This week is a fair mix of things that had sat on my wishlist for quite some time and albums that I had no idea about before listening to. I've been doing a lot writing this week again, therefore, a lot more lo-fi, low-key albums that the previous two weeks. All in all, a good collection of stuff if I do say so myself. Enjoy.
Kath Bloom - Thin Thin Line: Though Kath Bloom has been recording albums since the '70s, I'd never heard anything by her until this 2010 release. She's has an incredibly fragile, melancholy voice that fits the acoustic folk sound of the music. The album cover actually provides a great window into the sound of the album. Can't wait to hear more of her work.
Best Coast - Something in the Way EP & Where the Boys Are EP: A lo-fi pyschedelic L.A. band, I listened to two of their EPs this week. There's a pleasant sunny California sound to their music that I enjoyed. It wasn't groundbreaking, but definitely a good summery sort of feel that gives them something a little different from other bands playing the same genre which usually tends to be on the wintery side.
Fredrik - Trilogi: This is the second Fredrik album I've heard and it's kind of brilliant. A Sweedish band that plays a kind pyschedelic folk that's very different from the American bands playing the same kind of music. This album is full of interesting and varried influences. There's definite electronic elements that work well with the Floydian elements, all used to create a beautiful collection of songs that's somewhere between Black Moth Super Rainbow and Natural Snow Buildings. One of my favorite albums of the year so far.
tame impala - tame impala: During the second of half of the last decade, Australia produced a whole range of neo-pyschedellic bands, my favorite being The Dolly Rocker Movement. Tame Impala fit the same mold, making music that's very much inspired by late '60s garage pysch. This is EP is like a lost artifact of things that could've been on the Nuggets collection, yet a definite modern heavy riff influence thrown in.
Portugal. The Man.: Devil Say I, I Say AIR!: The token Portugal. The Man mention for the week is this 2006 EP that is as good as any other Portugal the Man release. With each new album I hear, this band seems to shoot up one notch on my all-time favorite bands list. Fantastic indie psychedelic pop.
Television - The Blow Up: Last year, I discovered the pure greatness of Marquee Moon (the band's first album). I was super excited to hear this live album of songs from that era mixed in with some covers. I was shocked to learn just how bland this album is. A mediocre recording quality of a rather uninspired concert. Good for a listen or two, but not much else. Stick to the studio albums.
The Out Crowd - Then I Saw the Holy City: This is Matt Hollywood's band post-Brian Jonestown Massacre. After his departure from that band (well documented in the great movie DIG!), he formed this band. It sounds exactly like BJM, the same music style and feel. But it certainly ranks up there with the best BJM albums.
The Cure - Peel Sessions: A collection of six sessions the band did between '78 and '85 (the link is only to the first one). This is something I've wanted for over a decade and it didn't dissapoint. I'm a huge fan of early Cure and these recordings are full of insane energy. The only week one is the last one, mostly because that mid-80's period is the only Cure era that I'm just not that into.
John Martyn - Solid Air: A 1973 album from a British singer-songwriter who I'd never heard of, surprisingly. I say surprisingly because there was period in my life when I was way into this genre. To my ears, it sounds like a combination of Nick Drake meets James Taylor. To be sure though, there's a clear lean to that emerging coke-jazz-blues that will go onto to dominate so much music of the mid-to-late '70s. But it sounds good here, used to subtle perfection. A lost classic to be sure.
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & The Cairo Gang - Holy Clover 7": Will Oldman (the Prince) does many of these pairing albums with other musicians and the results are usually pretty good. Like with his other pairings, the songs here manage to maintain the signature Bonnie 'Prince' Billy sound, but as always the other band always seems to bring something to the songs that makes them slightly different and interesting. I loved all three songs on here and can't wait for the full-length album.