[QUICKIE] Holy Ghost! – HOLY GHOST!

The LP as whole initially left me “meh” but I’ve really been getting into it’s throwback grooves lately. Don’t ignore this LP. Fun for all!

[Quickies are mini-reviews that can fit into a 140 character tweet. They are of albums that people already know of but perhaps are curious about our take on it. What did you think of the disc?]

Artist links: Facebook / Amazon

[LP] M83 – HURRY UP WE’RE DREAMING (w/ “OK Pal”)

what do you think i feel when i, when i’m kissing you?

♫ M83 – OK Pal

This should probably just be a Quickie but how could I honestly fit a double-album review into 140 characters!?

Ok, we all love the crap out of “Midnight City” and many of it’s remixes but what about the rest of the double album of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming? Songs like “Wait” and “OK Pal” have floated about the blogosphere a bit but nothing has come even close to following up the lead single (not easy to be fair) so I was unsure what to expect when diving into this two-tiered cake of indulgence. Having never gotten into Saturdays = Youth (snooze…) I was obviously impressed by “Midnight City” and then intrigued by Anthony Gonzalez’s statement of this album being more grand epic. But I obviously couldn’t expect a whole double album of “midnight City” level epic-ness, could I? Obviously not.

But that’s OK. While I will never endorse a double album in this day and age of music overload I have had no problems listening to all 22 songs in a row. Many tracks are loose and unstructured which helps them pass by as perfect background music. A handful of ambient jams punctuated by bigger tracks like “OK Pal” and it’s big cheesy 80s amazingness. I also strongly recommend “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” as the best featuring vocals from a 4 year old hallucinogenic frog enthusiast girl. Awesome. If I owned Hurry Up, Were Dreaming in a physical form where its two parts were separate physical object I can’t say that I would always take the effort to put disc 2 in as it loses a lot of steam and the only standout is “OK Pal.” However, as the 2LP plays right through in my iTunes, I just carry on with whatever and let the music wash right over me.

Artist links: Facebook / Soundcloud / Amazon

[LP] Gotye – MAKING MIRRORS (w/ “In Your Light”)

if only i could always be just as i am right here

♫ Gotye – Eyes Wide Open (previously posted)

Gotye released on of last years Best Songs with the galloping “Eyes Wide Open” (above) and then did it again this year with much calmer (and even more infectious?)  “Somebody That I Used To Know.” With a track record like that leading up to his new album Making Mirrors it’s easy to wonder what else Wally De Backer could possibly have in store. Lucky for us the notoriously eclectic Aussie has a whole bouquet of gems lined up on his 3rd LP. (stream the whole album below)

♫ Gotye – In Your Light

Tracks like new singe “I Feel Better” and new personal favorite “In Your Light” (above) kick up the energy and bring some throwback soul to their tales of ecstatic love. “State Of The Art” raises eyebrows with its robot-styled “ode” to technology. “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Bronte” reel things back and let Gotye’s delicate arrangements compliment his great voice. But really nothing showcases the man’s talent for tender songwriting than “Giving Me A Chance.” An apology in it’s most beautiful form. A appreciative soul knowing the value of his second chance. So many songs beg for forgiveness but none ever give thanks for being given it.

Making Mirrors is certainly not a thrill a minute joyride but De Backer sure knows the value of variety on an album. No songs sound the same and if you aren’t in love with one or two then I guarantee there will be 3 or 4 you do love. Something else you can love is the fact that Gotye has made a handful of different videos for various tracks. Besides the fantastic one we know for “Somebody That I Used To Know,” there are animated clips for “State Of The Art,” “Easy Way Out” and “Bronte” (best!). Making Mirrors has already become the most successful album in Australia this year and it;s no surprise why. Any country should be as proud and supportive of talent like this. Stream the album (and download bonus track “Showdown Below My Sombrero”) below. Read more

[LP] Civil Civic – RULES (w/ “Less Unless” “Run Overdrive” and “Street Trap”)

♫ Civil Civic – Less Unless (previously posted)

♫ Civil Civic – Run Overdrive (previously posted)

♫ Civil Civic – Street Trap (previously posted)

A lot of songs come through the hallowed pages of TBE and many of them leave me wanting to hear more from a band. Many of them are even part of EPs that seem full of promise. But few have ever had as pumped for new material as the internationally Australian duo Civil Civic. Ever since “Less Unless” not so gently removed my eardrums (and most of my clothes) nearly 2 years ago I have been on board. Further releases have left me both less and more impressed (“Run Overdrive” and “Street Trap” respectively). Civil Civic are a lot like your alcoholic dropout brother. You are hard on him because you have high expectations but you know that even if he screws up you will still love him (It helps that Ben writes the sharpest tour blog around). Thank god this brother didn’t screw up. Instead they took their sweet time crafting Rules, one of the best records that unfortunately nobody will be listening to this year. Their brand of instrumental psycho billy electronic thrash folk isn’t exactly radio fodder. Although anyone with half an ear for listening between the lines will understand that something significant is happening with this music.

While I am usually annoyed when previously released songs come back to clutter up an LP (looking at you Theophilus…) there is something comforting in half of this debut consisting of old friends like the ones above, “Lights On A Leash” and “Fuck Youth.” Album opener “Airspray” brings what sounds like the grandest xylophone riffing head to head with shredding guitars and some sort of angelic vocal texture to create what is currently contending for my top CC track ever. “Grey Nurse” goes all surfer spy movie with shark-top chase scenes and luau-lit mud wrestling. If all that sounds a bit to rich for your lazy ass then “Mayfield” drops just the kind of gentle respite one needs after 8 tracks in a row of death defying sonic adventure. Try and keep your lovemaking session into under 5 minutes and 22 seconds and everyone should make it out unscathed because “Slack Year” closes things out with a kind of apocalyptic 80s disco Kumbaya psychedelia that only Civil Civic can cook up.

(review continued after the unofficial video for “Airspray.” Plus stream the whole album!) Read more

[EP+CONTEST] The Good Natured – SKELETON EP

what, can i do today? see me standing naked, hot for you when i’m taking it all off for you

♫ The Good Natured – Skeleton

I have been waiting for The Good Natured to give me a proper release ever since “Your Body Is A Machine” peaked my interest so long ago. Then “Wolves” got me really stoked and so now that their debut EP Skeleton is being released it is good-tunes-ville around TBE HQ. We already had enough tastes of the EP as song after song leaked out through the blogosphere so it’s really no surprise that the whole release is solid although these days early quality is no guarantee of jack. “Skeleton” is my favorite these days, with it’s fiercely sexual lyrics and highly infectious/danceable rhythm. If I were a girl who was falling in lust for the first time then this would be my anthem for sure. But because I am a guy I just watch the video and daydream…

While it’s nice to hear tracks like “Prisoner” and “The Hourglass” stand up next to their previously known counterparts, there is a reason they close out the EP. The true test of The Good Natured’s staying power will be a proper LP. Hopefully soon and hopefully they wont recycle any of these jams. But in the meantime, WIN Skeleton on vinyl! (or buy it) Read how after the jump.

Read more

[QUICKIE] Terius Nash – 1977

♫ Terius Nash – Wedding Crasher

Nothing as gold as “F**k My Brains Out” on The Dream’s real-name free album. It runs long, wanders a bit, but reliable sexy listening. 6/10

♫ Terius Nash – Rolex (ft. Casha)

[Quickies are mini-reviews that can fit into a 140 character tweet. They are of albums that people already know of but perhaps are curious about our take on it. What did you think of the disc?]

Artist links: Download 1977 album / Facebook

[LP] Das Racist – RELAX (w/ “Girl”)

my fingers crossed, the small of your back, my head in your chest but i’m taller than that

♫ Das Racist – Girl

People have a complicated relationship with hip-hop jokesters Das Racist and I’m no exception. I have always loved them, but not always loved their music. Their first 2 mixtapes have 37 tracks between them and exactly 3 ever got regular play in my iTunes. That’s not the best track record. But somehow previous projects, solo stuff, and a brilliant blog kept my respect meter high for the guys. So needless to say I was a little nervous about diving into their first proper LP, Relax. First single “Michael Jackson” (below) was loud, spastic, and abrasive and I couldn’t wrap my brain around how it fit into the canon of the Das Racist I knew.

However, once I Relaxed (sorry) and listened to the album I was more that happy. Das Racist really pulled their shiz together here, leaving behind the under-produced beats and fleshing out all the jams. Plus we already know the lyrics are always hilarious and on point. Relax packs a lot of treats into one LP, never relying on one tempo or style for too long. “Girl” (above) brings the beat with a big glossy banger style, “Happy Rappy” packs twisted verses over minimal production that adds just enough rhythm, and “Punjabi Song” goes straight Bollywood on our asses. There are plenty other standouts (“Booty In The Air,” old favorite “Rainbow In The Dark,” “even “Michael Jackson” is getting me pumped lately) but the whole album holds its own. Some fans are turned off by the increased production and poppier shift from their mixtapes but for me that’s only a plus. Guys this sharp would be relevant even if their music wasn’t accesible but having it heard by millions is even better.

Read a great Spin cover article here and then track doen the album if you haven’t. Read more

[LP] The Airplane Boys – WHERE’VE YOU BEEN (w/ “Sleep” & “Escape”)

there’s pressure to just do it, yo i’m blooming in this music

♫ The Airplane Boys – Sleep

Toronto has had a huge hip hop renaissance with the likes of Drake, The Weeknd, and Dream Jefferson bringing serious heat from the Canadian city. Lets now add the seriously slept on duo of old frinds Beck Motley and Bon Voyage, a.k.a. The Airplane Boys. How these guys managed to fly under my radar for so long is an attrocity. They have been releasing jams like this for over a year and dropped their debut mixtape Where’ve You Been earlier this year. Their blend of electro beats, indie samples, and smooth verses make for some seriously fun listening. “Sleep” is the kind of slinky head bobber that makes me want to sing along way before I know the lyrics.

♫ The Airplane Boys – Escape

 

“Escape” brings more dance floor heat, cranking the grooves and beat up to 11 and energizing my blood stream with each pulse. The whole Where’ve You Been mixtape plays much more like a proper LP, sporting excellent production, a fully realized sound, and no two songs that feel the same. I’m guessing it’s the sampling of bands like Arcade Fire (“Born to Be”) and Radiohead (“Ice Age”) that made charging for the album impossible. Despite The Airplane Boys a strong indie ethic (producing all their music and videos with a hometown crew) they still toured with Snoop Dogg and opened up for J. Cole on the Canadian dates of his recent tour. It’s good to see people recognizing the talent. So stream Where’ve You Been below or download the whole thing here. Do it. Read more