Monthly Archives: June 2013

Hakola & Hosokawa–Guitar Concertos

Contemporary guitar concertos with orchestra, sample, play most!

American Harp

Mostly delicate works for harp by a variety of American composers including Cage, Carter, Liebermann and Dello Joio amongst others. Play most!

Fred Lerdahl–Volume 4

Abstract pieces spanning 4 decades for various instrumentation, energetic. Try trks 3-6, sample 8.

Mai Solo

French composers’ abstract, contemporary, saxophone works. A few almost sound like percussion, not sax.

Rhapsody–VIDA Guitar Quartet

Interesting mix of works arranged for guitar, Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin, Sottish, English and Yiddish tunes.  

Findlay in Blue

Pianist Findlay Cockrell performs 3 American composers: “the 3 G’s”: Gershwin, Gould, Gottschalk. Jazzy and very American. Nice!

Smith Westerns – “Soft Will”

On their third full-length release, Smith Westerns toy with nostalgia. Pleasant and obviously influenced, the music is filled with downbeat playfullness, piano flourishes, soaring guitar solos, lazy layered vocals, and pop landscapes. This albums sees them selecting the dreamier Beach House side of their previous material, rather than diving back into the T-Rex-esque mess-around garage rock. When it […]

Mavis Staples – “One True Vine”

Gospel-soul legend Mavis Staples teams up with modern folk icon Jeff Tweedy for a second album. Tweedy’s production cradles Staples’ gorgeous and moving vocals in light acoustics. Strength is embedded in her vocals,rendering them impossible to ignore. “One True Vine ” is a flourish of great collaboration. RIYL: Lucinda Williams, The Staple Singers Play: 5,4,1,2,8 […]

Various Artists – “State & Main Records: Volume II”

A collection of music by bands on  State & Main Records, a record label based in Montpelier Vt. From  Hip-Hop opener “You Want It” to the hardcore blitz of “Death Perception”, this release showcases the variety of musicians making deserving music in the Green Mountain State. Highlights include blues-y garage rockers Lake Superior, punk singer-songwriter Murdered Wives, the […]

Lake Superior – “Steam Engine”

Lake Superior are a rumbling blues-y garage rock duo who hail from Detroit, and reside in Vermont. The songs are filled with sliding guitar riffs, swaying vocals, and rock drums. The lyrics fit right into the mood of the instruments, focusing on bourbon, women, and mortality. The changes are slick, the guitar is fresh, and […]

Arts & Crafts – “X”

As part of ongoing 10th anniversary celebrations, Arts & Crafts has released X -­- an entirely original collection of collaborative recordings by artist pairings from the label roster. The album’s 10 tracks include new compositions as well as fresh interpretations from a list of artists that includes Broken Social Scene, Feist, Timber Timbre, Chilly Gonzales, […]

Eric Moe–Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Abstract, yet highly lyrical works for strings and piano (duos and small ensemble) unexpected since the CD is released on a label known for its avant-garde tendencies. Play or sample most!

Fernando Lopes-Graca–Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Portuguese composer (1906-1994) with Hispanic elements, boisterous and intense mostly. Try trks 2 and 5.

Water Rocks–Music of David Horman

Pleasant works for chamber and duos, mostly elegant. Try 1,2, 4,6, 8.

Elliott Carter Vol. 9

Highly abstract instrumental works varying stylistically within each piece. Tks 1-3 with voice, lyrical. Some dissonance in trk 11.

Odysseia

Contemporary, abstract works by Greek composers, various instruments (sax, piano, violin, flute, etc.) Trk 10 with voice. Try 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10. Sample due to length.

Extreme Measures II

Interesting contemporary works for clarinet and percussion. Sample some due to length. Try 2, 3, 5-7.

Borut Krzisnik–Lightning

Mostly intense orchestral works performed “virtually” on computer. Try 2, 4,6 ,7.

Jim Guthrie – “takes time”

Member of Royal City, Islands, Human Highway, ten years since his first solo release. The 11 songs balance folk influences with spaced-out atmospheric textures, with the results ranging from the quirky bubblegum bounce of “Taking My Time…” to the wistful melancholia of “Before and After” to the climactic grandness of “Wish I Were You.” -exclaim.ca […]

Hot As Sun – “night time sound desire”

“lusty electronic rock vibe” & electro-pop sound via Phil Spector/60’s girl groups. The pop stylings of The Chordettes, subversive jangles of Harry Nilsson, hip-hop beat nods to Beastie Boys and gospel roots from Mississipi. Lush female vocals. play: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10 riyl: tiny victories, Cults, black light dinner party, camera obscura

Soko- “i thought i was an alien”

French ethereal, gorgeous plaintive folk/pop. Raspy vocals, rock guitar crescendos: “The record trades in themes are of love and loss, loneliness and learning, and the vividly detailed lines pair well with SoKo’s gift for conveying emotion via tight phrasing and restraint. She intones a husky rasp through an endearingly crinkled accent — like if Chan […]

Team Ghost- “Rituals”

Co-founder & former member of M83(on their first two records) melds together shreds of shoegaze & other propulsive elements. Cinematic & darker than his M83 material, combining swirling guitars along with “coldgaze” and electronic elements, auto-tune whisper vocals. From introspective melancholy to storms of synths & drums. play: 2, 4, 6, 7, 9 fcc: 3, […]

Lightning Dust – “Fantasy”

Duo of formerly hushed folk now make minimal, skeletal synth pop with modern R&B beats and John Carpenter film soundtrack sounds. Songs that began on their usual instruments: acoustic guitar & Wurlitzer piano. Lush, dreamy female vocals. play: 1, 2, 4, 7, 10 RIYL: still corners, wild nothing, TOPS

Pigeon-Fortunes

Fortunes is an EP from Australian band, Pigeon. The music is a mix of Electro Rock, New Wave and Synth Dance. The music has pop sensibilities but it also rocks out. These are some good summer jams. RIYD: Canyons Tracks: 2,3

Austra-Olympia

Olympia is an album from the Toronto based band Austra. The music is a mix of Alternative, Gothic, and New Wave. The music has a modern sound but you definitely hear the influence of New Wave bands from the 80’s like Yaz or Tom Tom Club. Striking vocals from Katie Stelmanis adds potency to the […]