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: Tame Impala – Lonerism
WEDNESDAY: Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
THURSDAY: Nils Frahm – Screws
FRIDAY: Infantree – Hero’s Dose
SATURDAY: Muse – The 2nd Law
THROWBACK: The Boxer Rebellion – Union (2009)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
- October 16, 2012
Godspeed You! Black Emperor have remained probably the all time greatest post-rock band that we have ever heard. Since the band’s origin in 1994, they released five records before disbanding in 2002. Among those albums were a few that will most likely be timeless including F♯A♯∞ and also Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven!. The band’s ability to make these incredibly theatrical albums without a physical image has always been their greatest strength as we are able to see the landscape in our minds because of the music itself. It was obviously quite sad when the band suddenly called it quits in 2002 but ten years later, the band has reformed and finally released new material. ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is an album that really picks up where the band left off a decade ago. The atmospheric, droning post-rock has returned and the landscapes being drawn into our brains as listeners is once again, incredible. These apocalyptic sounds are nightmarish and horrifying yet they are completely gratifying and oddly gorgeous. No band has ever helped nudge the mind’s eye like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and even after a decade long hiatus, the band hasn’t seemed to lose much at all. 2012 owes Godspeed You! Black Emperor a steak dinner.
- Modular Recordings
- October 5, 2012
Tame Impala are a psychedelic band from Australia who hit it big with their debut album, Innerspeaker, in 2010. Every time I listen to Tame Impala, I can’t help but think about 1960’s psych pop music especially The Beatles. Tame Impala are obviously going for that type of sound, a hybrid of 1960’s psych and modern shoegaze and so far it has worked wonders. The band’s follow-up LP is entitled Lonerism and they have really outdone themselves. The record itself definitely employs the same types of themes and sounds associated with the band’s debut but everything is much more well crafted and almost perfected. Although this record doesn’t have a clear cut single like Innerspeaker had, the album as a whole is just a terrific example of how to make psych pop music. The heavy distorted guitars are loud and experimental while the pop inspired drum beats really outline the music in a nice way. The vocals by Kevin Parker continue to sound eerily similar to John Lennon but that’s more of a compliment then anything else. Parker also produced the record and he seems to have gotten this trade figured out. The production on the album is reminiscent of 60’s psychedelic, prog rock and it really gives the album a ferocious identity. It’s almost like when people use coffee to make something look vintage and although this process doesn’t normally work out, it truly does in this instance. Tame Impala seem to be breaking out on this album and their consistency really brings confidence to my ears.
- RCA Records
- October 2, 2012
Over the last few years, we have seen the emergence of some fantastic neo soul singers including Frank Ocean and The Weeknd. This more experimental style of r&b has really settled in and become a breathe of fresh air in the hip hop community as both artists have been atop charts in both the indie community and mainstream community. Miguel is another artist who is making his music along those same guidelines. Growing up in Los Angeles, Miguel was a big fan of classic rock music as well as 70’s funk and these influences have surely played a huge role in his musical landscape to this point. Kaleidoscope Dream is Miguel’s sophomore attempt and he does it big here. These tracks all incorporate elements of classic rock, funk, modern electronic beats, and of course some neo soul. While Miguel borrows lyrics from The Zombies‘ “Time Of The Season”, he also blends in a sample of Labi Siffre‘s “I Got The”, which was later used for Eminem‘s “My Name Is”. The fact that such a young musician is so useful in the way he can combine decades of music together really shows Miguel’s passion and knowledge of music as a whole. The production really brings the album together as the beats play the most dynamic role on the entire album. While they are experimental and heavy, they also leave room for Miguel to show off some very dynamic vocals. This was a terrific follow-up record and it’s nice to see this re-imagined genre continue to grow.
- Erased Tapes
- September 20, 2012
If you’ve never heard a Nils Frahm record then shame on you. The German born pianist has been recording solo material since about 2004 and just about every album should probably be used as a how to example for all modern classical musicians. Frahm is a top quality ambient artist and what’s most incredible is that he’s doing everything the classical way, with a piano. After 2011’s hit record Felt, Frahm was due for a break from recording but earlier this year things didn’t quite lead to a vacation. After an involuntary free fall from the top of his bunk bed at the studio, Frahm had severely injured himself. He had broken his thumb on the fall and was forced into surgery to insert four screws to hold it in place. The doctors told Frahm to keep away from the piano for a while to give the thumb time to heal and this led to some depression. For him, not being able to do the one thing he loves most on a day-to-day basis was heartbreaking. After months of sitting around bored to death though, he decided to begin recording again. With a cast on his hand, Frahm wrote an album of 9 total songs, all played with 9 total fingers. Screws is deeply emotional and as pleasant as ever for Frahms catalogue. Each song is this timeless, classical masterpiece and what makes this even more impressive is that Frahm had one less finger to do so. Just chalk this up to yet another quality record from probably the best pianist of this generation.
- Vapor Records
- June 22, 2012
Infantree is a band that I’m sure many of you have never heard of. In fact, I had never heard of them prior to their newest album release, Hero’s Dose. The band is actually on their third full length record and they’ve done so very quietly. Signed to indie label Vapor Records, the band makes a very upbeat, feel good alternative rock sound that is all combined with some folk inspired lyrics by frontman Alex Vojdani. Upon first listen, I have to say that I was rather exhausted by the themes presented and the over the top sound functioning going on. Everything just seems so cavity inducing and too rich to satisfy that it all gets a bit tiring by the end. After a few more listens, I definitely had a sense of the lyrical aspirations going on which I was rather into but that flat, over the top sound just didn’t do it for me. In a way, I feel like I am just listening to recycled, late 70’s classic rock riffs that were thrown out by bands like The Doobie Brothers. For me, the worst part overall is the drum sequencing as the drummer just seems like he might be in his teens and just cannot keep up with the guitarist. Although I think the songwriting is pretty decent overall, it’s just overshadowed by the sloppy production and instrumental structures.
The 2nd Law
- Warner Music
- October 1, 2012
Believe it or not, there was a very short instance of time when Muse was on top of the indie music scene. Yes, it’s true. The band’s first three albums in the beginning of the 2000’s were all chart toppers in the eyes of most fans of the genre but ever since, the band has been on a tight-knit, downward spiral. The 2nd Law is the newest release by the veteran group and things have changed massively since the band’s debut. At some point in the last four or five years, they decided that in order to obtain a better judgement from critics and fans, they had to follow the train. So what’s hot these days? Well, dubstep is what most people have been digging into even though in my opinion it’s not true dubstep because house music and drum and bass cannot be the experimental, glitch heavy dubstep that Burial perfected (no people, Skrillex is not dubstep). So a few months ago when Muse released the teaser trailer for The 2nd Law, fans were absolutely astounded to hear a bullshit dubstep song. Coming from somebody who has never enjoyed the band to a single degree, I wasn’t really that surprised. The band’s sound had grown tiresome and they weren’t garnering the same type of critical acclaim that once dressed them in the beginning so trying something that was becoming super popular was basically an easy way out. Upon listening to the album as a whole, I’ve noticed that not only has the band started creating dulled out electronic beats but they have totally lost any remnants of being a progressive rock band. Guitar solos? What are those? Instead, Matt Bellamy sings horribly over some pop sequenced electronic music that I swear has been used for just about any modern pop track. The band continues to devolve and I think with this record they have hit a new all time low.
Until The Quiet Comes
- Warp Records
- October 1, 2012
Hip-hop is really starting to see a much more diverse side in recent years as producers are coming to the table who offer much more interesting beats then just your obvious 4/4 time signatures. Flying Lotus came out of nowhere in 2006 and has proven that hip-hop can have rougher edges then what we have all come to know. Steven Ellison has been behind the project since it’s inception and has released four full length records now, all of which are incredibly experimental. Until The Quiet Comes is the newest release and his music seems to continue evolving. As a producer, Ellison uses lots of different influences especially IDM and dubstep. On this record, there are a few instances of trip hop but for the most part, every beat is very glitch ridden and very heavy. The production here is quiet possibly his best yet as he continues to grow as a musician and a self-taught producer. The addition of some vocal harmonies from a few friends such as Niki Randa and even Erykah Badu really adds a nice flavor to the incredibly experimental mix. It’s almost sort of a break from the mind fuck we are receiving here which is well deserved. I would have to say that Flying Lotus isn’t for just any type of music fan but is mainly for someone who really understands electronic music. This isn’t the type of music that you’ll be hearing at parties or be listening to while studying and it’s much more complex then your average electronic producer but that’s where the beauty lies with Ellison. It’s like trying to understand alien technology to perfection in a 24 hour time span…it might not be possible but it sure is amazing.
The Boxer Rebellion
- January 13, 2009
The word “indie” has become a major term with music over the last 15 years or so. In the beginning, it was a word that simply meant independent of any major record label but it’s basically become a genre title since. If you want to get serious, there really isn’t a such thing as a genre named “indie” but even I use the term to describe a certain style of music so maybe I sound hypocritical. Indie music though is a very general term and really, it is almost unworthy to describe a style of music as most indie bands are doing something that is much more precise from electronics to progressive. There are a few bands though where the term is a perfect fit and The Boxer Rebellion is one of them. The band has now released three full length records, the first two were completely independent of a label in general. The band totally funded both records by themselves and were able to create some terrific, big production albums with little to no money. The story behind their sophomore LP Union is one that proves that money isn’t at all necessary to make a great record. On this album, the band had finally found their niche and even though they moved slightly away from their alternative roots to a more pop friendly theme, the sound structure was overall better and much brighter. Frontman Nathan Nicholson had much more interesting things to sing about on this album and instrumentally, the band had really discovered their true identity. This album went under the radar in 2009 but thanks to some motion picture soundtracks since, the band is finally becoming a household name.
Albums To Look Forward To Next Week:
- Sun Airway – Soft Fall
- Pinback – Information Retrieved
- Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man
- Hidden Orchestra – Archipelago
- Letka – Far Off Country
- Ben Gibbard – Former Lives
- Ultraista – Ultraista
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!