Hooray! Beach House's new album, Devotion, is coming out on Tuesday the 26th. It sounds even more lush and opiate than their eponymous first effort. This is music to listen to with eyes closed and candles sputtering.
I wasn't raised with Christmas, so it's always been a holiday that sort of floated around me in a red and green haze. But thanks to this guy, I've had cause to celebrate it for the last three years, and I have to say, there are some parts of it that are just lovely. I've realized that for me, the key is finding my own little elements and rituals that resonate on a personal level, rather than force-feeding the mass-marketed version. On that note, I have discovered an album of music that conjures up some real winter magic. Mistletoe and Wine by the Mediaeval Baebes is a collection of traditional songs sung in various languages by a collective of beautiful, gothy women. This is an album to listen to in a room filled with cloves and glittering candles. (Though I have a hunch I'll be playing it year round as it sounds secular enough, and the songs are just so pretty.) HAPPY HOLIDAYS, PHANTASMAPHILES! Postings will be occasional at best until after the new year. XO
The always cello-riffic Rasputina will be playing this Sunday at Union Pool in Brooklyn. The show is a benefit for the badass Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, an incredibly cool and important organization that empowers young females by teaching them how rock out. The multi-act show starts at 6pm.
OK, I know I should just wait until the album drops to post about this, but I am just too excited. Goldfrapp's new album, Seventh Tree, will be out in February. Just take a look at the most phantasmaphilic description:
“A sensual counterpoint to the glitterball glamour of Supernature, Seventh Tree is gilded in the butterfly colours of an English surrealism shared from Lear to Lennon. It shimmers and shines with the warmth of a hazy summer, an electric whirlpool over which Alison’s glistening voice soars.”
Be sure to tune in this week to my favorite radio show, American Routes. The theme is "Saints & Spirits," and features songs throughout history about voodoo and the afterlife, as well as some fabulous interviews:
October 24 - October 30, 2007 Saints & Spirits
Explore the spiritual realm of New Orleans and South Louisiana through words and music on this weekend of All Souls' and All Saints'. Our very own, Ninth-ward, R & B buddha, Fats Domino, drops by and unveils his personal spirituality. Visit the tomb of Voodoo queen Marie Laveauwith author, anthropologist and believer Martha Ward. Plus, Creole artist, musician and traiteurDennis Paul Williams discusses the mystical power of the zydeco and his own healing practices. And Meter man Charles Neville runs the old-school, uptown Voodoo down.
Check out this most delightfully dark and frilly Rasputina video for "1816 The Year Without a Summer." It was created by the one and only Dame Darcy. Afterwards, go buy tickets to their Halloween show in Williamsburg.
PJ Harvey's new album, White Chalk, came out yesterday, and it is filled with spooky loveliness. The songs are piano-based hymns about loss and memory, embellished with such moody instruments as a "broken harp," "zither," and "wine glass." Harvey croons in a ghostly falsetto, sounding a bit like a dead Victorian child communicating through a Ouija board. In other words, perfect music for a long October night.
So excited - I'm seeing Bat for Lashes play tonight at the Knitting Factory. (I've written about them before. Do buy the album if you haven't already, it is gorrrrrgeous.) Also, check out this great interview with Natasha Khan. Here's an excerpt:
"I do love fairytales, but actually not so much the Grimms ones as the older more barbaric and ancient pagan ones! I love a book called "women who run with the wolves" as it contains Jungian philosophies and interpretations of all the old fairytales before they became too standardized and clean. I was brought up in a strict religion and so the act of storytelling is deeply embedded in me - I think thats why I was instantly attracted to deep southern/gothic American lyrics and music - and then fell in love with the biblical imagery of blues, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, etc."
Oh my goodness, how did I miss this? Rasputina's new album, Oh Perilous World, came out on June 26th. It sounds a bit harder than some of their previous albums, which is just great by me. Cellos tear it up!
Bjork's new album, Volta, is out today. It is a messy, inconsistent ordeal; a sort of a cross-section of Bjork's brain, if one can venture to imagine such a thing. There are heavy wails and thrums, monstrous beats, ancient instruments from the Orient, hushed electro ballads, banshee mating calls - kind of a sampling from all of her previous works. Yet the album still feels fresh to me, and makes my limbic system happy. We are seeing her perform tonight at the Apollo - my third time seeing her live over the years. I feel certain it will be treat indeed.
Panda Bear's new album Person Pitch has been showered with critical praise, and rightly so. It's rare to hear music that seems at once modern and nostalgic, and without so much as a trace of irony. This is a lush layer cake of harmonies and startlingly lovely textures. And while Noah Lennox's voice does have some similarity to Brian Wilson's, this is no Beach Boys throwback. This is the sound of Tomorrowland. As an added bonus, the miraculous cover art is done by Agnes Montgomery, whose collages look like childhood viewed through a warped kaleidoscope.
I am starting a band, and am currently seeking members/collaborators. I write songs and sing, and am looking for partners in crime. I want to create the musical version of this site. In other words, songs that are imaginative, a bit odd, and contemporarily magical. If you are intrigued, or know others who may be, please take a look at my craigslist posting, for further detail: http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/muc/300616128.html
The luminous Melora Creager (of cello-rock group Rasputina) has a new solo CD out, called Perplexions. If you like string-accompanied songs about consumption, Victoriana, opium, orphans, frayed ribbons, astrology, woodland creatures, tornados, corsets, cannibalism, amulets, and the like, then Melora Creager is your girl.
Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood - This has been out for a long while now, but I realized I never mentioned it here. One of the best albums of the past 10 years, in my opinion. Soaring, spiritual, weathered, and sparkling.
Thom Yorke - The Eraser - Alright, you can't walk 3 feet without being hit in the face with this album, but with good reason: it's quite interesting. Chilling and cryptic, angular and unusual - just what we've come to expect from Mr. Yorke.
Have had the following three albums in heavy rotation lately:
Jolie Holland - Springtime Can Kill You - I've loved Jolie Holland for years, but I think this is probably her best so far. Perfect for lazing about in the country. In field of fireflies. After smoking opium.
Nouvelle Vague - Nouvelle Vague - Loungey, mellow covers of 80s tunes like "I Melt With You" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart" with female vocals. Seriously lovely and odd and delightful. Gets me in the mood to watch French New Wave cinema.