Well, it's nearly my favorite time of year, and I imagine many of you share that sentiment. Besides the changing of the season into one full of smoke and loam and leaf, it also heralds the release a new crop of albums that are a bit darker around the edges. Here are a few I'm most excited about:
Chelsea Wolfe is the new queen of the underworld, thanks to her reverb-heavy dirges and melancholy lyrics. Her music occasionally flirts with folk, albeit with the batting of black as pitch, mascara-laden lashes. Unknown Rooms: a Collection of Acoustic Songs is a self-explanatory enough title, and will feature what is in my opinion, Ms. Wolfe at her best: unvarnished and singing like a sad siren over guitar strings and frayed heartstrings alike.
The xx is one of those rare bands that crossed over into mainstream while still feeling like a secret. The juxtaposition of spare guitar riffs, skeletal beats, and softly dueling male and female vocals make for songs that are intimate and gut-punching. These are songs that kiss you slowly but leave you breathless. The tracks I've heard from their new album, Coexist, sound not too different from their first album, xx, but that is perfectly fine by me.
I've loved Tori Amos since I was in the 6th grade and Little Earthquakes tore a new portal open in my pre-adolescent brain, allowing a world of myth and lust and candor to flood forth in a tsunami of piano notes. Gold Dust is a revisitation of some of Tori's back catalog, but enhanced with new, lush arrangements and full orchestral accompaniment, courtesy of the Metropole Orchestra.
Bat for Lashes' new album, The Haunted Man, shows Natasha Khan forgoing her sparklegoth persona for one a bit more sleek and a lot more adult. The first single, "Laura," is very pared down and sad, so I'll be curious to hear if this stark element will be consistent in all of the new songs.
We're big Dylan fans in our household, and always look forward to new work by him, whether in sonic or literary format. I've been digging his gravely, organ-soaked tunes of late, and if the cover art of Tempest is any suggestion, we're in for some more noir.