Hauschka is at least one of two songwriters i’ve heard from this month who wrote music after the birth of their child; i’m beginning to believe that fatherhood has its creative rewards. Hauschka really put in the hours, though, explaining that “after the baby, I had to concentrate to find time to work, so the process was very intense.” The end result is Abandoned City, an album recorded in a burst of energy over ten days. The exception to that is the lead track from the album, and like the album cover, it speaks more about the almost insomniac intensity than the relived joy a father might be feeling after bringing life into the world. “Elizabeth Bay” is a busy interloping piano landscape, fidgety and worrisome with plenty of detail waiting in the wings to be found. The track was actually written for a reinvention of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman, but on its own, it sounds like it’s own world, if not just its own abandoned city. Listen to “Elizabeth Bay” below.
Plugging away since 1999, The National finally hit mainstream success with the release of their 2010 album High Violet. Of course, this entailed their first world tour, but in the new documentary Mistaken For Strangers, it’s only the backdrop for the relationship between lead singer Matt Berninger and his younger brother Tom, who had no idea that these short videos he was shooting would turn into a public document of their troubled, if still loving brotherhood.
We talk with Israeli rockers Vaadat Charigim about some of their favorite records.
We talk with Yvonne Ambree and Jesse Barnes of Take Berlin about some of the records which influenced the recording of their debut EP, Lionize.
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