And on the fourth Tuesday of January, 2010, let it be known that the motherload hath officially dropped. I had this date circled some time ago thanks to new releases from Los Campesinos!, Beach House and Magnetic Fields, but there's also fine fare from the likes of Four Tet, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Retribution Gospel, Harvey Milk, Jaga Jazzist, Bettie Serveert, cars & trains and new EP from Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug under the moniker Moonface.
Playlist: New Releases 01.26.10
Los Campesinos - Romance is Boring
Stream / Purchase [mp3]
I don't know about everyone else, but I think I have my early contender for album of the year. The hot mess that is Romance is Boring has a misnomer of a title. It's not the slightest bit boring, and yet has an underlying romantic notion throughout. According to the band, RiB is "about death and decay of the human body, sex, lost love, mental breakdown, football [ahem... soccer] and, ultimately, that there probably isn't a light at the end of the tunnel." That's a lot of ideas swirling about, but it all jells, much like the cornucopia of musical ideas that are brought together in this delicious post-punk package.
The lyrics alone could provide a month's worth of tweets/facebook updates, while the dual guitar action provides a cacophony of sound that moves between deftly between jarring and orgasmic release. "There Are Listed Buildings" and "Straight In At 101" are brilliant guitar pop, and, well.. the rest is just so great I can't be bothered to single one out. RiB isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, I realize, but I firmly believe even the musically timid will appreciate this release with patience, as the initial chaos opens itself up nicely with repeat listens. Los Campesinos! are really hitting their stride now, and with their already prolific pace and growth as artists, it's entirely possible that RiB will be topped this year by their next album. One can dream...
Beach House - Teen Dream
Stream / Purchase [mp3]
On the other side of the coin is Beach House's third release, Teen Dream. No exhilerating highs or noisy moments here, instead just dreamy comfort in the lush vocals of vocalist Victoria Legrand. With TD, their Sub Pop debut, the Baltimore duo have merely polished their already lush sound by upgrading their recording studio. Some of the intimacy of their first two records (Beach House, Devotion), maybe lost in the move, but they more than make up for it in sweet ear candy.
AOL Album Stream
Download: "Norway" [mp3]
More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
The Magnetic Fields - Realism
Four Tet - There is Love in You
Charlotte Gainsbourg - IRM / Free AOL album stream
Retribution Gospel - 2 / Free AOL album stream / "Hide It Away" [mp3]
Harvey Milk - Harvey Milk
Moonface - Dreamland EP: Marimba And Sh*t-Drums
Jaga Jazzist - One-Armed Bandit
Bettie Serveert - Pharmacy of Love
cars & trains - the roots, the leaves / Free AOL album stream / "Intimidated By Silence" [mp3]
AFCGT - AFCGT / Free AOL album stream / "Two Legged Dog" [mp3]
Thavius Beck - Dialogue
Oh No Ono - Eggs / "Helplessly Young", "Internet Warrior" [mp3]
Erland and the Carnival - Erland and the Carnival
Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy - Unseen Music/Unheard Music / Free AOL album stream
Patty Griffin - Downtown Church
Fucked Up - Couple Tracks: Singles 2002-2009
Tindersticks - Falling Down a Mountain
Mondo Drag - New Rituals
Joe Firstman - El Porto
Good Shoes - No Hope, No Future
Never Shout Never - What is Love?
Soweto Gospel - Grace
Animal Collective - Campire Songs
David Bowie - A Reality Tour / Free AOL album stream
tags: music, album review, los campesinos, beach house, indie rock, new releases, rhapsody