My Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: Week of 1/2/17
1. All Disco :: Elbow
Three-Sentence Review: Oh Elbow, how you emotionally skewer me and break me into little, tiny, shattering pieces in the best of ways. A new album is coming (February), and I am full of anticipation and impatience, but I woke today to find another new single (check out “Magnificent (She Says)” which dropped in December) released from the album which definitely had to land in the #1 spot this week. “All Disco” is said to be inspired by a conversation that Elbow frontman Guy Garvey had with Pixies’ Black Francis (Francis quoted as saying “you have punk rock, you have rock, you have blues, you have soul, it’s all disco.”), and is already giving my emotions emotions (I’m telling you, Elbow knows how to mess me up good, all while I’m singing-a-long).
Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)
Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+
2. Clinic Hope :: The Gift
Three-Sentence Review: Reminiscent of 80’s electronica, akin in sound and sensibility with Perfume Genius and Passion Pit, and produced by the great Brian Eno, what is not to love about this single? The Gift is well loved and celebrated in their home of Portugal, and have been making noise elsewhere with past releases, and with recent projects with Eno (check out “Love Without Violins, as well, you won’t regret it). Eno brings magic to this already eclectic and alt-pop wonder that The Gift gifts us – and if you aren’t turning this track up and dancing around to it (or at least wishing you could dance around to it) I will be very surprised.
Initial Favorite Track(s): N/A (single)
Rating (1-5 Stars): 5
3. Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect :: Sundara Karma
Three-Sentence Review: First album for a very youthful, guitar led, alt/indie band who may be living that retrospect fun as we speak (and turn their tunes up loud). Vocally they seem older than they appear, and bring to mind Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers and Franz Ferdinand (2004-2005 era, early aughts anybody?) shaken and stirred with some fellow youth up-and-comers like The Wrecks and Clean Cut Kid. This is catchy stuff, full of premature jadedness (littered sparingly with hope, and dare I say again, “youth”) and edgy guitars that solidify this band as “one to watch”.
Initial Favorite Track(s): 4+
Rating (1-5 Stars): “Loveblood”, “Flame” and “Watching from Great Heights”
4. The Drifters :: Zooey
Three-Sentence Review: Low-fi, electroica-ly deft, indie pop goodness that lands the first blow covered in sugar and open air ocean breezes, but comes back later with something a bit stronger, perhaps a whiskey, a sedative and a well placed “french” kiss. Matthieu Beck and Marie Merlet are the French couple musicians who recorded the album in their London home studio, in the midst of a big city, yet somehow captured wide spaces, the ebb and flow of the sea, and summery soft materials blowing off warm skin. When listening to the album, Rosie Thomas come to mind, as does Dove and the Wolf, Camera Obscura, and even a bit of Brian Wilson.
Initial Favorite Track(s): “Realise Realise”, “The Country Song” and “Oh Stop!”
Rating (1-5 Stars): 4
“The Country Song”
5. 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory :: Dropkick Murphys
Three-Sentence Review: Though not as spirited and riotous as past releases, there is still spirit and punch and alcohol-infused reverie within the songs on this new record from Dropkick Murphys (their 9th release). At times sea shanty pirates come to mind (especially “First Class Loser”), at other times the punk sensibilities take center stage, and I can almost see the fists in the air, and the bodies slamming together. I like when the lyrics go heartfelt/heartbroken, when you can feel Boston and the bar in the melodies, and when I feel my body wanting to jump, and jump, as my voice cracks from scream-singing-a-long.
Initial Favorite Track(s): “Rebels with a Cause”, “First Class Loser” and “Paying My Way”
Rating (1-5 Stars): 3+
“Paying My Way”