Posts Tagged With: single

CST001: Sofa – New Era Building

 

 

Summed up by Constellation Records as ‘ground zero in the Constellation catalogue‘, the description for such a recording couldn’t be more apt. Our beginnings with this label is a dark mysterious force, one that feels very loose in its Slint-esque structures, though still manages to pack in its own branch of ferocity. With two tracks, it’s not much to really go on, but it does serve as a strong introduction to this short-lived band, and perhaps add more intrigue than to what their effort Grey offered (at the very least, it shows more to the band than what one release ever could do). Whilst interesting in its own right though, it’s perhaps in how loose it all is that we feel why this release doesn’t quite live up to the same level as Grey did, though for humble beginnings, it’s certainly an intriguing record, one that feels almost enigmatic in the label’s roster. Arguably, nothing particularly noteworthy but perhaps shouldn’t be dismissed.

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CST001: Sofa – Grey

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Categories: Constellation Records Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Devil Is People – Bonnie Stillwater

First posted on echoesanddust.com.

Across an incredibly extensive career, musician and song-writer Will Oldham has offered up an incredibly array of releases under the moniker of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, weaving together mystical elements pulled out of some belly of some mystical and ethereal beast. Oldham’s latest release sees himself teaming up with experimental rock group Watter, and Stillwater Artisanal (A brewery/art company based in Baltimore), all released under the new name of Bonnie Stillwater. The new collaborative release features the incredible title track, as well as a remix from Ex-Tortoise member Bundy K. Brown, whose contribution to the release feels every bit as relevant and important as the title track itself.

‘The Devil Is People’ showcases once again Oldham’s fantastic ability to weave together musical elements and lyrics, backed up by phenomenal contributions by Watter who cement their importance on the recording with effortless ease. Whilst Oldham himself is at the forefront of the tracks, singing of mysterious forces with an almost ethereal yet accessible quality, the collaborative efforts themselves between Oldham and Watter result in a record where every element and technique is as important as each other, showcasing a fine combination of talents and ideas between the respective artists themselves, including Brown’s remix which acts almost like a secondary chapter to the journey as opposed to a simple reinterpretation.

Oldham and Watter’s collaborative release showcases an incredible passion in the creation of music, one where all those involved understand and buy into the concept being presented. Although the musical elements sometimes border the inaccessible, mostly in the incredibly dark and unsettling tone of the music itself, it still comes across as an incredibly vital and important musical release, and one that highlights the respective talents of the artists at some of their best. Although there’s only two tracks being released at this time, there’s enough here to understand the underlying concepts of what is being created, as well as its importance.

Oldham & Watter’s new collaborative effort comes across as one of the most interesting and engrossing releases from Oldham in recent years. ‘The Devil Is People’ doesn’t overshadow any previous effort from any of the musicians, but instead elevates itself as a strong release all on its own merits, joining alongside the many strong prior releases with comfortable ease. Each and every element injected into the tracks seem to just work, offering up a very dark and almost harrowing musical experience that compliments those involved. It’s a very short listening experience at just roughly ten minutes, but it’s all you really need.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆ 4/5

Selected Songs:

  • The Devil Is People
  • The Devil Is People (The Cheech Wizard’s Hemiolic Chantey at the Edge of the Anthropocene Epoch)

Bonnie Stillwater’s latest release ‘The Devil Is People’ is out now.

Categories: EPs, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Patterns (Single) – Lifecycle

Featuring syncopated electronic beats, accompanied by washes of instrumental movements that seem to soar in and out of the song itself, Lifecycle offer up their debut single ‘Patterns’, introducing themselves into the music scene with full force. Their debut single ‘Patterns’ builds up brilliantly, starting off with almost manic yet punctual beats that form the basis of the very song itself, before letting way into the bands’ brilliant vocal style. As the song progresses, we see everything Lifecycle have to offer, with the song itself never once letting itself fall into one exact categorization. It’s not quite electronica, it’s not quite rock. ‘Patterns’ seems to take little hints of everything, combining it all together into one style presented by the band as their own. The single is nicely bundled up with a b’side titled ‘Lose Control’, which offers us more insight into the band’s capabilities, featuring more slightly unconventional beats and washing instrumentals that seems to come out of nowhere. There’s many strengths present on the ‘Patterns’ single, from both the instrumental style used by the band, to the presentation of their own creative ideas. We can see though the odd flaw with Lifecycle, who seem to have an element of letting their music drag on just a little bit, which is present on both songs included on the ‘Patterns’ single. Hopefully though this is something the band will fix before they get to their debut album release, as the band has certainly built up a good strong expectation for their album, once they get around to it of course.

Single Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Album Hype Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

‘Patterns is the first single by upcoming band Lifecycle, and is set for release on 18th November 2013.

Categories: Reviews, Singles | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Higher Than The Sun (Single) – Keane

In preparation for Keane’s upcoming compilation album ‘The Best of Keane’, the band offer up a new exclusive track in order to promote the new album. ‘High Than The Sun’ sees Keane in very fine form offering up a very pop-rock orientated track, featuring a rather gentle style that seems to move away from the bands incredibly pumped up electro-pop days. It’s a fine single-release that features lovely composition, a gorgeous vocal performance that is sure to please fans of Keane. It seems to be one of the bands’ best written and performed songs in years since their debut release, but it seems the promotion of the single is ill-placed. Although ‘Higher Than The Sun’ is an incredibly enjoyable track, it can’t really build up hype for it’s upcoming album if it is only a best of compilation. Singles are a good way of introducing a certain sound or even just a taster for an upcoming album, but if that upcoming album compiles old songs together that we’ve actually all heard, then what is the point? It seems pointless buying an entire album of songs we already own, just for one song we don’t. Plus promoting an album containing the best of a band with a song that nobody knows is their best seems to be a rather confusing, yet very used concept. ‘Higher Than The Sun’ is certainly a good song, and worth downloading once it is released, but it is sadly unable to build hype for an album that actually doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose.

Single Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Album Hype Rating:

  • ★★☆☆☆  2/5

‘Higher Than The Sun’ is the first single from Keane’s upcoming compilation album ‘The Best Of Keane’ set for release on 11th November 2013.

Categories: Reviews, Singles | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflektor (Single) – Arcade Fire

The hype surrounding Arcade Fire’s fourth studio album ‘Reflektor’ seems to be a completely justified hype, considering the sheer quality and creativity present in the albums’ leading single. The first offering of the band’s upcoming album is its first single ‘Reflektor’, where we see Arcade Fire showcase the upcoming album’s style in phenomenal style. On the ‘Reflektor’ single, we see Arcade Fire adopting a more groovy dance orientated style. Everything still fits in brilliantly with the indie-rock style the band has perfected over the years, whilst also progressing it with new creative ideas to broaden their sound. The single features some notable guest appearances, from innovative saxophonist Colin Stetson, to the world-renowned David Bowie. Stetson’ saxophone seems to add some interesting layers to the song itself, thickening it up to enjoyable proportions. Bowie’s appearance on the song adds a brilliant slant to the song, giving it a phenomenal shape and character. The band themselves of course sound brilliant, with their presentation of the songs’ themes being almost flawless. It’s a dark song at times, that’s just a little bit worrying, or a little bit harrowing, but ultimately incredibly enjoyable. It is the perfect precursor to the band’s upcoming fourth album, and one that hypes it in fine style. Fans might find the tracks’ length something to deal with, as well as the almost radical change in style from their previous album releases being a little bit polarizing. However, at the core of the song is a band who has not just progressed, but progressed in an incredibly significant way, once again showing off why they’re one of the most important bands of their genre.

Single Rating:

  • ★★★★★ 5/5

Album Hype Rating:

  • ★★★★★ 5/5

‘Reflektor’ is the first single from Arcade Fire’s upcoming album ‘Reflektor’, set for release on October 28th 2013.

Categories: Reviews, Singles | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Billy Ghost EP – Billy Ghost

The alternative self-titled effort ‘Billy Ghost’ is an incredibly short yet interesting experience. Made up of 3 tracks and clocking in at roughly 7 minutes, it is a short length, more suited for a single-release. ‘Billy Ghost’ is a very unknown home-made release. There is little to no-information about the mysterious musician, which sort of makes the moniker Billy Ghost very fitting. Musically, there is something present on this EP. It seems there’s some creative streak running through this incredibly amateur-sounding EP. There is something interesting about it though.

With ‘Billy Ghost’ being so incredibly short, there is actually very little to discuss. In essence, it is actually easier to dissect and discuss the three available tracks on this release. The album opens up with Tide Came In, which seems to just open up a very gentle groove. A gentle riff seems to push the song along, accompanied by very lo-fi sounding vocals. Everything seems to work until the track gets to the chorus, where the slightest key change seems to throw everything off. It’s annoying, as the gentle grooves of the verses are so enjoyable, that the chorus of the track seems to pop up uninvited and unwanted. The lo-fi experience of the EP is thrown out the door when the next track Vienna Years begins playing. A rather aggressive start seems to come out of nowhere and to a point it is rather jarring. However, as the song progresses, it seems to somehow become a little bit more comfortable. The EP is then ended by Fire Hair Echo, which is arguably the best track on the album. The track returns more to the norms of lo-fi, and features a clanging guitar that comes in at various points in the song. There is something about this track in particular though that is simply interesting. It’s almost akin to Blur’s early years with their first two records ‘Leisure’ and ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’.

Billy Ghost is pretty much what you’d expect from an amateur outfit  There’s nothing that is truly special or amazing, but considering the release of the EP, and its presentation, perhaps it isn’t trying to be anything more than what it is. Musically, it reminds me a lot of the lo-fi styles of Mellowdrone, which itself was created in a bedroom space. Considering the lack of information about Billy Ghost, it is impossible to tell where the album was recorded or why. But perhaps this is what it is all about. Perhaps Billy Ghost is simply a little bit of an album that is just there, because it can be there. It isn’t impressive in any way, and in terms of everything else within the genre, it is certainly under-par. But there’s an element of effort hidden under the flaws riddled in the tracks. There’s elements of someone who is trying to just be creative, and rather than force it down the throats of people, is simply placing it on the internet to be found by whoever happens to stumble upon it. My only true regret about Billy Ghost, and the ‘Billy Ghost EP’ is the fact that it is too short. 7 Minutes is barely enough to really get Billy Ghost. But then again, maybe that is his point. Who knows if we’ll ever hear from Billy Ghost again. Who knows.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆ 3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Fire Hair Echo
Categories: EPs, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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