You’re very likely already at least five listens deep to this album seeing as it came out a couple of weeks ago but I couldn’t let my recommended album post pass without a nod to the Canadian king of slacker indie-pop, whose albums rarely deviate but which offer immense comfort in its meandering and superbly-written arrangements . DeMarco is a better songwriter than his reputation suggests and This Old Dog is proof.
Favourite tracks: ‘For The First Time’, ‘My Old Man’, ‘Baby You’re Out’
This New Zealand artist’s John Parish-produced album for 4AD is a particular weighty listen. There shades of vintage alt-folk, orchestral ballads and intense singer-songwriter confessionals. ‘Party’ lulls you in with a lustful touch and dependence, Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas contributes on subtle torch song ‘Imagining My Man’ while the close-mic finger-pick of ‘I’m So Sorry’ and the outward sustained notes of ‘Horizon’ are highlights. This is an intimate journey from an artist who feels on the cup of something bigger.
Favourite tracks: ‘Party’, ‘Imagining My Man’, ‘Horizon’.
Perennial New York dance-punk party band !!! (chk chk chk) can be relied on to bring the looped sample disco punk-funk rhythms and their seventh album recorded at their studio in Brooklyn doesn’t deviate too much from their established pattern, except in the vocal department where a rotating cast of female singers bring the heat including Lea Lea, Meah Pace, Nicole Fayu, Cameron Mesirow (Glasser) and Molly Schnick. Throw shade and shake the shudder away.
Favourite tracks: ‘Dancing Is The Best Revenge’, ‘The one 2’, ‘NRGQ’.
English producer Matthew Barnes releases his first Forest Sword album of textured electronic instrumentals (with sampled vocals) in 4 years. There’s a sound world vibe to the release, as if it was constructed to soundtrack to an imaginary place, removed from linear time. Remember that old PC game – Myst? Compassion feels like it could work as an alternative soundtrack to that world. That makes sense, Barnes recently composed music for the Assassin’s Creed game an is planning multidisciplinary projects in dance, performance, film and music to augment this album.
One of the appeals of Girlpool’s early work was its amateur minimalism, it’s nascent development. Leo Tucker and Harmony Tividad’s didn’t have a drummer and it worked for them. For album two on Anti records, a drummer has been added and their more extreme vocals seem to be have been dampened. On first listen, Girlpool may sound more like every other indie-rock band now but there’s a charm to what they do. Powerplant reminds me of the music of the Breeders. Only time and more listens with it will tell if it’s a keeper.
Taking its name from the iconic New York graffiti artist and the ’80s New York club scene, ‘Keith Haring’ is a silky synth-funk percussive dancefloor throwback to that era on a Cold Tonic release that also pays homage to the club ‘Danceteria’ with a classic house jam. ‘Keith Haring’ is a tribute to inclusivity.
“No matter an individual’s social status, sexual orientation, colour or creed, there was always explicit enjoyment and inclusivity within the musical surrounding”.
A headspinning Four Tet remix for an as yet unreleased Todd Terje song finally gets a full release after numerous radio rip uploads.
The Juan Maclean – ‘Can You Ever Really Know Somebody?’
The return of Nancy Wang and John for some DFA dancefloor grooving. It’s the pair’s first release since 2014’s In A Dream. A remix from LA-4A, aka Ambivalent is on the B-side. A new album is on the way.
Lowly – ‘Mornings’
A highlight from the Danish five-piece’s new album Heba on Bella Union, that crosses sustained synths, frantic drums and sweet vocals.
Girlpool – ‘123’
I’d a soft spot for Leo Tucker and Harmony Tividad’s teenage indie rock music project Girlpool and I played it on my TXFM show often during the two years of broadcasting. A new album called Powerplant is on the way on Anti Records, and the duo have finally added a drummer to their lineup. ‘123’ is on the lovely lilting end of what they do best.
Charlotte Adigéry – ‘Senegal Seduction’
An uncharacteristically laidback atmospheric release on Soulwax’s Dee Wee label from Beglian singer Charlotte Adigéry with production by Bolis Popil, who gave us the absolute jam ‘Wei’ already this year on the label.
As debuted this morning, Alt-J released the opening song from their third album Relaxer this morning. ‘3WW’ starts out as a quiet atmospheric English folk-song which builds into an orchestral ballad. It’s certainly a change for the band. Guest vocalist is Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell. Visuals are from Playstation game LSD: Dream Emulator.
With so many albums being released there is only so many that one man (me) can write about, so as another way of featuring some recommended albums beyond the reviews and album of the week posts, here is a list with links to the best albums of the last month with a regularly updated Spotify playlist you can subscribe to so you always have something long-playing to listen to.
Previously unmentioned albums include Irish producer Ebauche’s beautifully serene ambient album Adrift, the X-Files-influenced electronic of Palmbomben II, the teen duo Girlpool sharing their small worlds on the big stage and a potential classic in the Chance The Rapper / Donnie Trumpet all-star album (only released on US iTunes).
As broadcast last night, as it is every Thursday from 10pm to midnight TXFM.
This week’s album of the week is Father John Misty’s stunning and biting I Love You, Honeybear and there are debut plays from Diet Cig, Ex Hex, Alabama Shakes, Young Wonder, Portico and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The first hour delved into dark electronics while the second was a bit indie, a bit rap and a bit gorgeous.
Hot Chip – ‘Huarache Lights’ All Tvvins – ‘Thank You’ Ex Hex – ‘Don’t Wanna Lose’ Young Wonder – ‘Intergalactic’ Sylvan Esso – ‘Coffee’ Father John Misty – ‘The Ideal Husband’ Courtney Barnett – ‘Avant Gardener’ Diet Cig – ‘Scene Sick’ The Time – ‘Jungle Love’ The Go! Team – ‘Blowtorch’ Alabama Shakes -‘Future People’ Girlpool – ‘Jane’ The Drink – ‘Fever’
Portico – ‘101’ (feat. Joe Newman) Father John Misty – ‘The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.’ Waterstrider – ‘White Light’ Hundred Waters – ‘Show Me Love’ Ibeyi – ‘Ghosts’ St. Vincent – ‘Pieta’ Wax Stag – ‘Race To The Lake’ Murlo – ‘Deep Breath’ (feat. Gemma Dunleavy) GOODTIME – ‘Did You Even Notice?’ I Am The Cosmos – ‘Look Me In The Eye’ Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Multi-Love’ Kormac – ‘Wake Up’ (Feat. Bajka) Fort Romeau feat. New Jackson – ‘Not A Word’