Cults – Cults
As the singles testify, the secret to Cults’ success is the way the group takes reference points that have been cited to death by now and breathes new life into them, putting a twisted twist on what only appears to be lovey-dovey girl-group pop through their edgy, inventive compositions and the effed-up romances Follin sings about. Even though Follin and Oblivion seem especially reverent of their influences, they’re also riffing off ‘em in clever and ingenious ways. Like on “You Know What I Mean”, where Follin conveys the cool doo-whoppy sway of the Supremes’ yearning-and-burning vocals as sparkling synths and sound effects play behind her, only to bring her simmering mood to a boil when she shout-sings the chorus. And you might swear you hear the Supremes’ pop symphonies peeking through here and there on “Most Wanted”, with just the right hints of swelling strings and gently tinkling ivories. All in all, Oblivion’s deft orchestration really takes center stage on “Most Wanted”, as a thumping bass line and old-timey blues guitar get across an authentic blast-from-the past feel as they accompany Follin’s honeyed vocals. Read the full review on Pop Matters
Kate Bush – Directors Cut
Her new album, which admittedly took only half as long to make as its predecessor, isn’t actually a new album, despite Bush’s insistence to the contrary: it consists entirely of new versions of songs from 1989′s The Sensual World and 1993′s The Red Shoes. In fairness, you can see why she’s chosen to point them up. They tend to be overlooked in her oeuvre, more because they separate her twin masterpieces Hounds of Love and Aerial than because of their content, although The Red Shoes is perhaps more muddled than you might expect, given her legendary perfectionism. Nevertheless, the decision seems to have bamboozled even her diehard fans, whose trepidation was not much mollified by the single Deeper Understanding. Again, you can see why she wants to point it up: its lyric about abandoning social interaction in order to hunch over a computer seems very prescient in the age of Facebook and Twitter. Read the full Review on The Guardian
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Boatman’s Call (Reissue)
More than any other album in this batch of reissues, The Boatman’s Call is greatly enriched by a remaster that amplifies the magnitude of Cave’s loneliness, from the burning-ember ambience of “Lime Tree Arbour” to Ellis’ trembling violin lines on the absolutely devastating “Far From Me”. But even though The Boatman’s Call is Cave’s most confessional, open-hearted album, its sense of sorrow and catharsis transcends a strictly personal interpretation. It speak volumes about the album’s universality that its songs have soundtracked everything from Michael Hutchence’s funeral to Shrek 2. Read the full review on Pitchfork
Next Tuesday, June 28 between 4pm and 7pm we’ll be spinning Gillian Welch’s new album “The Harrow & The Harvest” - it’s been almost 8 years since her last outing, 2003′s Grammy winning Soul Journey. To celebrate her return we’ll have the new album onsale for $11.99 – and in case you don’t have her others they’ll all be on sale for cheapsies – we’re talking $7.49 (see. i told you, cheapsies.) Oh did we also meantion we’ll be giving away posters? No? What about the give away for 1 *signed* poster? Yep. That too. See you Tuesday!
ps. Also, all folk, country, americana, bluegrass will be on sale at the
50% used cds
25% new cds/used lps
10% new lps
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
If you caught Vernon live after For Emma, you gradually saw him putting more and more emphasis on his band, moving Bon Iver from that solitary project into something that felt more like the work of a group. And Bon Iver, with its rich and layered arrangements, extends that development in a striking direction that’s both logical and surprising. Blending natural instrumentation supplied by recruited players– such as string arranger Rob Moose (Antony and the Johnsons, the National, Arcade Fire) and a horn/woodwind section that includes versatile saxophonist Colin Stetson– with an array of electronic and treated sounds, the album combines varied textures in ways that are ambitious and unusual but often subtle enough to miss on first glance. Read the full review on Pitchfork
Jeff The Brotherhood – We are the Champions
For a raw rock combo that in their early days seemed singularly committed simply to sweet riffs and rousing energy, on Champions JEFF prove themselves through a confident embrace of dynamics — stretching the boundaries of their economical ensemble past the brink, with thrilling results.
Sure, the primal, in-your-face energy is still there and potent as ever — the breakneck, jackhammer hi-hat and pummeling power chords of “Cool Out” will transport you to a Trans Am speeding at 90 mph down the darkest of highways while you pass a spliff to your shotgun-rider and rigor mortis begins to overtake the body in your trunk. “Shredder” relentlessly shells the listener with an assailment of head-bangin’, top-shelf Sabbath and Motörhead riffs that more than befits its name. And that’s almost nothing compared to the will-make-you-start-punching-people-uncontrollably-if-you’re-not-careful stoner-rock tour-de-force “Ripper” that follows a few tracks later. Read the full review on Nashville Scene
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Revelator
Here’s another perfect balance: Susan Tedeschi, whose soulful voice can handle blues and ballads with equal, rich ease, and Derek Trucks, her husband and certainly the best slide guitar player on the scene. Both have been leading separate bands during the first ten years of their marriage. But now the couple has joined forces, writing together and melding their groups into a single, 11-piece all-star band. The first recording by the Tedeschi Trucks Band blends wonderful, natural performances with great songs. Ideal balance. Revelator is outstanding in the extreme. Read the full review on PopMatters
Try these albums on for size at the listening stations in Pure Pop!
Seapony – Go With Me
A trio of twee-o, Seapony brings us more lo-fi songs for the summer. Go With Me should have a comfy home in your rotating five-disc CD player, right between Best Coast and Vivian Girls – the indie-pop of your boyfriend-loathing dreams. This album has a jangly, Go Sailor vibe, complete with nostalgic lyrics and song titles that are pretty darn simple and to the point (“Dreaming,” “I Never Would,” & “I Really Do” to name a few) – no mind games on Go With Me, just tried and true surf pop for your mindless listening pleasure.
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
It’s no doubt that Arcade Fire has made some pretty groundbreaking music in the past few years - Funeral and Neon Bible delivered in a big way, leaving a mark that couldn’t be ignored. The Suburbs, Arcade Fire’s third release, undoubtedly had some huge, preconceived-notion-toting shoes to fill – but they surely succeeded by stuffing their toes into an even bigger pair of tube socks. Childhood memories and nervous (yet hopeful) thoughts of growing old flood the album, leaving listeners with the impression that they are blossoming into the sold-out-seat-selling musicians we always knew they’d be. Check out “Empty Room” and “Ready to Start” for some mind-blowing anthems.
Times New Viking - Dancer Equired
Columbus, Ohio natives Times New Viking now have a place at Merge’s kitchen table, with their new release Dancer Equired. Notorious for their label-changing habits, TNV have been jumping around from labels like Stillbreeze, to Matador, and now finally to Merge, where they’ve settled in and found their well-deserved niche. Dancer Equired is lo-fi at it’s best – sounds like it was made in no time on some pretty battered equipment, but that’s what fans of the genre go for, right? There are some really nice male/female vocal counterparts throughout the album, and some ephemeral, fading-into-the-distance sounds as well. If you’re worried that Times New Viking will end up being another one of those dime-a-dozen lo-fi bands, then the fact that some crumbs of past Guided by Voices members are sprinkled throughout the band should help ease your mind. Check out “No room to Live” and “It’s a Culture,” for some shining stars.
Check out these new releases in our Headbanger listening station!
Tombs – Path of Totality
Third album from these Brooklyn-based behemoths. They wield a deftly constructed combination of black-, sludge-, and post-metal and come across tighter than on any other release with this effort. Expect Path of Totality to breathe a little cold air into our lives when it gets hot this Summer.
Check this out if you like Isis, Kylesa, and Immortal
Portrait – Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae
Recently, with bands like White Wizzard, Ghost, and Cauldron, the metal sound of the ’80s has seen an incredibly renaissance. Portrait, a Swedish quintet, are one of those carrying the torch in this movement. On Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae, a sophomore release, they prove themselves able to walk among the godfathers of metal.
Check this out if you like Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden
Scar Symmetry – The Unseen Empire
With several years and four previous albums under their belt, it finally seems like Scar Symmetry are coming unto their own. The Unseen Empire, their fifth release, contains everything you’d expect from the band at this point: down-tuned, Meshuggah-esque guitars, contrasting clean and growled vocals, and the occasional synthesized texture. Don’t expect any surprises, but if you like what the band’s done in the past, you should be satisfied.
Check this out if you like In Flames, Meshuggah, and At the Gates
Once again we’ve got some dandy giveaways to give away…
Grab a copy of Dawes “Nothing is Wrong”
and you’ll get a free copy of their “Suitcase EP”
With Arctic Monkeys “Suck It and See” CD $11.99 LP $ 18.97
you’ll get a nifty, numbered, letterpress poster
With Depeche Mode “Remixes 2: ’81-’11″ 3-CD $29.96
you shall receive an indie store exclusive 12″ vinyl
And with Bob Marley’s “Live Forever” CD $16.99 (his LAST recorded concert in 1980)
score a three pack of Marley pins
and a free puppy!!! tonight only!
(child and ice cream not included) …but we’ve got oodles of the other stuff come and see!!
Battles – Gloss Drop
In a sense, Battles is the double-aughts version of a progressive rock band, featuring virtuoso musicianship pretty much unheard of in indie rock circles. All that was missing were lyrics about gnomes and fairies and the ilk. Battles was a band that was looking backward as much as they were looking forward, and it all began to make a heck of a lot more sense to me under that reflective prism.
That brings us to the sophomore album and yes, I had to wonder where Battles would go from Mirrored. That record captured a particular style of post rock-cum-prog, and my fear was that there would be a temptation to repeat the formula and do the same thing twice. Happily, with Gloss Drop, this is not really the case, although the driving musicianship and some of the trademark whimsy of Mirrored shines through. Gloss Drop is not merely a sequel to Mirrored, it’s an album in its own right, one that incorporates world music on a somewhat prominent basis, and one that sees the band move more in a pop-oriented direction. Read the Full Review on Pop Matters
Arctic Monkeys – Suck It and See
[Suck It and See] takes as its starting point Humbug’s least representative track, Cornerstone, a sighing, richly melodic lament at odds with the lurching, Josh Homme-produced darkness evident elsewhere. The result is the first Arctic Monkeys album that tries to ensnare the listener with its tunes, rather than guitar riffs or Turner’s lyrics. Oddly, what its mid-tempo stew of thick basslines, feedback-laden guitar lines, churning chord progressions and thumping drums occasionally recalls – presumably unwittingly – is the ooh-look-at-the-cosh-boys Morrissey of the mid-90s, though anyone who feels their spirits understandably sinking at the mention of that particular juncture of Morrissey’s career should note that the contents of Suck It and See are noticeably tighter, lighter on their feet and infinitely more fun than anything on Southpaw Grammar. Read the full review on The Guardian UK
Tyler, The Creator – Goblin
There is no need to introduce this man at all. You should know his name, his crew, his height, his favourite food and, especially, the name of his enormously awaited sophomore album. He expects you to, because the first entry in his Goblin journal is detailed with a furiously direct account of the hurricane of Odd Future references that has consumed Twitter and every second webpage on the internet in the past few months. It’s as if Tyler is narrating his own career in a third-person perspective. At the forefront of an eerily hellish beat, he calls out his critics, attacks the nay-sayers and compiles all his angry tweets (they’re more like ticks really – he just says what he wants, when he wants) against ‘White America’ into the 6:49 he has assigned himself: “N****s getting offended/They don’t wanna fuck ‘cos I do not fuck with religion/Well see that’s my decision you fuckers don’t have to listen/Here, put this middle finger in your ear.” Read the track by track review on Hip Hop Isn’t Dead it’s just Sleeping.
In need of some stellar summer tunes? Come check out what’s on sale in the listening stations at Pure Pop!
Perhaps you’ve heard the first single, “Pumped Up Kicks,” from Foster the People‘s debut album, Torches. The punchy bass line and catchy melody of “Pumped Up Kicks” are characteristic of Torches, which will appeal to fans of Peter Bjorn and John or Franz Ferdinand. This will be your guilty pop pleasure of 2011.
Here’s another great track, “Helena Beat,” from Torches:
Fitz and the Tantrums’ debut LP, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, errs on the funkier side of things. Combining equal parts rock and soul influences, Pickin’ Up the Pieces is 36 minutes of breathless, uptempo groovy fun. Fans of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings or Wanda Jackson will dig this album.
While Pickin’ Up the Pieces’ first track, “Breakin’ the Chains of Love”, has received the most attention over the airwaves, “Don’t Gotta Work It Out” is just as good. Check it out in this awesome live performance:
“What matters musically, as he’s been saying lately in interviews, is melody. The baritone growl that not quite singlehandedly defined millennial American rock transforms here into the lullaby singer’s murmur and a romancer’s croon. Pearl Jam is a big, noisy band, and in many of its best songs, Vedder has ridden its big waves hard: He’s helped many a fan safely unleash un-pretty emotions. Here, though, he asks the listener to pull back with him and pay attention to the tiptoe of his voice as he descends a scale, or the sweetness of slipping into falsetto.” ~ NPR
Also released is the live DVD “Water on the Road” have a little taste of it here for ya:
My Morning Jacket – Circuital
My Morning Jacket’s new album, Circuital, does dial back the weirdness of 2008’s Evil Urges. It’s a tight, 10-songs-in-45-minutes affair, kicking off with the echoing, epic rockers “Victory Dance” and “Circuital,” then moving on to the yearning, poppy ballad “The Day Is Coming” and the sweetly sappy “Wonderful (The Way I Feel).” Neither the performances nor the arrangements are rote; “The Day Is Coming” puts a chunky beat under a celestial choir, for example, while “Victory Dance” includes what sound like Native American war cries, before culminating in apocalyptic screech. But they’re familiarly, enjoyably My Morning Jacket-like, as are the two slow, forlorn tracks that end the record. Read the full review on AV Club
Antlers – Burst Apart
Burst Apart begins with “I Don’t Want Love”, a lush track whose upbeat guitar seems to contradict the seriousness of the lyrics. It’s like the clearing of the clouds right after a brutal storm, though, climaxing with the sun coming out and Silberman’s signature falsetto triumphantly ringing atop whirring noise and percussion. It’s moments like this, with Lerner’s drums pounding, Cicci’s soundscapes, and the falsetto seamlessly coming together that make Burst Apart so powerful, not only through emotional catharsis, but through sonic harmony. That’s not to say that the lyrics suffer, though, at all. The Antlers’ songwriting remains visceral and emotive, notably in slower tracks such as “Corsicana”. The thematics throughout the album vary, yet each one is a relatable vignette of something everybody has felt and dealt with. When Silberman croons on “Coriscana” that “We’ve lost our chance to run/now the door’s too hot to touch/we should hold our breath, with mouths together”, the imagery and romantic desperation are nothing short of moving. Read the full review on Consequence of Sound
Friendly Fires – Pala
With a primary-coloured zeal that frequently borders on the absurd, ‘Pala’ proves the perfect tonic for fans let down by Klaxons’ transition from inspired chancers to jobbing rock band last year. Where ‘Surfing The Void’’s protracted birth throes sucked the mojo clean out of the new rave dons, ‘Pala’ is that rarest and most refreshing of propositions: a second album that actually sounds like it was a blast to make. It’s a record whose arena-sized ambitions work with rather than against the music, lending poise and focus to a sun-soaked carouse whose freewheeling spirit is a joy to behold Read the full review on NME