Out This Week 10/23

New Jersey group Titus Andronicus give us the business with their anticipated third album on which they trade concept for execution. Local Business is the closest thing to actually attending one of their live shows and features, according to our Music Director, Don Yates, “a cleaner and slightly more polished sound, generally more compact songs, less ragged singing and more personal and direct lyrics.” And in case you’re thinking this is a more grown up version of the band, he adds that it “hits just as hard as before, combining stirring folk-influenced melodies and energetic rhythms with anthemic song hooks and raucous sing-along choruses on songs that tackle life’s absurdities and injustices along with failings both personal and universal with a smart balance of bitter angst and irreverent humor.” Also topping this week’s stack of new releases, is Natasha Khan, a.k.a. Bat For Lashes, whose latest album of ethereal art-pop “is a bit more streamlined and pop-friendly than her last album (2009’s Two Suns) while being even more heavily influenced by ‘80s-era Kate Bush, with a polished, intricately layered sound combining twinkling synths, atmospheric guitars, dramatic strings, stately piano, propulsive, occasionally tribal rhythms and crystalline vocals.” And no doubt, The Haunted Man should also be a contender for album cover of the year.

There’s a lot more great music out this week: Pittsburgh, PA pop weirdoes Black Moth Super Rainbow return with their fifth album and “their most polished and streamlined set to date, eschewing some of their lo-fi eccentricity for a cleaner, more melodic take on their psych-tinged electro-pop with a consistently strong set of songs combining bright, chirpy synths and fuzzy guitars with frontman Tobacco’s eerie, vocodered vocals and blissed-out pop melodies”; prolific Toronto singer-songwriter John O’Regan’s project Diamond Rings goes for “a bigger, more polished take on his glam-flavored, ‘80s-influenced electro-pop, with bright, fizzy synths, muscular dance rhythms, deep, buzzing vocals and anthemic song hooks” on his new album, Free Dimensional; ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead “continues the artistic resurgence begun by their fine 2011 album Tao Of The Dead with this flab-free, politically charged set of aggressive prog-punk combining loud, buzzing guitars, blistering rhythms and urgent vocals”; and young bluesman Gary Clark Jr.‘s major label debut, Blak and Blu slays with an extended album of blues, modern R&B, soul, psychedelia and garage rock that reminds of The Black Keys as much as Hendrix, of Stevie Ray Vaughn as much as Marvin Gaye.

Our recent guest live on KEXP during CMJ, Paul Banks, continues his extra-Interpol solo project (under his own name rather than as Julian Plenti) with a new album of “moody indie-rock with chiming post-punk guitars and cinematic strings accompanying Banks’s dark, steely crooning.” Also on their second album, Swedish band The Amazing offer “a beautifully crafted, ‘70s-inspired blend of expansive psych-rock and pastoral folk-pop, featuring a lush, sprawling sound with lyrical guitar lines, jazz-tinged rhythms, warm harmonies, melancholy lyrics and dreamy melodies” on the aptly named Gentle Stream, and Saskatchewan band Rah Rah will cheer you on with their latest, “a fine album of anthemic folk-pop with a confident, hook-filled sound ranging from buzzing, energetic rockers to loping, Pavement-influenced country-rock.” But if the impending cold months of winter are getting you down, pick up the debut of 19-year-old Japan-born, California-raised singer-songwriter Yoodoo Park, a.k.a. GRMLN, whose EP “is a fine set of ethereal beach-pop with a reverbed sound featuring jangly guitars, simple rhythms, hazy vocals, melancholy lyrics and wistful melodies.”

You’ll also want to check out the new EP from Oklahoma band, and recent Radiohead openers, Other Lives, who offer a stopgap in Mind the Gap, as we wait for the follow up their incredible second album, Tamer Animals. And the potential sleeper of the week (month, or even year) is the a new solo release of Andy Burrows, former drummer of Razorlight and sometime member of We Are Scientists, who wrote hit songs for both, and had a relatively successful stint under the moniker I Am Arrows. Now under his own name, Andy Burrows offers and a truly interesting album of polished pop, folky crooners, and groovy jams that pull elements of Brit pop from The Beatles to more contemporary rockers.

You’ll find all of these and more waiting for you at your favorite record shops this week.

The Amazing - Flashlight (MP3)
from Gentle Stream on Partisan Records

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Catatonic
from Lost Songs on Richter Scale/Superball Music

Paul Banks - The Base (MP3)
from Banks on Matador

Bat For Lashes - Marilyn
from The Haunted Man on Capitol Records

Matt Bauer - Tonight We Get To Sing Our Songs (MP3)
from No Shape Can Hold Me Now EP on Crossbill Records

Black Moth Super Rainbow - Windshield Smasher
from Cobra Juicy on Rad Cult

Andy Burrows - Company (MP3)
from Company on [PIAS] America

Gary Clark Jr. - Numb
from Blak and Blu on Warner Bros.

Diamond Rings - I’m Just Me
from Free Dimensional on Astralwerks

ExDetectives - Second Chance (MP3)
from Farthest Star on Post Planetary

Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes (DNA version)
from So (25th Anniversary Immersion Box) on Real World Productions

GRMLN - Coral (MP3)
from Explore EP on Carpark Records

of Montreal - Sails, Hermaphroditic
from Daughter of a Cloud on Polyvinyl Records

Other Lives - Take Us Alive (MP3)
from Mind The Gap EP on tbd records

Rah Rah - Art and a Wife (MP3)
from The Poet’s Dead on Hidden Pony Records

Red Clover Ghost Cowboy Killer (Days Fade Away) (MP3)
from Red Clover Ghost on Good Soil Records

Reptile Youth - Speeddance
from Reptile Youth on hfn music

Steffaloo - Can’t You See? (MP3)
from Would You Stay on Mush

Talk Normal - Cover (MP3)
from Sunshine on Joyful Noise

Titus Andronicus - Still Life with Hot Deuce and Silver Platter
from Local Business on XL Recordings

U.S. Girls - Jack
from GEM on Fat Cat Records

Your Youth - Thick Gold (Bodied) (MP3)
from Battery EP on Old Flame Records

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6 Comments

  1. Jeff
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Gary Clark Jr.???

  2. Chris Nickerson
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    “polished” & “streamlined” being the theme of the week...

  3. Duffy
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Tamer Animals was Other Lives’ second album. Their debut was their self-titled album Other Lives.

  4. Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Right, thanks!

  5. Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Right, thanks!

  6. Posted October 25, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Right, thanks!

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