Last year, on the 11th of May, my super nice postman Henry delivered High Violet on release day; arrived eight days earlier than scheduled thanks to some miracle of God. That was special, and this year’s May 10th releases might be equally exciting, if not more drool-inducing. Let’s run through two of them:
I’ve always been a massive Okkervil River fan. And on their upcoming release, I Am Very Far, the usual easy listening country-rock tune has been abandoned for a more explosive, musically gut-wrenching direction, anchored by Will Sheff’s signature emotionally devastating vocals. They’ve never sounded this sophisticated.
Stream via NPR.
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And then there’s Burst Apart. The Antler’s follow-up to Hospice might not make you cry as hard, but sometimes, being inconsolable because of your iPod isn’t a good look. LP #4 is equally thought-provoking and ear-pleasing as 2009’s release, and although not bound by a singular concept, Peter Silberman and co. have upped their game with more variations in instrumentation and arrangement.
Stream via NPR.
May’s been very kind to the best of 2011 lists (how good is Helplessness Blues?) that’s starting to fill out. Now, with new Bon Iver and the sequel to Dark Was The Night, I’m tingling with excitement. You should too. We should tingle together.
Five-piece alternative rock band Monster Cat took their name from the mythical Japanese ‘baneko’, which devours its owner and shapeshifts to take his place. Cool.
The band describes their sound as inspired by The Smashing Pumpkins and Fever Ray’s “visceral force of myth and music” (brilliant description there), and their debut Mannequins EP is a five-song flight of fantasy with clever instrumentation and emotional wrought.
The individual tracks are built up beautifully, with progressions on turning points that’ll make your little hairs tingle, and delicate harmonizing that mirrors the fragility of conscience in the album’s fractured love songs and dreamscape realities.
My favourite track is “The Courier”, a haunting duet of dark imagery and lonesome love, laid over the lush symphony of sonically distorted guitar.
You might have heard an earlier, acoustic version of “Underwater” on the preview of Snakeweed Sessions. But the studio version’s got a little addition that… how can I say it?… fake empires things up to a whole other level.
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If you still want more Monster Cat, check out Snakeweed Sessions #3. Their episode comes out May 6th.