A quick post, because we’re 1/3 of the way through 2013 and I’ve not really written anything about new music yet this year, due to all the noughties stuff I’ve been doing.
My Bloody Valentine – MBV
This is, surprisingly, amazingly good. It sounds absolutely delicious; a warm, enveloping experience, both comforting and exhilarating.
Matthew E White – Big Inner
A soul record, basically. Of the old-fashioned, hot-buttered variety, almost. With a reedy-voiced white guy singing. He’s got a jazz background, and you can tell; it’s subtly sophisticated and the brass is delicious. Amazingly well recorded and mixed.
The Knife – Shaking The Habitual
A big, post-structuralist experiment with cybernetic hooks. Follows Tomorrow, In A Year more than it does Silent Shout, and arguably all the better for it. Again, sonically exquisite. Don’t fear the 19-minute drone.
Brandt Brauer Frick – Miami
Essentially a German jazz trio making electronic / dance music; amazingly proficient and exciting and dynamic and sophisticated, but maybe not in possession of the most obvious tunes (not that it’s difficult). Did I say the other records sounded good? This sounds outstanding.
British Sea Power – Machineries of Joy
I won’t fight BSP’s corner, but I like them well enough, and I enjoy this very much, for what it is; a mature, krauty, relaxed, musical indie rock record. It won’t shake anyone’s world apart, but you don’t always need that.
John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts
Sitting somewhere between Matthew E White and The Knife is this guy, with his pastoral confessional electronic-tinged post-country / blasted folk / whatever. The lyrics, and the melodies therefore too, are complex, rich, idiosyncratic, and affecting. The music is very good too. Sometimes he goes on a little too long, but I forgive him.
Atoms For Peace – Amok
Thom Yorke’s not-a-supergroup, making pretty much a straight post-2003 electronica / laptop / experimental / etcetera record in the vein of Caribou or Four Tet or whoever. Flea’s bass playing is amazing. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito
I’ve paid them no attention since the debut, when I loved “Maps”. No idea why. This is, sadly, a rock record with mainstream pretensions and therefore sounds pretty rubbish, but it’s not as bad as most, and has a nice, loose, vaguely experimental air of freedom, too.
Phoenix – Bankrupt!
This sounds like shit. I have almost no idea if the songs are any good, because I can’t hear them.
Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory – Elements of Light
Techno bells. Lightweight (geddit?) possibly, but very, very lovely, if not as compelling as Black Noise to me, yet.
Rokia Traore – Beautiful Africa
I’ll buy anything Seb Roachford drums on, even if it makes me look like a tokenistic colonialist world-music-tourist dickhead. This is really good. I have no idea about the tradition it’s come from. You know when anyone who’s not a British or American pop/rock/blues/roots whatever appears on Jools Holland, and the sound balance always seems much better? Same here; it’s because they’re proper musicians, not indie chancers. It’s notable that a chunk of her backing band on this are jazzers, not rockers.