There are about a million and one new releases today so I’m going to have to break these up into today and tomorrow! I’ve got a busy week ahead of me but it’s one that includes seeing one of my very favorite bands, Le Butcherettes, performing on Friday. I barely have a voice left right now so I can’t imagine what it will sound like by the end of this weekend. If you’re in Chicago and can’t make it to their show Friday, they’ll be playing the Do-Division festival on Saturday. Then on Sunday, you can come say hello to me as I guest-judge the 1st Annual Singer-Songwriter Shakedown. The winner will get to open for Chely Wright over Pride weekend! I apologize in advance for what I am going to do to my liver this summer.
Speaking of fun things in the future, tomorrow I’ll be reviewing the releases from Dana Jade, LRN GRN, Regina Spektor, Rebecca Ferguson and Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles. So come on back now y’hear?
2:54 — 2:54 (Fat Possum)
The self-titled debut full-length from sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow is a beautiful, dark and delicately ferocious musical journey. Though they are fairly new to the music industry in general, their talent has made them a go-to opener for acts like Wild Beasts, The xx and Warpaint. Listen to this when you’re in the mood to emote and you might as well keep that repeat button lit up.
Emeli Sandé — Our Version of Events (Virgin)
The Scottish artist has finally released her U.S. debut and, in my mind, shows a very bright future for soulful R&B. The one issue I seem to be having is the dramatic change in song styles with no real cohesive bridge allowing for a seamless experience. She is very talented and has proven she is versatile and can perform pop, gospel, Broadway and trip-hop styles of R&B. Next time, my only suggestion for improvement would be to find a way to tie the songs together in a more fluid way.
Gemma Ray — Island Fire (Bronze Rat Records)
I can’t lie — her song “How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall” is driving me a bit crazy. It’s making me feel like I’m hearing the mental breakdown of Natalie Portman in Black Swan is playing itself out in my ears. Thankfully, the album doesn’t consist of too many more songs that I’m afraid will force me to toss my computer over the nearest balcony. Gemma has potential and I definitely believe she put a lot of herself into this album; but, much like a normal maturation cycle, her music needs to go through a bit more until her songs can be enjoyed on a more universal level. There is an entire theme here that ends up sounding like the listener is being hit over the head with the same metaphor over and over. Island Fire isn’t doing it for me but think she could be incredible with more guidance. Stream the album over at Spinner.
Grass Widow — Internal Logic (HLR)
If you have been missing Electrelane at all, Internal Logic‘s album opener, “Goldilocks Zone,” will be a welcome listen. This unpolished garage rock has the kind of casual coolness to it that almost makes you feel as though some of it could be rubbed off on you. This should be played loudly at summer bonfires with a cooler filled with cheap beer and a nicer bottle of whiskey. Have a listen here.
Honorable Mentions: Beck (new EP on Jack White‘s label), Scissor Sisters, The Mars Volta, Sigur Ros, King Tuff, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, The Dig, Public Image, Ltd., Laurel Halo, Sun Kil Moon, The Walkmen, Tassels, Amon Tobin.
More Music News: In case you weren’t able to hear Ladyhawke‘s new album yet, you can stream it right here. Annie Rise has put out a video for her club jam “Get Into My Car.” She’s really into hand and arm gestures and whipping her hair. Keep doin’ you girl. Sea of Bees is giving away a free download of her song “Gone.” Thanks Team Love!