Mount Eerie | Now Only
An amazingly direct record that offers a tearfully streaming gleam of light, but ultimately catharsis. Sure that’s a lot of verbage for only six tracks, but there’s a ton of lyrical ground covered here. Sparce arrangements and hypnotic, moody acoustic guitars (and a few distorted rockers) are deliberately composed. The album is ultimately about death and grief, and the heaviness is not lost in this quasi-memoir. It’s vivid anecdotes from the singer-songwriters past jump out of your headphones and speak directly to the listener as if they themselves were going through the grieving process as well.
Yo La Tengo | There’s A Riot Going On
For a group that has been together since 1985 (and married for even longer) it’s remarkable to find a record that, for the most part, is incredibly strong. Overall, There’s A Riot Going On is a great addition to Yo La Tengo’s already stellar legacy. The layering, referencing, the richness and cohesiveness, the album is a celebration of the small changes that YLT makes which each passing record. Although there’s no overarching political statements or inherent call to arms, there’s a lushness, an other-worldly quality to this LP that seeps into the core of each of these 15 tracks. The old fire still burns in YLT.
The Decemberists | I’ll Be your Girl
With probably one of the most coherent releases since the 2006 concept album The Crane Wife, a lot has been made regarding the band embracing a more expanded sonic palate and becoming a more contemporary group. It may be only textural, but in reality, the group is simply more energized – excited to be making music that reflects their maturity as a group. Ultimeatly, it’s really nice to see the Decemberists taking some chances and even falling flat in some cases. There’s some stinkers on the record, sure, but the group as a whole stepping out of their comfort zone is a turning point for a group that has become a little stale. There’s a lot more potential with this group than they’ve brought to the table and I’m excited to see where they go from here.
Also out today..
The Magic Gang | The Magic Gang
Hot Snakes | Jericho Sirens
Meshell Ndegeocello | Ventriloquism
…and the first single from Courtney Barnet’s new LP, “Need A Little Time”