(sub)urban soundcheck.

The Twilight Sad – Forget the Night Ahead [2009 – Fat Cat]
August 29, 2009, 4:09 pm
Filed under: indie, rock, shoegaze | Tags:


1. Reflection of the Television
2. I Became a Prostitute
3. Seven Years of Letters
4. Made to Disappear
5. Scissors
6. That Room
7. That Birthday Present
8. Floorboards Under the Bed
9. Interrupted
10. The Neighbours Can’t Breathe
11. At the Burnside

“Basically it’s about after coming off tour and things like that, getting back into normal life. I don’t know how normal it is, but I’ll say it anyway. Things happened to me. Lots of people close to me went about crazy, and I don’t know how it affected the people around me and everybody else. There were some stories in there. It’s a collection of those kind of themes. And it’s basically about trying to forget what happened…We definitely used some more instruments. We used some violin, which was played by Laura McFarlane from My Latest Novel. We used more piano on the record, and we tried some different guitar strings, and there’s some fire extinguishers in there as well…There’s more instruments on it, but it’s definitely still got the big guitar sound on it. To me, it’s definitely rougher around the edges than the first one. It’s not a flat, technically polished album. It’s very rough but melodic at the same time. We didn’t want to make an album that sounded too produced. This album is more raw than the first one, but again it’s still developed. It’s hard to put it into words. It’s not as produced, but there’s more to it.” – Vocalist James Graham, via Pitchfork.com interview

Mum – Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know [2009 – Morr Music]
June 27, 2009, 7:43 pm
Filed under: folk, indie | Tags:


1. If I Were A Fish – 4:16
2. Sing Along – 5:40
3. Prophecies & Reversed Memories – 4:06
4. A River Don’t Stop to Breath – 4:45
5. The Smell of Today is Sweet Like Breastmilk in the Wind – 4:45
6. Show Me – 3:48
7. Hullaballabalu – 3:28
8. Blow Your Nose – 4:08
9. Kay-Ray-Ku-Ku-Ko-Kex – 3:58
10. Last Shapes of Never – 2:28
11. Illuminated – 4:09
12. Ladies of the New Century – 3:48

“Two years after the release of their last album, eccentric pop maestros múm return with their fifth album proper, simply named Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know. A flickering candle of an album, the album is more laid back than múm’s recent outings, this time much of the songs revolve around a lightly prepared piano, hammered dulcimer, a string quartet, marimbas, guitars, ukuleles and in the background of a few of the songs one can hear Örvar’s parent’s parakeet singing with the piano. The album was recorded in countless different places in four different countries, although most of it was done in múm’s native Iceland.” – Morr

Portugal. the Man – The Satanic Satanist [2009 – ApproachingAIRballoons]
June 24, 2009, 11:37 pm
Filed under: indie | Tags:


1. People Say
2. Work All Day
3. Lovers in Love
4. The Sun
5. The Home
6. The Wood
7. Guns and Dogs
8. Do You
9. Everyone is Golden
10. Morning

“Where other acts have failed in their attempt at manufacturing a successful concept album (ahem, Decemberists), Portugal. The Man succeed in the best way possible: each song maintains its own distinct identity, while an undercurrents of cohesion flows through their collective veins. It’s also worth noting that this is a gapless album, meaning many of the songs run together without any pause in the instrumentation…As I reflect upon The Satanic Satanist, I realize there is nothing satanic about the album at all. Rather, it is nothing if not a sunny, groovy, summer soirée with hooks and riffs and anthems sent down from a troupe of bearded angels donning unkempt wings…a work no doubt destined to turn heads…” – liftingfaces.com

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest [2009 – Warp Records]
May 28, 2009, 10:13 pm
Filed under: indie | Tags:


1. Southern Point – 5:03
2. Two Weeks – 4:03
3. All We Ask – 5:22
4. Fine for Now – 5:31
5. Cheerleader – 4:55
6. Dory – 4:26
7. Ready, Able – 4:17
8. About Face – 3:22
9. Hold Still – 2:25
10. While You Wait for the Others – 4:30
11. I Live With You – 4:58
12. Foreground- 3:35

Veckatimest ain’t perfect; lord knows it tries. More than most any album in recent memory not named Chinese Democracy (please keep reading), it is compositionally and sonically airtight, every moment sounding tweaked, labored over. Perfection– and the pursuit thereof– has its price, and in less able hands (with all love to Axl), this obsessive attention to craft and execution could lead to something dull. What’s perhaps the most remarkable thing about the truly remarkable Veckatimest, however, is how very exciting much of it is; no small feat for a painstaking chamber-pop record that never once veers above the middle tempo.” – Paul Thompson