Dreams, losses, curses and mistakes, death, and ultimately peace. Preacher's Daughter is an unexpected, visionary debut, spinning a fictional narrative coated with the paint of personal horror. I have my few reservations, most notably with the way its modern "popisms" and inspirations are a little heavy-handed, hindering what could be a really unique sonic identity. But the way things come together is remarkable and unlike anything else you're bound to hear this year.
Hello, Hail to the Thief Part 2. My love for that record has grown exponentially recently. I adore how ramshackle and creatively carefree it is, bearing a certain double album quality to it that explores a large swath of ideas in a way that normally wouldn't be heard on a more concise, singular project. A Light For Attracting Attention is that album's twin sister, covering every shade of Johnny and Thom's career, from early to late Radiohead and their separate projects. And there isn't a dud ... read more
This is unexpected. Of course, I don't make it a habit to follow the goings-on of long-deceased bands but still, this feels huge. A return of a nostalgic legend. The song itself is a tasteful amalgamation of nearly everything they've done in the past (save for Danger Days), with a melody ripped straight from The Black Parade and a garage rock aesthetic that steps right into the adolescent shoes of I Brought You My Bullets. I think the production choice is something I'd "get used to" ... read more
Where the "real" TDEP begins, with Greg Puciato screaming at the helm and sailing the band towards greater things. Well, they will eventually, because Miss Machine is an impassioned but identically disorientated mishmash of styles. A real mixed bag of goodies. And then there's the personal note that I struggle to tolerate too much of this kind of music in one sitting these days and this missy outstays her welcome.
Unrestrained mechanical chaos. Dillinger was one of the most important names of early metalcore, building their musical empire upon blocks of unrelenting noise. This was back when metalcore bands weren't fumbling about with overblown self-importance. This pioneering era was the genre's most purely emotional.
First time I've taken a bite out of Sharon Van Etten's work and I'm largely unfazed. She takes huge swaths of inspiration from artists like Florence and the Machine and Angel Olsen. Aesthetically overwrought and lacking in staying power.
Magical, romantic, sweet, and endearing. Kelvingrove Baby plays out as a dream that makes your heart soar as you walk along the busy streets of a city bathed in golden lights with the love of your life hand in hand.
Note on the recent remaster: It's extremely heavy on the bass and lower end. It sounds a lot more "echoey" than the 90s recording. I find myself preferring the more balanced original.
I think Arcade Fire and I are having a bit of a falling out. I adore their first four albums and I jive with a lot of the musical choices on Everything Now, but frankly, I am burnt out with their takes on the ills of pop culture, technology, and the rabbit holes of soulless "algorithms." We are not far off from the sentiments of AJR now. It was thoughtful on Reflektor and zealous if silly on Everything Now, but the lyrical prowess of WE has all the intensity and insight of an ... read more
Perfect Light is a record that moves me so deeply that I am almost afraid to touch it. It's so effortlessly sublime, achingly written, and lavishly atmospheric that I want to hold it arms stretched as if it were a sacred omen of a celestial future. An album hasn't made me feel this way since The Dark, Dark Bright nearly an entire decade ago, along with Oceansize's Frames and Joanna Newsom's Ys before it. And frankly, this may well sit proudly beside Wheel, my favourite record of all time. It is ... read more
The ever graceful The Gathering has been silently crafting the most exquisite art-rock of the century (including the 90s masterpiece How To Measure A Planet). With the departure of Anneke Van Giersbergen following the release of Home in '06, concluding one of the most consistent careers I've ever heard, Silje Wergeland has shown to be a wonderful replacement. 2013's Disclosure was wildly innovative, breathtakingly beautiful, and deserving of every superlative under the sun. If you want to hear ... read more
I'll chalk it up to my recent love of The Church's Priest = Aura for my rather immediate connection to what the Fontaines (is it sacrilegious to call them the Fontaines?) are doing on this record: drugged up psychedelic monologues of a pensive punk reflecting on all of the things they missed. It's suitable that Skinty Fia begins with a stunning chamber pop number of regret and loss, clearing out the air for a spot of honest self-loathing on the tunes that follow.
The Delgados lose something on this one. I suspected that they were becoming too slickly produced for their own good when their initial hook was in their twee, low budget charm. Hate was a darker affair that left me feeling somewhat iffy and unattached at points, but Universal Audio is hipster indie to a T.
Yet another fantastic set of songs from The Church, this being some of their earliest material where they were still finding their footing. The first three tracks are the best picks here, but "No Explanation" is out of this world. I'm so deeply in love with this band at this point that I suspect they may well take the mantle of my favourite band period.
Starfish introduced me to The Church. Sometime Anywhere helped me realize how brilliantly innovative they could be. Priest = Aura has now settled its position, in my eyes, as the band's crowning opus. It was The Church's first record to live within itself and to flesh out its expansive and surrealistic sound. Swirling, crashing, breathing. Beautiful chaos.
"I've fallen in love with this too, Doof. This one along with Starfish represents the band's peak for me, but Hologram of Baal is quickly unravelling its magic as well. It's a lot more understated than this with a heavy atmosphere to boot. Would be surprised if it doesn't click with you."
"Too well said. Trench was boring too, but that this is actually supposed to be bad is hilarious. Low score, bad review, won't ever listen again and in those, I've accomplished all the album set out for me to do :D"
"Completely agree. Flotus will probably still take the prize for me as the overall better album, but that said I feel this might be the one I reach for more often and its style is a lot easier to sink into."
"I'm so not ready for a Speak Now re-recording lol. If this is a masterpiece and new standard for country, how on earth is my favourite Swift album gonna sound? And what Vault songs would we get from that? *chills*"