Can we not bullshit about Shields, please? I mean, I understand that there are certain ethical issues to be taken into account when discussing albums that have leaked, but I’m not going to pretend I haven’t heard this record. I have. It’s another excellent effort from these guys. This is easily one of BPM’s most anticipated releases of 2012, and I believe it lives up to its lofty expectations. It’s cohesive, extremely well-sequenced, and the songs are of such high quality and sound so irrefutably like Grizzly Bear, it’s hard to imagine fans of Veckatimest being disappointed.
Another one of our most anticipated releases here at BPM is Flying Lotus’ Until The Quiet Comes. This week, FlyLo released a short film of the same title, featuring snippets of three tracks from the album that each sound heavenly. This had me going back to his last two efforts, Los Angeles and Cosmogramma, both of which are still among my favorite albums released in their years. FlyLo is truly a master of his craft, effortlessly blending styles ranging from hip hop to jazz to ambient to soul, and so it is with great eagerness that we await Until The Quiet Comes.
The Cocteau Twins must surely be among the most influential acts for this current surge of shoegaze and dream-pop artists we’re experiencing. Pairing whimsically unintelligible vocals with crystalline, cavernous instrumentals, they were one the definitive artists for 4AD and the band I’m most frequently reminded of when listening to releases from current dream-pop labels such Captured Tracks. The album I’ve been listening to this week is their most recognized, Treasure, which features several now-classic tracks such as “Ivo” and “Lorelai” that still hit my shoegaze sweet spot as well as any current artists do.
These plays stem from my listening to Stars’ latest effort, The North, along with a few cursory plays of my favorite earlier tracks of theirs. At times I’ve found Stars to be a little cheesy, both lyrically and musically, but they’re still able to strike a chord with me emotionally, which is all that really matters.
If you talked about any young rapper this week, it was most likely Chief Keef, who sparked an outrage by reacting rather despicably to fellow teenage MC Lil Jojo’s murder just a few days ago. But on the other end of the spectrum is Joey Bada$$, a 17 year old New Yorker who quietly released his second mixtape of the year yesterday, Rejex, consisting of songs that didn’t end up on the excellent first one, 1999. Both mixtapes sound irrevocably like good 90’s New York rap records, which makes the young MC a big draw in my book.
Andrew W.K. has seen a bit of a resurgence this week thanks to the reissue of his polarizing party record I Get Wet. I have little to add to the conversation comparing this album’s current standing among the snobbish indie community to its original reception, but I will say that I think I benefit from my youth when listening to I Get Wet, because I don’t have the kind of knee-jerk reaction to hair metal that most people who lived through that genre’s peak do. Party on.
Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala have been a personal favorite of mine ever since I first heard their incredible debut album, Innerspeaker, after hearing rumblings that they were blowing MGMT out of the water night-after-night on their opening tour for them. I didn’t get to catch them live until Lollapalooza this year, but when I finally did, it was well worth the wait. Tame Impala are masters at weaving psychedelic soundscapes together, and their upcoming sophomore effort, Lonerism, promises more of the same excellence in this field.
I’ve been helplessly addicted to AlunaGeorge’s new single, “Your Drums, Your Love,” for over a week now. It’s probably the best electronic earworm I’ve heard this year, taking the warped synths recently perfected by Purity Ring and turning them upside down with Burial-like beats and incredibly juicy vocal hooks. It hits the sweet spot for this kind of music perfectly for me; there’s nothing else I can say about it.
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