June 18, 2013
More celebratory and communal yet more intimate and personal, the second Austra album is a sparklingly-produced, brilliantly-arranged album of sad dancefloor pop...
Austra's second album, Olympia
, somehow takes a turn in two separate directions, simultaneously. Following 2011's dark, Gothy, piano-centric, Polaris-nominated Feel It Break
—an album in which Katie Stelmanis carolled with childhood-opera-training power over stately MIDI orchestrations— the second album for Stelmanis's project is a far more communal LP: an electronic record played live by the now-road-tested six-piece band. But as much as it's more communal, it's also more individual; the songs far more personal, with a confessional bent and a fondness for disclosure and dedication previously unheard of...
Read the full review: Austra, Olympia
: Portland, Oregon
: Brother-act makes tight harmonies, slick sounds
: Soft, smooth, somehow yacht-like
Beisból's debut album is called Lo-Fi Cocaine
. It's a title evocative of the Portland duo's M.O., which is to recreate the coked-out, champagne-fizzed, gold-sparkled productions of soft-rock, yacht-rock, lite-rock, and any other one-time staples of a long-faded MOR sound.
Jeff and Ryan Burian are the brothers behind Béisbol, a set of Southern California siblings who began recording as Real Diamond, before switching up their handle. The pair's voices are the biggest weapon in their soft-rockin' arsenal; "Taking It All (Easy)" and album-closer "Is It Over" knocking it out of the park with ultra-tight, ultra-bright harmonies.
"Is It Over" is so harmonic that it recalls Grizzly Bear
, a band who showed their own AM-radio true colors when they collaborated with yacht-rock überstar Michael McDonald. There's been scores of indie acts lifting from the smooth sounds and slick productions of long ago, but few have done it with as much conviction as Béisbol.
2013 has been the year of My Bloody Valentine
. The legendary shoegazers
finally, 22 years after the release of their classic Loveless
, delivered their third LP, MBV
And, rather than disappoint those who'd waited decades to hear it, MBV
has been resoundingly celebrated by fans, critics, and come-latelys, all. My Bloody Valentine are taking the record on the road, unleashing a whole bunch of new tour dates. Including their first North American shows since 2009.
The Night We All Come Back To:
June 9: Budapest, Hungary - Club 202
June 10: Prague, Czech Republic - Archa Theater
June 13: Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
June 14: Hultsfred, Sweden - Hultsfred Festival
June 15: Oslo, Norway - Norwegian Wood Festival
July 7: Belfort, France - Eurockeennes Festival
July 13: Balado, Scotland - T in the Park
July 26: Niigata, Japan - Fuji Rock Festival
July 27: Ansan Daebu Island, Korea - Valley Rock Festival
August 4: Katowice, Poland - Off Festival
August 6: Vienna, Austria - Vienna Arena
August 8: Sibenik, Croatia - Terraneo Festival
August 10: Helsinki, Finland - Flow Festival
August 16: Austin, TX - Austin Music Hall
August 17: Grand Prairie, TX - Verizon Theatre
August 19: Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
August 21: Seattle, WA - WaMu Theater
August 23: San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
August 25: Los Angeles, CA - FYF Fest
August 30: Laois, Ireland - Electric Picnic
September 5: Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
September 7: Berlin, Germany - Berlin Festival
September 8: Munich, Germany - Munich Tonhalle
October 31: Eindhoven, Netherlands - Effenaar
November 3: Lille, France - Aeronef
: Melbourne, Australia
: Ex-Devastations dudes turn ambient new-wave
: Funky bass, tender crooning, endless echo
Conrad Standish and Tom Carlyon used to play in the Devastations, a crew of Melburnian ex-pats who spent most of their time in Berlin and London, playing a brand of dark, glowering, smoky post-punk steeped in the lore of Australian ex-pats of yore like the Birthday Party and the Moodists.
Rebranded as Standish/Carlyon —sounding, in such, a little like a law firm or design group— the duo have turned to a more synthetic take on bruised-and-brooding atmospherics. On Deleted Scenes
, their debut S/C LP, they work around endless layers of keyboards, echo, and hissing details, with Standish's funky bass and dapper croon pushing through the mix.
It's heavily influenced by the atmospheric new-wave of late-period Japan and early-period Talk Talk, but the pair's meticulous, multi-layered approached to production also seems to have drawn from '00s Swedish-Balearic trailblazers Studio.