music journalist since 1992 teacher since 2004 blogger since 2012 podcaster since 2020
My Version Of Events
Sassy Scottish girl doing an Adele thing, but in her own way. Big lungs serve Sande well as she bewails all that have done her wrong. I’ve mentioned this before, and maybe it’s just me, but she needs to do something about her hair. Click her name to read my review of the album for Planet
Watch the video for “Next To Me.”
Third album from this fruity foursome from Cincinnati. Don’t be discouraged by some of the worst cover art ever conceived. Instead, delve into this spacey throwback to the early Nineties, a pre-Britpop morsel of deliciousness.
Check out their Tumblr, which seems to be updated, but not with music, just images.
(Happy Rabbit Music)
What would this guy do without his trumpet? Probably rely on his vintage synthesizers. This bite-sized album, a quick half-hour’s worth of music, takes you around the world with stops in Caribbean, Africa, and the Far East, braking only for dance rhythms.
Get a comprehensive taste for Magid on his Soundcloud page.
Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet
(Saint Marie Records)
It’s not all pianos on this Eastern-scented album–the 11th from this English-French hybrid group. Snake charmer music is how I think of it with less pianos and more exotic string instruments. What pianos there are have an eerie tone to them, bolstered by a dual vocal.
This is my favorite track, “How We Treat The Animals.”
Adult contemporary dance music with not so much a slow as a paced tempo. The successor to Sun People focuses on nocturnal beings with a proliferation of Arabic rhythms, percussion, and woodwinds. Also very present is a decided Latin flavor. These elements percolate atop bottom heavy beats and bass.
Watch/hear a preview of the album.
Dry Land Is Not A Myth
First album from this Los Angeles fivesome is an absolute winner. All shifting kaleidoscopes of psychedelic sounds that transfer into electronic territory as much as they do pop and calypso flavors. Click on the band’s name to read my review for Under The Radar’s site.
Watch the video for “Get Gone.”
If you think these British guys recorded their latest album in Texas, why yes, you are correct. Did the album cover tip you off? Despite a missing member, Radlands is pretty and tinkly and bubbly, but it loses its sparkle every couple of songs or so.
Watch the trailer for Radlands (Albums have trailers now? Awesome.)
A Place To Bury Strangers
APTBS sound not one bit different on its third long-player–thankfully. This Brooklyn version of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club fill that excellent group’s dark, noise-rock, fuzz and shimmer space nicely. A tad less dense than previous albums makes Worship easier to listen to. Click on the band’s name to read my interview.
Watch the official video for “You Are The One.”
(Mom and Pop Music)
Metric’s success on its last record has has translated into this one being highly accessible and in the process a little more generic than previously heard from the Toronto natives. There are far more exciting vocalists with increasingly interesting lyrics, but Synthetica will work in a pinch.
Hear the entire album on Soundcloud and make up your own mind.
The Cinematic Orchestra
In Motion #1
The Cinematic Orchestra has taken the cinematic aspect a step further commissioning musicians to compose music for pre-picked films.Putting audio to visual without being asked to by the filmmaker means no one to tell you what to do. Click the band’s name to read my review for Under The Radar: coming soon.
Get a free download at Cinematic’s site.