Saturday, May 28, 2016

Weekend Music Roundup

Summer has arrived! With the sweltering heat, it feels more like July than May. I hate the heat, but at least it's a good excuse to lounge around and listen to music. Continuing with the trend of the last few weeks, this list consists of pretty much all new releases. Next week is likely to also include many new releases, because like I said, it's summer and with the heat comes an explosion of new tunes. This was a good week with lots of great stuff and a few contenders for my best of the year list so far. So sit back, find some music, and above all, enjoy!

Guided By Voices - Please Be Honest: The Ohio lo-fi indie band's first proper album in two years is unsurprisingly similar to any of their previous albums. By that, I mean these are more flashes of brilliance in brief song sketches that hint at some horrible and interesting mythology that lies just around the corner. Some people get easily frustrated by the nature of GBV's albums, but the sketches are what I love about them. This is a great addition to their catalog. Some favorites of mine are "I Think of Telescope," "The Quickers Arrive," "The Caterpillar Workforce," and "Eye Shop Heaven."

The Red Krayola - Baby and Child Care: Just released is this recently unearthed, unheard 1984 recording from the experimental band. The band takes words from Dr. Spock books on child care and reads them over their usual brand of quirky experimental psych pop. More interesting than actually good, though it's not as hard to listen to as it might seem on the surface. One of those albums that is really a one-listen kind of thing. A curiosity for those familiar with the band. "Make Believe in Moderation" is probably the best on here.

The Fucking Champs - IV: Released in 2000, this is the fourth album from the Santa Cruz metal/ math rock band which features the former guitarist from Nation of Ulysses. In a lot of ways, this is prog rock, mixed with indie rock, but with metal elements. The entire album is instrumental and as with all math rock, features intriguing arrangements. It reminds in a lot of ways of a more structured Mars Volta. I was unfamiliar with these guys until this album was given to me, which is surprising considering they are on Drag City records and in the '90s and early 00's, I was well-versed with that label's catalog. Great stuff and I will definitely be checking out more of their offerings.

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project: It's been five years since PJ's landmark "Let England Shake" and last month this long awaited follow-up record was finally released. As with that album, this is a bit of political protest record. Also like it's predecessor, it's more art rock than anything she did earlier in her career. A solid album, though a little less earthy than LES, which was one of the things I loved about that album.

Woodpigeon - Trouble: The Calgary indie folk band's seventh album came out last month, their first in three years. I loved their last record, but this one is even more spectacular. There's a eerie darkness shrouded in beauty, which is the kind of album that always grabs me. Similar to Cocoon, this catchy enough to appeal to indie pop fans, but deep enough to thrill folk fans. There is not a bad song on this album, which is shaping up to be one of my favorites of the year.

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