Follow Friday 3.28.14

It’s a rainy weekend on the East Coast, perfect for staying in and putting on a record while puttering around the house. Here are this week’s recommendations for your enjoyment.

Ages and Ages – Divisionary

I have been anticipating this release from Ages and Ages since I first heard the lead single “Divisionary (Do The Right Thing).” It was a sleepy track that slowly gained momentum, not through tempo, but with volume and repetition. My initial consumption of the full LP was not a disappointment. When I came to the end, I quickly started over again. The songs seem more heartfelt and thoughtful than their previous effort. They harness an old sound, but somehow make it their own. Definitely worth a spin and I am sure at least one track will find its way into your playlists. -Jeremy

***

Freedy Johnston – This Perfect World

I picked up this CD at a thrift store this week, being vaguely aware of Freedy’s presence on the local Smart Studios scene. Excellent songwriting, backed up by many familiar names and produced by Butch Vig. This one will be staying in my car for a while. -Andrew

***

Future Islands – Singles

The past two Future Islands records are among a short list in consideration for my most enjoyed albums of all time. 2011’s On The Water, in particular, sets a high bar for a cohesive listening experience that ebbs and flows just like the harbor waves that open the album. Now that I’ve established that I’m a Future Islands fanboy and sullied the objectivity of any review, I should say that Singles doesn’t quite rise to the cohesive beauty of their previous efforts. It does, however, showcase a polished side of the band that is perhaps ready for a bigger spotlight. As evidenced by their recent brush with internet infamy on Letterman, this is a band with a lot of raw charisma. On Singles, that charisma is channeled in a set of synthy earworms that may be aimed toward the masses more directly than on previous, grittier, recordings. -Jeff

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Leverage Models – Leverage Models

There are half a dozen different artists that came to mind when I was watching Leverage Models open for Son Lux earlier this week. Working to incorporate a little Bowie, a little Cure, a little preciousness here and there. They were one of the few things that have broken me out of my 2048 induced haze. Album came out towards the end of 2013 so it’s not NEW but, whatever. Pitchfork even liked the album giving it an 8.2, which means nothing to most of us but I figured I should pepper this with a couple of facts. Also, If you’ve got a hankering for some sexy sax you won’t have to wait long, track 2 serves it up. Should Sexy Sax be capitalized? I often wonder. -Faith

***

Peggy Sue – Choir of Echoes

The third album by this London-based trio moves away from their earlier acoustic folk sound towards something a bit heavier. The sound sort of reminds me of 90’s indie rock which is probably why it instantly appealed to me. After reading a bit about the band, this comparison makes sense because their last album was produced by long time PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish. Overall, it’s an easy, enjoyable listen. -Christine

***

Pillowtalk – Je Ne Sais Quoi

Anchored in percussion and R&B roots, Pillowtalk fuse this foundation with elements from a large variety of genres to create a sound very unique to the trio from San Francisco. Their latest release, Je Ne Sais Quoi, is a very listenable, largely instrumental voyage through old school electronic loops, some atmospheric beats, lovely pop rhythms, downtempo house, and a touch of shoegaze. Add just a tinge of hip-hop and you have a wonderfully unique album that is highly indicative of what we all love about Pillowtalk. -Johnny

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Timber Timbre – Timber Timbre

When I make a themed mix, flow and narrative are king. This almost always means sacrificing individual songs that I like a lot for the sake of making a mix work better as a whole. One of the songs that was in and out of Hollowtongue Hymnal was Magic Arrow, from Timber Timbre’s 2009 self-titled album. The song is uneasy cinema, anchored by a clipclopping percussion but carried along by a spaghetti western guitar riff and spacious, spooky production. And while this single is probably the most immediate track, the rest of the album is just as good. It’s backwater, backwoods, backcountry blues that evokes both the deep south and the distant west. -Ramona

***

We Are Star Children – With Arrows

Imagine a band of gregarious gypsies, full of wonderment and intrigue, roaming your neighborhood. You follow every move and greeting, looking for that magical slight-of-hand mythos. With them bears an inviting sound beckoning curiosity. Your approach is as moth to flame, but first contact is not scorching, it rather feels warm and familiar. Settling into a tapestry of engaging story lines, they more and more envelope you. By the end of this chance encounter your head rests comfortably in their lap. This is the listening experience with We Are Star Children’s newest album, With Arrows. This is a start to finish endeavor, anything less is your loss. Get hype. -Rocky

Listen to the album on Bandcamp: http://wearestarchildren.bandcamp.com/album/with-arrows

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