Joyful October! Final week we had 10 new releases; this week it is simply 4, however all of them are thrilling, and one in all them is a contender for my Album of the 12 months. They embody: duo audiobooks who’re again with one other brilliantly bonkers album; The Specials cowl protest songs on their second album since Terry Corridor rejoined the band; Geese Ltd make jangly indiepop with oomph; and San Francisco’s Cindy are again with their third album of spare, wet day music.
4 just isn’t sufficient? Andrew evaluations Dying Want, Wiki, Illuminati Hotties and extra in Notable Releases, and for extra Basement-friendly stuff from this week: Moist Leg, who made my favourite single of 2021 to date, lastly launched a second single (and it is nice, too); The Raincoats’ Gina Birch launched her first-ever solo single; UK shoegazers bdrmm and Montreal band Hall are again with new singles; Bush Tetras have a brand new career-spanning field set; Frankie Rose has a brand new band; and Ian Masters (Pale Saints) and Warren Defever launched a brand new ESP Summer season EP.
On the film information entrance: I am excited for Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, Licorice Pizza (which stars a Haim).
On a tragic observe, relaxation in peace Greg Gilbert of Delays. He had such a novel voice which made their 2004 debut, Light Seaside Glamour, someplace between The La’s and Cocteau Twins. Spend a while with that one this weekend, it is nice. You possibly can pay attention on the very backside of this put up.
Talking of Moist Leg, Domino lastly realized “Chaise Longue” needs to be out as a 7″ single and you should buy it within the BV store, together with the brand new deluxe blue vinyl version of The Climate Station’s great new album, and plenty of different information with the Indie Basement Seal of Approval.
ALBUM OF THE WEEK: audiobooks – Astro Robust (Heavenly)
David Wrench and Evangeline Ling handle to high their splendidly bizarre debut, maintaining the vitality excessive however now in a barely extra pop format. Barely.
Now! (in a Minute), the 2018 debut from David Wrench and Evangeline Ling, aka audiobooks, was such an unlikely, bizarre, great and completely out-there collaboration that it virtually appeared unfollow-uppable. Right here we’re, although, with the second audiobooks album and it is even higher than the primary.
Audiobooks don’t attempt to recreate the spontaneous magic of their debut, which used first takes from Ling that bordered on spoken phrase efficiency artwork and gave the album its unpredictable edge. Now! was equally break up between issues that resembled songs and others that had been extra like brief tales set to music, however on Astro Robust, they merge these components collectively and form them into extra of one thing you may confidently name pop. That’s “pop” for audiobooks, thoughts you, which nonetheless makes it one of many extra bananas information you’re more likely to hear this 12 months.
Ling’s all-in vocal efficiency stays the star of the present. It will possibly go from a whisper to a blood-curdling scream, hitting all factors in-between, together with accents, jokes, and “correct singing.” Reigned in, considerably, to extra basic verse and refrain kind, there are factors the place she virtually resembles the late Mark E. Smith in tone, supply, and wit, particularly on “The English Manipulator” and “Blue Tits.”
“The English Manipulator” is without doubt one of the finest songs on Astro Robust and an excellent instance of audiobooks’ completely distinctive charms. Set to a killer electro-dub backing, Ling is generally repulsed by this man who’s “so impolite and effectively mannered” and “into inventive issues.” You possibly can really feel her squirm as he, fully out of his league, tries to impress her: “Now inform me, do you want work? Do you want Bonar, Bonnard, Manet, Monet? Monet or Manet, he didn’t even know the distinction.” It is as if she’s recounting the story to you the following morning, however within the rhythm of a music.
Additional squirming happens on “Blue Tits,” a story of the gross and intercourse obsessed: “I noticed you grabbing her mighty bum / Close to your thumb / And also you wish to finger her.” It is at that time that Ling lets out a disgusted “Uh! Yuck” that is without doubt one of the finest moments on the document, however her supply all through this music is one thing else, together with a spectacular, shrieking line studying of “They need your BIG ASS IN THEIR FACE!” You actually need to listen to it in context of the music which runs a large gamut of feelings from bemusement to revulsion, all in opposition to a low key, Doorways-y jam that additionally contains the road “Give it to me like you’re on dinner responsibility, child!”
Wrench, who’s an in-demand mixing engineer (Arlo Parks, fka Twigs, Caribou, and so on), elevates and tightens his sport too, offering some actually impressed music and manufacturing, together with two killer techno bangers (“The Doll” and “Black Lipstick”). There’s additionally a little bit extra rock on Astro Robust, together with the improbable “He Referred to as Me Bambi” which was impressed by Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan” and contains the road “Lobster licking your leg in outer house,” in addition to “Hassle in Enterprise Class,” a swaying spacerock story of privilege within the members lounge of London’s Metropolis Airport.
There are excellent pop moments too: the unbridled autotune pleasure of “LaLaLa It’s The Good Life” that includes lyrics stolen from an overheard bus dialog like “if these individuals are nonetheless killing the vibes / We’ll should order an Uber XL!”; and ’80s-style synthpop quantity “First Transfer” that exhibits Ling has an awesome singing voice when she chooses to make use of it.
There may be nothing on right here as unhinged as the primary album’s “Dealing With Hoarders,” however “Pushed by Beef” comes fairly shut as Ling sounds completely demented crying out “See my enemies! Uh yeah! Uh wow yim!” repeatedly over a plodding krautrock beat. It is the sort of monitor that can pull you out of passive listening to ask your self “what the hell is that this?”
There are fewer “what the hell is that this?” moments on Astro Robust than Now! (in a minute), which is neither higher nor worse; Wrench and Ling have managed to bottle their distinctive vitality right into a extra palatable vessel, however do not be stunned in the event you really feel a little bit humorous 20 minutes after ingesting. Simply go together with it.
The Specials – Protest Songs (Island)
The two-Tone ska icons’ lockdown album of socially aware covers is stunning in additional ways in which one
Covers have at all times been intrinsic to The Specials’ fashion. In actual fact, a lot of their best-known songs — “A Message to You, Rudy,” “Gangsters,” “Too Scorching” — had been written by others, however they’ve at all times recognized the best way to put their very own stamp on them. They’ve additionally at all times been a fiercely political group, which makes their new album the place they cowl protest songs written all through the final century, such a pure step. Waylaid by the pandemic and writers block — that they had began 2020 with intentions of creating a reggae album earlier than all of them received Covid — after which impressed by the Black Lives Matter protests, Terry Corridor urged a unique kind of document. “The urge to rail in opposition to what’s incorrect with the world and counsel the way it may very well be higher is as previous as music, and The Specials have a historical past of protesting and preventing for justice and equality.”
And but Protest Songs 1924 – 2012 is a stunning Specials document. The band had misplaced curiosity in being a purely ska band after their basic debut album, and 2019’s comeback, Encore, was their most diversified document but. This one, although, has nary a whiff of 2-Tone. As an alternative, Corridor, Lynval Golding, Horace Panter and the newer members of the lineup provide up folky, jazzy renditions that really feel consistent with the unique songs. They carry out two by “Little Bins” author Malvina Reynolds’ (“I Do not Thoughts Failing In This World” and “I Reside in a Metropolis”), and likewise sort out Leonard Cohen’s “All people Is aware of,” and the standard “Ain’t Gonna Let No person Flip Us Round.” It’s the extra sudden songs that basically work, although, like Frank Zappa & The Moms of Innovations’ “Hassle Each Day,” and an impressed tackle Speaking Heads’ “Listening Wind” that includes lead vocals by Hannah Hu.
Probably the most inspiring songs, nevertheless, are essentially the most strident lyrically and essentially the most light musically. Terry Corridor channels his bitterest spirit for “Fuck All of the Excellent Individuals” (by Chip Taylor, who wrote “Wild Factor”) and a beautiful model of Bob Marley’s “Get Up Stand Up” sung by Golding with essentially the most minimal of acoustic backing. On the latter, and most of those for that matter, they might’ve simply turned them into classic-sounding ska tracks, however they let the songs cleared the path. It might not sound like a Specials album but it surely feels like one, and the band observe they “are nonetheless pissed off!”
Geese Ltd. – Fashionable Fiction (Carpark)
Toronto janglepop duo crib from all the best sources on their propulsive, hook-filled debut
Geese Ltd know the best way to open an album. “How Lonely Are You” begins with a rush of furiously strummed guitars, after which the rhythm part kicks in, sounding large, knocking open the floodgates. They might be singing a couple of shyness that’s criminally vulgar, however there’s nothing wimpy concerning the music. That is indiepop, in a really distinct ’80s UK style, however performed with power and confidence.
Primarily based out of Toronto, Tom McGreevy and Evan Lewis (who play every little thing on the album) should not shy about their influences. That “How Lonely Are You” intro will remind some immediately of early Wedding ceremony Current, and their debut album, Fashionable Fiction, additionally suggestions its hat to The Feelies, The Chills, Verlaines, The Servants, The Go-Betweens, Echo & The Bunnymen and different jangly ’80s guitar bands. Basslines carry melody, guitars chime and dance round one another, and the string part pucks at your heartstrings.
It is extra evocative than outright theft, although, and Fashionable Fiction is overflowing with nice songs. One of the best of them — “18 Cigarettes,” “Beneath the Rolling Moon,” and “Match To Burst” — come proper in a row in the midst of the album, however there are not any lulls. At solely 29 minutes the album flies by. Whereas some trendy teams like this make you wish to pull out your previous information, Geese Ltd make you wish to hearken to their album once more.
Cindy – 1:2 (Mtn.St.Mtn / Robust Love)
Third album from light San Francisco group wraps you in a giant, unhappy hug.
Typically you hope it is going to rain so you do not have to go outdoors. San Francisco band Cindy make music only for these days, bummed out however in a means you wish to drape round your shoulders like a blanket. Guitars are lighty strummed, keyboards frivolously coloration within the edges, bass and drums keep out of the best way, and singer/songwriter Karina Gill drops devastating strains barely above a whisper. 1:2 is the third Cindy album and the very best but, timed completely for the beginning of autumn. The spare sound remembers Galaxie 500, Low and Tindersticks however you may’t think about every other fashion with Gill’s songs. For those who’re a fan of witty, self-deprecating, depressed lyrics, the album overflows with them. “No I am not drained, that is the look I used to be born to put on,” she sings on “The Widespread Period” which opens the album, including, “Somewhat stunned, a little bit past restore.” On “Honest Sound, ” Karina asks “What’s it like to carry me close to?” and solutions with “I will be the headlight, you are the deer / I swerve away / You get hit all the identical.” It might all be a little bit a lot, however Gill and her bandmates nail the tone, from the phrases to the music, so completely. Typically you simply wish to wallow and Cindy are right here for you.
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