Gorillaz “Plastic Beach” Turns 10

IMG_4466

On this day in 2010 “Gorillaz” released their conceptual masterpiece Plastic Beach. Five years after the release of their groundbreaking album Demon Days, the band released an album even more ambitious with a myriad of features perfectly utilized and an environmentalist theme that doesn’t bombard you with over-serious preachiness. 10 years later this album still holds up, and is a prefect representation of how “Pop” music can be as thoughtful as it is fun. Happy Anniversary.

IMG_4467

Gorillaz Share New Song “Désolé” featuring Fatoumata Diawara

IMG_4392

It’s nice to see “Gorillaz” being as active as they’ve been in recent years. For awhile we grew to expect long gaps in between albums, but hey, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are busy guys. After a 7 year gap following The Fall, everyone’s favorite animated band released Humanz and The Now Now just a year later. It’s looking like the band aren’t going to disappear anytime soon, because so far this year as part of their “Song Machine” series, the band dropped their Punkishly anthemic track “Momentary Bliss” featuring slowthai and “Slaves,” and now following that up the band have released another new track titled “Désolé” featuring Malian musician Fatoumata Diawara. The track is both upbeat and melancholy with bouncy synths and dramatic strings while Albarn and Diawara sing in English, French, and Bambara. No word on whether or not this is a roll-out for an upcoming album, but I truly hope it is, because the band sound rejuvenated and more inspired than they did on The Now Now. You can watch the music video for “Désolé” below:

Geneva Jacuzzi’s “Lamaze” Turns 10

IMG_4255

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.

IMG_4257

 

Jehnny Beth Shares New Music Video for “Flower”

IMG_4055

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:

Ultraísta Share New Song “Anybody”

IMG_4033

We still have to wait a month until we hear Ultraísta’s long-awaited new album Sister, but today the band have shared another new song off the upcoming album for us to listen to over and over again along with their previous single “Tin King.” The song is titled “Anybody,” and it’s sure to satisfy Ultraísta fans. You can watch the music video for “Anybody” below:

Sister is out March 13th via “Partisan Records”

The Strokes Announce New Album “The New Abnormal,” Share New Song “At the Door”

IMG_3999

The rumors have been confirmed. “The Strokes” are returning with a new album on April 10th via “RCA Records” titled The New Abnormal. Today the band have released the album’s first single “At the Door,” a synth-heavy and surprisingly percussionless track that finds lead singer Julian Casablancas delivering one of his most gut-wrenching vocal performances yet. If you’re expecting Is This It, you’re going to be disappointed, because the band are continuing to move forward and adopt new sounds. They’ve never been the nostalgic type. They find new ways to reinvent themselves, and that’s what separates them from the other bands that were in their class in the early 2000’s. That’s why we still pay attention. The New Abnormal will be the band’s first release since their 2016 E.P. Future Present Past, and their first full-length album since 2013’s Comedown Machine. You can watch the music video for “At the Door” below:

Album Review: HMLTD – West of Eden

IMG_3981

Artist: HMLTD

Album: West of Eden

Genre: Art Pop/Synth-Pop/Post-Punk/Electronic/Glam Rock

Label: Lucky Number

Rating: 9/10

After waiting for what felt like an eternity, “HMLTD” have finally released their debut album West of Eden. Following their string of genre-bending singles dating as far back as 2016, it’s impressive to see how much the band have evolved. They once were the band to watch, the band at the top of everyone’s “up and comer” list, garnering a following with their energetic live shows and refusal to stay in one lane as far as genres go. You can hear elements of Synth-Pop, Post-Punk, Electronic, Goth, and their sound is topped off with immense theatricality thanks to lead singer Henry Spychalski’s raucous vocals that are as colorful as they are ear-splitting, and let’s not forget the band’s glamorous look that is equal parts Marilyn Manson and Club Kid. After years and years of anticipation, a large chunk of singles, a Synth-Pop heavy EP, and the unfortunate dropping of the band from “Sony Music,” the band’s debut album had to live up to a high expectation, and my God does it live up to it. Upon first listen, the surprise factor may be absent with some songs due to the fact that we’ve been listening to them for years. “To the Door,” “Satan, Luella, & I,” and “Death Drive,” were all released before we even knew the name of the album, (or if an album was coming out for that matter) but compiled with the album’s newer deep cuts, the songs flow nicely within the context of the album, and they never feel like filler tracks. West of Eden has a consistent “Western” style to it, sounding like a Glammed-out Ennio Morricone, and it’s fitting seeing as how much of the album’s material is a rejection of Western culture and social norms, and the band abrasively yet fabulously tackle these themes. Think “Death Grips” with glitter. As important as these themes are to the band, they never lose their sense of fun or sense of humor. With lyrics like “I sold my soul to The Devil tonight because I was pretty fucking poor” on the track “Loaded” and the graphically absurd telling of the murder of an imaginary friend on “Where’s Joanna?” the band aren’t afraid to confuse you with lush and innovative “Pop” that will make you laugh and sing-along while you question your morals. So what makes this album so important? it’s musically forward-thinking, introducing the “Pop” world to a myriad of experimental ideas, it’s well-produced and cleverly blends genres that don’t normally go together, and it has a Rock star personality that throws out the testosterone-filled, misogynistic, and macho clichés that have poisoned the genre in favor of introducing new ideas of feminism, rejection of tradition, and sentiment. Not to mention, these songs are catchy as Hell.

Written By: Steven Sandoval