Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Now Downloading: New Releases 10.18.11 - M83, Real Estate

It's the interesting time of the year, where quality late season new releases (latest from M83 and Real Estate) begin to jut up against early holiday box sets (The Smiths' Complete). It all fits the change of seasons, as the sun begins to give way to grey, new growth bumping shoulders with the repackaging of decay. Other new releases of note this week include ones from My Brightest Diamond, Kimya Dawson, Rob Crow, Body Language, Class Actress, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Pujol, The Mommyheads, Bleeding Knees Club, Shelby Lynne and (speaking of decay) the return of Jane's Addiction.

Playlist: New Releases 10.18.11

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Five albums into Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez's remarkable career as M83, it's apparent that the talented artist has an amazing relationship with his inner child. While past releases (especially 2008's homage to John Hughes movies, Saturdays = Youth) have harvested bits and pieces of the past, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming is both a full retrospective of Gonzalez's growing up in the 80s and of previous M83 albums. It's the kind of album that wouldn't have worked, say, five years ago, because we weren't quite ready for this epic retread of that time. But, if 2011 has taught us anything, it's that art can be made of that decade's cheesier moments. Between Destroyer's Kaputt, the soundtrack to the beautifully odd film Drive and M83's latest, 2011 has truly been a year for artistic synth-driven nostalgia (and a return of the sax solo!).

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming is an expansive 22 tracks, which has the editor in me looking instantly for places to trim. But Gonzalez's vision for the album is so obviously strong, you'd be hard pressed to push any tracks aside. Like all his releases, it's cinematic in nature, and while there is no obvious plot at work here (other than a general feeling of childhood), a narrative of mood emerges upon multiple listens, one so strong it feels sacrilegious to mess with. For much of the album, Gonzalez has removed some of the shoe gazey effects off his vocals, laying expressive yelps more bare -- see him reaching his vocal range's extreme's on "Reunion" and the Peter Gabriel-like "Claudia Lewis." Other obvious tracks that jump out as highlights include the first single, "Midnight City," "New Map" and "Steve McQueen."

Album Stream via Urban Outfitters

Real Estate - Days
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Real Estate - Days
While New Jersey's Real Estate have no lofty aspirations in their sound, their sophomore release, Days, is one of the more cohesive albums to come out this year. Songs flowing in and out of each other, like the subtle change of season many enjoy this time of year. It's fitting then that Days is released this week, as the sunny and 64 day can attest, by nightfall, "winter is coming" -- as Martin Courtney informs us on album highlight "Green Aisles." Autumnal suggests many things, from sun turning to grey days to the melancholy of slow decay, and this fits the pop sound of Days like an old snug sweater. If there's any rub to the release, it's that the songs can often feel interchangeable, but that's also one of Days many charms.

Free AOL Album Stream

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
My Brightest Diamond - All Things Will Unwind / "Reaching Through to the Other Side" [mp3]
Kimya Dawson - Thunder Thighs / "Driving Driving Driving" [mp3]
Rob Crow - He Thinks He's People / Free AOL Album Stream / "Pat's Crab", "Sophistructure" [mp3]
Body Language - Social Studies (Deluxe Edition) / Free AOL Album Stream
Jane's Addiction - The Great Escape Artist
Class Actress - Rapprocher / Free AOL Album Stream / "Weekend" [mp3]
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Tape Club
Pujol - Nasty, Brutish and Short
The Mommyheads - Delicate Friction / "Another Crowded House," "Hello Friends" [mp3]
Bleeding Knees Club - Virginity EP / Free AOL Album Stream
Shelby Lynne - Revelation Road
Jonti - Twirligig
Pree - Folly / Free AOL Album Stream
Radio Moscow - The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
Forest Fire - Staring at the X / Free AOL Album Stream / "Future Shadows" [mp3]

The Smiths - Complete
Supreme Dicks - Breathing and not Breathing

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