True fans of music spend countless hours searching for that next great song, album or artist, whether it be online or in a local record shop. The beautiful thing about music in today’s age is that technology has created an infinite supply of great music that is available to us at the click of a mouse. How perfect is that? We can discover a brand new artist on the opposite side of the globe in seconds without a radio or a music television channel. It only makes sense that a website so dedicated to this gorgeous universe of music would want to celebrate the greatness and share it with anyone who is looking.
My name is Eric and I am your host of Straight from the Teet, where I will delve into 7 new albums per week and let you know which tracks I loved from the albums I listened to. I hope that my exploration through this never-ending sea of music will help satisfy that hunger for the brand new tracks you have been seeking.
WEDNESDAY: Pascal Pinon – Twosomeness
THURSDAY: RQTN – Passenger
FRIDAY: Devendra Banhart – Mala
SUNDAY: Lisa Germano – No Elephants
The 20/20 Experience
- March 19, 2013
Growing up, I was your typical young boy. I was buys reeking havoc upon my neighborhood, playing the part of the annoying class clown, trying my best to be cool while listening to nu metal bands in my jnco jeans and being a total hater of all things boy band related. Justin Timberlake, who needs no introduction, happened to be among the boy band stir for about a decade. Being a face for America's heart throb band of the 1990's was enough to have me hating. In fact, I never could have dreamed in a million years that I would be buying albums or watching movies that featured Timberlake, but things change. Timberlake has totally escaped those shackles that carried the boy band label and he has become one of the most well established celebrities in the world. After a terrific sophomore LP in 2006 and countless movies since then, Timberlake has finally gotten back into the recording studio. The 20/20 Experience includes the first new solo material that Timberlake has recorded in the past 6 years and he continues to perfect a craft that so few artists have the ability to even try. Although most people will be considering his music pop, his style seems to draw more influence from the R&B genre because of some major soul rhythms. In a way, when I listen to this record I sort of picture Timberlake as the Marvin Gaye of our generation. A singer with an incredible amount of style and confidence whose voice embodies an entire genre of music, Timberlake makes a living off jazzy vocals and some of the best production you could possibly find. Although I was once a hater, I have totally gravitated towards Timberlake as a musician and I have absolutely no doubt that this album will be one of the highest selling records of the last 15-20 years. After all, this is without a doubt his best work.
The Besnard Lakes
Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO
- April 2, 2013
The Besnard Lakes are a 4 piece shoegaze band from Canada who are named for the lake that they grew up next to. The band has released four albums throughout their 10 year career and have been slowly gaining much justified attention with every release. The Besnard Lakes have always implemented different styles into their raunchy shoegaze style. For the most part, they seem to venture towards a My Bloody Valentine type of sound with plenty of distorted guitars and hazy vocals. Still though, the band has combined elements of dream pop and psychedelic to give it a more diverse sound overall. On the band's latest record Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO, The Besnard Lakes have given their sound a more straight edge feel. Rather then overusing the powerful effects that once drove the bus for their sound, the music flutters with more atmospheric influences that some might even say are ambient in nature. The structures here that lean towards a less aggressive and more subtle retrieve, actually benefit the sound overall but since the focus is shifted, the songs end up being a bit less impressionable. Whereas on past records by The Besnard Lakes we were able to fall in love with certain tracks and grow attached to them, this album relies more heavily on a full set of tracks. The overall sound of the record is all very consistent track for track but without a single that is used as the climax, this record just doesn't have that anchor. The Besnard Lakes continue to be a band that misses greatness by a subtle margin for me and even though I think they have something up their sleeves, it just hasn't seen the light of day just yet.
- Morr Music
- January 18, 2013
Twosomeness is the title of the sophomore album by twin sister folk, pop band, Pascal Pinon. The duo was once a four piece group which used a more traditional band style sound but as a change in idealistic sound occurred, only sisters Jófríður and Ásthildur would remain. The overall sound exemplifies a more folk style with plenty of acoustic guitars, some stylistic keyboards, and some beautiful harmony vocals. Although the group has shrunk in size, the amount of instrumentation has actually done just the opposite. On Twosomeness, the girls have gotten much more creative in deciding which instruments to put in which lines. Although the girls have decided to turn up the creative mood, the songs all feel a bit washed out. It seems like a decently generic record that sounds as if it were recorded on the rocky shoreline of the girls' home country of Iceland but were unable to include any energy into the forefront. The album is littered with these emotional concepts and atmospheric waves but without any real energy to grasp onto, the album grows very tiresome by side B.
- March 1, 2013
Mathieu Artu is a self-made movie composer from France. Over the course of the past 6 years, Artu has been releasing his own modern classical music under the name RQTN while also serving as lead singer and guitarist of indie rock band Kid North. Although he has yet to reach the plateau of being a full on professional musician, his slow rise to the top is gaining momentum inside the world of modern classical. Artu's music is very easy to absorb as the style is a very elegant, modern classical. Most of the songs are played with traditional instruments such as guitars, violins, cellos and drums but Artu also has a special ability with electronics. You can tell right off the bat that his focus is on screen images. The songs off Passenger, Artu's fourth LP, carry a specific sound that allows your mind to venture off to any environment you want. This is a very unique quality of ambient music that not every musician is able to achieve. In order to bring out emotions from someone by nothing more than just a musical soundscape, you really must be doing your job well. RQTN has an indefinite knowledge of composition and he shows off these skills very nicely here on this record. Unfortunately, I do think the album drags a bit on the second half. Artu actually puts forth more energy into the last couple of songs but somehow this eruption in song actually takes away from the emotional ideas for me and it ends up being far less focused. I feel like I'd rather here more atmospheric sections then beating drums in order to captivate a saddening emotion but on this album, we get the opposite. I think with a deeper concept and a longer LP, RQTN will really continue his climb to the top.
- Nonesuch Records
- March 8, 2013
Devendra Banhart has become a decently famous folk guitarist over the course of the last decade or so. He's never been in the limelight really but has enjoyed some decent critical success both as a solo musician and as lead guitarist for the folk band Vetiver, a personal favorite of mine. His style has always been a bit quirky and less than ordinary but when he slid into the fold for Vetiver, he has since toned it down some. For the most part, he has become a very flattering guitar player playing nicely written chords and putting together some pretty pieces. His solo career has been a different story which is no surprise. His wild and mysterious persona has always been the ship's guide for his solo work and it's always been relatively weird. Mala is the latest solo record by Banhart and his first since 2009's What Will We Be. The album continues the motif of oddball songwriting and slow, trippy song styles. The atmospheric guidelines put forth on this album had me thinking I was hanging out in some creepy hippy cave with a bunch of crazy people who were high on cocaine and it made me feel awkwardly uncomfortable. Banhart once again shows us that his songwriting is nothing short of awful as he has no real interesting concepts to write about and even when he does, he has too much trouble finding the words to get the ideas on paper. The production is yet another bad quality as it seems like everyone in the studio was doing too much drugs at once to decide where and when to insert different portions of each song and instrument. Odd harmonizing, terribly inconsistent electronics, lack of decent guitar playing and the worst vocals I've heard in years all do their job to land this album on the very bottom of my year end list.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Specter At The Feast
- Abstract Dragon
- March 19, 2013
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is an alternative rock band that formed in 1998. The band has gone through a few personnel changes over the course of their 15 year establishment but their sound has never drastically changed. Record after record, the band has been releasing music in the form of that 90's alternative sound. The now 3 piece Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has just released their 7th LP entitled Specter At The Feast and things continue to drag on with the same old medley. Continuing off of their successful Beat The Devil's Tattoo which was released in 2010, the band dabble in the same heavy guitar anthems that made them famous years early. Each song off this record features the guitar in the headlights with lead vocalist Peter Hayes whaling on the microphone. It's a very generic combination of popular styles made most famous in the early 90's. The band borrows these styles for their own music and this character flaw as I call it, does nothing positive for the band's overall sound dynamic. It's hard to enjoy a record that sounds overly similar to bands like Oasis or a less enthusiastic Stone Temple Pilots. The britpop styles off this new record was another turn in the wrong direction as Hayes doesn't have the vocal range to suit the style and the instrumentation behind it is far too dreary and grunge wannabe to match the acoustic setting. This band has never been among my favorites and this album is a perfect example of why as they do far too little in the creative department in their album creation process to garner any attention from me. I still find it ironic when you think about this bands name as they are far from rebellious or tough and their music couldn't withstand the personality of a true motorcycle club. Just a thought.
- Badman Recordings
- February 12, 2013
No Elephants is the 9th album by solo artist Lisa Germano. A folk artist on paper, Germano is a musician just coming out of her shell at the ripe age of 54. Although she has been recording material on her own since the early 90's, much of her career was spent with other acts such as Eels and John Mellencamp. She's made her mark on music over the years but her delicate style of solo work, especially here on her most recent album, is a huge piece of evidence of her age. On this album, Germano is more intimate then ever before, singing deeper and much more softly then she ever has in the past. Her voice actually comes in louder then any instrumentation that surrounds each note and although this probably has more to do with the fact that this album is as stripped down as you can possibly get without it being fully bare, this concept is very personal. She is singing from her heart and telling us her saddening stories. Lyrically, Germano once again proves she has a knack for it but with such a lack of revolving instrumentation and absence of much needed melody, it's rather hard to draw an interest to this album. It's a very mysterious record with odd production characteristics such as cell phone interference and electronics going haywire in the background but the reasons for these functions are not vividly clear. This album for me was a head scratcher as I had heard such positive things but upon first and last listen, this album is nothing more then the bare minimum at slow pace. In today's day and age of music, I need more then just a few chords on a piano to enjoy a piece of music, unless of course you're Bon Iver.
Next Week's 7:
- Bonobo – The North Borders
- Phosphorescent – Muchacho
- The Strokes – Comedown Machine
- Sadistik – Flowers For My Father
- Woodpigeon – Thumbtacks And Glue
- Inc. – No World
- The Leisure Society – Alone Aboard The Ark
After another good week of album listens, I am more than ready to start another. If anyone is interested in purchasing or simply hearing any of these albums online, I have linked them for you at the top of this page to make it simple. I hope you have enjoyed reading this week's edition of Straight From The Teet and I look forward to bringing you a new group of records next week. Please leave comments here at the bottom and let me know what you liked or didn't like from this week's lineup. Have a great week and please support these terrific bands!