Best New Music Releases, Week of May 14th – Vampire Weekend, Wild Nothing, Small Black, Pure X, Classixx
Whether you love Vampire Weekend, love to hate them (there are plenty of both just by the fact that they’ve been one of the most popular bands of the past five years), or you’re essentially indifferent, the fact is Modern Vampires of the City is a contemporary gem, if not a masterpiece, and will surely be at the top, or near the top, of dozens of ‘best albums of 2013′ lists that will start being published only a few months from now (usually by October and November, ‘best of’ lists start being pumped out). It shot up to No. 1 right away on the Amazon music chart. The new album is the band’s most progressive, mature work to date, offering wonderfully crafted songs with colorful and adventurous arrangements and instrumentation, and lyrical themes about the gloomy aspects of love and mortality that are expressed by strange and provocative vocal effects backed by beautiful choruses.
Our only concern about the huge splash that the official release of Modern Vampires has created in the musical world is the overshadowing of many other spectacular releases this week. Plus, listen to new singles from just dropped albums by three artists we’ve been fans of for some time now – Small Black and Wild Nothing, plus 2013 band to watch, Wampire, and The Phoenix Foundation, Pure X, and of course, post-punk legends, The Fall.
“Trains” – Wampire from Curiosity on Polyvinyl Records
“Sir William Wray” – The Fall from Re-Mit on Cherry Red Records
Classixx, Dungeonesse, Kisses, The Features, Eluvium, Bibio and More
Put on your dancing shoes for the electro-pop single, “Holding On,” from Los Angeles duo Classixx, who mix elements of disco, funk and house, punctuated by cool grooves, breezy melodies and hi decipal synths on the lead track from their debut album, Hanging Gardens. Dungeonesse keep the beats, grooves and shimmering synths going on their new single, “Shucks.” Another debut album out this week is the self-titled album from The Features, lead by the mellow single, “With Every Beat.” The track goes along at a slow clip with a heavy bass line, airy, melodic synths, sporadic guitar notes, looping vocal repetition of ‘every beat of the heart,’ and a kind of spooky, yet dreamy, ‘oooh oooh oohh’ background vocal dubbing.
For those who enjoy instrumental, atmospheric and dreamy arrangements, check out the stunningly beautiful new single from Eluvium that, to our surprise, in a way, got more thumbs up on Soundcloud than recent singles by fairly well-known artists. Warped Records recording artist Bibio dropped a new album this week, featuring the single, “A Tout A L’Heure,” that has an electro pop charm with programmed effects (there’s only so far you can go with computer generated beats and other sounds). Other tracks include new singles from MS MR and Kisses.
“Holding On” – Classixx from Hanging Gardens on Innovative Leisure
“With Every Beat” – The Features from The Features on Serpents and Snakes/BMG
“Shucks” – Dungeonesse from Dungeonesse on Secretly Canadian
“The Hardest Part” – Kisses from Kids in LA on Cascine
“Envenom Mettle” – Eluvium from Nightmare Ending on Temporary Residence Ltd.
“A Tout A L’Heure” – Bibio from Silver Wilkinson on Warp Records
“Hurricane” – MS MR from Secondhand Rapture on Columbia Records
Churches Remix: “Hurricane” – MS MR
“Magic Look” – Marques Toliver from Land of CanAan on Bella Union
Sam Amidon, The Quick and Easy Boys, The Blank Tapes
If you’re an indie folk fan, chances are you’ll enjoy the new album by Sam Amidon, lead by the single “My Old Friend.” We also have included the lead singles from new albums by The Handsome Family, and The Quick & Easy Boys. The Blank Tapes return with the band’s sophomore album this week. The single, “Coast to Coast,” is OK, but not what we expected from the band. The is indescridably flat and falls short of expectations, and likely even more disappointing to more die-hard fans of the band. When listening to the song, we kept waiting for it to break out, liven up and , but it never does. Almost any listener can hear that there is no meat on the bone with this song.
“My Old Friend” – Sam Amidon from Bright Sunny South on Nonesuch Records
“Hey Hey Hey” – The Quick & Easy Boys from Make It Easy (self-released)
“Coast to Coast” – The Blank Tapes from Vacation on Antenna Farm Records