Best New Releases, Week of Feb. 5th – Frightened Rabbit, Eels, Jim James, Guards, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
The awesomeness begins with the newest album release by Frightened Rabbit, titled Pedestrian Verse. The Scottish band, led by Scott Hutchinson‘s dark lyrics and touching vocals, presents a personal and emotional masterpiece on their fourth release, drawing on the anthemic folk pop mix they’ve branded so well and accompanied by deep, touching sonics of reverb-heavy guitar work and frenetic rhythms, as displayed on the lead single (and the accompanying video) titled, “The Woodpile.” Another folk-pop-heavy album out this week, We The Common, from Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, demonstrates the artist’s increasingly political messaging while integrating more crisp acoustic instrumentation, followed by the Eels – easily one of the best bands of the past two decades – release of their tenth album, Wonderful, Glorious, along with the lead single, “New Alphabet.”
Top Singles from Jim James, Guards, Matt Pond, My Bloody Valentine and Others
My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James (or Yim Yames), and member of supergroup Of Monsters and Men, dropped his third solo album this week, featuring the spectacular song, “A New Life,” easily one of the best new songs of 2013. Perhaps the most sunny, upbeat and catchy single from a new release this week is “Silver Lining” from the indie band Guards. They released their newest album, In Guards We Trust, this week. New-to-us band Airstrip rock out on the impressive surprise single, “Pleasure Center.” Plus, the latest from Ron Sexsmith, Darkstar, and Night Beds.
“A New Life” – Jim James from Regions of Light and Sound of God on ATO Records
“Silver Lining” – Guards from In Guards We Trust on Black Bell Records
“Pleasure Center” – Airstrip from Willing on Holidays on Quince Records
“Amplified Ease” – Darkstar from News From Nowhere on Warp Records
“Wanted You in August” – Night Beds from Country Sleep on Dead Oceans
Jenny O Barters; Matt Pond Loves and The Spinto Band Shakes
Artist Jenny O., of Where The Wild Things Are fame, has a new album featuring title track, “Automechanic.” The song has a spaghetti western undercurrent yet is dominated by O.’s emotive vocals and lyrics that include; “I’ll trade you a tune for some gasoline.” With the way gas prices are going in the past couple of weeks (will be $7/gal. in two years), you can imagine how hard it is on bands that have little cash but need to tour to make money since it’s not coming from album sales, but we digress; the song itself is OK, but nothing you’ll remember a month from now.
Still, we felt compelled to include it for the Jenny O fans. First off, we did not know until this release that Matt Pond signed to BMG. Now, that’s interesting, and surely some of his early, hard-core fans may not be too happy with that arrangement; thankfully, it doesn’t seem to have had a negative effect on his music – an example eing his new single “Love To Get Used,”
“Automechanic” - Jenny O. from Automechanic on Holy Trinity Records/Thirty Tigers
“Love To Get Used” – Matt Pond from The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand on BMG
“Shake It Off” – The Spinto Band from Cool Cocoon on Spintonic Recordings
“One Thing” – Pascal Pinon from Twosomeness on Morr Music
Grouper‘s new single, “Vital,” is a dream pop track that is great if you’re in a melancholy mood, or just day-dreaming, but if you need stimulation, there are much more suited tracks earlier in this playlist of the week’s top new releases. In fact, one of the antidote’s for the sleepy feeling “Vital” conveys is the Guards‘ “Silver Lining.” In keeping with the chilled, mellow feel, the lead single, “Old Dreams,” from veteran singer/songwriter Hayden streams soft piano keys and acoustic guitar to set the mood.
“Vital” – Grouper from The Man Who Died in His Boat on Kranky
“Old Dreams” – Hayden from Us Alone on Arts & Crafts