Yr right in the Robyn Hitchcock roundhouse from the first couple lines of track one, “Harry’s Song,” which references an albatross and pterodactyls. Indicative of the record, in that yr getting a dose of straight up Robyn, from lyrics to guitar sound to chord progressions to harmonies. The record has the sound that he’s perfected over the years. Suppose that’s yr charter at sixty: not reinventing anything but delivering what you’ve mastered. Favorite track is the second one, “Be Still,” which can get stuck in yr head for days. Also digging the last track, “End Of Time,” with the line “day breaks like an egg” and the chorus “take me I’m ready for the end of time.” Produced by Paul Noble. Not familiar with him, but he vibed what Robyn is all about and helped nail it down.
Saw Hardcoretet at the Royal Room last fall and was mesmerized. Turns out they’ve got a record out that dropped in December 2012 called Do It Live. Definitely worth checking out. The drummer, Tarik Abouzied, is also the drummer in McTuff and provides the same drive and taste. The compositions are super compelling and the sound itself is lush with the electric keys and electric bass. Something hypnotizing about them, can’t put my finger on it. Love the tune Yeti btw.
Kinda late to the party on this one, but its never too late to review a good record right? Some may be put off by the vocal treatment, but once you lock into his timbre and elocution, there’s a lot going on with these songs, both structurally and lyrically. Repeated listens reveal clever chord structures, word play and melodic inventiveness. And there’s thoughtful instrumentation and production, with banjos, horns and strings, used tastefully.
Overall, it’s a break up record, but one more of redemption than bile. According to Eric Anderson (the brains behind Cataldo), “I have such happy memories of making this record about such an unpleasant time…I think that disparity, the peculiar warmth of this album’s melancholia, is what makes me proudest now. I hope that feeling isn’t something I’ve imagined. I hope it’s an ornament that seems intrinsic and essential. Like an engraving worn with the characteristic patina of something truly old.”
Finally figured out what the song “Prison Boxing” itself is about: rediscovery of friends after a break-up, people you took for granted whom you now have time to hang out with. “My friends say, ‘How are you? It has been too many years’ And I say, ‘With purity and candor I’ve missed you.’” Don’t know if a break-up song has expressed a sentiment quite like this.
Have to admit, not a big a fan of the really raw tracks (tracks #1, #6-#8). But the rest really holds up.
Check it out below:
Dig the new Wax Fingers record, Tender, a follow up to their debut album, which made the Flotzam top 10 last year. Their new record has the same qualities as their last record: sense of drama in the song writing combined with tight guitar work, wack synth sounds, super reverbed out vocals and solid percussion. The whole package is prog-psychedilic. Really love the song “I’m So Limber” which has some hypnotic syncopation and generally seduces. Overall, the new record is more straight up than their last record, a little more accessible, for better or worse.
Check it out:
Oh, if you’ve never seen their rad videos from their last record, they are definitely worth a look.
Can’t stop listening to this record. In fact, have gone and retroactively bought all the Field Music out there and am hooked. Their early work holds up and their last record, Measure, is amazing. Don’t know how these guys were not on my radar so long. They embody the avant pop aesthetic written about before on this blog. At once compositionally intricate and melodically seductive. Crazy time signatures that lock into hypnotic grooves. And the production is money. Drum sounds are tight; guitar sounds are glorious. Can’t recommend this band enough. Keep playing their records and discovering something new. Ranges of emotion plus weird “field music” moments of recorded sounds in the streets. Mixed with orchestral moments. Love em. Hoping desperately for a US tour.