Sometimes everything gets a bit too real. Emotions shift, materialism becomes non-existent, and life is put into perspective. Jaron Widman, one half of the LA Leitbur duo, was producing a new album when he received his diagnosis. Bills piled up, but he stuck it out, and he’s here today, doing what he loves, making music for the masses. In return, he asks for our support to help him pay his medical bills. I think that’s a pretty fair return on investment, don’t you? Visit www.leitbur.com/cancersucks/.
Meanwhile, “Heartsink” is sublime and I would listen to it with or without a cause.
The killer new album from SOS is out today, but you may be surprised I’m posting it on Knox Road. I’m not typically one to write much about R&B, but this sophomore effort is engaging me in an unexpected way. The production is the clear stand out here, blurring the lines (yikes, no pun) between new-age R&B and indie electronica with hooks that explode. You’d do well to have a listen.
SOS official website
Since my last Letting Up Despite Great Faults post (you have to scroll down five seconds to find it), Neon is out, and we’ve got a brand new song, “Ride” to present off the album. The single has everything I’ve come to love about Letting Up, with relaxed vocals, a sunny vibe and retro synths. Ride will likely soundtrack many summer films; get familiar so you can show off to your friends when you recognize it! The crew will be touring Japan in the next week, which is pretty freakin’ cool.
I guess I’m kind of behind the curve on this one, as Pitchfork just reviewed their album (with a dandy score in the sevens!), but Brooklyn’s Landlady deserves even more love. With free-flowing energy that has been severely lacking in so much of everything these days and a somehow tender abrasiveness, Landlady packs a much-needed punch. The orchestral arrangements typically culminate in full crescendos toward the second half of songs, which always leaves me wanting more.
Purchase Upright Behavior on Bandcamp
Raw folk and earnest vocals describe Leanids well. The Swedish outfit builds intensity on one track and slows things back down on the next (or several tempos in one!). There’s a sense of sincerity on their new record, A Wildly, which few bands are able to convey. Leanids are making music they want to make, and I can tell – I can’t stress enough how far that goes in the listening experience.
A Wildly is mighty fine BBQ and tiki torch music. In fact, I think I’ll do it all this weekend.
A Wildly is available for “name your price” at Bandcamp.
It’s taken me way too long to post the new Letting Up Despite Great Faults material, and for that I apologize. This crew has been one of my favorites over my blogging (and pre-blogging) years, in both personality and musicianship. I adore everything they put it out. Frankly, it’s hard not to. Not liking Letting Up Despite Great Faults is like saying you hate puppies! I DON’T GET YOU. Plus, they always have the best album covers, so there’s that.
Neon comes out August 12.
In a lot of ways, the 1980s were a strange decade. Speaking specifically to the musical output there was a lot to like, but it was dominated by fads and failed experiments. As someone who had limited access to music other than what my parents played or what popular radio had to offer, the 80s were a kind of dark period for me until much later in life. But during those dark times some names were always part of the conversation, even if they just skirted around the fringe. One of those names was Joe Jackson.
I feel like I’ve always known Jackson’s name. I knew that he had some radio hits but I absolutely could not name one of them. I knew he had a few hit records, one was Look Sharp, the other had a white and blue cover, maybe with a drawing of a piano or something on it. This is about as much as I knew about Joe Jackson. In my pursuit to fill in some holes in my fabric of music information I decided it was time to see what Joe Jackson was all about.
Continue reading [The Past Presents] Joe Jackson – Body and Soul (1984) →
Fitness Club Fiasco, of Toronto, is back with new single “Hades,” which was actually inspired by the band’s experience watching loved ones battle cancer. The emotional highs and lows are on full display in this dynamic track. Driven by electro beats and lulling harmonies, “Hades” is a sufficiently lush tune.
Duplekita, the new project of Faunts co-founder Tim Batke out of Edmonton, makes some of my favorite kind of music. Expansive, electronic pop with sweet, hushed vocals and a building, layered melody. It’s a sound that can be listened to on repeat without a care in the world. I’ll put on my headphones, close my eyes in the summer breeze, and know that everything will be okay.
Duplekita’s debut album, The Sound Of My Name, is out July 29th via Kinsella Recordings.
Check out Eliza Shaddad’s take on Kiesza’s “Hideaway” with production by Turtle. In case you forgot, I featured the Sudanese/Scottish singer a little over a month ago. She’s dynamite, and so is this cover. Shaddad recently released her debut EP, Waters, via Beatnik Creative.