I haven’t been updating the blog very much, have I? It’s mostly just been lists, playlists and random ramblings, hasn’t it? Well I feel bad because I haven’t posted songs and albums that I’ve been enjoying, so I’m going to post five mini-reviews of albums that are probably going to be on my Top 50. So basically it’s another list. BUT it’s a list with heart. I really did enjoy writing all these descriptions. Also they’re five albums I’ve legitimately enjoyed for a while, so there’s that too.
They aren’t in any order at the moment, they’re just chilling in a list. I will be posting more five album lists throughout this year. I find it easier than reviewing and giving a score. Woo.
These are all usually ones that haven’t been featured at all on the blog yet so I hope y’all find some new music out of this!
Basically if you like shoegaze, AKA My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride or any other band of that era, you’re going to enjoy this release. Deluges of reverb on everything, floods of washed out guitars and swamps of foggy vocals. Also, it isn’t “just another shoegaze clone record.” It almost breathes fresh life into a genre that has been abused for a number of years after being so great in it’s beginning. If anything it’s more like this is the child of a “Loveless” and they’re a newer form of something old and sacred. Good stuff.
This dinosaur can boogie. No but seriously, this guy usually dresses in a homemade dinosaur costume at his concerts, among other things. This Jurassic fellow is making some dancefloor-ready bangers that have garnered him comparisons to Hot Chip, but this guy is more house influenced than more disco, groovy stuff. They’re both great and honestly I don’t think they sound that similar, so I’d check it out anyways. These are totally modern blasters that don’t get totally in your face. At times it reminds me of Discovery, the solo project of Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend. Totally fun and danceable, pick this one up if you love electro-dance or just want something fun to blast on some good speakers.
The more I listen to this record, the more I find that I can’t describe it in words. Now, that looks bad here because I’m supposed to be doing that. But this defies a lot of usual genre guidelines and it continues to stump me to this very day. It has waves of gauzy synths that mask the whole thing in a kind of radiant haze, while vocals that sound like they’re being sung into a canyon filter all around the listener. In some moments, you have this feeling of true asphyxiation but at the next moment it brings you back down to earth with vibrant percussion and a sound that I can only describe as “dreamy nostalgia of memories you’ve never had.” As strange as this sounds, you gotta hear this whole album to fully understand it.
At long last, it’s finally here! Purity Ring’s full-length! Even though almost half of it was already released by the band, the tracks that are new on here really continue their signature sound pushing forth manic, alien-like beats combined with angelic vocals. It really surges and pulsates with dark, swirling energy; if you compared an image to it I would say something like what a nightmare looks like from the outside. The music isn’t just dreamy like the music of many other artists this year, the music is so distorted and mangled that it can only belong to the darkest depths of the mind, only to be awakened in a nightmare.
This twisted energy is enforced and usually augmented by the morbid lyrics and their chilling deliveries, harking mental images of a pristine maiden singing about having herself become a shrine by ripping her ribs out or drilling holes into her eyelids due to her unruliness. The lyrics also conjure up nightmare type scenarios with their limitless mysticism, talking about becoming a forest island, being surrounded by ghosts, among other hypnotic and dense imagery.
But, this album is not about being constantly tormented and defeated by these visions, it’s about the journey of going through these visions. It’s about personal change within the narrators of the nightmares. The album really brings all of these tales together into a sort of demented fairy tale tome, chronicling the events that take place in the minds of these young characters as they take on issues that have been plaguing them. It’s really a theatrical piece of work, taking the listeners through eerie labyrinths of the mind, filled with forms of almost-forgotten memories and the melancholy ghosts of those that have been forgotten.
If you’ve enjoyed other Purity Ring releases, you’re gonna love this. If you haven’t, give it a try, there’s some wonderfully evocative settings painted in this LP. For those of you who have never even heard of Purity Ring, it would benefit you greatly if you did check them out. It’s a beautiful record that demands to be heard.
Lasers. Sticky, black and white, checkerboard, linoleum floors. Neon goo. Strobe lights. Strangely colored hairdos and styles. Warehouses. Raves. Ecstasy. Grime. No, not Grimes, grime. Sweat. Musty, 90’s basements. Dust. Voyeurism. Swinger parties. Bondage. Other odd sex terms. These are images that this album whips up. It might sound a bit gross, but an album that has that potent of imagery laced within it’s layers is a feat by itself. It’s totally meant to be played in a dark room lit by black lights and lasers, covered in bright spray paint and filled with drug-addled 20-somethings all rubbing their bodies against each other at about 3am.
I can’t relate to this depiction first-hand, or maybe even second hand, but after a few listens to this album you’ll feel like you just partied HARD for about 3 days. You might need a shower. Also there’s a random girl in your bed, covered in that neon goo I had mentioned earlier. Better get to it. Listen to this. It’s a great tribute to/reinvention of stereotypical 80’s/90’s rave culture. Afterwards no one can remember what raves are actually like anyways. This is the closest thing we’ve got.
Aaaand that’s all for now, folks. There will be many more of these posts, to help catch the blog up to current indie music culture. I really enjoyed writing about these albums and not having to give a score, so I think I’ll do that from now on. Too much pressure on giving a score, also up for a lot of arguments on how the rating scale works, why some ratings with high ranks get out placed on the lists by an LP with a lower rating, the list goes on. Writing about them is a lot more fun.
Five more album write ups coming in the future! Stay tuned, kids!
Have a wonderful day!