Friday, July 27, 2012

Now Downloading: New Releases 07.10.12 - Dirty Projectors, Mission of Burma, The Frogs

Dirty Projectors wow with their latest, Swing Lo Magellan.
I've been so busy of late (working on this) that I've started several posts that I've never been able to finish -- which is painful considering how many great releases have crossed the digital divide these past 3-4 weeks. So here I am, reaching back and finishing what I started... sort of. Dirty Projectors' raised the stakes this week with their follow-up to 2009's album of the year, and Mission of Burma returned with another great one, which made for perfect releases to profile. Twin Shadow's latest caught a log of buzz and then Dennis Flemion went for a swim and never came back, and suddenly two new albums from his band The Frogs seemed worth a cram session. In the past, it would've just meant a long lunch and a late, but we're torching candles from four sides. So here's an abridged version of what was planned. Dirty Projectors get the bulk, Mission of Burma get a mention, and we'll just leave point you to The Frogs earlier releases as tribute to Flemion, as their swan song releases don't quite rise to the task at hand (that is, unless you're already a fan).

Other new releases of note for this week include ones from Holograms, Aesop Rock, Marina and the Diamonds, Digitalism, Van She, and a compilation celebrating Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday.

Playlist: New Releases 07.10.12: Spotify

Dirty Projectors - Swing Low Magellan [Insound]
LP via Insound / iTunes / Stream via Rhapsody

Dirty Projectors - Swing Low MagellanAfter successfully distilling his penchant for art rock weirdness with 2009's thrilling Bitte Orca, it's safe to say that mastermind David Longstreth was under a certain weight of expectations with a follow up. Instead of cooking up a Bitte 2: Shamu's Revenge, Longstreth reportedly looked to such surprising inspirations as Lil' Wayne and Neil Young's Tonight's the Night (a Drake fave). The former crops up with the choice of choppy rhythms while the latter presents itself in one-take vocals and bits normally left on the editing floor. The single take vocals are nowhere more apparent than on the duo of "The Gun Has No Trigger" and "Swing Low Magellan" that follows. It's off-putting at times, as Longstreth falls flat reaching for notes he's not sure of. Normally, I'm all for that rawness, but in the context of a song that feels meticulously planned and orchestrated, it feels like duct-taped spontaneity. The four song run at the close of the album ("See What She Seeing" to the spiritual "Irresponsible Tune") is phenomenal, though, and it elevates this recording to best-of-year candidacy. (That is, until the best albums from the next two weeks successively get dropped. It's sure fun to re-write past articles with knowledge of what's to come.)

"The Gun Has No Trigger" (Soundcloud)

Mission of Burma - UnsoundMission of Burma - Unsound [Insound]
LP via Insound / iTunes / Stream via Rhapsody
Nearly a decade ago, MoB pulled off the most amazing comeback, not just reuniting after a calling it quits so long ago, but writing and releasing an album that was relevant and, well.. kicked ass. Here it is 10 years later (and 33 since the band began!) and they continue to release kick-assery, without falling into formula. It's truly remarkable what they've managed to do. Someone needs to film a documentary on this shit, for realsies.

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Twin Shadow - Confess [Google Play]
The Frogs - Count Yer Blessingz [Google Play]
The Frogs - Squirrel Bunny Jupiter Deluxe [Google Play]
Holograms Holograms [Google Play]
Woody Guthrie - Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial [Google Play]
Aesop Rock - Float [Google Play]
Marina & the Diamonds - Electra Heart [emusic]
Digitalism - DJ-Kicks [Google Play]
Van She - Ideas of Happiness [Google Play]

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