It's been way too long since my last new music Tuesday but on the bright side, that means this one is filled with great songs I've been lax to post, starting with a track from the new Low album, C'Mon. Low have been recording since way back in 1993, and this is their 10th full-length, both very impressive feats, somehow more impressive when considering how static their music can appear upon first listen -- so stripped down, slow, moody, but wonderful. They've switched things up a bit in recent years, with a more varied sound, adding layers to the impressive slowcore genre they basically defined for a decade, but the effort has been somewhat hit and miss. C'Mon feels like a return to form, a return to the beauty of the records that made them so special for so long, from the strong opener "Try to Sleep" to the amazing "Especially Me" to the stunning near-closer "Nothing But Heart", which is the best song not named "Murderer" that they've managed to create in nearly a decade. Alan Sparhawk has dominated recent albums, particularly Drums & Guns, but his wife Mimi Parker is more prominent on this record than we've heard her in years. It was a bit jarring at first, hearing her again -- I forgot how much I missed her voice -- but there is a defiance, a rebellion in her songs that make some of the tracks feel like a battle between husband and wife, a fight for solace within these quietly wonderful songs. Her first lines from 2nd track "You See Everything": "see me smile, watch you frown" shows that tension and I hazard to guess that what she's saying may be a little too personal, which makes it all the more powerful. But it's really "Nothing But Heart" that grabs me and takes hold, soaring and ardent, almost perfect. Sparhawk proclaims for a full six minutes at the end of the song "I'm nothing but heart", possibly pleading with his wife to forgive him or to embrace him, maybe just to love him again, if these songs are indeed about them (which I have no idea if they are). But it's beautiful, the whole album is beautiful, and I want you to buy it to get "Nothing But Heart", I'm not giving that one away.
Handsome Furs latest album is titled Sound Kapital, and it's an album written entirely on keyboards to show the band's full-on hard-on for the Eastern European sound they dabbled with on their last album (that I didn't entirely love). Now, I saw them in concert last night, but I'm writing this post before I saw them, so what you're reading is of the future past and let's just say they were pretty awesome. Dan's side project has had trouble keeping up with Spencer's side project(s) on this blog, since Sunset Rubdown is my favorite band ever right now, but since both Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown are on indefinite hiatuses, us fans of the bands will have to be satisfied with a little Dan and Alexei action, and from the sound of the first song off the new release, it will be quite easy to be satisfied.
Panda Bear's follow up to 2007's remarkable Person Pitch got a predictably strong 8.5 from Pitchfork but I have to reserve judgment at this point. His music is the definition of "slow grower" for me so I'm not surprised that I haven't really loved the tracks that have slowly been released over the past six months and I haven't yet given the full album a solid listen. So if you want a review, go to Pitchfork. If you want a cool track, click below. If you want to buy Tomboy -- and I think you should, because you know, you want to be cool and Panda Bear is nothing but cool, so I recommend you do, even if I haven't listened all the way through -- click below too. I actually have a boatload of a backlog of albums I haven't had time to listen to unfortunately (the new Fleet Foxes among them) but there's only so much time in the day.
Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth uber-fame) is releasing a Beck-produced solo LP titled Demolished Thoughts on May 24 on Matador Records. The first leaked song -- the stunningly beautiful "Benediction" is below.
Lastly, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart - who burst onto the indie rock scene two years ago with their beautiful pop throwbacks to an earlier new wave age -- return with Belong, released this month on Slumberland Records. Again, I haven't listened to this enough for a proper review but everything I've heard has been great -- just a shimmering beauty to all the songs, a pop magic infused with shoegaze glory that is often missing from indie rock but I don't mind it's return.