Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Tunes Tuesday: Living Up to Expectations

Posted By on June 21, 2011, 1:30 AM

This week’s releases include a pair of highly anticipated follow-ups and a couple of albums that might catch you off guard.---

YACHT’s sophomore release, Shangri-La, is every bit as good as the high expectations that most music critics have for it. The dance hooks start up hard on the opening track “Utopia” and don’t relent during the 10-song album, which is just weird enough to be refreshing. With synthy dance goodness, the duo proves they are a promising addition to DFA Records, a label that boasts LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip.

And speaking of anticipation, I have been waiting for a Bon Iver follow-up since the 2008 release For Emma, Forever Ago. And the new self-titled release shows a side of frontman Justin Vernon that we had only glimpsed before: the daring, risk-taking side. Full of lush instrumentation and provocative arrangements, this disc has already landed a spot on my end-of-year top albums list, and it’s going to take a big blow to bring it off.

The Nashville duo JEFF The Brotherhood break loose (kind of) from their fuzzed-out punk leanings and make a more accessible album with We Are The Champions.

For a little trip down the avante garde aisles, check out Bobby by BOBBY. The album has a full sonic range and is, simply put, just interesting.

Some may have accused me of being a lover of the Portland music scene, and I can’t really deny that. But I’ll just leave it at saying that the Portland duo Vive Voce’s latest, The Future Will Destroy You, is a little bit of psychedelia with some interesting melodious elements that is worthy of a hard listen.

So when you write a song a day for a year, you are bound to come up with some pieces that could potentially make a pretty cohesive record right? Well, singer-songwriter David Strackany, aka Paleo, did. Blending together folk and island-hop (whatever that is), the outcome on Fruit of the Spirit is, well, not what you’d expect to come out of Illinois.

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