Following up one of the most adored debuts in recent years was no small task for Justin Vernon. Especially given the context of that first isolated introduction (emotionally weathered songwriter records his heart out in a Wisconsin cabin). But all signs since For Emma, Forever Ago have pointed to a more adventurous Vernon; his falsetto having now rested over a wide range of sounds, from experimental ambient (Volcano Choir) to smooth R&B (Gayngs) to polarizing pop (Kanye West). Bon Iver leaves those woods in the past, wisely preserving their fragile magic, in favor of a dynamic surrounding world, densely populated with grand ideas.
[BoxTitle]Ty Segall: Goodbye Bread[/BoxTitle] [Listen]http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/luisterpaal/44851470#luisterpaal.44851470[/Listen]
Ty Segall is an all riffs, no nonsense kind of guy, and he’s never been more to the point than on Goodbye Bread. These are clear 60s-informed rock songs with immediately hummable hooks, no longer covered in the fuzz of previous work. And he’s added the slow-burner to his repertoire, hitting that Kinks-ian sweet spot in a few places including the title track.
[BoxTitle]When Saints Go Machine: Konkylie[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideos]http://heavy.com/music/music-video/electronic-music-videos/2011/06/when-saints-go-machine-fail-forever-2/[/MusicVideos] [Listen]http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/av/2011/06/album-stream-when-saints-go-machine—konkylie.html[/Listen]
This Danish quartet sonically resembles The Knife at their bounciest, while vocally bringing to mind Arthur Russell, and at times Antony Hegarty. It’s an intriguing contrast; and when the name-tag game wears off, there’s enough here to firmly grasp, like young love anthem “Kelly” and spacier excursion “Add Ends.”
[BoxTitle]YACHT: Shangri-La[/BoxTitle] [Listen]http://www.npr.org/2011/06/14/137082018/first-listen-yacht-shangri-la[/Listen]
Jona Bechtolt’s 5th album and second since YACHT’s identity shift to a futuristic, serotonin-charged guy/girl duo on dance label DFA, Shangri-La can be considered a natural continuation. 2009’s See Mystery Lights was a mantra-wielding hit, custom tweaked for a performance-based utopian vision. This is more of that. Find out when they reach your town, and mark calendars accordingly.
[BoxTitle]The Caretaker: An Empty Bliss Beyond This World[/BoxTitle] [Listen]http://alteredzones.com/posts/1492/zoned-caretaker-empty-bliss-beyond-world/[/Listen]
The relationship between music and memory is evident even at a short glance. Though outside of medical research, connections below the surface are rarely explored, especially in album format. Berlin-based British composer James Leyland Kirby is of the few that do. An Empty Bliss Beyond This World is his latest breakthrough in a life’s work, this time focusing on ‘the ability of Alzheimer’s patients to recollect passages of music from their past and connect them to specific people and places’. By sourcing and splicing old ballroom jazz records into a strikingly eerie cycle of electronic mastery, Kirby somehow brings us through confusion, déjà vu, and beautiful nostalgia. Headphones recommended.