Photo by ANTI- Records
In a time when everyone is forced to stay home, M. Ward is thinking about movement. On his new 11-track album, Migration Stories, the singer-songwriter delivers soft but richly textured folk songs that would perfectly soundtrack a late night drive consisting of empty strip malls and paced by blinking red lights.
The album is Ward’s Tenth solo effort and follows 2018’s self-released What A Wonderful Industry. But, in addition to his solo work, he has also released records as half of the indie pop duo She & Him and in the supergroup Monsters Of Folk.
Four songs from Migration Stories preceded its release including the lead single “Migration of Souls” and the folksy lullaby “Heaven’s Nail and Hammer.” The album features production from Arcade Fire members Tim Kingsbury and Richard Reed Parry. Craig Silvey, who has mixed several AF records, also lends his talent here. And, for any record collectors, the 12” vinyl comes in a coke bottle format, which in my opinion, looks pretty cool.
Check out Migration Stories and take a listen to “Heaven’s Nail and Hammer,” my favorite of the singles, below:
Apple Music: https://apple.co/2UzwBjA
Photo Courtesy of Northern Spy Records
The bustling, unrestrained soundscapes created by The Necks are unmistakable. Since the late 80s, the Australian trio has blended jazz, ambient and experimental music to form lengthy, hypnotic pieces. And by developing an instrumental formula of piano, drums and bass — with the occasional organ and guitar — the band has won a dedicated following that seems to grow with every new album. Continue reading The Necks ponders its identity and legacy on Three, a personal album that’s as accessible as it is challenging
Photo Courtesy of Prosthetic Records
Two years after its full-length debut American Scrap, Chicago metal outfit Huntsmen have returned with a bluesy concept album more than twice the length of its predecessor. Mandala of Fear, the band’s 85 minute sophomore effort, immerses listeners in a hostile desert world to which even God has turned a blind eye. Continue reading Huntsmen builds a hostile desert world on epic sophomore LP, Mandala of Fear
Photo Courtesy of Sacred Bones Records
Comprehensive statements have never been the main takeaway from albums by The Men, and none of the Brooklyn rock band’s past seven releases would even come close to being considered “conceptual.”
But, instead of using extended narratives to hold records together, the band has developed a tendency to cluster songs that build upon each other to elevate stretches of its albums. And on the band’s eighth full-length, Mercy, The Men employs its clustering technique to masterful effect. Continue reading The Men returns to its country rock dabblings on ambitious new album, Mercy
Photo from Silver Lining Music
Starting with its first LP in 1996, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, the Finnish band Apocalyptica has spent its career reimagining metal music from a neoclassical standpoint, a perspective responsible for the group’s one-of-kind sound. Now, nearly a quarter century removed from its initial Metallica tribute, the band’s latest effort, Cell-0, marks a notable return to origins for the quartet, which consists of three unconventional cellists and a heavy metal drummer. Continue reading Apocalyptica confronts the unknown equipped only with instruments and song names on new full-length, Cell-0
With the decade soon coming to a close, 2019 offered the last chance for musicians to capture the cultural and emotional zeitgeist of the 2010s, as well as, set the tone for music to come in the 2020s. Over the past year, radio powerhouses such as The Black Keys and The Raconteurs reemerged from hibernation, newcomers such as Black Pumas, Brittany Howard and Jade Bird all created lasting power in the public eye, Future and Earl Sweatshirt dropped solid projects amidst a relatively quiet year in hip-hop, and collaborations such as Better Oblivion Community Center and The Highwomen elevated their lesser-known members to new heights.
In a time of widespread anxiety and uncertainty, when one chapter of the 21st century is turning into the next, the following 10 artists delivered albums this year that made sonic explorations and artistic statements indicative of where music is heading in the next decade while sounding perfectly at home in 2019. Continue reading Top 10 Albums of 2019
Photo from Weyrd Son Records
Way Station, the new album from Brooklyn industrial punks Pop. 1280, is a fitting title. It marks a new chapter for the band not only in material, but in its creative dynamic.
In the three years since the group’s last release, 2016’s Paradise, the band lost two key members with the departures of its drummer and synth player, leaving singer Chris Bug and guitarist Ivan Lip to figure out ways to fill the sonic voids their former bandmates left behind. Continue reading Pop. 1280 reemerges with a new lineup on Way Station, an ominous, psychological thriller of a record