On this day in 2010 “LCD Soundsystem” released their third album This Is Happening. Remember when this was supposed to be their final album? Remember when they released another album seven years later? Yeah, like any of us bought that the band were calling it quits for good, but if This Is Happening had really been the band’s final album, they would have gone out in a blaze of glory, because this was without a doubt some of the band’s best material. James Murphy and Co. delved even deeper into the realm of dance ready “Electronic” music on this album. Of course this was by no means new territory for the band, but it’s almost as if the band had the most fun making this record, and James Murphy not once loses his signature wit on this record. Perfecting a myriad of genres such as “Synth-Pop,” “Post-Punk,” and “House,” this album surprisingly never comes off as scatterbrained and each track flows into the other quite cohesively. This album showed us all that James Murphy is serious about what he’s doing, even though he might not take himself too seriously. Happy Anniversary!
On this day in 1980 “Devo” released their third album Freedom of Choice. We’ve all heard “Whip It,” and we all know the flower pot hats, but aside from these staples of 80’s Pop culture, Freedom of Choice was Devo’s tour de force that both encapsulated the spirit of the dominant “New Wave” era, and offered something unique and immensely animated both musically and visually. This album saw the band incorporating even more synthesizers without sacrificing their guitar-driven Rock edge, and the satirical, absurd, and often tongue-in-cheek lyrics that poked fun at the human condition made the band everyone’s favorite aliens studying humanity. Happy Anniversary!
Artist: Bliss My Heart
Drawing inspiration from her three varying influences, Bauhaus, Depeche Mode, and Lana Del Rey, Paris born musician Jenna has crafted an E.P. under her “Bliss My Heart” project that’s incredibly focused and never emulates her influences. Morningstar is the name of the E.P. It’s her debut, which is hard to believe seeing as how these three tracks are sharply constructed and her knack for catchy songwriting is unmatched. It’s evident she’s been writing music for years, because no one sounds this good on a whim. This music can be labeled “Electropop,” but it’s got distinct qualities that can be traced back to 80’s “Synth-Pop,” 2000’s “Electroclash,” and even a little “Gothic Rock.” Especially on a track like “Cross You,” which sounds like it could be a “Clan of Xymox” song with its backing operatic vocals and moody guitar. Her vocals are immensely unique and have the potential to place her in the same boat as other unique and creative vocalists such as Miss Kittin or Karin Dreijer. To say she has potential is an understatement, because though her sound contains shades of the aforementioned genres, she’s already developed her distinct sound that separates herself from her peers, and we’re only talking about three songs! That’s undeniably impressive.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
On this day in 1985 “New Order” released their iconic third album Low-Life. Following the release of their highly successful and influential single “Blue Monday” in 1983, “New Order” released what became known as their finest work. Low-Life is an album that found the band perfecting the “Electronic” style they hinted at in prior singles and deep cuts off their previous album Power, Corruption, & Lies, and the synths, samplers, and synth bass combined with their usual Rock elements thanks to Peter Hook’s high-end bass and Bernard Sumner’s guitar saw the band developing the distinct “New Order” sound. This album was the complete transformation that departed from their earlier work that featured shades of their previous band “Joy Division” with it’s gloomy Post-Punk dominated sound. This album also featured Bernard Sumner sounding his most confident vocally and even writing simplistic but impactful lyrics with themes such as love, alienation, and even an anti-war song that opens up the album. Very few records are flawless, and this is one of those rarities. Not a skippable track on this thing. Happy Anniversary!
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.
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”