Well my friends, I can’t lie: I’m a bit tired and hungover from about a week’s worth of “farewell” activities. Today’s new music is pretty great but it’s also mostly on the slower end of the BPM spectrum and it isn’t helping my eyes stay open or free from some tears. I’m moving to New York tomorrow and when I’m finished with this music roundup I’ll be packing my last suitcase for the plane ride. So, if any of you are in New York and you spy a tiny lesbian with newly blonde hair and tats, just assume it’s me and say hello. Even if it’s not me I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.
The xx — Coexist (Young Turks/XL Recordings)
Photo by Alexandra Waespi
The xx has turned electronic minimalism into a rare art form. Or, I should say, they’ve taken this type of song composition and made it look easy. Very few acts can draw such a large audience of listeners while using such non-linear musical arrangements and sparse, somewhat hauntingly cold vocals.
Much like the group’s self-titled 2009 debut, the (seemingly) intensely personal lyrics plant a seed in your ear and like a slow climbing vine, wraps around your consciousness. When Romy comes in at the one minute mark of “Unfold,” a part of me felt as though I unraveled with her. “Reunion” and “Sunset” are back-to-back late night lounge tracks keeping a steady slow beat to get you to last call. I am in awe of the power of the band’s ability to capture my attention for the entirety of their albums without getting bored. In fact, if anything, they have me sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation of where they’re going next. Stream the album in its entirety over at NPR. Also, check out this grooved out remix of “Angels” by Bodhi:
The Raveonettes — Observator (Vice Records)
Photo by Soren Solkaer Starbird
The Raveonettes are one of those bands who always seem to put out quality music but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s been a while since they really blew me away. When they first started out, the boy-girl two-part surf-rocking harmonies seemed brand new. This may be an overstatement but I still feel comfortable giving the band credit for helping to bring this style of music in to the spotlight. The only issue I have is that a lot of this album and the one prior to it sound too similar. Still, there are a few songs on Observator (such as “Observations” which you can stream below) which showcase their talent and get me excited to hear their music again. Stream the album over at Spinner.
Snowblink — Inner Classics (Arts & Crafts)
Photo by Caley Monahon-Ward
This is a beautiful indie-folk album with a mellow, gentle and (mostly) up-beat energy to it. If you’re taking a long road trip along some scenic roads and are in need of a relaxing soundtrack, Inner Classics has plenty of songs to add to your playlist. I’d suggest having an alternate mix for the late-night driving, though — this would most likely lull you into a peaceful snooze and no one wants one of those behind the wheel. Stream it for yourself and enjoy.
Music Extras: Unfortunately I don’t have time today to review the latest from Amanda Palmer but you should absolutely check it out, particularly because you can stream it all over at Spinner this week. Also, stream and grab a free download of her song “Trout Heart Replica.”
For some reason I’ve been digging Alpines on the regular these days. Apparently fall can’t come quickly enough and I need to start thinking about my Halloween costume pronto!
Check out this video from singer-songwriter Sweet Soubrette‘s Anais Nin-inspired video “What’s My Desire?”
I’m not sure about you all, but I could really use a jam to get down to while trying to cram as many outfits into my suitcase as possible. Thankfully, “Bastard Baby” is just the thing and you can download it and dance it out over at the KOPPS Soundcloud page. The single comes from an upcoming EP release entitled, F**k Jams. So, um, sign me up.
That’s it for this week! Until next week, when I’ll be writing this from New York City, you can feel free to say, “Word up!” to me on Twitter, look at my baby pictures on Facebook or send nice energy my way from whatever yoga mat is nearest you.