Here’s a rundown of some good new music that premiered today:
- “Petey Green” – Uptown XO Feat. AB The Pro
- “Three White Horses” – Andrew Bird
- “Cool Kong” – Retro Su$hi
And as an added bonus, here’s a full version of Bon Iver’s Radio City concert, streaming for the next 48 hours only. Having seen Bon Iver live in Tampa, I can tell you, the groups concerts are surprisingly good and add nice texture to the songs.
At what point do similarities become more than mere coincidental likenesses? This is an important question when discussing Logic’s Paramore-sampling “Numbers”. I won’t mention whose music “Numbers” resembles, but it should be obvious to anyone who has listened to mainstream hip hop within the past couple of years. When do these stylistic resemblances turn into forms of imitation, and consequently, when does imitation lose it’s credibility as “art”?
(For the record, I like the song)
P.O.S. has long been one of my favorite MC’s. “Fuck Your Stuff”, the latest leak off his soon-to-be-released 4th solo album We Don’t Even Live Here, continues the Minnesota rapper’s tradition of releasing great music full of bombastic production and intelligent, layered lyrics.
Yesterday was a big day for fans of music. In addition to the release of quite a few noteworthy singles, many of which you will probably hear on this site in the next week or so, three major artists made their soon-to-be-released albums available for streaming online. Grizzly Bear made their latest project Shields available to the folks at NPR, who put it up on their website for fans to listen to. Meanwhile, Band of Horses and How To Dress Well shared their respective albums on their Soundcloud pages. All three of these albums are set for release on September 18th, exactly a week from today. This comes within a week of The xx making a stream of their highly anticipated sophomore album known to one fan and then watching news of the stream spread worldwide.
This (somewhat) recent trend of making an artist’s album available to stream online a week or two before it’s physical release suggests a calculated attempt by either the artist or the label (or both) to combat the preponderance of internet piracy that is seemingly affecting music sales. Giving people access, but not ownership, of the music they desire is an interesting market strategy; sites like Youtube and Spotify allow listeners to ascertain the quality of the music they’re most intrigued by, thus making buying a record less of a leap of faith by the consumer and more of a show of support and preference. Full album streams would achieve the same goals. It seems like an acknowledgement by the industry, however begrudgningly, that if people want to pirate music they will. Instead, artists and labels should redirect some of their focus to those listeners who are tentative about making purchases and selective when it comes to how and where they spend their money. Consumers who require conformation of quality before making a purchase are probably more abundant than we give credit for. Increased access afforded by these streams leads to increased exposure for the artist’s music and exposure is rarely a negative thing as long as the music holds appeal to a certain sect of listeners.
All of this is based on speculative reasoning of course. I haven’t conducted any of the industry studies I assume the record labels have and I don’t pretend to know the reactions and listening habits of all consumers. However it seems like common sense that streams like this would be beneficial in discouraging the desire to pirate music, even if only amongst a fraction of those who illegally obtain music. But even a small increase in sales is noteworthy; at this point the record industry needs all the sales that they can get.
Here’s the stream of Band of Horses’s upcoming 4th album Mirage Rock:
Here’s west coast MC Dumbfounded’s latest single (and video) for his track “Growing Young.” Featuring some slick, nostalgia-inducing production, the track showcases DFD’s lyrical skills as he describes the maturation he’s undergone as he’s grown older. Other than a cringe-inducing Moby Dick reference, not a single lyric is wasted on the track. Also, the video is fairly creative and well put together. Listen (and watch) below:
“Coexist” – The xx
After 2009’s “xx”, a brilliantly minimalistic debut that excited most of the indie-rock universe, many wondered where the British band would take their sound. The answer is somewhat complicated. Although the band’s most distinctive elements are still in place, they branch out in subtle ways. “Coexist” shows a band that is willing to flesh out and expand it’s sound without completely breaking free of their musical boundaries; in this way the album is more “Room on Fire” than it is “Kid A“.
“Tempest” – Bob Dylan
Initial response to the legendary singer-songwriters 35th studio album has been overwhelmingly positive. Such notable publications as Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Newsday have all given the album a perfect score and described it as one of Dylan’s darkest records. This album looks like one I’ll have to spend some serious time digging into to see if the music justifies the early hype.
“Love This Giant” – David Byrne & St. Vincent
Two years in the making, this collaborative effort features two distinct and diverse voices meshing their styles together and showing the willingness to experiment. Artsy but still accessible, the album is undeniably funky and sure to please fans of both artists music.
Other notable releases:
- “Algiers” – Calexico: the Arizona band’s followup to 2008’s well-recieved “Carried to Dust”, “Algiers” is reportedly dedicated to New Orleans and exhibits many of the signature sounds and styles that define that city.
- “The Carpenter” – The Avett Brothers: Following up 2009’s “I and Love and You”, the brothers again recruit legendary producer Rick Rubin behind the boards to engineer the bands folky sound.
- “Observator” – The Raveonettes: Inspired by the people lead singer Sune Rose Wagner met during a three day drug and alcohol bender due to depression, the Raveonettes latest album contains some of the bands most focused songwriting in years.
Here’s an older (relatively) hip hop track from the Seattle group Blue Scholars. Soulful as can be.