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.
MONDAY: The Strokes – Comedown Machine
TUESDAY: Bonobo – The North Borders
WEDNESDAY: Phosphorescent – Muchacho
THURSDAY: Sadistik – Flowers For My Father
SATURDAY: Inc. – No World
SUNDAY: Woodpigeon – Thumbtacks And Glue
- March 22, 2013
The Strokes were once kings of indie rock. They ruled the landscape of the once unvoiced genre and made it accessible to any average music fan. Because of their debut album Is This It, other bands such as Arcade Fire or even The National were given a chance at major success and not just be critic's standards. In recent years, I've gone back to the first few records by The Strokes to enjoy and reminisce and I've come to an unexpected conclusion. Although Is This It remains to be considered a classic piece of genius music, I've come to my own decision that it seems more like accidental genius. Of course, the album is a great one and will most likely live on as a timeless piece of music but the records that followed never achieved that embodiment. Room On Fire was decent but aside from a couple huge singles, the album never was able to live on in the shadow of Is This It. First Impressions Of Earth was the same story and became even more inconsistent while Angles really showed an aging band who seemed out of ideas at the time. I can't completely say that the band has been managing to suck themselves into a downward spiral because despite their lack of positive upheaval, their albums have never been awful, just not great. Comedown Machine is the latest record by the Brooklyn 5-piece indie rock band and they continue to show that they have basically leveled out. This is neither positive or negative as the music off this record once again shows off some terrific hooks and fresh guitar licks. These two characteristics are exactly what made The Strokes so impressive on their debut and the band has never lost these qualities. In fact, while listening to this record, I'm immediately reminded of my youth and it becomes a very fun and exciting 40 minutes of album time. Where this album comes up short however is in it's consistency. Track to track, this album brings out many different styles and while I can sometimes manage to respect this in certain albums, The Strokes seem more suitable at blasting away at their guitars and drums rather then employing some nu-wave sounds. It's a decently uncharacteristic album for the band and I'm glad to see them creating a more creative atmosphere within their songs but I miss those energetic anthems that made them so spectacular 12 years ago.
The North Borders
- Ninja Tune
- March 21, 2013
Bonobo has become one of, if not the most, successful downtempo artists in recent existence. Throughout his tenure as a music producer, Bonobo has now released 6 full length LP's, each of which has risen the genre as a whole off the ground to a fresh audience. Now, in 2013, it seems that electronic music has really become an interest for a wide range of people rather than just a small, specific type of audience. Years ago, this was not the case but with club music blowing up the record charts and downtempo artists being at the helm of this, Bonobo's career is continuing to expand. The North Borders is the newest album by Bonobo and his signature style of downtempo rhythms and atmospheric moods mixed in with these beautiful, spiritual qualities continue to be a mainstay. The record is once again littered in these types of characteristics as well as some mood setting vocal deliveries by a handful of friends such as the famous Erykah Badu. The high quality production of each song mixed together with these angelic vocal harmonies that blend together so vividly ends up being a spiritual journey for me as a listener. Songs such as "Towers", "Jets" and Badu's "Heaven For The Sinner" really show off why Bonobo is such an amazing producer. On this album though, we also receive a lot of new styles that show off an entirely different flavor palette for Bonobo. This album is by far his most minimalistic in style with plenty of airy space off each track. Bonobo is stepping into a more future garage sound with The North Borders and his ability to do so remains at a high level. Even though this album shows off a new side of his song crafting, I do consider much of the record to be a bit of a bore. This is very unlike Bonobo as a musician as I cannot remember a single other time where I felt bored while listening to his music but I think with a switch to more minimalistic sounds comes a less ambitious work. Bonobo remains one of my favorite producers but this album just doesn't justify that characteristic in my opinion and instead, leaves me feeling overwhelmed about the record.
- Dead Oceans
- March 15, 2013
Matthew Houck has been releasing music as Phosphorescent since 2003. The project has always been a solo project basically but he has always maintained a close knit, group of friends whom he uses as a backing band. Although they never take official credit as full time band members, their contributions have grown stronger and stronger since their debut album back in 2003. In the beginning stages of Phosphorescent, the music relied more heavily on acoustic style instruments especially guitar. With this dimension came the americana tag and even though Houck's music is much less americana these days, it still does shout midwestern folk here and there. On the band's newest record Muchacho, we are given a glimpse into a much deeper side of Phosphorescent. The music has become much bigger and broader then ever before especially with the incorporation of horns, electronics, and synthesizers that maintain a very colorful landscape for the music itself. Although the band has shifted gears a bit musically, Houck never leaves behind his intimate touches. Each song still sounds very personal and deeply thought up while being immense and satisfactory. In the past, I hadn't ever given Houck his dues but here, Phosphorescent seems to finally come around full circle. This is a very mellowed out folk record that ties in a very complex instrumental background and the final product really does show tremendous progress for the young songwriter.
Flowers For My Father
- Fake Four
- February 19, 2013
Sadistik is the pseudonym used by ambitious, young rapper Cody Foster. Foster, who is from Seattle, has been exploding in the hip hop world recently because of some terrific collaborations with artists such as Emancipator. While the production behind his music is gaining momentum, what he's actually known best for is his poetic lyricism. Foster is becoming a brilliant poet in the hip hop world as his lyrics tell such immense stories of emotional well being. His style is very lucid with such great atmospheric resemblance and the combination of these deep, meaningful verses and dreamy song landscapes make for a beautiful blueprint. Flowers For My Father is the third full length record released by Foster and the first of two heavily anticipated albums to be released this year alone. On this record, we get a full glimpse of Foster's extraordinary use of vocabulary and rhyme. Although his delivery isn't quite as smooth as most rappers, his excellent lyrical concepts and meaningful ideas really create a superb atmosphere to rap in. The production isn't quite what I had expected however, especially after discovering that he had begun work with Emancipator and had also been connected to Blue Sky Black Death, two of the biggest up and coming producers in the downtempo game. On this record though, things are very raw and stripped down. The rawness of the sound here doesn't quite benefit Foster as a stylistic rapper himself. He needs more complex rhythms that embody his emotional lyrics and dark mood to really work off one another. Instead, the production off this record is just too basic and gritty. Although I wasn't a big fan of the production here, his lyrics do make up for it and in the end, I can't keep myself from rating this album too low.
The Leisure Society
Alone Aboard The Ark
- Full Time Hobby
- March 30, 2013
The Leisure Society are an indie pop band from England. A band whose lineup has already gone through a flurry of changes since their debut album just 7 short years ago, The Leisure Society has had a difficult time managing to restore themselves after a very good debut album that put their sophomore record in a deep, deep shadow. The inconsistent music releases continue on their third LP, Alone Aboard The Ark. The record continues the structures of acoustic ballad folk songs with bits and pieces of pianos, horns, strings and subtle drums that help layer out each track. The melodies all revolve around lead singer Nick Hemming whose blissful songwriting is always in the spotlight. You can pretty much identify The Leisure Society as a bigger, more diverse The Weepies except here, the band has lost that ability to put together a soulful folk song. On this record, the band experiments a bit more with instrumentation that wasn't in the cards on their first couple records. Although the songwriting and melody behind the vocals does fit together decently well with some of the non traditional instruments, we definitely lose the mood setting styles that made their debut album The Sleeper so successful. The tracks off this record instead, show signs of being less focused and more playful then balanced. Songs just rely to heavily on that baroque pop technique and because of this, everything becomes too frivolous. The Leisure Society just seem unable to reinvent themselves or even get back to their original ways.
- February 15, 2013
Inc. is an R&B duo formed by brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged. The project officially started back in 2009 but their first release, an EP entitled 3, wasn't released until 2011. The EP was widely accepted by the public and I think a lot of that has to do with the emergence of contemporary R&B. We've scene this style blossom with artists such as The Weeknd who makes a living off of electronic music and R&B vocals. The experimental nature of this genre was a huge attraction for many different types of music fans and the style continues to grow. The Aged brothers are no strangers to the genre, having worked with Cee Lo Green during his breakout a few years back. Obviously, these brothers have enough talent as producers to really make a name for themselves and the word is getting out. No World is their debut LP and my very first time listening to them in full fashion. Their style, although it seems new and experimental, actually jumps out to me as a smooth jazz/r&b sampler record more than anything else. I found myself constantly wondering how they have managed to receive comparisons to The Weeknd or even Frank Ocean in recent months especially since their music doesn't have close to the brilliant production or singing of either. These brothers sound more like a couple of kids who can talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. The music is mostly a complete bore with very little actually going on in each beat. Most of it is composed on a computer rather then escaping the hard drive to a more instrumental retreat and this really bothered me. The minimalism leaves a lot to be desired and the songwriting continues this motif. To me, this will be one of the most overrated groups in music very soon but in all honesty, I can't imagine any of these tracks really making it into a club or even to anyone's car stereo.
Thumbtacks And Glue
- Boompa Records
- February 26, 2013
Woodpigeon is the brainchild of Mark Hamilton, a singer/songwriter from Alberta, Canada. The project was first started as solo project but after a few sessions of jamming for his debut album, Hamilton soon learned that he needed a backing band to achieve the sound he wanted. Although there aren't any other official members of the band currently, he has a great deal of friends who are always there to help him shape his songs. Thumbtacks And Glue is the latest album by Woodpigeon and 5th overall. The record is a detailed, indie folk pop record that has plenty going on to help satisfy your need for interesting instrumentals. Although the album lives by a folk tag, the songs are much more then just that. In fact, most of the tracks derive more of a pop influence then anything else as Hamilton sings ambitiously over each and every instrumental. The instruments that surround his voice go above and beyond what you might expect from an average folk pop record. We get a new surprise instrument almost track to track but in the end, the lack of any one specific, musical direction leaves much to be desired. I feel very dissatisfied by the lyrical concepts and lack of any one, true theme behind the songwriting as a whole. I like Woodpigeon best when he is using less instruments while using more harmony vocals and we only get that a few times on the album as a whole. There is definitely some potential here but for now, I'm not blown away or anything.
Next Week's 7:
- The Flaming Lips – The Terror
- Daughter – If You Leave
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito
- James Blake – Overgrown
- Exist Strategy – Dreamcatcher
- British Sea Power – Machineries Of Joy
- Ocean Colour Scene – Painting
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!