Saturday, October 30, 2010
Found this one recently and I love it. A great departure from the naïveness of her previous efforts, stepping firmly towards a more dark territory. The incessant beat and the bold atittude in her voice make this absolutely perfect. The track is produced and co-written by Peter Bjorn and John’s Björn Yttling and it is available on her website alongside B-side Paris Blue, both of which are also available on 7-inch vinyl. Grab the MP3's here. As for the video: very impressive and very “now”, love it!
Monday, October 25, 2010
I'll never grow tired of saying how much I love Hidden and its radicalism. Fusing so many disparate worlds (pop vs erudite, industrial vs tribal, beauty vs scariness) in such an ambitious and coherent piece of work, it's slowly becoming one of my favourite albums, well, ever. Hologram is a small piece of that big puzzle built this year by These New Puritans, and it now gets a simple and quite effective video treatment which is definitely worth watching. And on a side note: really happy that I'll be seeing these guys in concert soon!
On their fourth album, Deerhunter seem like finally reaching what could be considered their sonic adulthood, with a collection of extremely well-crafted indie songs and a more mature and quiet sound. So what do they now that they have grown up? Well, basically what all good adults should do: look back to those good old days and make a record filled with sweet and warm nostalgia.
Gone are the cathartic feedback and reverb explosions, now all that matters are the songs themselves - and damm-perfect songs they are, evoking past sentiments with a surprising sense of positivism, something not quite common with these guys before. And in the meantime, the more extreme experimentation of previous records is now replaced by a new-found sense of classicism and formality. Who knew that Deerhunter would give new meanings to the idea of languid adulthood and be so good at it? (7,5/10)
Deerhunter - Helicopter (video)
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
The Body Talk operation may still haven't reached its end, with the 3rd and final part scheduled to come out in a few weeks, but I guess we can all agree on something already: risky as it may have been, the decision to launch three different mini-albums in the space of just a few months is already a full-bloom success. With it, Robyn has managed to stay on the radar for most of the year, each release analysed through many different angles, while keeping everyone waiting with anticipation for the next one.
Of course none of this would be possible if the music didn't live up to the expectations, but so far so good. After Part 1 marked her return into the pop world, experimenting with different styles, Part 2 is now a more relaxed and loose affair, turning its full attention into the dancefloor, with an updated take of electro-house, all upbeat and fierce - save one last acoustic number. Being Robyn one of the most idiosyncratic pop stars out there, you know the rest: it's always a pleasure to take part of an overwhelming journey into her very-own world. (8/10)
Robyn - Hang With Me (video)
Sunday, October 17, 2010
One cannot accuse Hurts of being impatient or wanting to rush things up. After all, it took more than one year between the hype began and their debut album's launch. But the least that can be said now is that the wait was more than worth it.
During this year, Hurts have managed to slowly create an impossibly elegant universe around them, full of eighties references, germanic influences and impeccable haircuts and suits. That universe now goes full-bloom in Happiness, a collection of 11 songs with faultless melodies, overtly-melodramatic atmospheres and enigmatic stories. United by an intelligent concept of operatic and artificial drama, together with a larger-than-life approach towards the many sentiments that pop music can achieve in one single song, this is a sure indicator that the future bolds really well for this unique and ambitious duo. (8/10)
Hurts - Stay (video)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I first heard this track when he gave that surprise performance at this year’s VMAs. And it sounded incredible. This new sound of his takes the 808s & Heartbreak experience a few notches up and proves that Kanye West is, indeed, one of the most interesting and risk-taking artists at the moment. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album and watch his short-film/video for this track. Yes, he portraits himself as a bit of a larger than life character but it all comes down to this: West is one of the most inspirational musicians recording at the moment. I’ll follow this next release very closely.
Kanye West - Runaway (mp3 via In Flex We Trust)
Monday, October 11, 2010
With all the delays and news that their label made them re-record it all over again, Klaxons sophomore album was supposed to be a big failure. Even more if you think that they were the purveyors of a once-hip-genre (nu-rave) that didn't stay hip for so long and ended up being more of a joke than anything else.
Well, the good news is that Surfing The Void is not the disaster it was meant to be, actually on the contrary. It's true that now the songs are buried in a wall of noise that almost suffocates them, but underneath all the heavy sounds (courtesy of producer Ross Robinson, hum, "The Godfather of Nu-Metal") they still exist and are more than recommended. And in fact, that dense atmosphere seems brave enough to give their trademark mysticism a whole new look and feel. Almost as good as that cute LOL-cat on the cover. (8/10)
Klaxons - The Same Space (mp3 via The New Montreal)
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
More than one year into being the hippest movement with the coolest bands, it was only inevitable that chillwave, as a music genre, would soon start seeing its first variations / deviations. Hypnagogic pop is one of them, and while keeping those trademark lo-fi production values intact, along with the dreamy and nostalgic vibes that pretty much define chillwave, there's also a much darker atmosphere that is not so common in projects like Memory Tapes, Neon Indian or Toro Y Moi but can easily be found in Salem. Menacing would actually be a good word to describe what's heard in King Night, in a way that sort of brings into mind those first dubstep records some years ago, before dubstep started moving into lighter territories. But that's actually only the beginning. In a nutshell, there's some truly intense creepy-goth-blissful-hollowed-out beauty out there. (8/10)
Salem - Asia (video)
Saturday, October 02, 2010
It's becoming more and more clear that this album will turn out to be one of my main A/W 2010 soundtracks. Zola Jesus (a.k.a. Nika Rosa Danilova) is an opera-trained singer with a voice that reminds me a bit of Florence Welch... that is, if Flo was reinvented as a mysterious gothic witch about to suck your blood - and you wouldn't want to resist her hunger. To sum it up, it's basically brilliant. (8,5/10)
Zola Jesus - Night (video)