Beyond In Rainbows

With all the blog love & affection going to the very worthy In Rainbows this week, you could almost forget that the week saw a plethora (always wanted to use that word in print) of other exciting new releases. So, here’s the week, In Review:

Beirut :: The Flying Club Cup
I have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Gulag Orkester when it lit the blogging world on fire last year, but it’s found a niche in a my regular rotation over the past few months. The follow up continues Zach Condon’s exploration of European folk music, shifting from the Balkans to France. Stylistically The Flying Club Cup is not a great departure from the debut or the Lon Gisland EP, but does feature some improved production and a set of very consistent songs.

MP3 :: A Sunday Smile
(from The Flying Club Cup. Buy here)
-----------------------------------------------
Band of Horses :: Cease To Begin
Already wrote quite a bit about this one earlier this week, so I won’t repeat myself. But I’m not tiring of the latest from Ben Bridwell and crew, and don’t intend to.

MP3 :: Is There A Ghost
(from Cease To Begin. Buy here)
---------------------------------------------
The Octopus Project :: Hello, Avalanche
Can’t wait to hear more from The Octopus Project. I’ve had the first single, “I Saw The Bright Shinies”, on a regular rotation since mid-summer.

MP3 :: I Saw The Bright Shinies
(from Hello, Avalanche. Buy here)
-----------------------------------------------
Robert Pollard :: Coast To Coast Carpet of Love / Standard Gargoyle Decisions

The former leader of Guided By Voices is releasing two (more) solo records. It can be quite a daunting task keeping up with Bob’s output, but you know the man is always good for a bunch of great tunes with every release.

MP3 :: Current Desperation (Angels Speak Of Nothing)
(from Coast To Coast Carpet of Love. Buy here)

MP3 :: Pill Gone Girl
(from Standard Gargoyle Decisions. Buy here)
---------------------------------------------
Sunset Rubdown :: Random Spirit Lover

I’m not nearly as enamored with this band as certain other bloggers, but the stranger half of Wolf Parade has released the follow-up to last year’s Shut Up I Am Dreaming. Not for everyone, but Spencer Krug has a unique ability to connect on a very deep level with some listeners.

MP3 :: Up On Your Leopard, Upon The End Of Your Feral Days
MP3 :: Winged/Wicked Things
(from Random Spirit Lover. Buy here)
---------------------------------------------
Jens Lekman :: Night Falls Over Kortedala

A bona-fide superstar in his native Sweden, Lekman creates a very unique brand of twee Euro-pop that flourishes because of his skill as a songwriter. He was on my radar for a while and these first tracks are reason enough to dig a lot deeper.

MP3 :: Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo
MP3 :: The Opposite Of Hallelujah
(from Night Falls Over Kortedala. Buy here)
-----------------------------------------------
Cass McCombs :: Dropping The Writ

“That’s That” first came to my attention over the summer, and since then I’ve been looking forward to checking out more from McCombs.

MP3 :: That’s That
(from Dropping The Writ. Buy here)
-----------------------------------------------
The Fiery Furnaces :: Widow City

I got tired of Blueberry Boat fairly quickly a few years ago, and haven’t checked out any of the last few Furnace’s releases. Widow City is getting some write-ups saying it’s a return to Blueberry Boat’s eclecticism, so if you’re a fan of that record check out a new song.

Stream :: Duplexes Of The Dead
Stream :: Automatic Husband
Stream :: Ex-Guru
(from Widow City. Buy here)
-----------------------------------------------

3 comments:

Wayne said...

In my opinion In Rainbows is quite over rated. I love the Beirut and Band of Horses releases and naturally I think Random Spirit Lover is a stunning masterpiece. Haven't listened to Widow City enough yet to form an opinion.

James said...

I'm pretty enamored with In Rainbows right now Wayne - don't think I'd call it overrated, in fact I think it's one of my favorite albums of the year. We'll see if it has staying power over the coming months...I think it will.

I'm having a really hard time getting into Random Spirit Lover. I know you adore this band, but I can't get into it on any level close to what you've said. I'll keep trying.

Glad you're into BoH, I really love that band.

Wayne said...

I think In Rainbows has a couple of great songs and some good ones, but a few that don't move me at all. Overall I think it is a good album, but not the masterpiece it seems to be getting credit for. I think it is Thom Yorke's voice, just not getting any feeling from it. Which is the exact opposite from Mr Krug. But it would be a boring world if we all like exactly the same thing. I do love Ben Bridwell's voice though.