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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 – There Will Be Blood Edition


Musicheads,

No, despite the allusion to the Daniel Day-Lewis led film, there will not be literal blood spilled in this week’s #NewMusicFriday post.  However, there is a surprisingly strong blood theme going on for whatever reason.  This week’s releases were not significantly abundant or monumental, but the singular purchase I made this week was well worth it, Lianne La Havas’ latest album Blood.

Lianne’s sophomore album is an artful piece of soulful new music.  The album has a number of solid guest producers who each worked on a track or two to create some very successful tracks.  The album is led by the single Green & Gold with the help of producer and neo-soul singer Jamie Liddell but there is much more to this album.  With vocal talents akin to Alicia Keys, you expect to hear some powerful singing throughout the album and that is exactly what you get.

A perfect example of this is the opener Unstoppable which was produced by Paul Epworth.  With the big production of Epworth partnering with (but carefully, not overtaking) La Havas’ voice the song is neo-soul pop gold.  La Havas traveled to Jamaica to reconnect with her roots on this album and her trip directly  lot of the music found on the album.  When interviewed, she stated she should have just recorded the entire album in Jamaica for the amount of inspiration she received from the trip

What You Don’t Do is one that can’t be missed with both fabulous singing, solid rhythm and a clever take on a relationship on the rocks.  I could go on highlighting the vocals of every track on this album, but I’ll let you go discover that for yourself.   I will tell you though, do not skip Midnight.

With a voice like hers, its tough to not highlight every song.  The album offers both high and low-energy tracks and a number of musical arrangements, (with my personal favorites where a horn section is involved) and the ever-dominant voice from Lianne. There have been a number of incredibly powerful female vocalists coming out of the UK of late, from Lianne to Adele to Laura Mvula and Ella Eyre and the world couldn’t be happier.  Lianne La Havas’ much-anticipated sophomore album is well worth the wait and more than a few listens.

 


It’s a singles kinda of world we live in now, so let’s focus on some of the singles shared this week as well.  First, we have a surprisingly good single from one of the most unlikely of artists to show up on The Audiophile, Carly Rae Jepsen.  The track was produced by Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend) and you can really hear his influence on the track.

And then there were new music videos popping up left and right on the internet this week.  First we have a video for the Foals excellent new single Mountain At My Gates which was shot on a GoPro under the direction of Foals go-to Nabil with a crafty interactive 360-degree video.

Then we got both a new track from and new video from Baio (Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend’s solo project) in the form of Endless Rhythm and Sister Of Pearl.

Lastly, we have a rework by Aussie Chet Faker, who reworked his track 1998 from his 2014 album Built On Glass to now feature Banks with both a new verse and vocal harmonies.

 


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: Chet Faker – 1998 (feat. Banks)

 


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New Music Tuesdays – Final Countdown Edition


Musicheads,

It’s the final countdown (well in #NewMusicTuesday terms)!

Including this week, there will only be three more New Music Tuesdays before New Music Fridays becomes official on July 10th.  Well, with that being said, let’s kick the countdown off right with some new music to talk about.  This week’s new music seems more like a throwback than it does new music as we have new releases from the incomparable James Taylordisco legend Giorgio Moroder, and even new music from 90’s nostalgia alt-rockers Third Eye Blind.

 

Before I get to some of those, let’s get to the newest band with a notable release today, the Australian group Alpine with their sophomore effort Yuck.

Following their début full-length last year, the Aussie sextet are back in the fray with a new 10-track album.  The album’s sound follows in the same vein as the band’s début with the lead single jam of a track in Foolish kicking things off.

The album maintains the energy felt in that track throughout the remainder of the album, with synth flourishes and full of vocal harmonies from the leading ladies Phoebe Baker and Louisa James.  I won’t go into great detail as I’ll let you explore the remainder of the album, but I do want to highlight a few of my favorites.  We start first with the opening track, Come On, which is a great lead off track.  I also immensely enjoyed Jellyfish with its dynamic and bright structure.  I also really love the final track on the album, Need Not Be.  Vocals float atop a cool, low-key synth beat for much of the song until the mellow vibes give way to synthesized horns for the final 45 seconds for a grand finish.  I thoroughly enjoy this album, and although it may come off as lacking a bit of diversity among its tracks, still is worth a listen or two.


 

Despite only the EP being released on Spotify, (at least initiallyThird Eye Blind has released a full-length album today titled Dopamine.

The first album in six years kicks off with the lead single Everything Is Easy.  Apart from the ever-present frontman and lead singer Stephan Jenkins, the band has gone through a major re-tooling of its band members.  Despite this, the track brings instant nostalgia to late 90’s 3eB.  

The group also helped to promote the release of the album by sharing a video cover of the Beyoncé track Mine (not found on the album) which can be seen below.

The title track, Dopamine, is another terrific track which you should scour the web to try to find.  Equipped with strong lyrics and an effects-pedal laden guitar, Back to Zero is another heavy hitter on the album. Jenkins and company did put together a nice string of songs late on the album that may actually be the best tracks on Dopamine. It begins with the slower, more heartfelt and introspective track Blade.  Immediately following that is All These Things; another well-written track that fits well into the discography of the band.  Deep cut, Exiles, offers a surprise lyrical reference to David Bowie personality Ziggy Stardust for added success.  The final track, Say It, immediately reminds me of the Ursa Major track Water Landing and I instantly love it before growing and developing into something much different.  As always, it wouldn’t be a Third Eye Blind album without a “surprise track” which Say It provides in the last 15 seconds.  These final four tracks really close out the album on a strong note where the middle of the album began to fizzle out.

All-in-all, Dopamine is a far cry from the band’s best work.  It does offer glimpses of nostalgia of the late 90’s, but still relies a little too heavily on similar lyrical tropes of past albums (i.e. drugs and self-mutilation as metaphors for love).  The tracks at the beginning and end of the album are quite good, while the middle is fairly forgettable.

 


 

Meanwhile, a spry Giorgio Moroder at the age of 75 continues to make new music.  His latest release is titled Déjà Vu.

The album is full of disco-electro crossovers and numerous features.  Featured singers include Sia, Charli XCX, Kelis, Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears to (quite literally) name a few.  The album is a surprisingly enjoyable listen, with plenty to dance to.  Sia’s collaboration on the title track Déjà Vu is an early winner.

Other tracks to definitely take note on are the other singles, one featuring another artist who has been literally around for decades as well, the ageless Kylie Minogue.  Despite however old she appears to look in the video for Right Here, Right Now, the Melbourne siren is almost 50.

This track features the now famous Moog synthesizer sound that Giorgio made famous in the early days as a disco pioneer.  It may not be an overly complicated track, but it sure is easy to listen to and very easy to dance to.

One of the big surprise tracks on the album I found was the Britney Spears collaboration.  I was not surprised by Britney showing up, but rather that her offering on the album was a cover of the Suzanne Vega track Tom’s Diner.  The track is mixed surprisingly well with big orchestral flourishes between the verses supported by numerous synth styles and samples.

Lastly, I will highlight a track that features no other artists (one of only 3 on the album), the progressive house track 74 Is The New 24.  It’s driving rhythm led by a guitar riff and heavy synthesizer keeps the song moving along smoothly.  Pair it with a pretty cool music video and you’ve got yourself another winner.


 

Finally we get to the singles.  Apparently Tuesday has been the day to release new singles this year.  Once again, we have three new tracks shared early in the week to wrap our ears around.  First, we get the new single from Robert Delong which also includes a pretty cool performance video (including what looks like a game console steering wheel).

Also, Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend fame (he’s the bassist) has released another single under his electronic solo project moniker Baio which is even catchier than his first release from his upcoming album The Names.

The last (but definitely not least) track I will share with you is the first track to be released off the upcoming new album from Foals.  The track debuted today on BBC Radio 1 with Annie Mac and what shortly followed by a music video release by the band.  You can see 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: FoalsWhat Went Down