Author Archives: heysoulclassic

Ibeyi – “Ibeyi”

This is an awesome album. Musically it is all over the place, and yet completely cohesive & stable throughout. Iberia are two twin sisters based out of Paris, but they were born in Cuba & their father was famed Cuban percussionist Miguel “Angá” Díaz (Buena Vista Social Club). Their music is deceptively sparse, yet packs […]

Twin River – “Should The Light Go Out”

This selection from Jayson Greene’s review on Pitchfork explains this album best: “The album sounds nice, in an immediate and familiar way: the crunch of the punky melodic guitars on “Bend to Break”, the clean, starlit twinkles of synthesizer on “He’s Not Real and He Ain’t Coming Back”. Should the Light Go Out is alluringly […]

Two Gallants – “We Are Undone”

Getting more & more progressively hard-rocking, this latest from Two Gallants gets an “A” for effort, but a “C” for execution. There is more of a Black Keys vibe here, but their songs aren’t quite there. Some of the more hard-hitting tunes resemble Death From Above 1979, but never quite gets there. The title track […]

The Chordaes – “The Chordaes”

Big voice, nice arrangements, but kinda sappy. Walking the Jeff Buckley tight-rope is a tough task for any singer, this band shows you why. Without that embedded soul and pain that Buckley had, any singer who attempts it, comes across as stale, and over-reaching. The Chordaes (horrible name) fall into that category. There are some […]

The Dodos – “Individ”

The 6th album from this duo is coming on the heels of their really good 2013 album, Carrier. Having made a name for themselves as a duo (guitar/drums), the Dodos have struggled to find a new sound in recent years, often employing other musicians to fill out their sound. Individ seems to be a return […]

Smashing Pumpkins – “Monuments To An Elegy”

The 90’s are alive with the sound of Pumpkins. Part of some 44-song prog-rock-opera opus that only Billy Corgan seems to care about, Monuments To An Elegy, is, by far, the closest to vintage Smashing Pumpkins, that Billy Corgan has attempted in some time. Having said that, this a far cry from Siamese Dream. There […]

Sleater-Kinney – “No Cities To Love”

After a ten year hiatus, the three ladies of Sleater-Kinney have returned with a powerful new album that blows the doors wide open. Propulsive, punk rock with a classic rock edge. Carrie Brownstein isn’t just that funny chick from Portlandia, she also a killer guitarist, and she displays her skills all over this album. Her […]

Peter Morén- “Broken Swenglish Vol. 1 & 2”

Peter, of Peter Bjorn & John, releases both of his solo EPs. His influence on PB&J is apparent on this more eclectic & pop-influenced release. A little bit of folk, a little bit of disco, a little new wave, all catchy and poppy. Very strong melodies matched with clever lyrics, makes this quite enjoyable & […]

Nothing But Thieves – “Graveyard Whistling”

Either, Maroon 5 playing Ok Computer, or Local Natives playing Rhianna songs. One or the other. A little over-emotive, and a bit too earnest. Very British in its production, meaning there is a poppy sheen to it, even though it’s presenting itself as “raw”. A lot of processed guitars, synth-bass, and keyboards galore. Very catchy […]

Scott Walker + Sunn O)))) – “Soused”

Weird-ass experimental collaboration between 60’s rocker Scott Walker, and Seattle drone-metal band Sunn O)))). Walker has a crazy-good, opera-esque baritone, and Sunn O)))) play insanely dark & avant-garde accompaniment. The guitars come out of nowhere, and are disarming at times, and then Classic Rock, the next. Every song is long. Shortest might be 9 minutes. […]

The New Basement Tapes – “Lost On The River”

Really cool idea, with some really nice results. Basic gist is such; super-music producer T-Bone Burnett (O, Brother Where Art Thou, Inside Llewyn Davis, etc), got ahold of unheard Bob Dylan lyrics that were written during the Basement Tape Era. He then got Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), Elvis Costello […]

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – “IX”

Do You like awesome drums, loud guitars, and anthemic prog rock songs under 4 minutes? Then this is the album for you. These guy have been doing this for over 20 years now, and this is a nice return to form. Nice mix of acoustic guitars to their mostly electric sound, but the heavy rocking […]

Lily & Madeleine – “Fumes”

Midwestern sisters Lily & Madeleine return with their second album which is far more expansive than their minimalist debut. The higher production value gives them a way bigger sound, but loses some of the intimacy that made them great in the first place. There are some highlights, like the emotive “Can’t Admit It”, as well […]

The Bots – “Pink Palms”

Two very young, uber-hipster, brothers from LA. Just guitar & drums. Signed to Fader. This should not work. But it does….pretty impressively too. Sometimes punk, sometimes indie, sometimes poppy, mostly rock, these guys are awesome. Track 4 (All I Really Want) is blowing up, and sounds like a lost 80’s NYC rock classic. While Track […]

Close Talker – “Flux”

Not the most original album/band. There are a lot of obvious comparisons to other bands (Local Natives, Rural Alberta Advantage, U2, Coldplay), and there is a nice foundation for what may be great albums in the future. Unfortunately, they’re not quite there yet. Having said all that, the bands they sound like are all great […]

The Twilight Sad – “Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave”

Scottish rockers the Twilight Sad are back with another set of sunken-hearted, sky-scraping guitar anthems. Propulsive guitars, swirling guitars, and crooning vocals, make for obvious The National comparisons. There is also a heavy dose of Joy Division/Interpol (redundant) in the mix as well. This album finds the band weaving post-punk and new wave elements into […]

Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters – “lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar”

Robert Plant shifts gears again & returns to the fold with a new album, and a new sound. Plant has always had one foot in American blues music, and the other in World music (mostly West-African). On this release, he truly finds the middle ground, and finds a way to seemlessly blend the two. Backed […]

Flaming Lips – “With A Little Helps From Our Fwends” & Primus – “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”

Two Albums. One Review. Sssoooooo….these are pretty much the same thing, so I’m gonna save some space and review them simultaneously. Both of these albums are longtime American rock bands covering entire albums & reinterpreting them into their own unique styles. First, The Flaming Lips covering “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. As the title […]

Hozier – “Hozier”

This is a borderline album in the context of whether we should really be playing it at all. It is very poppy, and seems more apt for other local radio stations. Having said that, this is a really good album. Track 3 (“Jackie and Wilson”) is great, and will probably be a Top 100 song […]

Banks – “Goddess”

Modern R&B chanteuse brings some sultry sexiness to a kind of tired genre. Reminiscent of Beyonce’s latest album, with its minimalist production & subtle throbbing soundscapes. Her voice is a bit stuck in the higher registers, but it can be very effective at times. Imagine if Rhianna did a XX album. Play: 1, 4, 10, […]

Rural Alberta Advantage – “Mended With Gold”

I really, really, really, like this album. Particularly track 3 (On The Rocks). This is a really nice collection of heartfelt/earnest, songs, that are executed in a very immediate & attention-grabbing manner. A major reason for this is their drummer, whose percussive work is astounding. They sound like; if Neutral Milk Hotel & The Lumineers […]

Shining Bird – “Leisure Coast”

Good quasi-experimental synth-pop. Smooth, low, masculine vocals over jangling guitar & numerous synth parts create laid-back/chill summer beach vibes. Nice blend of organic instrumentation (acoustic guitars, percussion, etc) and flute-like synth parts. Interesting debut album, but I wish it came out in June. It would’ve made a killer summer soundtrack album. Kind of album that […]

Ex Hex – “Rips”

“Washington DC alt-rock hotshot Mary Timony has been bashing ears in high style for a couple of decades, previously with Helium, Autoclave and Wild Flag, and now with Ex Hex, whose hit-after-hit debut LP is just deliriously great fun – this has got to be the air-guitar album of the year. Drummer Laura Harris and […]

Caribou – “Our Love”

Dan Snaith has described his latest Caribou album as “mind-numbingly simple” – but that does a great disservice to this beautifully strange, subtle music. Although is does seem more simple than some of his past endeavors, that subtly allows for some sweet R&B-based electronic music that sometimes encroaches into PM Dawn territory (which is not […]

We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Unraveling”

Contrary to the album’s title, this is not the sound of a band falling apart. Rather, this is an album made by a band getting their shit together. More mature sounding than their past efforts, We Were Promised Jetpacks have never sounded more cohesive and tight. Being from Scotland, the vocals can’t help but have […]