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Monthly Archives: June 2011

After we finished recording our Freedom Sessions, Pablo Cantú of The Y’s let us borrow some of his time for an interview where he talks about how the project came to life, an explanation of the band’s name, the recording of their debut album, what inspires him to write songs and what is his favorite album of all time. Check out the video of the humorous and honest talk we had with him. Enjoy.

Although Space Is Only Noise came out in February, this is an album that hasn’t gotten as much attention as it deserves and truthfully we’re talking about one of the finest records of the year. Nicolas Jaar is only 21 and has already accomplished so much. He is a prominent DJ and remixer and has been touring mostly throughout Europe. He has previously released a few EPs that contained very promising and danceable tracks. Finally, he owns a label in which he recorded and self-produced this album, his debut.

Space Is Only Noise is minimalistic, highly delicate, slow, passive, meditative and strange in many ways. It contains music unlike anything that has been done before and although his influences are -up to a certain extent- notable, his way of manipulating sounds and rhythms with repetitions, creating a sonic collage that mixes the organic and the digital is mind blowing. It easily takes the listener to unfamiliar places. At first listen, this record may be a very slow for some, for others it may be just a bit too weird. But I know that inside all of us music lovers, we’ll find in Nicolas Jaar‘s music a pleasant tranquility, a feeling of satisfaction, because it’s music that we have been unconsciously expecting to listen to before it even existed. Listen comfortably and attentively to what this young mind has to offer.

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It has never been easy to describe music from the Icelandic songstress. Whenever releasing a new song it always seems to come as a way of a curve ball; unexpected and mostly packed with a few surprises. Four years have passed since she dropped the strangely  forgettable album Volta and it’s been way too long for her to delicately craft an ambitious and sort of hybrid forthcoming album.

Crystalline“, the first single from her highly anticipated Biophilia sees Bjork returning to her roots, an Icelandic citizen and almost ethereal being that sees things way beyond the mortal eye. Basically, the song feels like an amazingly handled mixture of her past albums, Homogenic and Vespertine, topped with the powerful vocals that appeared on Medulla. It’s almost strange and amusing, since it is not very common to see Bjork digging up material from her previous records.

Crystalline is an amazing song that lures the listener into a false sense of happiness and security, because of its amicable and “crystalline” percussions, but the song eventually evolves into an aggressive electronic piece that reminds of the explosive “Pluto” bringing the listener’s defense into pieces. It never loses  the delicate glass beats and that, empowered with her peculiar vocals,  is perfectly handled and nearly impeccable. It makes this a wonderfully confounding teaser for Biophilia, leaving the possible worlds it explores wide open to an own personal suggestion. Listen the delicate sounds of nature and technology, fused together.

Recently, the Spike Jonze and Arcade Fire short film collaboration was made available online through the MUBI website for free. Inspired in Arcade Fire‘s third album The Suburbs, Scenes from The Suburbs further expands the video, directed by Jonze, for the single “The Suburbs”, exploring the same themes and subjects throughout. A collection of lifestyles and violence in the suburbs is the result. Teenage concerns and curiousness are the main drive. Reminiscences, memories and nostalgia are the side dish. Overall, this collaboration between both artists is something than most people can relate to in one way or another. Find 28 mins. to watch this short film from the director that brought you Adaptation, Being John Malkovich and Where The Wild Things Are.  I guarantee you’ll enjoy it. Click here to watch.

You can consider Marissa Nadler a very melancholic singer/songwriter. While most of her lyrics speak of despair, sadness, loneliness and honesty we can still find her arrangement of strings a bit more uplifting, for example right around 1:20 on track number 6: “Puppet Masters” you can clearly hear what we are trying to say. Marissa’s fifth studio album delivers an Americana-based, pseudo-country dream folk sound that will have you turning around in your bed. Her emotions fill your head with sadness yet sometimes with a sense of hope like on “The Sun Always Reminds Me of You”. You can hear her ghostly voice and haunting instrumentation on songs like “Baby, I Will Leave You in the Morning”, “Wedding” and “Alabaster Queen”. These songs may make you feel like time has turned meaningless and the only mean of transportation through space are your very own thoughts.

Hear Marissa’s fifth studio album below and go ahead and order it thru her website right here.

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Other Lives have released a fine new album and you can listen to it in full for free by streaming it below (do it now!). Tamer Animals is an exceptionally well-constructed record. An album that is to be perceived as a whole and not as a collection of individual songs. If I was forced to compare them to any other bands I would say that it sounds like a blend of Fleet Foxes with The National. “For 12” is a good representation of this interesting blend. Listen to track 4 “Tamer Animals” and feel the once-thought-to-be-inimitable melancholy of The National’s Matt Beringer’s vocals with a hint of Interpol‘s Paul Banks’. But that is just to give you an idea of how talented these guys are, it’s unfair to compare and the truth is that Other Lives have created their own particular sound and image, which can be perceived in their album cover art aesthetics. Tamer Animals contains a wide variety of feelings that are inevitably transmitted. So when you listen to this album, close your eyes and let go, transport yourself anywhere, enjoy the meticulously arranged songs of this quintet.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F754629 Tamer Animals by Other Lives

Take a look at their most recent video release for the third track “For 12” and enjoy the world they have created for you.