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Where were we: 2015 music thread
  • This is going to be an interesting year for music, especially indie music I feel. The new Belle and Sebastian is huge, over an hour long and has some great and some possibly very good songs (and some not). There’s the new sleater kinney. And I’m listening to the pre listen of the Decemberists record - “What a Beautiful world, what a terrible world”, and its a lot more interesting than I had expected. I was really let down by some of the early singles, but this should at least stir some debate. One song is basically Colin Meloy pleading ‘let me go down on you’ to a girl and proclaiming “All I wanted in the world/ was to see a naked girl”. Maybe I should start a separate thread for this album, but just wanted a place for an early reaction for the new stuff coming out.

  • The new Belle and Sebastian album has two different releases with different tracklistings (one of them has extra songs and a different running order), and as such I’ve ordered neither version. Not sure how I feel about that.

    There’s a new Mount Eerie album coming out at the end of the month which is exciting news. http://www.pwelverumandsun.com/store#mounteerie

  • The first exceptional record of 2015 for me is Panda Bear Vs The Grim Reaper, which is a big step up from the slightly disappointing Tomboy a couple of years ago.

    I’m hoping this will be a Joanna Newsom album year, but you can’t depend on that.

    edit: also, you know, the machinefabriek thread :-)

  • The thing with the B&S album is that the one with the different tracklisting is a really expensive deluxe edition, so I think you can probably assume that one is for hardcore fans and consider the other one to be the regular album? At any rate, I thought “The Party Line” was ridiculously bad when it was released as an advance song, but I listened to the new album stream on NPR this week out of curiosity anyway, and I found a lot of the album actually quite affecting, which took me by surprise as I really haven’t been able to muster much interest in anything they have put out since Fold Your Hands… So I’ll probably be buying a copy on Monday along with the much-anticipated Sleater-Kinney record. I saw some of the stream of their Pitchfork Paris festival late last year, and seeing them play “Sleep the Clock Around”, for instance, was a really unnerving experience, the kind where you suddenly realize just how much time has passed since you were seventeen and listened to that stuff in your room in your parents’ house. It was good though.

    I’m also looking forward to the Mount Eerie record, and I’ve considered ordering from him, but shipping prices really are too prohibitive now. So I hope I can get my hands on the LP from some other place. Off the top of my head there’s also a new Imaginational Anthem compilation and the second Ryley Walker to look forward to. And of course Joanna Newsom, yes.

  • edison said: as I really haven’t been able to muster much interest in anything they have put out since Fold Your Hands

    That is a very long time. I would defend DCW’s honor, but to each their own. I think this is a return to form in some respects, but they’re also testing out a lot of new ideas as musicians, so I don’t think its going to be that cohesive, which I was kind of hoping for. It should gather them a lot of new fans though, I imagine. I really want this to be an amazing album, but I think I’ll settle for parts I like. Its really an incredible production if you listen to all of the sounds coming together on headphones.

  • I liked Dear Catastrophe Waitress a bunch, but I think only listened to one more after that and wasn’t much for it (The Life Pursuit, probably).

  • I was just listening to “Piazza, New York Catcher” the other day and as such can definitely rep for DCW. Not terribly interested in the new one, but I am considering seeing them live if I can obtain reasonably priced tickets.

    I’m stoked to check out the new S-K, definitely a new Joanna Newsom, and Kendrick Lamar too. And new records from Twerps and Dick Diver if we’re talking local Melbourne bands (and we should be).

    Perusing the lists of such things, I would also be interested in new albums by Colleen Green, Screaming Females, KEN Mode, Savages, and Courtney Barnett.

  • FWIW the new Sleater Kinney and the new B+S are streaming at NPR first listen http://www.npr.org/series/98679384/first-listen

    probably only until Tuesday when they come out. Its easier to go song by song though

  • new lightning bolt this year!

  • Re. B+S, I guess I am probably what you would call a hardcore fan and therefore feel I should be excited about an extended version but really just wish it was the normal album and then a second disc of extra stuff rather than all mixed up. If the extended edition was really all that then surely they’d have done it as a proper double album and not done the one-disc edition, right?

    Anyway I bought it this afternoon because I had to go into Manchester for a work ting.

  • Hmm, they must be selling it very differently in the UK. Here its just one album, no extras

  • i never really got b+s

  • bookaboutbirds, there’s just a deluxe 4x12” boxset version with a few extra songs and some extended versions and a different tracklist. They basically put the danciest 4 songs on side A of the four records at 45rpm and then three songs on each side B at 33rpm, and each record has its own sleeve dressed up as if it’s an EP named for the song on side A.

    I’m the kind of guy who really likes The Life Pursuit, so while I quite like this one so far I’m not sure I’m the best person to trust for a recommendation…

  • You guys could’ve told me there was a new Bjork album, by the way! Thanks for nothing!

  • Well, just so you know, there is a new Elephant Micah album! It sounds good so far!

  • bookaboutbirds said:

    edison said: as I really haven’t been able to muster much interest in anything they have put out since Fold Your Hands

    That is a very long time. I would defend DCW’s honor, but to each their own.

    I do love “Piazza, New York Catcher”, “Wrapped Up In Books” and to a slightly lesser extent “Stay Loose” on DCW; I also like three or four songs on The Life Pursuit and maybe one or two on Write About Love, but I tend to lump those albums in the same category simply because I don’t really care about the majority of the songs. After a few listens, this new one is also hit and miss, but I’m very fond of the first two songs, “Enter Sylvia Plath” and “Play for Today”, and also like three or four other songs quite a bit.

    Too early to say whether I would rank it as one of my favorites, but the S-K is really solid - as of now my top three songs on it are “Fade”, “Price Tag” and “No Anthems”

    I’d forgotten about it, but I’m also looking forward to Matthew E White’s second LP coming out in March - his first one was one of my favorite (and rare) new artist discoveries, and I like the advance track for this new one:

    There’s also a new record of covers by Bob Dylan out in a few weeks; the two advance songs from it don’t sound terribly exciting, but I will buy it anyway, if only to celebrate the fact that Bob Dylan is alive and making music (I don’t really want to live in a world where Bob Dylan doesn’t exist, and fear that I might have to at some point before reaching middle age).

  • alex said: Well, just so you know, there is a new Elephant Micah album! It sounds good so far!

    Thanks for the reminder!

  • Oh, also new Imaginational Anthem volume in February!

  • i know for a fact you guys are making up all these band names

  • Yeah, I refuse to believe that Belle & Sebastian is a real band!

    (Assuming that Imagination Anthem was one of the ones that triggered this remark, by the way, that’s not a band name: it’s a series of multi-artist compilations. And Elephant Micah is technically just one guy, if that matters. Which I don’t think it does.)

  • those were pretty much my sentiments when I read most people’s best of year end lists this year adam.

  • hehe i was mostly just kidding because i didn’t make the belle and sebastian connection, so I thought there was a cool new band called B+S

  • There is a band called B/B/S though. Erik Skodvin from Deaf Center, Aidan Baker and Andrea Belfi (who made that cool Pulses and Places album with Machinefabriek). They’re on Miasmah. they’re a complete bugger to scrobble right on WMP. But anyway…

  • jcl

    Jefre Cantu Ledesma’s A Year With 13 Moons is a stonker. Epic and complex, it’s somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, Tim Hecker and Fennesz, but more sort of disembowelled. Currently my album of the year, edging Panda Bear and Machinefabriek.

  • If the music is anything like the artwork … well I’ll just take your word for it. Still kind of excited for the new Modest Mouse, even though I am pretty certain it will be a wreck at parts. 2 of the 3 singles so far sound enough like the songs on “We Were Dead … ” which were just too dense with screechy funky guitar and basslines for me to really appreciate. But it also has this song. And if Isaac Brock is preaching anything about America’s development complex over the past 20 years, I’m going to be following every word.

  • Just gave this a listen. Good one, Nick!

    nickinko said:  jcl

  • bookaboutbirds said: If the music is anything like the artwork … well I’ll just take your word for it.

    Ha! Maybe you’re right. I can’t decide whether I like it or not.

  • Godspeed You Black Emperor:

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/mar/24/godspeed-you-black-emperor-asunder-sweet-and-other-distress-album-stream

    Sufjan Stevens:

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/mar/23/sufjan-stevens-carrie-lowell-album-stream

    The first song from the Sufjan album is just beautiful, and the whole album makes a good first impression.

  • I really want to get into that Sufjan album, but the emotional costs of doing so seem more than I really want to feel right now.

  • Feeling ambivalent guys, do I want to check out the new Gandalfs or not?

    I’m listening to GY!BE now and as for Sufjan, my wife’s super nice and really earnest little cousin likes it enough for both of us I think.

  • “The Only Thing”, off Sufjan’s album, is a fantastic song. My next show will be GY!BE, whom I always found insufferably pompous, because Xylouris White are opening for them and I can’t miss that. Maybe I’ll actually like them, I’m curious!

    New Gandalfs is on its way to me as I write - I’ve been in a phase of embarrassingly compulsive record buying lately, but liking a lot of stuff, which hopefully I will have the energy to discuss here later!

  • I have always loved GY!BE, but then I am myself reasonably pompous!

    I bought both those albums today, anyway, as I happened to be in town. The first side of the GY!BE record ends with a looped groove so it just keeps droning on and on for as long as you’d like. I’m a fan. The Sufjan is pretty good but I don’t remember some of the songs - easy to let it drift by. We’ll be listening to it a bunch, though, as R is already very fond of it.

  • I have to add the caveat that I’ve never really actively listened to their records, so this GY might well be a case of “what have I been thinking, I was wrong all along” soon!

  • So what was the verdict on the Bob Dylan covers thing in the end? I randomly bought it today because I was getting some DVDs in a department store with a horrible music selection (one shelf, half of which is dedicated to Dutch stuff, half to the rest of the world - and I’m sure that half of the former half is André Rieu) that had a deal of “buy any two media products and get a third one for free” going on and I needed a third item to take advantage of that, but I’m a bit scared to actually listen to it.

  • I for one really like it - to my mind his take on ‘That Lucky Old Sun’ is worth the price (or lack thereof, in your case) alone.

    Seeing him for the fifth time (in a fifth different city) this July too!

  • I’m very pleased with the GYBE reunion records. Their new one, in addition to the new Lower Dens, Dick Diver, Courtney Barnett, Jessica Pratt, and Kendrick Lamar will likely all be in my year-end list. 2015 is pretty dense in goodness thus far.

  • 2015 has been an ok year for standout albums for me, too. Apart from Machnefabriek, my favourites have been Colleen, Courtney Barnett, Panda Bear, Jefre Cantu Ledesma and the Biosphere/Deathprod split thing.

  • x3

    Xerrox 3!

  • edison I for one really like it - to my mind his take on ‘That Lucky Old Sun’ is worth the price (or lack thereof, in your case) alone.

    Cool, I look forward to checking it out! And for the record, since the CD was the most expensive item that I acquired as part of this deal, I had to pay for it, but got one of the cheaper items for free. So it’d better live up to the hefty price of 6.50 Euro (= prize difference between the thing I got for free, which I would have bought anyway, and the Dylan album)!

  • Everything I’ve read about the new Gandalfs record has done a pretty swell job of erasing the enthusiasm I was starting to feel about maybe, just maybe, revisiting his latter day material, starting with the new one.

    I just don’t think we’re meant to get back together. But that’s okay, because I’ll always have Full Force Galesburg, and he’ll always have (at least some of) the hundreds of dollars I spent on his work.

    But I do eagerly await news of a new book!

  • Oh, and as for 2015…

    It started off pretty uneventful for me but the last few weeks have been exciting. I’m digging the new stuff by Darren Hanlon, Tobias Jesso, Simon Joyner, Matthew E. White, and Courtney Barnett.

    I think the Modest Mouse record is better than it could’ve been, but The Decemberists and Reptar records were disappointments.

    Excited for Heartless Bastards, Passion Pit, Built to Spill, and Blur (but wary on that one)…

  • I listen to almost no new music anymore except GBV/Pollard-related stuff, which I preorder the second it’s posted on Facebook. I think this has to do with leaving Philly, where I used to walk past multiple record stores on a regular basis, duck in, and impulse buy. Now I’m near NYC, but I don’t know any good record stores there (I’m sure there are some in, like, Brooklyn, but that’s not really near my regular itineraries).

    That said, I ordered the new Gandalfs record, solely because someone mentioned getting it for the vinyl bonus thing and I had a surge of “me too!” I do not expect to like it, but will do my best to listen with an open mind.

  • The new Blur single was very well chosen in that it’s neither an entirely new sound nor firmly rooted in any particular part of their past. The new album could sound like almost anything.

  • I think the Blur album is just going to be straight up and pretty raw - more like a live rock band, than say the orchestral touches on ‘Parklife’ or heavily treated electronic sounds of ‘13’. I think they’re well past that point, and the whole story of - we almost didn’t finish this because it was hot in Hong Kong when we were recording - probably reflects the attitude they have of meeting fans expectations. The songs so far are good, but they’re about as bare bones lyrically and rock wise as they’ve put out.

  • I’m really looking forward to the new Hot Chip album. “huarache lights” is probably one of my favorite songs so far this year, but I have little faith that its going to be a straight up dance/electronica album across the board since they’ve never seemed to do that. I can cherish that hope for another month though

  • As of last month, my town town finally has a place that sells music and isn’t a thrift store or a(n exceptionally bad branch of) Mediamarkt again. It’s just a relatively small section of a bookshop, but still, it’s something. I was so pleased that I bought more or less all of the new releases that they had that I had even the faintest interest in. Those were the new Calexico on CD (with bonus disc), the new William Elliott Whitmore on LP, and the new Courtney Barnett on orange 2LP. Haven’t really listened properly yet, but the idea of catching up a little with the world of 2015 music is exciting!

  • Any fans of The Books here? Paul de Jong has a new album out, ‘If’. Quite exciting.

  • Have you heard it? I liked Zammuto’s latest

  • Its on NPR’s first play (available for streaming) - http://www.npr.org/series/98679384/first-listen

    I was interested in hearing it based on the description, but I don’t think I’m a fan enough of the Books to give it a listen.

  • alex said: As of last month, my town town finally has a place that sells music and isn’t a thrift store or a(n exceptionally bad branch of) Mediamarkt again. It’s just a relatively small section of a bookshop, but still, it’s something. I was so pleased that I bought more or less all of the new releases that they had that I had even the faintest interest in. Those were the new Calexico on CD (with bonus disc), the new William Elliott Whitmore on LP, and the new Courtney Barnett on orange 2LP. Haven’t really listened properly yet, but the idea of catching up a little with the world of 2015 music is exciting!

    Congratulations on the new store! Any thoughts on the Calexico record that may help me reconsider my initial assessment of “this admittedly sounds kind of nice in parts, but overall a fairly pointless addition to the catalogue” upon listening to the NPR stream?

    I keep buying ridiculous amounts of records lately, possibly more than I ever have in my life, at a time in my life where I actually have remarkably little time to listen to them. So that’s stupid. A lot of good stuff, though - will try to write more in the weekend!