The homoliscious Gossip returns with a disco, nu-wave, electro offering that blisters over with fierce beats, catchy choruses, and the incredibly powerful vocals of the incomparable Beth Ditto. A Joyful Noise is a healthy addition to your daily routine as the music makes you skip and shuffle with its dance-oriented songs that stray from the more punk and rock creations the Gossip used to record. Here is one standout cut, the motivational anthem, “Move in the Right Direction.”
My current obsession is the, of course, Brooklyn duo who are quickly making waves in the indie field. Although subtle, their debut album, “Mixed Emotions,” is nearing the top of the Billboard Heatseeker’s chart. It is a mix of 80’s new wave flares, flashes of synth, African and reggae overtones, and melodic pop that holds it all together. It doesn’t break the mold, it doesn’t necessarily stray far from the current indie scene, but it is light and easy and really enjoyable on the ears. The singer has one of those voices that is just manly and what feels like a lot of heart. Tanlines, trust me, watch out for them.
Rest In Peace. The Queen of Disco, Donna Summer.
Here she is performing live not even three years ago at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway. How swiftly they are taken from us.
Bethany continues to catapult Best Coast forward with her own unique brand of California surf rock. Phil Spector would be so envious of Jon Brion’s production work as this band would be such a muse for the former’s career even 50 years ago. It is this sense of nostalgia and ease that hooks listeners at first, but the music still remains contemporary and modern in its own right. On this followup, The Only Place, the lyrics take a more angsty, darker turn with the lo-fi fuzz of their debut replaced with shining vocals from Bethany that really showcase how her voice can be just as enticing as the music surrounding it. There is a newfound depth in its own superficial way and the music evolves one step further rather than sidestepping from what made the band so popular. Although, the tracks contain merely the same chord progression and overlapping sounds, it is still a nice effort to listen to as the summer daze quickly arrives right around the corner.
Beach House continues to evolve four albums later by creating music that is so gorgeously manifested it comes straight from the afterlife. It is the follow up to 2010’s breakout Teen Dream with the haunting melodies and husky vocals combining in a way that is so truly hypnotizing, it is difficult to understand how two people could be so effortlessly talented. It is a creative tour de force on their new album, Bloom, which the title really speaks for itself. The music begins with an ethereal haze of sinewy guitar before blossoming into a complex, atmospheric wave of musical enchantment. It requires only two ears and an open heart to fully take in all the beauty in just 10 tracks.
What started out as a hardcore band in the 80’s between a few creatively gifted and rebellious teenagers on the streets of New York/ Brooklyn, became one of the most heavily influential hip hop rock bands to ever grace music. The Beastie Boys, now inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, acted as the voice of a generation. Rebel against the norm, live your dreams out loud, fight the power and party all night. They paved the way for Limp Bizkit, Korn, POD. A sound unheard of before them from three white guys rapping their faces off to screeching guitars, bass, and drums. Mixed in with humorous videos, the band is absolutely legendary. Today the world lost Adam Yauch, or MCA. We are now left with the music he helped to create and the movies he assisted in developing with his production company. Another lesson in being grateful for what you have and to realize that life is so short.
It is like (fill in the blank with religious holiday) morning whenever I am able to listen to another new song by Regina Spektor. Here is “Small Town Moon” from her eagerly anticipated new album, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, out in just a few weeks!
The groove is so smooth, the vocals so sensual and understated, the R&B flavor at such a pristine 90s peak before electronica enveloped everything in mainstream radio right now. TLC is a legendary female group, rated second in album sales behind the powerhouse blip of the Spice Girls. Here, we sadly look back on their legacy with today being the 10th anniversary of Left Eye’s death. With a reported tour, album, and biopic in the near future, their return is imminent. However desperate for money it may be, it is always a pleasure to celebrate the magnificence of their music.
Only a small highlight from the quickly paced, but aurally infectious new album, Master of My Make Believe, from Santigold. She changed her name from Santogold and took four long years to create music that she felt was honest, edgy, and completely her own style. With the help of Diplo, Switch, Nick Zinner, Karen O, Greg Kurstin, and Dave Sitek, contributors both new and from her debut album, she has crafted a sound that only Santigold could produce. It’s sharp, reggae infused, twists with electronic under tones, and constantly keeps moving so that there is never a dull second within its 40 minute running time. I am a huge fan of her voice and musical sensibility and I can only hope that her star keeps on shining brightly as more fans stumble upon her music. There is intentional growth, but she never loses the essence of who she is and that uniqueness is something to applaud. There are many pop stars in the field today, and Santigold only proves there is still so much left to give.