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
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 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: West of Eden
Genre: Art Pop/Synth-Pop/Post-Punk/Electronic/Glam Rock
Label: Lucky Number
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