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2017. augusztus 29., kedd

MUSiC iN YOUR EARS #17/30 - STRANGEST THING / TEN EXCiTiNG TRACKS: 46m





10 EXCiTiNG TRACKS / STRANGEST THING The War On Drugs, Robert Plant, Grizzly Bear, Jack Cooper, Karl Bau,Omni, The Jesus and Mary Chain Feat. Sky Ferreira, King Gizzard & The Lizard with Mild High Club, Cloakroom, Julien Baker

The War On Drugs - Strangest Thing 6:41
...Whereas most of the War on Drugs’ best songs are slivers of road trip-ready Americana that negotiate a zen state between galloping rhythms and lightness, “Strangest Thing” is cut from a different cloth. A slow-burner, it lumbers out the gate full of portent and, over the course of its runtime expertly dials up the drama, with Wurlitzer organs and a wall of synths that lead to a booming finale. Singer Adam Granduciel has never sounded more like Dylan than he does here, and while his lyrics express the ambivalence of a man stuck in an in-between state (“I ain’t got everything I need/If I’m just living in the space between the beauty and the pain”), the mammoth riff and wandering guitar solos that punctuate the song’s climax undercut his ambiguity with a bigness that sounds absolute and definitive. This is the kind of song that you can only imagine being performed outdoors under an enormous sky; it’s a testament to Granduciel’s growing powers that suddenly no space seems too big for him to fill.

Robert Plant - The May Queen 4:14
...rock legend Robert Plant has just announced that he’ll drop a new album called Carry Fire on us this fall. Plant recorded the album with the Sensational Shape Shifters, the same band who backed him up on his last album, 2014’s Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar, and Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde joins him on a cover of Ersel Hickey’s 1958 song “Bluebirds Over The Mountain.” “The May Queen” is the album’s opening track and first single, and its title is a reference to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven.” The song recalls the incantory folk-rock of Led Zeppelin III, but it’s also got more modern touches, like a burbling synth, in there. It’s pretty good!

Grizzly Bear - Four Cypresses 4:48
...With "Four Cypresses," the band invites you away to strange, trippy world, while also providing some relevant commentary about the world we're living in today (Rossen wrote the lyrics about a homeless man's perspective on the refugee crisis). Because of lines like, "Great thundering noise/ from the hillside/ Some thousands of years built up/ some crumbling form to be torn down," the writing here is as haunting as the music surrounding it...

Jack Cooper - A Net 2:59
Jack Cooper is an English artist from outside Blackpool, England.  With his forthcoming record, Sandgrown (8/25 Trouble In Mind Records) he’s attempted to distill his experience of growing up on the Fylde Coast into his songwriting.  If the first single, “A Net” is any indicator, he’s succeeded in at least painting a vivid portrait.  The single is a gently paced amble through finger-picked folk and Cooper’s delicate tenor.  Of the tune Cooper said “The thing I really wanted to do was make something that sounded like how it felt in the fields and woods near my house… to make something that sounded uneasy.”  While “uneasy” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind in the languidly pretty tune, it is easy to see how it could evoke the pastoral aspect of what Cooper describes.

Karl Bau - Slow Children 4:21
Blau's own music is wildly diverse. Usually classified as an "indie rock" musician, it proves a woefully inadequate categorization. Blau's sounds include grafting folk and country-rock onto hazy blues, rocksteady reggae, '70s soul harmonies, and ceremonial-sounding flutes, bossa nova, dub, and experimental drone in an unpredictable, shape-shifting mixture of elements.

Omni - Southbound Station 2:42
...they’ve shared another new track from their sophomore LP, Multi-task — it’s called “Southbound Station” and it’s accompanied by a shadow-lit performance video of them. Here’s what they have to say about the track: ‘Southbound Station’ is a song about being young in Atlanta, barely aware of anything beyond your immediate surroundings. There was always a sense of urgency to make it to the next destination where there may be a lover or a house show to attend. Years disappeared into the drunken void as I got to know the city—a charming yet challenging experience at the same time.

The Jesus and Mary Chain Feat. Sky Ferreira - The Two Of Us 4:12
The Jesus And Mary Chain released their first album in 17 years, Damage And Joy, back in March, and a couple months later they brought Sky Ferreira on The Late Show to perform with them on “The Two Of Us.” Ferreira guested on the album itself, on a track called “Black And Blues,” but she didn’t actually sing on the final album version of “The Two Of Us.” That honor went to former Belle And Sebastian member Isobel Campbell, but today the band has shared an alternate version of the track with Ferreira’s vocals subbed in for Campbell’s.

King Gizzard & The Lizard with Mild High Club - Rolling Stoned 3:18
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have shared their latest album, Sketches of Brunswick East. The release marks the band’s third studio full-length of the year (!!!) following Flying Microtonal Banana and Murder of the Universe. Sketches of Brunswick East is a collaboration with Los Angeles outfit Mild High Club, which came about as the bands toured the world together. The two bands worked by essentially sampling themselves, piecing together bits of reworked recordings to form a complete song. In a press release, lead singer Stu Mackenzie likened it to “sampling-culture, in which old ideas are reshaped and suddenly things make sense. It was like we were continually jamming with ourselves.” The album’s title was inspired by Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain with a nod to King Gizzard’s hometown of Melbourne.


Cloakroom - The Passenger 9:08
Northwest Indiana trio Cloakroom take a muscular approach to shoegaze by adding a wallop of fundamental metal crunch, and while that’s a well-worn fusion at this point, they don’t quite sound like other bands who attempt this. They draw on conventional ’90s rock, and especially its affinity for chunky riffs. Despite moving to the metal-oriented label Relapse for their second album Time Well, they cut back on overt heaviness and lean more on bittersweet dream-rock. In doing so, they strike a better balance of the two and reveal themselves to be slyer than they appear at first glance.

Julien Baker - Appointments 4:33
Accompanied by intermittent piano and echoing guitar, Baker describes a relationship with so many cracks, it’s a marvel it’s still standing. “Don’t argue/It’s not worth the effort to lie,” she sings before swiveling her thoughts around to a broader philosophical point: “Maybe the emptiness is just a lesson in canvasses.” The song’s most astonishing moment comes when Baker launches into a refrain that should strike a deep nerve in any depressive: “Maybe it’s all gonna turn out all right/And I know that it’s not/But I have to believe that it is.” The instrumentation drops out, and she repeats that final line of faith with enough conviction to make “Appointments” ring like a hymn.



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