Thanks to a performance on "Late Show With David Letterman" that went viral, Future Islands are now ready for their close-up. Their fourth album does not disappoint. This is pop music distilled, something Future Islands have been working at since their earliest lo-fi electro-punk records.
Dedicated in part to Magne Andreassen, a gay man murdered by a member of the band Emperor, the LP is a defiant attempt to reclaim this music from the horrifying worldview that birthed it, while remaining aware of its danger. The striking concept alone is enough to make this album worth a listen. That it turned out to be so inspiring is a happy byproduct of the whole experiment.
Throughout the seven gorgeous, baroque-folk songs from Boston outfit Mutual Benefit’s proper debut LP Love’s Crushing Diamond, the music can be described in a number of simple ways: loving, patient, warmhearted, and unfailingly hopeful.
High Life, the second collaboration between Brian Eno and Karl Hyde of Underworld in the last four months, is a genuine surprise. Filled with energy, rich harmonies, and sideways references to various strands of global music, it's Eno's best vocal-centric album in years.
Sleeker, stronger and more confident than ever, on Complete Surrender Slow Club flourish with each strum and every breath. They've perfectly blended their skills of pop, folk and soul to produce pounding dance anthems, breath-taking ballads and nostalgic marvels that are so perfectly placed in the track listing, you'll never be skipping for your favourite. Beginners, they are not..
A masterfully crafted blend of prog, post-rock, electronica and Krautrock, ‘Hivemind’ succeeds in exploring structural possibilities and forever journeying to different habitats, yet it’s also a cohesive set of songs that fit together superbly as one inspired idea
Earlier this year, a test pressing of a previously unreleased LP by Caustic Window, one of Aphex Twin mastermind Richard James’ many pseudonyms, appeared for sale on Discogs, followed by a crowd-funded release sanctioned by James. The backstory stands as proof of the connectedness of fandom in the digital era, but the music also has its own rewards.
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