Loving: Metric, Imogen Heap, Lovelikefire, The Big Pink and good grief man this is ridiculous you need to blog more often.
I haven’t blogged for a while. That’s because I’ve been field-testing the following jams for listenability. For you. Because I got your back like that. I’m like the USDA, but for music. Or something.
Metric – Fantasies
I’m not crazy about the album title (it makes me think of Mariah Carey for some reason, and friends: that’s not right), but holy woah do Metric bring the rock on this, their 4th album. These kids know how to write the hooks, you know? “Sick Muse” may be my favorite Metric song evar, and the video for said song is pretty great, too. It’s amazing to me that much of this album was written during a time when singer Emily Haines was wondering if she wanted to keep making music. Geez, she even sounds awesome when she feels like quitting.
Imogen Heap – Ellipse
Genius. No, really. This album is fantastic, but you might have to work for it.
I would describe Ellipse as more vulnerable and cinematic than Speak For Yourself, Imogen’s last album. That record seemed to have one foot in Frou Frou (Heap’s collaborative effort with Guy Sigworth) and one foot in Imogen’s own eccentric, experimental compositions. Ellipse, by my ear, has now stepped almost completely away from the sweeter pop sensibilities of Frou Frou and planted both feet in a soundscape that I suspect is the closest we’ve come to hearing what goes on in her uninfluenced musical mind. This album is full of homemade samples, delicate melodies and sweeping strings, all tempered by Heap’s commanding precision. Totally delightful.
Lovelikefire – Tear Ourselves Away
Lovelikefire ain’t no slouches. I know this because of the 11 tracks on their debut album only one is a re-recorded version of a song released on one of their two (also excellent) EPs. That’s 10 new songs, kids. They could have phoned it in with, like, 3 to 5 re-recorded songs, and it still would have been an excellent album. But no. LLF aren’t like that. And there ain’t no filler here. These are great songs powered by fantastic vocals and a tight tight band. These are hard-working rockers, and super-nice human beings to boot. Check out the video for “Stand In Your Shoes”:
The Big Pink – A Brief History of Love
This album is a serious time-warp. Maybe it’s just the classic Vaughn Oliver design-fu, but this band makes me feel like I’m in the mid-90s again with their wall of sound guitars and knob-twiddling tendencies. So tasty. And I’m nuts about this “Dominos” song. I may need to join a support group.