If there’s one thing The Less You Know The Better makes clear, it’s that Josh Davis loves music – all of it. Throughout the hour-long album Shadow reminds us that he is not afraid of any musical era, genre or instrument and happily layers them to suit his palate, which makes for a collection of interesting tracks. This album is more varied than any of his previous releases; Shadow’s impressive beat juggling skills are on display for a few tracks, but hardly front and center as might be expected. Instead, Shadow seems more interested in exploring a greater range of sounds from psychedelic rock to punk-pop, all peppered with samples from an endless well of sources (check out the Hall & Oates sparkle on “I’ve Been Trying”.) Collaborations are key here, with artists that are his familiars, such as Posdnuos from De La Soul and Talib Kweli, as well as more indie buzzed types (Tom Vek, Little Dragon). All in all, this album gives the listener much to appreciate and little to complain about.
[BoxTitle]Exitmusic: From Silence[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo]http://heavy.com/music/music-video/indie-music-videos/2011/08/exitmusic-the-hours/[/MusicVideo] [Listen]http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/av/2011/09/album-stream-exitmusic—from-silence.html[/Listen] [BuyNow]http://www.amazon.com/From-Silence/dp/B005NYKMVU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317333565&sr=8-1[/BuyNow]
Married Brooklyn couple Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church make up Exitmusic, who have been getting a lot of attention for the couple of singles from their debut EP. Palladio’s voice is dreamy and sometimes haunting, but it’s as full of reverb and effect as the rest of the production, which might have you thinking of Portishead or Massive Attack, or Phantogram. It’s all moody and atmospheric and lush. But ultimately, what makes it appealing is also what makes it boring. The tracks are not distinguished enough from each other to warrant continued listens. Beautiful stuff, no doubt, but ultimately it lacks substance.
[BoxTitle]We Were Promised Jetpacks: In The Pit Of The Stomach[/BoxTitle] [Listen]http://www.avclub.com/articles/exclusive-album-stream-we-were-promised-jetpacks-i,62338/[/Listen] [BuyNow]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NEHMT0/ref=sr_1_album_9_rd?ie=UTF8&child=B005NEHO84&qid=1317333867&sr=1-9[/BuyNow]
The Scottish post-punk act’s debut album, 2009’s These Four Walls was incredibly well received and declared an instant classic by many outlets. Their sophomore effort finds the band still full of pop energy but now with more focus. “Circles and Squares” opens the album with intricate drumming and shinning, choppy guitar hooks, both of which continue throughout all ten tracks. Adam Thompson’s voice with its youthful intensity is well suited to their signature powerful guitar work which takes on a new dimension here, sometimes hinting at moments of TV On The Radio-style fullness, especially in track “Pear Tree”. It’s not a groundbreaking collection of tracks, but it all makes for a very engaging album, living up to, if not surpassing their celebrated debut.
[BoxTitle]Zola Jesus: Conatus[/BoxTitle] [Listen]http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2011/sep/22/zola-jesus-conatus-album-stream?CMP=twt_gu[/Listen] [BuyNow]http://www.amazon.com/Conatus/dp/B005NEHR7W/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317334093&sr=301-1[/BuyNow]
The mystical creature that is Zola Jesus was born Nika Roza Danilova in rural Wisconsin. Conatus is her third album in as many years and might be the one to bring her out of the slightly obscure realm she’s been existing in as her sound moves towards something that could be called pop, though only in the way artists like Bjork or Siouxsie Sioux can be defined as pop. Her opera-trained voice has never been more mesmerizing; the music, also like her voice, is beautiful and mysterious. Yeah, she’s odd, but she’s talented as hell. The critics are already fans. What remains to be seen is if the public will get there too.
[BoxTitle]Feist: Metals[/BoxTitle] [Listen]http://consequenceofsound.net/2011/09/stream-feist-metals/[/Listen] [BuyNow]http://www.amazon.com/Metals-Feist/dp/B005F6NA56/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317253375&sr=8-1[/BuyNow]
Leslie Feist’s 2007 releaseThe Reminder made her a household name with the surprise success of breakout single “1234” which was used in an iPod Nano Broken Social Scene, Feist was not quite prepared for the intensity of the spotlight and took a sabbatical, playing and writing no music for a year – the longest break she’s ever taken. Now, she is back with Metals, a darker album with little of the poptsatic joy of her previous work. That being said, her voice is no less captivating, expressing the deepest of feeling, whatever she is singing about. Unless you are looking to Feist for carefree sweetness (which she has proven herself capable of, though it is ultimately a miss-cast), she does not disappoint here.
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