New York – Hope everyone successfully came out of their food-induced comas after the long holiday weekend, and didn’t get involved in some crazy Wal-Mart riot. I always find it strange that as we start entering the holiday season, which is supposed to be a time of cheer and goodwill, is in reality a time that inevitably brings out the worst in some, and turns into a darker season of confusion and contemplation for many more. While this was a bit of a slow week for new releases, much of what did come out seems to reflect that feeling of floating through a strange netherworld. I may never understand how people willingly wake up before the sun to wait in lines and fight over random merchandise at chain stores, but as Jack Kerouac said, “The only truth is music,” and that’s something I can understand. So here’s to all the people doing something meaningful with their time, helping the rest of us crawl through madness towards the hope of the new year.
Some live review highlights include Wild Child at The Echo in LA, as seen by Katie who meticulously described the band’s appearance as well as the familial vibe of the show. This past year at SXSW those same wild children won best Indie Act and Best Folk Act at the Austin Music Awards, so the vibe is clearly catching on a wider scale. I saw some great bands at Red Bull’s latest Sound Select installment, most notably the enigmatic Cold Cave and the deafeningly awesome Nothing.
Evan had us covered on the review for Blood Orange’s new album, Cupid Deluxe, referencing both the 19th Century English poet Lord Tennyson and Quincy Jones. With Blood Orange’s bleak yet still progressive love songs, this latest release is “a panoramic listen of the relatable range in emotions love brings out in everyone.” Caroline gave us much insight into the fascinating storytelling of Jared Bartman’s first LP in five years, Misery Makes Strange Bedfellows.
A few new releases of note that did squeak out before the ultimate weekend of laze:
Doug Keith is a musician who has been involved in a number of bands, most notably alongside Sharon Van Etten as her right hand guitarist/bassist on tour. This past week he premiered his own new track “Pure Gold In The 70′s” off his solo LP due out in February. Much like how he’s had a hand in the projects of others, he’s inlisted a handful collaborators on his album, including a burning guitar solo from J. Mascis at the end of this standout track/
This week’s dark reality bending hip hop track is brought to you by After The Smoke, who shared a new video for “Moments,” which quite possibly might induce some delirium.
Haitian-Canadian indie pop singer and multi-instrumentalist Melissa Laveaux released her new EP Memories Of A Strange Bell, as well as a video for single “Triggers,” a somewhat unsettling track that you’ll find yourself singing along to.
I came across Good Girl & The Bad Times quite by chance after seeing someone else’s kind words about them in my Twitter feed. A couple clicks later and after listening to the subtly sassy retro pop “Cute When I Cry,” I’m now giving this London/NYC duo more kind words.
Douglas Keith – “Pure Gold In The 70′s” (Featuring J Mascis)
Nothing – “Downward Years To Come”
Cold Cave – “God Made The World”
After The Smoke – “Moments”
Blood Orange – “Chamakay”
Melissa Laveaux – “Triggers”
Good Girl & The Bad Times – “Cute When I Cry”
Wild Child – “RilloTalk”
Jared Bartman – “The Cool of Your Temple”