True fans of music spend countless hours searching for that next great song, album or artist, whether it be online or in a local record shop. The beautiful thing about music in today’s age is that technology has created an infinite supply of great music that is available to us at the click of a mouse. How perfect is that? We can discover a brand new artist on the opposite side of the globe in seconds without a radio or a music television channel. It only makes sense that a website so dedicated to this gorgeous universe of music would want to celebrate the greatness and share it with anyone who is looking.
My name is Eric and I am your host of Straight from the Teet, where I will delve into 7 new albums per week as well as 1 randomly chosen throwback record and let you know which tracks I loved from the albums I listened to. I hope that my exploration through this never-ending sea of music will help satisfy that hunger for the brand new tracks you have been seeking.
TUESDAY: Ormonde – Machine
WEDNESDAY: GOOD Music – Cruel Summer
THURSDAY: Ringo Deathstarr – Mauve
SATURDAY: With Joyful Lips – Oneironautics
THROWBACK: The Cinematic Orchestra – Ma Fleur (2007)
- Warner Music UK Limited
- September 21, 2012
After the success of their latest full length LP’s, Frightened Rabbit has become a household name within the indie community. Although neither album was anything terribly spectacular, they contained some terrific songwriting and the band really seemed to have a grasp of the type of sound they were going for. After announcing a brand new LP that is due out early next year, the band has released a warm-up EP entitled State Hospital. Like most EP’s that are released under these guidelines, State Hospital leaves us longer for more as we feel a bit back and forth with the content of the album. This record only contains 5 tracks, 3 of which are actually quite terrific. On the tracks “Boxing Night” and “State Hospital”, we are presented with some hard indie rocking folk music which is exactly the style that has garnered the band a pretty decent reputation thus far in their careers. “Boxing Night” was an interesting track as it sounds like it was conceived during the production of their 2008 record, The Midnight Organ Fight.
It’s depressing features really stand out on this album as The Winter Of Mixed Drinks was released in 2010 and showed a totally new and improved emotional state for Hutchinson. The title track of the album is actually the only song that will be on the upcoming LP as the final four tracks are demos. This was actually a bit surprising to me as “Boxing Night” and “Home From War” are quite good and also the track “Off” is more than good enough for a full length album, but the band decided to keep their forthcoming record at a decent time. The demos off this record are very good and it’s actually very exciting to hear that they were left off the forthcoming album as it must mean they have something quite amazing at their fingertips. We will have to see, but for now at least we have this EP.
- August 7, 2012
If any of you are fans of dream pop then chances are you’ve heard of Anna-Lynne Williams. Her voice has been a key contributor to the dream pop music world over the last 15 years or so. Her greatest contribution has been with the band Trespassers William, a melancholic band that made three successful records together before disbanding earlier this year. Overall, I would estimate that most fans of her were pretty heartbroken by the sudden news especially in fear that she might not record again. Luckily for us though, Williams has started a few projects of her own including Ormonde. The duo actually formed in 2009 after Williams and Self-acclaimed dream pop singer Robert Gomez had first met. The pair wouldn’t record anything together until 2011 after Williams’ failing band finally called it quits privately.
Machine is their debut record and it includes most of what we’ve come to expect by both of these artists. The songs are all very melodramatic and although the sincerity is their within the painful lyrics, I think this overall sound has just become sort of a reflex for Williams. At times during this album, I even forget that I’m not listening to Trespassers William. For me, the big savior on this record is Robert Gomez himself, who brings a more masculine theme to the table. His dark, deep voice really meshes well with the soothing nature of Williams’, and Gomez employs some very nicely arranged piano to go along with his heartache. Overall though, these depressing ideals implemented on this record have just become overly generic within the genre. For me, this album comes about 15 years too late and I find myself getting bored and frustrated through most of it.
- Getting Out Our Dreams / Def Jam
- September 18, 2012
Stereotypes are generally a bad thing, let me get that straight first and foremost. They’ve never done anybody or anything any good but even so, we as a community will always incorporate them somehow. For years, I have hated most of hip hop music for it’s generic themes, terribly violent and womanizing lyrics, and ignorance. The good hip hop artists are the ones who use knowledgeable lyrics and discuss major issues around the world or in politics while the bad ones just rap about how good the blowjob he got from some hooker was. Let’s be honest here, it’s a transparent problem within the genre. Kanye West I have aways respected, especially as a producer as he has blossomed into one of the all time best that hip hop has ever seen. His new project over the last year has been the establishment of a brand new label, one that Kanye could call his own. G.O.O.D. Music finally came into fruition this year and the excitement quickly wore off immediately into the first track of this album.
This record is a compilation of songs by artists on the label such as Big Sean, 2 Chainz, John Legend, Pusha T, R. Kelly and of course, Jay-Z. Kanye is obviously at the forefront of most of this record, contributing lyrics to 5 of the 12 tracks. Kanye also became lead producer, creating most of the beats we get off this record. The songs all suffer from sounding like the most stereotypical rap songs of the 2000’s. The rap verses off this album are incredibly dull and overly conceded as well as inappropriate. There are a few times where the lyrics tend to hold onto some type of significance but it’s quickly lost in the mass of bullshit going on lyrically here. The beats are where I am terribly confused about the tracks as Kanye, who has become one of the best producers in his field, produced just about each track. I expected big and mind enhancing beats, something genuinely new and flavorful. Instead, Cruel Summer is created with some lackluster beats that are beyond underwhelming. At times, it even sounds like the production was so low quality that maybe some teenager behind a closed door was creating them with garage band. Although I wasn’t expecting much from this album, I sure as hell thought it would be much better than this garbage.
- Sonic Unyon Records
- September 25, 2012
Ringo Deathstarr got a lot of people talking when they released their debut record Colour Trip back in in 2011. It was a gritty lo-fi, noise pop record that borrowed some ideas from shoegaze. Mauve is the band’s sophomore effort and from what I can tell, it’s not nearly as interesting. Mauve blends a lot more punk structures and the energy ridden noise rock that gave their debut album life is not nearly as good here. Musically, this album was tough to get through and although I’m not considered a fan of noise pop, the heavy waves of distorted guitars and vicious bass doesn’t sit well with me. This mash-up of ideas borrowed from different genres just doesn’t work as well as it did on the band’s debut and it might have something to do with sections that are a lot softer than what the band did on their first album. Lyrically, this album is uninspiring but so was their first record so I am unsure if that’s really the main reason. Overall, it’s just about being bored during these long, drawn out stretches of pure energy that instead get rambled up into a shitty, reverberating nightmare. To me, it almost sounds like Sleigh Bells with less interesting ideas, and I don’t even like Sleigh Bells.
A Whisper In The Noise
- Exile On Mainstream
- February 27, 2012
Slowcore isn’t quite as popular today as it was ten years ago. The genre, although never anything huge, is just a tiny spec on the universal map of music. A Whisper In The Noise is a true to form slowcore band from Minnesota. Since forming in 2002, the band has released 5 full length records and every one of them has gotten the blood to boil once again for the genre itself. The band’s newest release, To Forget, is their first album in five years. After a decent absence from the indie music blogs, there were some worries that the band might either be breaking up or that they might not have a love for the life anymore. To Forget came out as subtly as the music comes across, like a whisper in the noise. On the new album, the band hasn’t missed a beat. The tracks are all filled with heart wrenching sadness as piano chord progressions flutter over some gentle guitar and some really beautiful electronic work. The record ends up being very pretty on the outside but the sadness is easy enough to see for yourself. Lyrically is where this band has always stood out and they continue to keep control of that ability on To Forget. The strength of having both West Thordson and Rebecca Farmer sing vocal harmonies is just plain gorgeous over some nicely arranged piano. Although I enjoyed this album, I think it’s weaknesses are a bit clear. The music does tend to be a very emotional free fall and it takes quite a bit of patience to get through, especially if you’re in a happy mood. That being said, the fact that this band still sounds like a cross between Low and Sparklehorse really helps me to enjoy the overall sound of the record.
With Joyful Lips
- July 2, 2012
Before this week, I had never heard of With Joyful Lips. I had been sent a link in my inbox one day by a friend out in California and had passed it off as just another indie act. Because of this, it spent about two months sitting at the wayside. At some point last week, I decided to check the album out and one of the songs totally caught me off guard. I remember after getting the link, I tried to research the band which is actually just a solo project for England based musician, Keith Vaz. The information was pretty sparse but in a bunch of photos, Vaz can be seen playing an acoustic guitar. I jumped to conclusions, thinking he was just another acoustic indie folk artist but holy hell was I wrong. The album is this wacky combination of dub step, downtempo, dream pop, and folktronica. The acoustic guitar is there but it’s inserted into one of the many different layers that have gone into the production. For the most part, I would consider this album a folktronica record as the acoustic guitar is embodied by some whimsical electronics. The atmosphere on this record is totally gorgeous and the addition of some dubstep rhythms really gives the music a unique identity. Oneironautics is the official debut EP by Vaz and if this album is any sign of things to come, then we’re in for a majorly great surprise.
This Patch Of Sky
Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine
- June 12, 2012
This Patch Of Sky is a post-rock band from Oregon who formed in mid 2010. The band has just released their second album, a follow-up to the highly under appreciated The Immortal, The Invisible. The band has had some decent feedback since their inception as many post-rock fans compare their sound to older Explosions In The Sky which is a huge compliment. Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine is my very first experience with the band and I was quite excited to finally hear them. Right off the bat, I’m definitely getting an almost generic sounding type of instrumental post-rock but somehow This Patch Of Sky is able to push through that barrier. Instrumentally, this band is as gifted as they come. Although they are very traditional in a musical sense as all songs are led by guitars with crashing drums and epic breakdowns, the band is able to bring out a sense of revitalization for a genre that has evolved so much in the last 10 years alone. For the most part, my love for post-rock revolves around the bands that are able to say “fuck the traditions, lets do something new”. This Patch Of Sky are the exact opposite. they employ all the traditions that are focused around the genre but with great abilities as musicians, this album becomes something that is quite nice.
The Cinematic Orchestra
- Ninja Tune
- June 5, 2007
The Cinematic Orchestra have established themselves as one of the more influential nu-jazz bands in the world since there creation in 1999. Ma Fleur was the band’s fourth full length record and even though it showed a pretty massive change in overall style musically, this record is still a favorite of mine. Whereas the band’s first three albums all revolved around nu-jazz songs that showed off their love and interest in old school jazz music, Ma Fleur was a gentle breeze towards chamber pop. Some people considered it too “artsy-fartsy” while other were just upset by the lack of downtempo beats but in the end, this album remains as a strong favorite for the band’s career. The change in style not only led to some more acoustic instrumentation, it also brought out a more ambient side of them. On this album, it’s all about the subtle atmosphere which is extremely free and airy. The entire album is so gentle in it’s production and overall sound that it’s something that’s probably listened to best at night before sleep or when relaxing on a rainy afternoon. In order to achieve a more picturesque sound, the band brought in friends Patrick Watson and Fontella Bass to sing the lyrics. This further seperated this album from the earlier ones as it brought a true sense of chamber pop and soul to the table rather then just jazz. 2007 was an amazing year for music and this album hold strong within the top 50 albums of the entire year, a pretty hard earned achievement if you ask me.
Albums To Look Forward To Next Week:
- Nils Frahm – Screws
- Tame Impala -Lonerism
- Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes
- Infantree – Hero’s Dose
- Muse -The 2nd Law
- Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor -‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
After another good week of album listens, I am more than ready to start another. If anyone is interested in purchasing or simply hearing any of these albums online, I have linked them for you at the top of this page to make it simple. I hope you have enjoyed reading this weeks edition of Straight From The Teet and I look forward to bringing you a new group of records next week. Please leave comments here at the bottom and let me know what you liked or didn’t like from this week’s lineup. Have a great week and please support these terrific bands!