Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Now Downloading: New Releases 02.13.07

The week following the Grammys is typically a weak offering, with labels not wanting their releases to get stuck in the shadow of this typically weak event. Might've been a good time to roll the dice, though, as the Grammys were a non-event it seems. Folks have already moved on today, and what better way then profile some new releases.

This week sees the US release of both Field Music's Tones of Town, and Charlotte Gainsbourg's 5:55 along with new albums from Lucinda Williams, Anais Mitchell, and the first single from Modest Mouse's forthcoming new release.

Playlist: New Releases 02.13.07

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Album: Field Music - Tones of Town

Field Music's association with The Futureheads (drummer Peter Brewis was a founding member) has seemed to hurt them more then help, seemingly stuck in their shadow. With their sophomore release, Tones of Town, they've moved out of that shadow and are feeling the sunny glow of the California sun, ala Brian Wilson's Beach Boys. Think The Futureheads, but by way of XTC bowing to the altar the aforementioned Wilson, and you're getting closer. Might be the most perfect piece of indie pop we'll hear all year. The opener "Give It, Lose It, Take It" is a great example of the album - three-part harmonies woven through an unpredictable pop structure. The lead single "In Context" (see video below) starts off with a Futureheads-y riff and haromonies until the strings come in and sweep you off your feet. Probably a better example of their songwriting prowess is "A House Is Not A Home" which gets it's hooks in you by the time the George Harrison guitar lead brings you into the first verse. The only negative thing I can find about this album is that every song feels like it could be a single, and albums like that tend to fall off a bit after repeated listens... so time will only tell if it remains as one of my top albums of the year.

The video for Field Music's "In Context" is contextual genius:

Free album stream via AOL

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Album: Charlotte Gainsbourg - 5:55

This is essentially Charlotte Gainsbourg's first album, as a previous release was from when she was 13-years old, and was more a novelty release from a famous daughter (her parents are French legend Serge Gainsbourg and English actress/singer Jane Birkin.) While that first release had her father's hand guiding it, this one finds her leaning on some indie rock greats like Air, Jarvis Cocker, Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy,) and producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Air and Pavement.) Charlotte finally gets her big US introduction, not only thanks to this album, but also the beautifully weird film The Science of Sleep, which was released on DVD last week and features Gainsbourg's acting chops.

Gainsbourg's "Tel Que Tu Es" was featured on Episode 4.11 of The O.C. earlier this year.

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Single: Modest Mouse - "Dashboard"

A pretty tame offering from this normally beautifully jagged outfit... seems radio-friendly and ready for it's spotlight. Not sure where and how new member Johnny Marr contributes in this song, but it's certainly his best shot at charting in the US since The Smiths disbanded. I refuse to believe this is indicitive of the album as a whole (flipping blinders on now.)

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Other albums going into the Sansa right now:
Anais Mitchell - The Brightness
Lucinda Williams - West
Dr. Who - Original Television Soundtrack
Po' Girl - Home To You
The Soft Lightes - Say No To Being Cool, Say Yes to Being Happy

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

New Releases 02.13.07

1. A House is not a Home - Field Music
2. Dashboard - Modest Mouse
3. Someone To Love - Fountains of Wayne
4. Learning How To Live - Lucinda Williams
5. The Songs That We Sing - Charlotte Gainsbourg
6. The Brightness - Anais Mitchell
7. Song For Ten - Neil Hannon
8. Go On and Pass Me By - Po' Girl
9. Heart Made Of Sound - The Soft Lightes
10. Baby Please Don't Go - Van Morrison