Weekly Record Roundup
Maybe you’re as confused by Jay-Z’s new TIDAL PSA—uhhh, I mean album—as the rest of us. Perhaps you aren’t exactly salivating for a new release from EDM maestro extraordinaire Calvin Harris either. Well, as is often and fortunately the case, last week ended with a host of great releases that may have flown under your radar. I hope you like these new albums as much as I did.
Washed Out songwriter and frontman, Ernest Greene, definitely earned the title he gave this album. If his friends don’t actually call him Mr. Mellow, I’m gonna be a little disappointed. The band’s got an almost supernatural talent for churning out music that’ll relax you without ever leaving you bored. Their latest dose of sonic Xanax is proof a band can always explore new areas of the sonic universe they started in. Washed Out may have a specific thing, but they do it just differently enough each time. This time around, they seem to have opened up a beach house as tropical as it is haunted for all of us to explore.
You’ve gotta be thankful each week some band decides to keep the heart of indie rock alive. This week, that honor goes in spades to Ratboys. They may make their home on prominent emo revival label, Topshelf Records, but you’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting anything that harkens back to the pop-punk bands you’re embarrassed you still listen to from time to time. Instead, this is a collection of country-tinged, easygoing, and melancholy rock songs that are sure to please fans of Rilo Kiley or Neko Case.
Reflections – Mojave Desert
If you think Sigur Ros is the pinnacle of modern music, this is the record for you. Does it reach the same heights as the Icelandic post-rock gods? No, but who really does? If you’re looking for something that evokes sublime natural settings with swathes of triumphant guitars, you’ll do yourself a favor by following Floating Points into the Mojave Desert. This is the kind of study music that makes you put your pen down to remember just how incredible the world you live in is.
Man of the World
Chris Baio may be in Vampire Weekend but don’t go in expecting this to sound like his polo-shirted parent band. Sure, certain tracks borrow from the collared afro-pop of his other group—”The Key Under the Mat,” “Man of the World”—but, for the most part, he developed his own sound for his own project. It’s way more synth-heavy, unafraid of being conventionally pop, and sure to leave anyone who likes their snare drums super punchy satisfied. Check this one out on its own merits! It’s well worth it.
B-Sides and Rarities
Considering there was no new Twin Peaks episode last night, you’re gonna need to get your dreamy fix somewhere. Who better to deliver than Beach House, perhaps our generation’s most definitive dream pop band? All these b-sides and rarities make you ask the exact right question: why wasn’t this on the album? If you want to be enveloped by a warm blanket of synths and reverby guitars, wrap this one around you.