I must admit I haven’t listened to a Maxwell album since his terrific debut Urban Hang Suite way, way back in 1996. He just fell off my radar after that, probably because he only released four more albums in the 20 years (gulp) since. But I might have to go back and listen to the ones I missed because his newest effort black SUMMERS’ night is absolutely gorgeous — sophisticated and sexy soul music that’s classic but very modern.
The new Frank Ocean record might be sucking up all the hype and attention at the moment but this album deserves plenty of love too.
I only have a passing familiarity with the oeuvre of Phantogram but from what I’ve heard they have a knack for big synth anthems. This track from their upcoming album Three (their third, duh) is no exception. If I was young and in a club — and off my head on something — this would have me jumping up and down in ecstasy.
The mega-talented Jenny Lewis has a surprising new project with the pithy name Nice As Fuck (whatever you do, don’t do a Google image search of that), an all-female trio she formed with Erika Foster of Au Revoir Simone and Tennessee Thomas of The Like.
The band are a complete left-turn from the sophisticated country-pop of her solo records into stripped-down and bouncy Post-Punk driven only by drums and throbbing Joy-Divisiony bass.
I don’t know if this short, nine-track album is a one-off but it does have a casual, thrown-together quality that suggests it is but is also very appealing.
The vinyl version isn’t out until next month but you can get it digitally right now. Sometimes, nice as fuck girls finish first.
I shouldn’t group artists together simply because of their gender but it seems to me that female acts are just bossing it over the men at the moment. Maybe it’s just a personal preference — I like female voices more — but most of my favourite albums of the past few years have been made by the fairer sex.
Japan-born, Brooklyn-based Mitski is another name to add to the list. Her fourth album Puberty 2 is a terrific indie-rock record which sounds like St. Vincent with fewer arty trimmings and more crunchy guitar attack. Highly recommended.
Trying to describe the music made by English duo Let’s Eat Grandma has me reaching for the Encyclopedia of Music Genres to list all the styles they mush together: Indie, Prog, Psychedelia, Rap, Electronica, Folk, and even School Orchestras to name a few of them. They describe it themselves as “psychedelic sludge-pop” and while their childlike gothic vibe does sound a bit like CocoRosie at times, they’re more eclectic and prone to take strange detours.
Their debut album I, Gemini has just been released and it’s one the most surprising and off-kilter records I’ve heard in a while. Even more remarkable is that it was made by two 17-year-old girls from Norwich.
Bloody kids today. Lazy, selfish, making great debut albums.
Can’t think of a better way to finish the week with the new single from the wonderful Roísín Murphy. After taking a eight-year break before her album Hairless Toys last year she seems to be on a roll with a new one in the works already.
Roísín directed the video herself which is one of the most amazing and creative I’ve seen for a long time. Oh baby, you are so talented.