I’d been looking forward to seeing Spiritualized for awhile now, ever since the show popped up on the calendar. I knew it would be a packed house, and it was pretty full over at Emos, which always has an upside and a downside.
You can read on for our thoughts on opener Nikki Lane and the headliner below….with the usual camera shots from Brian Gray.
We don’t generally cover a lot of world music, but sometimes you get something that transcends language and culture, connecting us all on a level as pop afficionados. Shintaro Sakamoto used to play in a psychedelic band, Yura Yura Teikoku, but this new solo career has him venturing forth into new territory. His newest album, How to Live with a Phantom comes out on July 17th via Other Music Recording Co. My ears hear elements of tropicalia, just with a slightly more casual approach. Admittedly I have no idea what he’s saying, but I love this song nonetheless.
Download:Shintaro Sakamoto – In A Phantom Mood [MP3]
If you read this pages, you’re probably aware of how much I love Belle and Sebastian, so I will always buy into a side-project. But, Stevie Jackson is making it really easy, as his first single from I Can’t Get No Stevie Jackson is an old school pop gem–the sort you and your parents will both rave about. He’s releasing the album via B&S’s Banchory Recordings on July 3rd, and you can expect something lush and clever coming your way. This track just goes to show you that while Stuart Murdoch may man the helm, there’s plenty of great songwriters hiding in the wings of my favorite pop group.
Download:Stevie Jackson – Where Do All the Good Girls Go [MP3]
When I first got the latest LP from MV & EE, Space Homestead, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had heard a few things, and I had mixed feelings, but over time, I’ve really fallen for the album. You’re probably going to have the same feeling, at least if you’re in the same shoes. This new single that the band’s had floating around for the last 24 hours really encompasses some of the cinematic quality of the group’s tunes. There’s hardly audible quality to the music, but I think that’s precisely what draws you in so intimately to the tracks that are present. Might not be for everyone, but lately it’s been just for me.
Download: MV & EE – Sweet Sure Gone [MP3]
There’s a lot less blood on the hands of Bloody Knives than one would expect, if you were going by their name and the title of their most recent album Blood. That being said, it’s sort of irrelevant because the music they’re making is pretty incredible, and you can grab that record from Saint Marie Records. As a kid who grew up with his fair share of angst, there’s a darkness captured in the song itself, but the combination of shoegaze elements transforms the song itself, giving it a metallic sheen to coat its pop attributes. Totally enjoying this one.
Download:Bloody Knives – Bleed Out [MP3]
There are tons of reasons to adore the hard-work of Slumberland Records, but as the band continues to expand their catalogue I’m amazed at the talent they’re bringing on to their team. English Singles is a Sacramento band, and while you can see similarities to a lot of their labelmates, they’ve got a little more of an off-kilter punk rock sound. My ears finds this sort of raucous gang vocal approach ultra-endearing, and the more I listen the more that seems to move beyond my nostalgic leanings towards punk rock and more towards simple adoration. This four song 7″ is out now!
Download:English Singles – Finer Points [MP3]
It’s nice to find a tune that regardless of its lyrical content, it forces you to look at your like with a bit of introspection. I don’t know what it is, but this new song from Tara Jane Oneil has put me in this ultra-reflective mode today…I’m actually okay with that as I near the end of my time with 120 13 year olds. This single is the A-Side to TJO’s newest release on K Records, which also features “Rainbow Connection” as the B-Side. Tara sounds incredible here, and I can’t do much more than just fall in love with her voice at this time. Hopefully you find a similar sentiment when you listen, and if so, be sure to pick it up at the K Store.
Download: Tar Jane Oneil – Sirena [MP3]
It’s good to have Tallest Man on Earth back again, not that he’s really been gone, but you know what I mean. Rolling Stone posted this great new track, “1904” from the songwriter today, and it’s exactly what you want from the man we fondly refer to as the Swedish Bob Dylan. There’s No Leaving Now is the title of the new record, set for release on June 12th on Dead Oceans. There’s a little bit of a change to Kristian’s vocals in the second half of the song, which hopefully shows that he’s looking to add something to his sound. In the end it’s not really going to matter much because he’s got this quality that makes everything he writes emotionally touching. He better be ready for more praise!
Download: The Tallest Man on Earth – 1904 [MP3]
I knew this was coming, after running into Michael Croomer over at Fun Fun Fun Fest last year, but I couldn’t have dreamed that it would sound as good as this track that GvsB ran recently. Lace Curtains, Croomer’s new project while Harlem is on the back-burner is just another great spawn of that incredible Austin band, with Grape Street being the other. Sometime this year we shall get to hear The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness, which is slated to come out via Female Fantasy. I don’t really care when it comes out, as long as it has great songs like this one on it.
Download:Lace Curtains – High Fantasy [MP3]
When you come across a tune that you can’t escape you’ve got to just sit down and applaud the efforts of the artists; that’s exactly what I did when I listened to this first track from the latest EP, titled Fumes, from Portland’s Grandparents. There’s sort of a far-out approach to the craftsmanship of the group’s pop efforts, something that makes their songs always seem to rise and fall with the changes of the wind. Hopefully you get the same sentimental drifting emotion that came to mind when I continuously played this song through my stereo; you’re going to find your spirit lightened just by listening.
Download:Grandparents – Arrows [MP3]