous other artists including Small Black and Twin Shadow.  They also have performed the song on numerous occasions acoustic, (most recently on SiriusXM Satellite Radio) which adds a different dynamic to the song.  The group has also remixed tracks to other popular artists such as Atlas Genius track Symptoms, which appeared on the groups remix album So Electric: When It Was Now [The Remixes].

The band also played Fallon on the day their album re-released and that can also be found here: http://t.co/0hkjlY7fTT

The group blends together a catchy blend of electronic pop rock, disco and synth tones to create their melodic dancey music.  The group has followed in the path of St. Lucia and many other artists, incorporating in tropical rhythms that give their sound a very warm and Summery feel to it.  Some songs feel like they are straight out of a John Hughes film (i.e. The Water or Drive) while others, like Wishing Well and Wild Light, provide a much more fun and dance-ready sound for listeners to enjoy.  Once you get through those, you then hit the track Summer Fires / Hidden Spells which sounds like it was stolen right off a Michael Jackson album.  There is also a hidden gem late on the album in the track Windows.  This track is artfully crafted, with a melody that is neither overpowering nor underwhelming.  The flow is crisp and the feelings it emanates are relaxing and euphoric at the same time.  One thing can sure be said, these guys can put together some very catchy pop music.  The only thing that may be lacking in the band’s debut is a lack of direction.  After listening to the album a couple of times, you still can’t really tell what the group’s true identity is.  While the album as a whole is quality and Thunder Clatter is a breakout hit for sure, we still seem to be caught up asking for more.

Akwitz

Now Playing: Fickle FriendsSwim (Paperwhite Remix)