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 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.
MONDAY: Emancipator – Dusk To Dawn
TUESDAY: My Bloody Valentine – m b v
WEDNESDAY: Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse
THURSDAY: Eels – Wonderful, Glorious
FRIDAY: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II
SATURDAY: Ducktails – The Flower Lane
SUNDAY: Ex Cops – True Hallucinations
Dusk To Dawn
- Loci Records
- January 29, 2013
Doug Appling is a young beatmaker from New York who came out of nowhere back in 2006. His finely tuned, expertly crafted trip hop music has always been some of the best around and the only true comparison in my opinion is to the late Nujabes. This is the style that Emancipator has always been drawn to, the live music that contains less sampling and more naturalistic instrumentation. When you listen to an Emancipator record you’re sure to hear a great deal of violin, cello, guitar, and horn sections. Because of his unique style in this type of genre, Appling’s music has always stood out. After two records that ended up being top 10 albums from 2006 and 2010, Emancipator has finally released his third LP, Dusk To Dawn. Once again, Appling has decided to explore his enthusiasm for all things nature and the environmental portraits painted for us are once again spectacular. Each song contains these perfect arrangements of electronic programming, violin harmonies, terrific drum structures, and some melodic guitar pieces. It’s all just incredibly elegant and gorgeous. This album, however, doesn’t quite match the perfection of his first two releases. Appling doesn’t seem to try and separate his record themes and this album ends up sounding more like a sequel to his last album Safe In The Steep Cliffs than a work of its own. I do think that the production on this group of songs is amazing especially when songs such as “Merlion” sound like a direct continuation of “Safe In The Steep Cliffs”. Although this album isn’t up to that same incredible standard of his last two records, Appling will surely be high up on my albums of the year list in December.
My Bloody Valentine
m b v
- Self Released
- February 2, 2013
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine basically took over an entire generation. Their music was far different then anything else released at the time and they became innovators of the newly formed genre. Their final record Loveless was released in 1991 and would forever remain as one of the greatest shoegaze albums ever recorded. The beauty behind its psychotic embrace was soothing and disturbing at the same time which made the album very unique. Immediately following the release of that record, frontman Kevin Shields had a mental breakdown. He suffered writer’s block and decided that he just couldn’t match his last album and the band unfortunately decided to call it quits before they ever finished their contract. It was a heartbreaking situation for fans of the band but now, more than 20 years later, My Bloody Valentine has suddenly re-emerged from the depths of the sea. Kevin Shields has finally found the words that were buried deep inside of him and that disturbing, yet calming sound has also come back. Their self-titled fourth record overall is as gloomy as ever and they haven’t seemed to miss much of a beat. Distorted guitar effects still run the show while Shields’ voice comes desperately out of the shadows in the background. That ends up being a minor issue for me as the genre has been totally reshaped since Loveless was released. Production has become more of a challenge for modern shoegaze artists and this attention to detail has made shoegaze music a lot different. My Bloody Valentine though decides to do it old school rather then follow in those footsteps. I’m pretty back and forth with the lyrics here as well, especially after waiting so long for Shields to get it together. If this album really was 20 years in the making, I imagine it should have been more constructed and directed but it sounds more like a debut album by a great band. The album almost sounds as if it were rushed and it doesn’t make all that much sense to me in that regard. I think this album will surely be one of the more overrated records of 2013 but that doesn’t mean it’s not good–just not as great as some of your friends are saying it is.
- Warner Music
- February 1, 2013
The Scottish indie band Frightened Rabbit has been one of the more consistent within the genre over the last 5 years or so. Although they have only just released their fourth album since 2006, each record has really been a personal experience and one with emotional highs and lows. Scott Hutchinson has always been a great songwriter who enjoys using life experiences to shape his song themes. Whereas The Midnight Organ Fight revolved around a failed love and breakup, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks told more happy stories and employed a nautical concept that Hutchinson had inspired from their heavy touring the year prior. Going into their latest record Pedestrian Verse, Hutchinson had stated that the album would employ more songwriting by the rest of the band as to separate some of those overly personal moments and open up the field. However, during the album’s production and songwriting process, Hutchinson once again dealt with a breakup. His focus did shift from open minded details to a more directed heartache and the songs definitely show this. This album is nowhere near as depressing as The Midnight Organ Fight and in fact a lot of the lyrics seem stronger and more well conceived. He sounds like a tougher human being in general here and the musical structures add to this. The band has never been better instrumentally and this combination once again gives Frightened Rabbit a very strong case for being one of the best indie rock bands around, even after officially signing to a major label.
- E Works
- February 1, 2013
Eels is the now seasoned project that was founded and nurtured by its only continuous member, Mark Oliver Everett. Active since 1995, Eels has had its ups and downs, especially through 10 LPs as the band has basically had an array of different members on just about every single record. This ever changing lineup has always consisted of friends of Everett’s but the change in dynamic from album to album hasn’t always been positive. It’s sometimes hard to grasp just what Eels is supposed to be when their sound changes every few years. On the other hand, this also becomes pretty interesting and makes each album a surprise to your ears since you never know what to expect. Wonderful, Glorious is the latest album by Eels and its sound has blossomed to a more alternative rock based groove. The songs are much more fierce and in your face then ever before. Even Everett is singing with a more gritty personality as his aggressive behavior pushes through. His songwriting though continues to be a let down for me. After all this time, I imagine he should have more interesting song concepts but when it comes down to it, each track is little more then just a rambling of overly coherent thoughts. “You know what? I’m in a good mood today. I’m so happy it’s not yesterday” are not good lyrics. Anyone can write free form like this and it just ends up being boring. Even if the lyrics were better, I still don’t think this album would have represented much more then some overproduced, distorted guitars and wacky voice effects. Eels continue to grow old as they’ve been doing since their inception back in the mid ’90s.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
- February 1, 2013
In 2011, Unknown Mortal Orchestra crept onto the scene with their debut self-titled release. The album launched the trio to a great deal of critical success as they became a rare lo-fi style band who was also able to leave tons of airy space for their sound. Instead of filling in each gap with distorted guitar or heavy drums, the band just simply let the sound take shape naturally and because of this, the record really became impressive. Their follow-up album (which is so creatively titled II) hit the shelves this past week and it shows a bit of a different side to the band. Their psychedelic style still defines the identity of their music but everything sounds much gloomier and relaxing, as if this album represents the late night porch hang out as opposed to the energy fueled Saturday morning rant. Although the record does combine some pop elements with synthesizers, the music is very polished over with sharp licks from the electric guitar. At times, the band almost sounds more like a ’70s version of what The Beatles might have sounded like if they didn’t break up and also took more LSD. I am really into this bedroom styled element that Unknown Mortal Orchestra employs as the music is all just so light hearted and adventurous at the same time. Although this album doesn’t quite reach the plateau of their debut release, this is a very decent sophomore album.
The Flower Lane
- January 29, 2013
Ducktails is the imaginative solo project by Real Estate’s Matthew Mondanile. Throughout his own solo career, Mondanile has finished 4 LPs and a handful of EPs, all of which have been decently innovative. Although his roots lay within the lo-fi genre, Mondanile has experimented with different types of electronic styles and psychedelic progressions to carve his own name in stone. His first three records all included these types of concepts and even though his former album Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics wasn’t nearly as satisfying as his first two, each of those three albums really created a path for Mondanile’s music. The Flower Lane is the latest installment for Ducktails and things have changed. On this album, we are getting a much more pop oriented album as synthesizers and subtle ’80s guitar riffs plow the way. The whole first half of this album is this ’80s rehashing and although some long time fans are grueling at this, I actually quite like it. Sure, the music is much less imaginative but this break from the hardships of experimental music is a nice way for Mondanile to focus on different inspirations and just let loose. For the first time since his debut record, he seems to be having a great time recording his music.
- Other Music
- January 22, 2013
Going through the infinite abyss that is music for the last 4 years or so, it’s understandable that I have come across some artists that I just cannot stand. It’s going to happen more often than not and that was the case with bands Hymn and Minks. Each of these bands were on the dream pop / jangle pop side of the spectrum but neither had anything overly interesting going on. To my surprise, members of these bands have ended up joining forces. Brian Harding of Hymn and Amalie Bruun of Minks have been long time friends and the decision to create a band together was an easy one. Ex Cops is the band’s name and their debut album True Hallucinations has been a crazy surprise for me. Although the key contributors here are still not venturing outside of their comfort zone, the jangly pop ridden sound is quite fabulous. The songs carry this dreamy and airy style and both singers have a unique connection singing with one another. Some songs embody this incredibly fun atmosphere such as “Spring Break (Birthday Song)” while others dim it down a bit. This contradiction in style is an obvious one as both artists had such differing characteristics even though they played a relatively similar genre. The relationship here carries a lot of chemistry though and Ex Cops ends up standing very far apart from Bruun and Harding’s other bands.
Albums To Look Forward To Next Week:
- Foals – Holy Fire
- The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law
- Matt Pond – The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand
- Riverside – Shrine Of New Generation Slaves
- Guards – In Guards We Trust
- Grouper – The Man Who Died In His Boat
- Polyenso – One Big Particular Loop
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 week’s 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!