Find out what the CL Music Team is jamming this fine Monday to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.
Taylor - Regina Spektor, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats (2012)
It's so good to have her back. Check out the video for first single ""All The Rowboats" after the jump along with the rest of this week's entries.
Ward's vocals – sunny, seasoned, and always seemingly filtered through ancient mics – makes him sound like some kind of AM radio savant on tracks like "Me & My Shadow" and "Sweetheart" (which both feature his She & Him partner Zooey Deschanel), and while Wasteland's upbeat cuts ("I Get Ideas," "Primitive Girl") are good, the long-player really shines on its second, slow-crawling half. "The First Time I Ran Away" (video below) features cascading harmonies on top of wistful synth textures that bleed into the fluttering strings and plucked nylon acoustic of the title track. "Watch The Snow" then provides a slightly more up-tempo bump before Ward delivers a four-pack of quiet tunes that are equal parts heart wrenching and warming. The man is either "losing his marbles one marble at a time" ("There's A Key") or on his knees chasing the object of his affection then watching her fly away ("Crawl After You," "Wild Goose"), but album-closer "Pure Joy" is a happy parting shot.
"Thought my heart was in a recession…like I was falling fast to the bottom of the ocean," Ward sings over an ephemeral arrangement, "…now I'm coming up for air I see my angel on the sand – it's joy, honey, pure joy.” Indeed it is, and it’s making this Monday feel really good. A Wasteland Companion is streaming now at the Merge Records for a limited time.
Latency is the main feeling I get from The Idler Wheel...; the album roils just below the surface, wanting to break free, but failing to do so. Fiona, with her talent and vocal abilities, could have made this bigger, bolder, more arresting. Though one of my favorite aspects of the album is that the production makes it sound as though everything were recorded in an empty warehouse or a cave, I don't know if this is what the songs themselves needed. How would they have fared had they been let out to see the light of day? If they'd been given a clear blue sky to fill, instead of a damp, dark dwelling? That is an album I'd like to hear.
Leilani - Man Man, Life Fantastic (2011), Phish June 7-8, 2012, Worcester, MA, and Phantogram, Eyelid Movies (2009)
I've been jumping between these discs all week. Phish is back on tour, which means I'm listening to soundboards of their latest shows in Worcester; I've been totally addicted to the latest Man Man since before interviewing frontman Honus Honus for this week's music story (click here to read) and am getting pumped for their show of wildly absurdist art/gypsy rock at Crowbar tomorrow night; and Phantogram provides a very nice electro rock groove break from both.
Infinite Skillz - Auditorium, "Brand New Heart."
Ask Joran Oppelt about it for details. This song owns me right now.