A constant refrain I have heard recently is that summer has gone by way too fast. Granted, this is uttered every year, especially in the northeast where winter always seems to be lurking around the corner. So soaking up as much sun as one can is always a must and it never feels like enough. However, this summer has flown by. I can’t believe that we are almost half way through August and I have yet to post a music blog for the summer months. Between running the roads across the state for different shindigs and going on vacation (which, by the way, definitely check out Pittsburgh if you haven’t), I couldn’t find the time to write a blog for both June and July. So here is another two month into one music blog, the Julune Jamboree.
- Broods – Conscious – sophomore album from the New Zealand siblings that takes their electro-indie sound and aims it for the masses. More upbeat than its predecessor, the Notts sound more confident in their songwriting and it shows on this album.
- Band of Skulls – By Default – English band back with their fourth album of gritty sounding, bluesy rock. The sound is familiar with crunching, in your face guitars with heavy, driving bass and drums. Both good and bad as it is the sound you know, but doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the bands three previous efforts.
- Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denial – prolific songwriter (this is the seventh album in the past three years) Will Toledo’s newest album, with the full backing of indie label Matador Records, brings seventy minutes of well crafted, lo-fi garage rock to your listening ears. The album tells the trials and tribulations of Joe, an adolescent trying to find his way through the world. This has been one of my favorite albums of the year so far.
- Fitz and The Tantrums – Fitz and The Tantrums – third album from the Los Angeles band as they shed their retro 60’s, Motown vibe for a sleeker, dancier sound. While I really enjoy the first single, “HandClap”, the rest of the album just did not capture me. Perhaps I need to give it another, more intent listen. Their first two albums had me hooked after my first listen through, the sound undeniably infectious. I am a firm believer that bands do need to switch up their sound from album to album, not necessarily a complete overhaul, but little tweaks as well. This one just doesn’t do it for me.
- Joywave – Swish – named after one of Kanye’s probable album titles; Joywave throws everyone for a loop by repeating the song “Destruction” off their first album nine times, with differing song titles to make a message. This all leads up to the solo original song on the “album”, “Life in a Bubble I Blew”. It feels cheap to be including this on my list of albums, but I’m doing it anyways.
- The Kills – Ash & Ice – fifth album from the bluesy, garage rock duo, which sounds familiar, but altogether different from their four previous records. I will admit that this album did not suck me in as much as the prior albums. I do think that the first two singles “Siberian Nights” and “Doing It to Death” are top notch and rank highly with the rest of their work; just the rest of the album didn’t capture my attention.
- M83 – Junk – seventh studio album from the French artist. When I first heard “Midnight City” on WEQX, I thought it a decent song and it lead me to checking out the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Little did I know that I would be sucked in my M83’s mesh of shoegaze, ambient sounds, and textured pop sensibilities. Junk is no different. Just put it on and get lost in the sounds.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway – no slight to Josh Klinghoffer, but to me, nothing will compare to John Frusciante being the guitar player for the Peppers. Just a personal preference. But on The Getaway, Klinghoffer’s second album with the band, it sounds as if Klinghoffer and the rest of the band have found their groove as a cohesive unit. While still maintaining the Chili Pepper sound, there are songs that seem to have Klinghoffer’s influence; with disco and psychedelic vibes sprinkled throughout the album. I really enjoyed this album, I wasn’t sure what to expect this time around, but this album shows that there is plenty of fuel left in the tank and a few tricks still hidden up their sleeves (or socks).
Other things that have come across my sonic radar this month:
In my traversing across New York and Pennsylvania during June and July, I found myself listening to some albums that have come out, and were on my year end listening list, over the past few years.
- Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit…
- Jack White – Lazzaretto
- Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
- MS MR – How Does It Feel
- Vincent – St. Vincent
- Tame Impala – Currents
- The War on Drugs – Lost In The Dream
- Warpaint – Warpaint