ACL Recap & Photos: Day 2

ACLHave you recovered from your weekend debauchery at ACL Fest by now?  I know the ATH crew has been struggling this week, but we’re ready for more shows this weekend.  Now we shared with you our thoughts about Day 1 yesterday so naturally today we’ll be discussing Day two (Saturday).  We’ve got some fancy photos and a few opinions on what went down.  Check it out after the jump.

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Poliça – Shulamith

Polica_ShulamithRating: ★★★☆☆

It seems like in this day and age, making an album once every year is no big deal for an artist to do, so it’s no surprise that this 2012 buzz band is back for round two so soon. Lead by front woman, Channy Leaneagh, Poliça first made waves in the indie world with their synth based take on R&B. With the rise of synth pop and triphop groups with female, hyper-feminine vocalists, a-la Grimes and Purity Ring, it only seems natural that Poliça is making their rise quickly; the atmosphere is right for this group and Shulamith offers a grouping of songs that utilize the tools already in place from Give You The Ghost.

“Chain My Name,” kicks the album off with fast paced, body roll-inducing beats and Leaneagh’s auto-tuned vocals spouting off lyrics quickly, trying to keep up with the music. A funky bass line compliments the tinkering upper levels of synthesizer sound, and the percussion constantly pattering beneath it all. What is interesting about Poliça and a little different from other than the other groups that I mentioned previously is that the lead vocals aren’t exceptionally strong in their nature—Leaneagh’s altered vocals almost blend in with the other electronic elements; an extra layer of synth to add to the mix. It’s a fun number that should have you dancing around whatever space you find yourself listening in.

Next up on the highlight reel of this record is “Vegas,” which plays into the R&B vibe that this band has played into. Slower and more seductive, but never sleazy as the title would suggest, this track is purely enticing to listen to. Leaneagh’s voice takes on some power in this track, though still not overt in its nature. Later on, Justin Vernon joins the group to add some much needed variety half way through the album. Such song, “Tiff” is a another slower number, but Vernon’s higher pitched backing vocals give a twist on the song that sets it apart from the other numbers; the element that seems to be lacking from some other tunes.

Despite its redundancy in sound to their debut album, and to itself in places, Shulamith is an album that offers a nice change up in your listening catalogue. Perhaps a bit too long—on a song to song basis as well as the whole album—there is definitely room for improvement. Obviously some tracks have gleaned my attention more than others, but if you’re looking for some new jams to groove out to, check it out.


ACL 2012: Sunday in Pictures

This post is going to be huge with good reason. The artists were very photogenic on a gorgeous day. The lawn held together for the most part despite the rain and spirits were high going into day three with beautiful blue skies and a dry breeze.

Here is the rundown for Sunday pics: Stars, Gary Clark Jr., Polica, Two Door Cinema Club, Die Antwoord, Willis Earl Beal and Crystal Castles. I took plenty of Zef Side shots, have a quick cameo from Moon Duo and got sad because of the closed pit for Crystal Castles that was “in the rider” though none of us photogs knew that. Willis Earl Beal may have been the highlight of my ACL with a small crowd to start that quickly grew as people were pulled in by the emotion and vocal power. Wonderful stuff.

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