In order to try and get back into the swing of music coverage, here’s a selection of new – and new to me – music that I have found over the past week on Rdio.
Click the band and album titles for Rdio links.
This week saw a ton of really great records pop up on my radar – the most surprising of which was a new album from The Casket Girls. A trio including sisters Phaedra & Elsa Greene and Ryan Graveface from Black Moth Super Rainbow, the band dropped a debut album back in November of 2012 that I thoroughly enjoyed – though didn’t outright love. I had no idea that they even had another record in the works, so when True Love Kills the Fairy Tale landed in my notifications, I was pretty stoked.
Turns out, The Casket Girls have taken a half-step out of the dark-wave sound that they worked within on their previous album. While their distorted casio synths, over-modulated drums and general sense of doom’n’gloom is thoroughly intact, the Greene sisters have really crafted some huge, soaring and beautiful hooks that slice through the oft-bleak – though sure to be divisive – lyrics. The entire first side of this album is one absolutely stunning pop song after another. Some may grow tired of their schtick by the time the record flips, but for anyone who loved Ryan Graveface’s ear for grungily textural pop music, there’s enough here to highly recommend you snag this album.
I’ve been hotly anticipating this one. You’re Gonna Miss It All is another incredible album of midwestern-emo influenced indie-rock/punk from Modern Baseball. These youngsters are two-for-friggin’-two on great records stuffed with funny, clever, almost embarrassing-how-relatable-they-can-be lyrics and infectious hooks. You’re Gonna Miss It All is destined to be an album that I wear out over the course of an entire year.
It’s also the kind of record that deftly balances its lyricism between the witty and verbose, and cuttingly blunt and honest. When Brendan Lukens sings “I hate worrying about the future, because all my fuckin’ problems are based around the past” on opener “Fine, Great”, it’s all too easy to relate. You’re Gonna Miss It All is an album about getting in over your head, falling apart, fucking up, worrying too much, and how ultimately human these feelings, relationships and experiences are.
Anyone who’s shared a good, deep conversation over some beers will find something to nod their head, understandingly, to. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also goddamn undeniably catchy.
After getting a press release from Test Pattern Recordings about this album and not recognizing the name of the label, band or album, I regrettably archived the email in a knee-jerk reaction. A few hours later, I felt some weird pull to go back and check out the email again. After noting the name, I took to Rdio to see if the album was streaming yet, and there it was – released that exact day, on February 11th.
I tossed it on, wasn’t instantly impressed, and moved on to some other albums cluttering up my to listen list. And then I felt that pull, and again returned to Soft Science‘s album Detour. Finally, after giving the album its due, it hit me – this band is really, really great. I love when an album comes along and proves just how fickle I can be with my listening habits. It’s a lesson we could all take to heart – give albums some time! Revisit albums you weren’t initially taken with – you might end up digging them.
I have no idea how on my first listen I overlooked the fact that Detour sounds like what would happen if Stereolab, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, and Frankie Rose collaborated on an album in a room full of Big Muff guitar pedals. Sure, it never really reaches the heights of the aforementioned artists’ best work, but Detour is a suitably enjoyable little album of kraut-dream-pop tunes encased in fuzz – and it really deserves to be heard by more people. Seek this one out if you’re a fan of those bands, you’ll be happy you did.
Speaking of surprises again, here’s Cibo Matto dropping Hotel Valentine in 2014, and it just might be their most fully realized album they’ve ever released. I’ve always been a general fan of their stuff since I saw a live performance of “Birthday Cake” on Viva Variety! in 1997 – but this album is next level.
I don’t even know how to really describe Hotel Valentine – it’s certainly not as scattershot as some of their past work; it moves from downtempo, jazzy tracks like the title track, to the upbeat bounce of “MFN” – which will leave the refrain of “Don’t throw the fucking oyster shell at me!” running through your head all week – with ease.
It just plays so well as a whole, with not a single track that sticks out. Honestly, I don’t think I expected this album from them, and yet here we are – and I can’t get enough of it.