Astrid Swan Announces D/Other

Award winning artist Astrid Swan has already established herself as one of the strongest songwriters in Finland, but with her new album, D/Other, she wraps up a study on being a mother…from the perspective of both daughter and mother. The latest single’s a bright pop song, using these light little piano bits and steady drumming to give the song a bit of bounce. I really love the chorus here, with the perfect vocal accompaniment helping raise the melodic. This song’s got a very traditional pop structure, which leads us to believe that the whole of the album will be filled with more charm than we can handle, not to mention that it will include string work/arrangements from the heralded Owen Pallet. Look for D/Other on October 8th via Soliti.

Show Pics: Grizzly Bear @ Stubb’s (4/8)

Hi, nice to meet you. You mind giving me some air?

Wow, Stubb’s was it packed for Grizzly Bear. So packed that the photo pit was moved in to allow for more people space because the show was oversold. I didn’t know that sardines had date nights. Was it worth it the uncomfortably close neighbors?

A couple quick notes on the show including my love for Owen Pallett and of course the human monopod show pics…

Read more

Free Compilation From Domino Records

As if your weren’t enjoying all the free music on our Summer Mixtape, Domino Records jumps in the game and is offering up an 11 song compilation from artists on their label.  The free download features music from Owen Pallett, Villagers, The Dirty Projectors, and a bunch more.  Check out new song “We Still Got the Taste Dancing on Our Tongues” from Wild Beasts below and download the free sampler now.


Download: Wild Beasts – We Still Got The Taste Dancing On Our Tongues [MP3]

Owen Pallett @ Mohawk (4/30)

Date 4/30/10
Location Mohawk
Doors 8pm
Tickets $13 @ Frontgate

The great Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy) has a show planned at Mohawk on Friday evening.  His opening support will be provded by Snowblink.  Also, stick around after the headliner for a show inside by our favorite local group Great Nostalgic.


Download: Owen Pallett – Lewis Takes Action [MP3]

Owen Pallett – Heartland

pallettRating: ★★★☆☆

It seems that Owen Pallett has finally shed his video game moniker, suggesting to some that this album would show a wee bit of maturation for the orchestral singer/songwriter.  Now that we have the name cleared, let’s rest assured that Heartland is not an album about growing up, as it’s clear that Owen still holds true to a great deal of the playfulness he’s presented us with in the past, which makes him so endearing.

In the past, we’ve found Owen balancing minimal instrumentation atop his clever sequencing of violin loops.  Such stylistic flourishes brought great moments such as the trumpet blast on “This is the Dream of Win and Regine.”  Now, while he hasn’t abandoned the symphonic approach, not at all, he seems to be playing with more instrumentation.  Take “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt,” for example; a song which features orchestral backing, yet the strings sing to hang lightly in the background, allowing Owen’s voice, along with electric beats to push the song forward. “The Great Elsewhere” is similar in that it provides an electric organ as its background, reminiscent of some great work by DJ Shadow, just with Pallett’s voice cresting on the wave.

It says a lot for the artist when their voice can carry the entirety of a song, and such is Owen’s vocal skill.  “Keep the Dog Quiet,” which seems like a brooding scene in Fantasia, is wholly held up by his vocal performance.  He plays with his vocal range, not always trying to rise to the highest octave, an act which seems to bring a more complete balance to song itself.  But, in the end, in the last minute of the song, you can tell that Owen clearly has the chops to cut it in the music business outside of the muddied waters of independent music.

Still, for those die hard fans who loves the string arrangements as presented during the Final Fantasy years, rest assured you will find what you seek.  The opening track, “Midnight Directives,” picks up where the last album left off, reminding of us of where Pallett once was in his career.  Yet, you might find a further maturation in the classical sound he’s created when you get to “E is for Estranged.”  Gentle piano work accompanied by strings makes this one of the most beautiful moments on the album, not to mention one of the more special moments in Owen’s career.

Some might find it hard to dive right into the sound of Owen Pallett on Heartland, yet it’s a taste that takes time to fully absorb into your musical soul.  At a time when we’re enthralled with lo-fi and ambient electronic tunes, Mr. Pallett brings a refreshing touch to the musical world.  If you grew up playing an instrument, especially the band nerd types, this album is for you. His touches of classical music alongside pop music provide listeners with a certain sense of cleansing, one that we should all cherish as we begin a new year.


Download: Owen Pallett – Lewis Takes Action [MP3]