What Have You Been Listening To This Week?
What have you been listening to this week? You don't need to do a 6000 word review if you don't want to, but please write something! Maybe we can make these threads a thing here.
Feel free to give recs or dicuss anything about each others' listening habits.
You can make a chart if you use last.fm:
I've been focused on moving out of my dorm and consuming art other than music as of late, so I've mostly been listening to things I've heard plenty of times before. I listen to all my Slowdive shit most nights, so it's not notable for those to be on top.
Lisa Germano - Geek the Girl
This has really grown on me. Originally I felt like it was just really bland singer-songwriter shit with a feminine twist that I kinda appreciated, but I feel like this is doing more for me as of late. Feels like when you're trying to put up a cool dejected air but something suddenly shocks you and pulls all your emotion out, I guess. The thing with this is it's lot like what I get from Nirvana or something. The emotion is so relatable but it's so directionless as to just make you feel more alone in it.
The Beach Boys - Surfs Up
Still better than Pet Sounds. I like Long Promised Road a lot more than I used to...it seems like every problem I have with this record eventually gets buffed out with additional listens.
Vyva Melinkolya - Vyva Melinkolya
My album of the year for 2018 so far, and I have a hard time seeing that changing, as I appreciate it more every listen. Quickly becoming one of my favorite shoegaze records ever, as it carries a distinct character which you rarely see in shoegaze outside of the original acts in the movement. Most importantly to me, it aspires for the sensory overload kind of 'gaze, which I've never seen pulled off so well, except maybe by mbv themselves. I always appreciate an androgynous vibe in my dreamy music, as it works as a bit of a dysphoria aid. My thoughts are still scattered on this one, but I know it's a favorite. The drum are so aggressively artificial but also off kilter and drive a lot of these tracks WAY more than you ever see in this kind of music. On "Eclipsing," they get me in an absolute fucking trance. I don't know if there's a music cliche more prevalent than this one, but it really does sound like an orgasm feels. Not in the upfront sexy Hendrix way where the instrument makes love to you, but in the way where your mind starts swirling and all you feel is passion that's so disconnected from the act that you forget what you're doing or what you're listening to.
Like sometimes I get really jaded with music and (internally, I'm not that much of an asshole) scoff at people for saying they have what feels like religious experiences with music. Then a record like this comes around and reminds me that if I did psychedelics I'd probably be trying to pray at this artist's feet.
Tim Buckley - Starsailor
I don't like the Buckleys. I'm sorry. I'm sure this was weird and cool if you were there in 1970 but I have nothing to say about this. It's just empty and boring.
Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer
Really wanted to like this because this kinda sci fi shit is my aesthetic 1000% plus Janelle just seems like a super cool person, but I can't see this as anything more than okay. The more straight up hip hop moments work really well, but there's so much of this squeaky clean modern rnb that I just can't can't stand. At times I actually feel like this is really outdated, like she was listening to Lady Gaga's ARTPOP (which I love despite the hate it gets) and decided this is what her 2018 album should sound like. She gave us something competent, at least, but there's very little here that excites me.
I've been listening to DJ Shadow - Endtroducing...
I've listened to quite a bit of trip-hop before, but mostly the Bristol stuff like Portishead and Massive Attack. This album was much more hip-hop influenced and also more ambient than those bands. I really enjoyed the sound of this album, which covers a lot of ground across its hour long runtime - at some times sounding a lot more like hip-hop, to at other times resembling the output of ambient artists like Brian Eno.
The best tracks for me were 'Organ Donor', which has a fantastic, driving beat, and the stark and beautiful 'Midnight in a Perfect World', where the trip-hop influences definitely come to the fore. 'The Number Song' is another great track.
I'd love any recommendations for other trip-hop albums that cross genre lines like this one does.
Blockhead's Music by Cavelight or DJ Spooky's Songs of a Dead Dreamer might interest you, then.
Also check out The Private Press also by DJ Shadow. It has quite a different sound, but it's also worth your time.
Thanks for your suggestions, all of these are new to me.
Shadow's Preemptive Strike is a killer, too. It's a bunch of what he made before Endtroducing.
Do you know David Holmes' work? That might be what you're looking for. If you're already hip to the UK stuff he might be old hat. If not, start with his Let's Get Killed or Bow Down to the Exit Sign. They're terrific.
@Whom is right-on with that Blockhead album. So good.
I know the name 'David Holmes', but don't think I've listened to much (if any) of his work. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Kenny and Dolly - Islands In The Stream
Ween - Buckingham Green
FM-84 - Never Stop (feat. Ollie Wride)
Always love seeing Ween. Wonderful band, lots of variety, and I don't know any other band that can pull off putting a sea-shanty song in their album.
Hmm, I actually mostly listen to Podcasts and I hear music while working. And since it's during work, I listen to a lot of instrumental/electronic music.
My short reviews would be: "it helps me concentrate" for all albums and also
Moth Equals: a chilled mixture of psychedelic pop and electronic music
Susso: a chilled mixture of traditional African music and electronic music (also my favorite of the week)
Ratatat: fun, nervous*, organic electronic music (I recommend LP3 or LP4 (!) for your first listen)
Cristobal Tapia de Veer: very nervous*, futuristic electronic music
Howl: reductive techno house mix (not on the 3x3, I know)
*"nervous" means kind fast and all over the place, but in a good way
They didn't make the 3x3, but I listened to a bunch of jazzy records from these people as well:
Orlando Le Fleming - Romantic Funk, Hard Proof - Stinger (it's great), Mammal Hands - Shadow Work, Jaimie Branch (I listened to part of Fly or Die, you gotta be in the right mood for this one).
I've been going retro lately and listening to a lot of atmospheric down tempo electronic stuff from the early 2000s. My go to at night when I've been laying down and reflecting on the day is this album:
Four Tet - Pause
I love the artist's use of everyday things like keyboard clicks and school children's voices. It creates really interesting trippy layers.
They're perfect for working. Ratatat makes me hyperfocussed.
Also Cristobal Tapia de Veer for some reason.
Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People
I actually forgot how much I love this album. I think that it's pretty much everything that a lot of indie rock is going for but doesn't quite hit the mark.
Duster - On the Dodge
The first Duster release (bootleg or otherwise) that I didn't really like much. It's an early EP and it just feels like a bunch of demos. Cool to hear what they sounded like when they were just messing around, but not really a cohesive work. Does have one of their demos that eventually turns into one of the first few tracks on Stratosphere!
Beach House - 7
I guess I just don't really like Beach House. I can't really put my finger on it, but neither this, Bloom, or Depression Cherry really stuck out as something I'd want to hear as anything but potentially comfy background music. Sorry Beach House fans that I know we have here.
Tim Buckley - Starsailor
I listened to this with @Whom and I didn't really like it either. I like the instrumentation in parts, but his voice just turns me off in almost every case.
Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
One of my favorite albums ever. Everything J. Spaceman was trying to figure out on the previous Spiritualized and Spacemen 3 albums comes to its full potential on this and I'm just captivated from start to end. I love sappy things, and I LOVE space-y things, and this has one track dedicated to both at the very beginning, so when I first heard it I was hooked from the start.
I have a last.fm, but for some reason it hasn't been scrobbling anything. Sad. I wanted a 3x3. I guess I'll just post some of the albums on my own.
Tangents — Stateless (link)
Most of my recent musical discoveries have been through Spotify's recommendations, and this is one of them. It's a jazzy improv sort of album that brings to mind The Necks or Bohren and Der Club of Gore. Mostly good, but I'd skip the fourth track.
Sensations Fix — Music Is Painting In the Air (1974 - 1977) (link)
Obscure 70's psych rock. Chilled out and groovy for the hippy soul. A lot of songs on this album!
Ryley Walker — Deafman Glance (link
Ryley Walker's latest, Deafman Glance shows that Ryley's really coming into his own sound. It's amazing how he's developed since the days of fingerpicking Fahey-style collabs with Daniel Bachman. Folk rock with a jazzy undercurrent.
Slothrust — Show Me How You Want It To Be (link)
My girlfriend recently showed me this band and I think they're pretty good! This is an album of covers done through an indiesh punkish rock filter. I particularly like their cover of Happy Together. They show how dark the lyrics really are.
Sturgill Simpson — Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (link)
I commented a while back recommending Sturgill to someone on here, and it got me listening to this album again. I actually really enjoy country, just not the overproduced garbage about beer and trucks that Nashville likes to churn out. Instead, Sturgill sings about psychedelics, which I suppose is something I can relate to much more. Even if you don't like country you should give this one a chance, it might bring you around!
Soho Rezanejad — Six Archetypes (link)
Some... weird.... electronic. I don't really know much about this artist; they were another of Spotify's suggestions. If you enjoy female vocals over somewhat dark and unsettling electronic synths, this is for you. Otherwise, this might be hard to get into.
You hooked me with the Sturgill love, but now I'm all-in with the "Obscure 70's psych rock" which is one of my favorite genres.
Are you into the Numero Group compilations? Their Acid Nightmares comp is a burner.
Numero Group is the absolute cream of the crop for compilations IMO -- even better than Analog Africa or Soundways in that their efforts are much more broad. Some of my favorites, in no particular order:
Fuck, I haven't but I'm checking it out now. Thanks for the rec.
Oh damn. You're very excited.
Are you a Spotify user? You can search by record label now. "Numero Group" will hook you right up.
This is fantastic, thank you. I've found that I was actually following their American Primitive playlist already, lmao.
Same. They changed up how they scrobble things a couple weeks ago. I had to re-sign in with my spotify to get them to start tracking again. It was a little annoying, but simple enough to fix.
Yeah, I saw that while investigating and turned it on. Too bad there's not an easy way to import Spotify listening history :/
I always hit NPR's new music on Sunday morning, so I've been into Partner's Tiny Desk concert, after which I found Khruangbin's Tiny Desk Concert. Then listened to Brownout's First Listen of Fear of a Brown Planet.
All three are excellent, and Khruangbin and Brownout put a lot more funk into my Sunday than I usually get. Also searched up Brownout on Spotify and found a bunch of great Black Sabbath covers.
I don't really listen to a lot of albums as an album. I tend to think associatively about the things I listen to. So a song be Laura Welsh that reminds me of a Florence + the Machine song (looking at you, most of Soft Control) will often have me listening to the things I think of side by side rather than any full album.
That said, there are some new, recent favorites:
Billie Eilish's dont smile at me.
I know, it's popular. I unashamedly don't care, despite my upbringing as a snobbish Ska-kid before the days when we'd call such a thing "indie." She captures such a fun, edge-of-sanity sound that fits into an easy set of playlists dedicated to contemplating the mental spectrum that humanity is capable of.
the bird and the bee's Ray Guns Are Not Just For The Future
Alright, I'm a decade late to the party on this one. Whatever. This album is chill, smooth, sometimes in your face with clever lyrics (looking at you "Polite Dance Song"). Some good, wholesome fun.
I usually spend a couple of hours a day ploughing through my SoundCloud stream, which includes a wide range of music from techno to house to dub to pop to jazz and more, as well as some podcasts like The Guardian Long Reads, and Penguin Audio Books and audiom for book recommendations/suggestions.
If anyone wants to see what I'm listening to, here's my feed
Turn by The Wombats
I just got Grouper's new album Grid of Points. It's "boring", atmospheric piano music. I like to think of Grouper's recent work as little unfinished sketches.
If you haven't listened to Grouper before and like quiet, slow, droney music I'd recommend starting with Dragging a Dead Deer.
I really need to listen to more Grouper. I've only heard Dead Deer before, and only a couple times at that.
I take it A I A is the next one to try out?
Yeah, both of the A I A releases are really good. A I A : Dream Loss is what got me hooked on Grouper, but I kinda think that A I A : Alien Observer might be a more rewarding starting place.
I hope you like it! 👍
Just found Jesse Roper's new album which is a nice combination of rock and blues.