The second week of 2017 has been a lot richer when it comes to the music releases than the first one. I’ve picked a few to talk about and wrote you little list bellow, perhaps you’ll find your favorite. It was a lot of comebacks and lot of indie/ambient releases this week.
THE XX – I SEE YOU
3. ALBUM | UK | Listen | Buy || Dream Pop
The first one I am going to mention is the third album from British The XX who are coming back after a bit of a break. All members of the group have been quite active, mostly
Jamie XX who released his first debut album “In Colour”, which was nominated for a Grammy Award, while Oliver Sim and singer Romy Madley Croft worked in their personal lives. All band develops, though, despite people not always liking this fact, it is the truth. And it’s clearly noticeable on the third record from The XX. Their new album “I See You” is clearly different. You will always hear The XX in their music but this new album is the most different work I’ve heard from them. It’s a lot more experimental and has quite a few lines and types of tunes you maybe would not expect from The XX but would expect the Jamie XX. In a way, it really carries their second album and took it couple steps further. You can find almost anything, from ambient tunes, through typically xx sound, jazz, and even some classical influences. It’s an interesting record which does not work for me in all the songs. The highlight of this album for me is definitely song “Lips” which has all these points harmonized, some of the songs grow apart in their separate sections for me too much. The songs when you are reminded that this indeed are The XX are those heavily surrounded by Romy’s dreamy voice – example being song „Performance“. You can’t stretch that dreamy pop sound forever, it has limits and The XX go to ways of proving you that it can be done differently and it can be experimental and innovative, but it does not work for me very much.
THE FLAMING LIPS – OCZY MLODY
14. ALBUM | USA | Listen | Buy || Electronic
Not many bands went through so many genres as american The Flaming Lips who are now back with their 14th studio album called Oczy Mlody. This album was a response to many changes that happened in the band, main one being the leave of Kliph Scurlock, the next their collaboration with Miley Cyrus. Baring that in mind, this album has an interesting mix of sound between ambient and sort of suppressed new wave in the background, I guess is the way I’d describe it. It’s a very chilling album on which you can find something interesting on every track and it would very much be fun in a smoked underground club. The track that caught my attention the most would be “How”.
THE MOLOCHS – AMERICA’S VELVET GLORY
2. ALBUM | USA | Listen | Buy || Indie/Blues
Why are The Molochs categorized as an indie genre, that is one thing I’ll never understand. But the true is, it is a mix of genres. If you listen to the debut of this band, it’s as if Television slowed down a bit and mashed with bits of the Clash in the process, it’s such an interesting sound. It’s one of the kind that you feel you’ve heard before but still it is something new and you can’t quite place it, it even reminds you of The Troggs at times, how exciting. The Molochs is a project of singer and songwriter Lucas Fitzsimons.
This fresh album is basically a second record on which Fitzsimons worked with engineer Jonny Bell. It’s a mix between a few genres through alternative, to the bits of blues inspired tones to step towards the punk. It never quite reaches either of these genres, always staying on the edge, which makes it really interesting. The other big thing is lyrics which are really heavily important to the album. It’s America’s Velvet Glory with a story. What is really interesting is how the second half of the album slips more into the blues and is little more rhythmical than the first part of the album.
A PROJECTION – FRAMEWORK
2. ALBUM | SWEDEN | Listen | Buy || Darkwave
Now to Sweden, A Projection is a band based in Swedish Stockholm and it comes with second album “Framework”. What you’ll find with this band is a really familiar Joy Division sound which is far more upbeat and based on bass lines. It’s an interesting album that is absolutely worth your time, it’s not original per say, but it has a lot to say for itself, besides it’s the sound that I have not heard since Daggers (which is a band where Hurts started).
GODLEN FABLE – IN THE AERIE
Wales | Listen & Buy || Indie Pop
Completely different is a record from welsh duo Golden Fable, very spheric music for fans of Bjork which is based on a very high and melancholic voice of Rebecca Joy and melodic guitar and ambient background of Tim Joy. This record is not exactly new material. Over the last 12 months Golden Fable released music every month, this record is simply collection of those songs recorded from 2015 to 2016, and then worked through. Stil, it’s a very interesting mix taking you from postrock feels to sort of very nature haunted music, it’s quite a windy and emotional music.
RICK WAKEMAN – PIANO PORTRAITS
Who knows, he has so many albums! | UK | Buy | Listen || Classical
The last record I’d like to mention for this week is an instrumental one. What is amazing at some pianist is their distinguishing handwriting, there is artist you will always recognize, an example being Hiromi, her style will always catch your attention. Rick Wakeman is no difference, whether you know him from Yes or later solo careers and many collaborations, there is this finger work you simply recognize as his. His new album is an instrumental piano piece as a tribute to many famous songs, including Led Zeppelin or David Bowie, but also many classical music pieces. It’s a joy listening to because despite knowing these pieces so well, Wakeman gives it something new. If you do prefer the vinyl sound, you will have to be patient, LP version of this album will be released on February 3rd.
That’s it then. This is of course not all of the albums that were released this week.
There are also:
Colony House – Only The Lonely (textbook indie)|
Half Japanese – Hear The Lions Roar (Noise rock)|
Jake Clemons – Fear & Love (Indie pop-rock) |
Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness (folk) |
Hans Zimmer – The Classics (instrumental) |
SOHN – Rennen (indie) |
Bonobo – Migration (electronic)|
Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive | black metal
and plenty others.