Out This Week 1/12


The first big releases of 2010 are out of this world… sometimes literally! Vampire Weekend‘s highly anticipated followup to their breakthrough debut, Contra, finds the band still rooting through the African soil as they maintain, but expand, their signature sound. Indeed, the sophomore effort, which has already won over even the most potentially jaded reviewers, reaches out to other lands — Latin American and Caribbean — for a more worldly and satisfying sound. Owen Pallett, now disposed of the Final Fantasy moniker, once again heads to the fictional world of Spectrum for the latest in his sci-fi saga, Heartland. The ambitious yet quirky symphonic concept album follows the fictional character Lewis, a farmer frequently moved to violence and existential crises in Pallett’s fictional world, and will keep critics buried in text and subtext for the rest of the year!

Perhaps more firmly grounded are the other worthwhile releases this week, which include a rootsy solo debut from Rilo Kiley drummer, and Mystic Valley Band member, Jason Boesel, which includes appearances from David Rawlings, Blake Mills, Nik Freitas, Benmont Tench, and Blake Sennett, among others. Nana Grizol, the project of Athens, GA’s Theo Hilton, taps into the Elephant 6 scene by recruiting members of Elf Power, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Music Tapes, et cetera, for a satisfying album of “melodic folk punk” (the label’s own words, but apt). On the new instrumental album by New York hip hop producer Tony Simon, aka Blockhead, each song becomes “a musical journey” exploring a multitude of routes and passages. Home to us in the Northwest come three excellent releases: Laura Veirs‘ well-received July Flame, The Cute Lepers‘ second LP of punk/power pop goodness, Smart Accessories, La Siembra, la Espera y la Cosecha, a shimmering combination of European and American folk by Spanish songwriter and current Portland resident Raúl Pastor Medall, aka Rauelsson.

Check out these and other releases found on Largehearted Boy’s list before heading out to your local record shop:

Blockhead – Which One Of You Jerks Drank My Arnold Palmer? (MP3)
from Music Scene on Ninja Tune

Jason Boesel – Hand of God (MP3)
from Hustler’s Son on Team Love Records

The Cute Lepers – Young Hearts
from Smart Accessories on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records

Nana Grizol – For Things That Haven’t Come Yet (MP3)
from Ruth on Orange Twin

OK Go – WTF?
from Of the Blue Colour of the Sky on Capitol

Owen Pallett – Lewis Takes Action (MP3)
from Heartland on Domino

The Paperbacks – Slow Learners (MP3)
from Lit from Within on Parliament of Trees

Rauelsson – Debutantes (MP3)
from La Siembra, la Espera y la Cosecha on Hush Records

The Scruffs – Treasure Girls (MP3)
from Conquest on Ardent Music

A Setting Sun – Raspberry (MP3)
from Flower Garden of Doom on Moongadget

Shlohmo – 7AM (MP3)
from Shlomoshun Deluxe on Friends of Friends Music

Slow Six – The Night You Left New York (MP3)
from Tomorrow Becomes You! on Western Vinyl

The Soul of John Black – Black John (MP3)
from Black John – Acoustic EP on Eclecto Groove Records

The Two Man Gentlemen Band – Me, I Get High on Reefer (MP3)
from Live in New York! on Serious Business Records

Vampire Weekend – Cousins
from Contra on XL

Vampire Weekend – Horchata (MP3)
from Contra on XL

Laura Veirs – Sleeper In The Valley (MP3)
from July Flame on Raven Marching Band Records

We+Are+the+City – There Are Very Tiny Beasts in the Ground (MP3)
from In a Quiet World (self-released)

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