Archive for the ‘Albums in Brief’ Category

Vampire Weekend’s new album “Contra” is just as awesome as you hoped it would be

Vampire Weekend's Contra

Vampire Weekend's Contra

Vampire Weekend’s Contra really isn’t new news, since it was released last month on Jan. 11. However, the album has recently spiked in popularity due to their celebrity-filled video for “Giving Up the Gun” being released last week. Featuring Joe Jonas, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lil’ John and RZA, the video is a perfect blend of band members vs. actors. “Giving Up the Gun” isn’t as tropical sounding as their songs tend to be, but other tracks such as “Diplomat’s Son”, “Run” and the bonus track “Giant” make up for that.

Thankfully, their second album raised my lowered-expectations. They managed to pull off almost a completely different feel without leaving their old sound behind. They’ve also included a free download of “Horchata”, the first track on the album, on their website. But if that’s not enough for you, the album is available for purchase at $9.99 on iTunes.

Sit back, listen to Contra and go on, go on, go on.

SPOTLIGHT: Lightspeed Champion releases new full length LP

Lightspeed Champion

Lightspeed Champion is the brain child of Devonté Hynes and has been active since 2005. In 2007, he released Falling off the Lavender Bridge to critical acclaim. This record was recorded and produced in Omaha, Nebraska with the help of Saddle Creek producer Mike Mogis.   Mogis is most famous for his work with Connor Oberst and Bright Eyes. Falling off the Lavender Bridge has a star studded guest list, including Nate Walcott, pianist and trumpet player for Bright Eyes, and The Faint drummer Clark Baechle.

Now, in 2010, Hynes has finally released the followup to 2007’s Falling off the Lavender Bridge, titled Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You and is a bit more complex than the initial Lightspeed Champion release. Where Falling off the Lavender Bridge is often simple and poppy, the new record is thick and speckled with new sounds. Now, it’s not to say that Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You doesn’t feel like the same band that captured the indie folk scene’s heart back in 2007, but it is definitely a departure from the earlier release. Devonté’s voice is definitely stronger on this release. The 2007 release had a kind of sweet nervousness to the vocals, which have since been replaced with vocals soaring with confidence and intention.

You can currently purchase the both Lightspeed Champion albums at Domino Record’s website on vinyl for $12.99, CD for $8.99 and digital for $7.99. The band is currently touring the UK and western Europe.

Brief: 900x – Music for Lubbock, 1980

Album coverThis is the first post in the Albums in Brief series on Albums in Brief aims to inform quickly, offer a preview, and call it a day: No over-the-top aggrandizing here, for better or worse.

Music for Lubbock, 1980, the first full release from Asthmatic Kitty artist James McAlister, known primarily for remix and soundtrack work, is a refreshingly bold work of electronic music that still slots nicely into a regular listening slot for those interested in more “traditional” methods of music creation. Of course, it’s closer to a Stereolab than, say, most things you’d hear at a club with flashing lights and pounding music, and some would say it fits well into the growing folktronica movement — regardless, it’s engaging enough for me.

900x – “101805” (remix) | download

While this album as a whole may lack a bit in coherency — the tracks don’t always mesh with the greatest of ease — they’re individually solid, and the diversity makes for fun active listening. Don’t go into this expecting the latest and greatest in experimental exploration, because it’s not, and I don’t think it claims to be. Don’t get me wrong: Music for Lubbock, 1980 is great from start to finish, and I wouldn’t hesitate to drop into my regular rotation.