Everything about Bon Iver's latest record 22, A Million is fractured. The electronic bloops, the saxophone wails, the use of autotune, even an occasional guitar strum, are layered in an experimental hodgepodge. It's a Kid A approach that purees Justin Vernon's previous musical output in a blender and then filters it out through a kaleidoscope. On "29 #Strafford APTS" these elements manage to coalesce around his yearning, mechanized croon, which strives and ultimately fails, to find closure in the chaos. It's a standout on an album full of them.
Given their penchant for cinematic sound, it seems logical that the Chromatics finally scored a film. "Magazine" is a cut off the soundtrack for Belgian movie Home and it is every bit as moody and atmospheric as you would expect. It's a more down-tempo alternative for those still reeling in the awesomeness of the Stranger Things score, but with the addition of ethereal vocals to balance out the booming synths.
In honor of Polyvinyl's twentieth anniversary, the esteemed record label is celebrating with an all new cover compilation. Polyvinyl Plays Polyvinyl is exactly that, as some of the best acts on their roster take on each others songs. One of the best entries is Beach Slang's rendition of
Japandroids' "Younger Us." The punky up-and-coming Philly rockers retain the spiky energy of the original, but sound even more unhinged, as if that were even possible. And it's the perfect supplement to their latest record, A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings, which is exactly that.
This Mother Forever" is the first new material we've heard from the Toronto band in nearly a year and it's a fresh reminder of just how ambitious their punk-meets-prog tendencies can be. To call the song a single would be a bit of a misnomer. At nearly sixteen-minutes long, it's more like a hardcore suite composed of three distinct movements. A simmering psychedelic intro, followed by an a guttural breakdown, and a cacophony of noise that is abruptly halted and replaced by ambient sounds that circle back to the original melody.
The bitterness of "Keep Your Name" is only matched by its beauty. Lead Projector David Longstreth seethes at an old flame, with lines like "
What I want from art is truth/ What you want is fame." Soundtracked by bluesy piano and chaotic synth loops, a melody emerges that is at once minimal and brash. It's an exciting progression of an band whose career has followed an unpredictable, but ultimately rewarding trajectory.
ft. Tinashe - All Caught Up
With "All Caught Up" production duo GTA have crafted one of their boppiest melodies. Seriously, there's no other way to describe it. The sticky synths shimmy over the thumping base and that's to say nothing of the vocals. R&B singer Tinashe elevates its sexiness with
her sultry voice and its powerful range. In a just world, this would have been THE song of the summer. It may be fall, but we'll take it anyway.
We already heard "What's Up" in a cappella form, but now Tom Krell aka How to Dress Well has fleshed the whole thing out. The R&B romantic's smooth voice is still in full force but now it's situated in lush strings and ambient trop-pop beats. Lyrically the come-ons are stronger than ever, "'I
love your thoughts, the way they wander with such energy / I also love your thighs– / Yea, now you know what's up." Yeah, we do.