Best New Releases – Perfume Genius, Sufjan Stevens, Acid House Kings, Air Waves, Anika, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Freebase, Eluvium
This week marks the re-release of the debut LP, Learning, from Seattle solo artist, Mike Hadreas, who releases music as Perfume Genius. His music is deep, painful and personal, a reflection of a troubled youth that was not in his control. And this is evident in his wrenching expressions that permeate throughout his recordings. These are mostly all home recordings, which adds that element of rawness that is essential to an artist such as Hadreas. Furthermore, he has a remarkable appreciation of classic rock icons like Neil Young, as evidenced by this live performance of Young’s “Helpless.”
Hadreas has often been compared to artist such as Cat Power, Sufjan Stevens and Elliott Smith. Hadreas’ magnificent piano playing, stark lyrics, and soft, almost whispery vocals are a powerful combination, and definitely put him in company with some of the best like artists of recent years.
We strongly recommend getting his reissued LP (contains three bonus tracks) at Matador Records. Hadreas is definitely one of our Best New Artists of 2010, and an Artist to Watch in 2011. Also, there are a bunch of videos on his record label page, and in case you try looking, his official MySpace page is under the moniker of kewlmajik.
Since we were talking in reference about Sufjan Stevens, he has some ‘news’ today by the fact that his recently released EP, All Delighted People, is now available in the physical world. If you don’t have it already, and want it in digital form, here’s the download page from Amazon. Seems a lot of people forgot about this EP with the also recent release of Stevens’ remarkable release of the LP Age of Adz.
(there is also a rare and limited edition Japanese import of All Delighted People for sale)
A friend who had never heard of Acid House Kings before understandably assumed that they would have a sound that would be, well, like, “acid house” music. But the band’s sound is anything but; they’re about as cheery indie pop as you can get. In this digital single, the band asked a question that we’ve all probably come across at one time or another in our lives – “Are We Lovers Or Are We Friends?”.
And it should be no surprise that the band are on our favorite Swedish labels, Labrador Records (The Radio Dept, Club 8). The track is deliciously infectious, and the lead track for this week’s Best New Releases.
Other tracks this week include lead singles from new releases by one of our break-through bands of 2010, Air Waves; a new drop from the self-titled debut by Anika, with a freaky, sinister lead track; and new material from Deadmau5, Daft Punk, Banjo or Freakout, Freebase, Engineers, Diane Birch, Eluvium, and others.
“In Praise of More” – Engineers from In Praise of More
“Not Too Late” - Freebass from It’s A Beautiful Life
“Clamor” – Balmorhea from Candor/Clamor 7″