Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Will's New Music Picks (Best of '09 so far):
Bat For Lashes, O+S, Telekinesis

On occasion, N&UR founder Will Benham listens to new music, and sometimes he likes what he hears so much he decides to recommend it to others. Will recommends you pick these up - though bear in mind Will did think that "808s and Heartbreaks" was the best album of 2008.

Two Suns, Bat For Lashes
I breeze through music so quickly it seems, moving past one record after just a couple of spins, eager to hear the next. But sometimes, a record is just so stunning that it demands my attention for days and sometimes weeks. You can hear Bat For Lashes' Natasha Khan channeling Kate Bush on the brilliant "Daniel." Elsewhere, songs recall such unlikely sources as Loreena McKennitt and Fumbling Towards Ecstacy-era Sarah McLachlan. The musical arrangements are rich reflecting Khan's art school background and a Celtic influence. Two Suns is brilliant, truly unique and one of a kind.

O+S, O+S
Azure Ray's Orenda Fink and Remy Zero's Cedric LeMoyne teamed up to form O+S, releasing their debut on Saddle Creek earlier this year. The two recorded the album with a host of musicians and a gang of found sounds ("Haitian rituals, street noises or whatever," says LeMoyne) turned into loops. The loops and beats crafted by LeMoyne create an ominous setting, before Fink's vocals come in to set a tone that is at times dark, at other times peaceful. The album opens with a pair of brilliant songs ("New Life" and "Permanent Scar") from which it continues to build off on, reaching its peak with the two dueting on "Lonely Ghosts." Note: They also put on one of the best live shows I've seen this year.

O+S - "Permanent Scar" (mp3)
O+S - "We Do What We Want To" (mp3)

Telekinesis!, Telekinesis
"I've got a heart but it's afraid to love, sometimes I think the damn thing's full of rust," croons Michael Benjamin Lerner at the album's opening, setting the stage for the tales of a hopeless romantic. Lerner's debut as Telekiniesis rarely strays from his desire to be in love. Musically, the album goes from brilliant indie pop hooks that recall Rogue Wave and Nada Surf, to lo-fi acoustic recordings that sound as if they were sung into an old tape machine. Sometimes it is both, as in the case of "Tokyo" and "Coast of Carolina." At barely a half an hour, Telekinesis! is a modern record in that it knows its purpose is to get in, get to the point and get out. By keeping it simple, this is one record you can easily listen to beginning to end.

Other albums that have received extensive play:

Here We Go Magic, Here We Go Magic
Here We Go Magic - "Fangela" (mp3)

Merriweather Post Pavillion, Animal Collective (duh)

Dark Was the Night, Various Artists

So Far Gone, Drake

Ringleader of the Tormentors, Morrissey

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Good recommendations. I've been enjoying Two Suns as well, although it's best in smaller doses, I find.