Very few bands have gotten to where Wilco is, operating completely in their own terms, like Wilco has. Artistic leaps of faith have defined their two-decade spanning career; it’s what made the shape-shift between indie Americana and cerebral experimentation on 2002 masterpiece Yankee Hotel Foxtrot so compelling, and it’s what’s made the last two LP’s full of comfortable, unapologetically uncool alt-country rock so divisive, and respectable. The Whole Love, Wilco’s 8th outing, sees Jeff Tweedy and Co getting adventurous again, opening up their recent light streak to more left-field nuances and edgier departures. Fans of Yankee and 2004’s A Ghost Is Born should rejoice, and traditionalists should find plenty to hum as well.
[BoxTitle]Twin Sister: In Heaven[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo]http://heavy.com/music/music-video/indie-music-videos/2011/08/twin-sister-bad-street/[/MusicVideo] [Listen]http://hypetrak.com/2011/09/twin-sister-in-heaven-full-album-stream/[/Listen] [BuyNow]http://www.amazon.com/In-Heaven/dp/B005MVJJPO/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317066224&sr=301-1[/BuyNow]
This debut full length from Long Island sultry-pop act Twin Sister arrives already quite deep in the buzz pool thanks to a previous pair of EPs. The first of those introduced them as moody romantics, then the second release cut some of that mist with disco bliss, as seen on breakout single “All Around and Away We Go“. It was clear that they’d landed on something, and In Heaven proves to follow through on the pace, never staying in one place for too long. Bouncy numbers are intermixed with atmospheric stretches—a healthy routine of uppers and dreamers, all grounded by lead songstress Andrea Estella’s chameleon coo. And it’s just right at 35 minutes, skipping out before the awkward breakfast.
[BoxTitle]Gem Club: Breakers[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo]http://youtu.be/6a_ZXHYbfjk[/MusicVideo] [BuyNow]http://www.amazon.com/Breakers/dp/B005MVHBC2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1317080924&sr=8-3[/BuyNow]
As a minimalistic trend sweeps electronic, here’s something to remind us how evocative sparse arrangements can also be when classically driven. Breakers, the debut LP from Massachusetts duo Gem Club, is comprised entirely of piano and cello, with the occasional echo of a bell, creak in a chair, and other general subtleties from the recording process. The rest belongs to Christopher Barnes’ whispered delivery, forever cementing time in a tragic state. There’s a difference between depressing and sad, and Gem Club achieves the latter through calming beauty, which could very well inspire the opposite of the former.
[BoxTitle]Youth Lagoon: The Year of Hibernation[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo]http://heavy.com/music/music-video/indie-music-videos/2011/09/youth-lagoon-montana/[/MusicVideo] [Listen]http://www.spin.com/articles/album-premiere-youth-lagoons-breakout-pop[/Listen] [BuyNow]http://www.amazon.com/The-Year-Of-Hibernation/dp/B005HPD8ZC/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317066178&sr=301-1[/BuyNow]
As covered here before, the Youth Lagoon story is one of instant stardom. Thanks to powerful, heartbroken lullabies like “July” and “Canons“, a shy Boise college student named Trevor Powers got his album picked up by Fat Possum / Lefse, and his first ever show in NYC sold out (on a current tour that’s officially overruled school). The Year of Hibernation is worth the fuss, bedroom built with an impressively grand and painfully sincere feel. Its lyrics deal with internal anxiety, and if that’s a muse now, who knows where his craft could go once fame is added to the equation.
[BoxTitle]Mastodon: The Hunter[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo]http://heavy.com/music/music-video/rock-music-videos/2011/09/mastodon-curl-of-the-burl/[/MusicVideo] [Listen]http://stereogum.com/816951/stream-mastodon-the-hunter/mp3s/[/Listen] [BuyNow]http://www.amazon.com/The-Hunter/dp/B005MW5CWW/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_7[/BuyNow]
Mastodon have simultaneously dominated both the progressive metal scene and the most academic of critics in their near ten year reign. Historically heavy on riffs and concepts, the Atlanta-based four-piece takes a noticeable step away from past odyssey-like productions on LP number five, this time opting for more direct crush and sludgery, with no tracks passing the six minute mark. It’s certainly no pop record though; much of The Hunter deals with emotional loss (named in honour of guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds’ brother who passed away last December while hunting) and steamrolls in massive tempo changes, dark spartan tangents, and unhinged percussion.
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