Being over 20 years in the music world, Detroit duo “ADULT.” still manage to sound fresh and reinvent themselves with every release. Their last album This Behavior was a back to basics triumph that recalled the Electroclash sound of their early work, but with a veteran sense of focus the band improved on that sound incorporating the darker EBM-laden grooves we’ve come to know the band for. Now, just two years after that release the band have announced they will be releasing their follow-up Perception is/as/of Deception on April 10th via “Dais Records.” The band have also released the album’s debut single “Why Always Why,” a synth-heavy track that is as urgent sounding and anxiety-inducing as it is danceable, because you know with “ADULT.” it’s anxiety always (if you know you know.) You can watch the music video for “Why Always Why” below:
Artist: Tame Impala
Album: The Slow Rush
Genre: Psychedelic Pop/Electronic/Disco
Label: Island Records
It seems as if “Tame Impala” have had acclaim from the start. Lead by sole member Kevin Parker who composes and arranges the majority of the music, “Tame Impala” has been an inescapable name in both the “Indie Rock” world and the “Pop” world, but what “Tame Impala” once was is not entirely the same as what “Tame Impala” is now, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Kevin Parker we knew back during the time of the Psychedelic-heavy Innerspeaker, and the vulnerable Kevin Parker we knew on the introspective Lonerism, an album that was a voice for the lonely and those whom suffer from society’s misguided view on introversion is now a new Kevin Parker, but he hasn’t abandoned introspection and vulnerability. In fact, the majority of the tracks on his new album The Slow Rush are incredibly introspective with lyrical themes heavy on existentialism and nostalgia, but at this point in time it sounds like Parker is instrumentally more concerned with making us dance, trading in the LSD-soaked Psychedelia and fuzzy guitars of his early work for lush synths and Electro-Pop melodies drawing from Funk, Disco, and Synth-Pop. Very much like what he was doing on his previous album Currents, and there lies the good and bad of The Slow Rush. Not much has changed on this album, which prompts one to believe that Parker is either playing it safe, or truly isn’t finished experimenting with this sound but isn’t reaching anything that is breaking new ground. Though both albums are cut from the same cloth, The Slow Rush isn’t without it’s gems. The opening track “One More Year” is a message to the fear of life becoming stagnant, “Breathe Deeper” is a lush and sexy banger with a refrain that will stick in your head for days, and “It Might Be Time” features a surprising contrast of joyful instrumentation and existentialist lyrics. However, a lot of these tracks sound like Currents throwaways and don’t quite deliver anything memorable or anything that keeps them from being disposable. That isn’t to say this album isn’t a smooth listen though, because when this album shines, it SHINES, and much of it is cohesive, but I feel like the next “Tame Impala” album needs to be vastly different, or Parker needs to hone this style and create an album with consistent replay value.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
On this day in 2010 Geneva Jacuzzi released her cult classic album Lamaze. Following countless recordings and minimal but theatrical live shows which garnered her a cult following in the underground Los Angeles music scene, Geneva Garvin A.K.A. Geneva Jacuzzi released Lamaze. Though her following album Technophelia is an essential and fantastic listen, to me Lamaze is the quintessential Geneva Jacuzzi album. It’s filled with danceable and sexy “Synth-Pop” that ranges from dark to zany, it’s immensely DIY, and the lo-fi quality of the production is an essential part to the album’s charm. This is a classic album from an artist who continues to inspire with her independent spirit. Happy Anniversary.
Label: Dais Records
There’s just something about the genres of “Post-Punk” or “Goth” that makes fans of said genres truly dedicated. Like most underground movements these genres have proven to have longevity, standing the test of time and inspiring countless artists, artists that take these styles and either emulate them or reinvent them. I mean, the fact that we still see “Joy Division” shirts now is further proof. No joke, I am wearing a “Joy Division” shirt at this very moment. So who can we add now to this ever-growing list of inspired artists? Well, meet Niff Nawor, a Los Angeles-based artist formerly of the band “Crimson Scarlet.” After signing to “Dais Records,” and going by the name “Riki,” Nawor has grown an interest in going solo. The result is an impressive self-titled debut that is rich in dark “Synth-Pop,” romanticism, and Gothic aesthetic. The anachronistic nature of these songs may turn those whom can’t get past the obvious 80’s influence off, but for me, these songs don’t feel nostalgic. This album feels more like a continuation of what people were doing in the realm of “Synth-Pop,” “Dark wave,” and even “Italo Disco” in the 80’s. Without sounding like an emulation, this music just sounds natural coming from her. Though traces of artists like Pat Benatar, Billy Idol, Madonna, “Clan of Xymox”, and even “Xmal Deutschland” when she sings beautifully in German can be heard, Nawor has developed her own style which isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, but is undeniably inspired and genuine.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
It’s really happening! “The Strokes” are back. Set to release their new album The New Abnormal on April 10th, the band have released another track off the upcoming album titled “Bad Decisions,” and it’s sure to satisfy fans and those who weren’t the biggest fans of their previous single “At the Door.” The track has an 80’s influence, even so much that Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” comes to mind upon hearing it. You can watch the 70’s inspired music video for “Bad Decisions” below:
Artist: Katie Gately
Brooklyn-born and now Los Angeles-based musician Katie Gately was almost finished recording her follow-up to her debut album Color when her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Returning to her family home in Brooklyn to care for her mother, Gately couldn’t bring herself to finish the album due to the stress and emotional and mental toll this devastating situation was taking on her. After sleepless nights, Gately began work on a brand new album centered around her song “Bracer,” which was her mother’s favorite song of hers. The result is a haunting, incredibly dark, and heartfelt album that finds Gately facing the themes of loss and the realization of mortality. Titled Loom, the album was completed after her mother had passed in 2018, and it’s a vivid, unsettling, and uncompromising glimpse into her headspace at that time. Departing from her previous album’s lighter tone, Loom isn’t without Gately’s talented knack for detailed production consisting of field recordings and effects. This time around the music is darker in tone and features a larger than life and rather cinematic tone that reflects the array of emotions Gately is feeling. A track like “Waltz” takes the usual 3/4 beat of the style and drags it through a haunting reinvention that builds and builds to a satisfying climax. “Bracer” is a 10 minute plus epic that’s vastly unpredictable with new sound effects and vocal refrains added frequently building and building to an eruption of a massive collage of sound consisting mainly of samples that are hard to identify. Gately cleverly utilizes field recordings of an earthquake, shaking pill bottles, screaming peacocks, howling wolves, a closing coffin, and much more throughout the album which showcases her love for samples without sounding gimmicky. Though the “building and building” structure devoid of verse-chorus-verse-chorus can be a bit repetitive, the intensity is undeniably gut-wrenching, eerie, and immensely satisfying if you don’t mind a journey through the dark. Gately is vastly talented at sound design and creating a collage of sound all while evoking various emotions, and her grieving process is full-frontal, leading to an incredible listening experience. This is some of the best music i’ve heard so far this year.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Jehnny Beth released her new single “Flower” last week, a track that will appear on her upcoming album To Love Is To Live which will be released on May 8th, and today she has given us a Valentine’s Day gift, a music video for the song. The video is immensely erotic and definitely not safe for work. It finds Beth exploring her sexuality and it also features Rebeka Adams. The music video perfectly reflects the sexual yet cryptic nature of the song’s content of a stripper Beth may be falling for and wanting to get closer to. The meaning isn’t quite clear, because their are some lyrical curveballs, but I don’t think the song is meant to be completely understood. Like the best poetry, it’s open for interpretation. You can watch the Anthony Byrne directed music video below: