Life is what goes on between one Bon Iver album and another. Or, at least, this is what happens to Justin Vernon. His increasingly complicated relationship with fame and his ego have pushed the author of For Emma, Forever Ago towards unexplored terrains like those of Volcano Choir, The Shouting Matches and now Big Red Machine, a project that actually began years ago when doing a collaboration for a charity compilation together with his brother from another mother, Aaron Dessner from The National. Together they organise utopic festivals (Eaux Claires), create alternative models for the industry (the streaming portal PEOPLE) and they also write music, of course. They are surrounded by so many artist friends that it is surprising that the result of Big Red Machine, the album, is so spot on. It’s a dream crossover, a perfect fit of Dessner’s intimate epic and Bon Iver’s melancholic evocations, of Justin’s experimental laments and Aaron’s astounding progressions. Music as an excuse, as a way and as a purpose.
Veteran indie rockers The Decemberists returned earlier this year with their latest album, I’ll Be Your Girl, which saw the band pushing outside their comfort zone and experimenting with a new wave palette of sounds. Now, a few months after the album’s release, the band has announced the impending release of Traveling On, an EP featuring five tracks originally intended for inclusion on I’ll Be Your Girl.
Traveling On continues on the path that was laid by the band’s eight studio effort, with Colin Meloy and co. shifting their sonic influences in the direction of New Order and Roxy Music.
What a tricky lover the memory can be. And if the memory is about the night, about making out and wizz-fizz smooching, then it is even more likely to play tricks on us. Is it possible that Jungle have ONLY just released their second album? But we saw them in 2015 setting the Ray-Ban stage on fire with Busy Earnin’, and in 2017 we danced at their sold out shows in Barcelona and Madrid. Well, yes you friends of incredible funk, For Ever is hot off the press and it comes ready for action. They will sweet-talk you with their falsetto, they will fool around with their sonic passport (and will forge it so that California takes the place of their native London, California where they seem to belong to), and they will have you on rollerblades skating into the 70s until bang! You are drenched in sweat again, with that familiar groovy tingling between your legs and with a filter on your vision that makes all the congregation in front of the Ray-Ban (or whatever stage it is) look the most stylish and hottest on whatever side of the Atlantic. So now that you have been forewarned, you know: for the next one, don’t let them catch you out and make sure your memory records it well.
NANCY first emerged on the scene with a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “Boots,” and their love of vintage-pop stylings has become an important component in their androgyne-glam shell. NANCY’s songs find FM radio gold corroding into strange, misshapen forms.
Saux and Sjaak come forward with a truly beautiful number as their first track together and under the stage name City Park. The duo produces powerful electronic indie that is driven by all time classics like Peter Gabriel, Blood Orange and even Prince at times. Bringing the strongest vocals we’ve heard in quite a bit. Not only that, but in this day and age. How you package your art into a compelling body of work is equally important. For lasting visuals, they brought on Jiye Kim and her otherworldly simplistic, minimal approach to painting. Capitalizing on a single color and inspired by the music the pair have put forward.
British vocalist, producer and songwriter Chris Ward, better known to the world as his creative side, Tropics, has released his third album Nocturnal Souls. A little bit chillwave, a little bit polyrhythmic – Chris Ward is totally tropical, but also reminiscent of that snowy animal Caribou. The new album brings together jazzy elements into electronic, pop and a little psych rock sprinkled in.