People need to be reminded of who Divide and Dissolve truly is: they offer u the power but they want the power back as well. The politically vocal duo returns with Gas Lit 3 Part Remix EP (Invada Records) where others were invited to share their take on the group’s music. While at only 3 songs, what we receive is well worth the money! “Far From Ideal” is the Chelsea Wolfe remix and if we didn’t know any better, you’d probably think the two were always meant to be together musically. It’s intense and Wolfe’s vocals are haunting, creeping around the D+D’s noisy composition. If that’s not enough, Moor Mother’s remix of “Mental Gymnastics” is beyond perfection, as Moor Mother’s rich voice echoes with a thickness around the horns on the track and the ethereal aspects of it. It’s perfect. It’s art. It’s peace & darkness. Bearcat’s remix of “Denial” shifts this one altogether. Bearcat takes it out of the dank noisy crowded rooms and gives it an appealing head nodding beat many will find appealing. The song remains but it shifts genres slightly. Damn, just take my money and give me the music.
At this point in the band’s career, it doesn’t matter what anyone says. Death Cab For Cutie has established itself as a reckoning force without even trying. The band has reissued its third album, the now-classic The Photo Album Deluxe Edition (Barsuk). Ok, given, it’s a masterful album that probably knows no equal in this game called pop but why would anyone want to reinvest in a 20-year-old album? Well, I’ll tell you why; with this album you not only get the original 10 songs of the American version of the album but an ADDITIONAL 25 tracks of live, acoustic, studio outtakes, and demos. I’m revisiting the album, as well as enjoying the additional music here, maybe you’d want to as well.
We lose our focus in much of the things we do because we’re inundated with information, social media, and the like. There comes a point when life needs to slow down, or turned off at times, to catch up with what really matters. That’s what happens with the new CULPA EP (FithyBroke Recordings) by L.A.’s GypsyMamba, the project manned by Darius Giurar. While his previous releases may have had a focal point fitted around those heavy full-frontal boom-bap beats, his new EP takes a slightly different approach. With just a 6-song release, GypsyMamba’s approach is a bit more varied, blending the atmospheric with breakbeats, as well as creating an assortment of imagery throughout with cinematic vigor.
The atmospheric opener “Night Terrors” combines the best of both worlds as the subliminal rhythm is encrusted within but allows the song’s spaciousness to take deep breathes in. The mood shifts on “Lostcat” though, which builds quickly with its fast-footed pace and etherealness. GypsyMamba gets there quickly, all the while enveloping listeners with colorful auras. But it’s “Rockslide” that’s deceiving as the atmosphere he surrounds the song with gives way to a thick distinctive beat almost a full minute in. This is a rider that’s rough, relentless in delivery but again, the rhythm distinctive. It’s imaginative as additional clicking collides alongside it. “Slim” moves with sultriness, much like a David Lynch film, disbursing fantastic beasts of imagery throughout, clashing with machinery bent on destruction. It’s soft and harsh, sometimes at the same time. The kaleidoscope of sight & sound meshes within “Coronal Cornea,” as sweet death extends its skeletal hands one final time. This is the end, or quite possibly the beginning. The cinematic flare here leaves it open to interpretation.
CULPA is different. GypsyMamba shows a flare for the dramatic at times and never sticks to a general formula, hence allowing the music to take on a life of its own.
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There are musicians we lose touch with on occasion and it’s usually for no one particular reason, it just happens. Sometimes it just so happens we may not hear from an artist for almost a decade because well, a much-needed hiatus is needed to handle other priorities. We can pull from a wide array of reasons but again, it could be for more than one reason.
While many may know of her as the bassist for Eric’s Trip, some of us know her as something altogether different. It’s been years since I heard any new music by Julie Doiron but I do remember holding her 2000 self-titled Julie Doiron & the Wooden Stars in high regards. There were albums that followed obviously but after 2012’s So Many Days, I lost track. There were some collaborative efforts with musicians on other projects, but it’s been some time since Doiron released a proper solo effort. That’s changed this week as we see the release of I Thought Of You (You’ve Changed Records), Doiron’s first solo album in 9 years. Although it’s been almost a decade, Julie Doiron still crafts quite the enchanting pop song. While songs are pretty direct in delivery and song structure, they also evoke an innocence as Doiron offers maturity, clarity, and above all, honesty throughout her album. With “You Gave Me The Key,” Julie Doiron may be offering up that honesty getting a fresh start all over again. The realism in her words is accentuated by the music, filled with backing harmonies, driving guitar lines, and a punchy rhythm. Well, she’s here again and wants everyone to know. The song is followed by “Thought Of You,” where she explores lost friendships and relationships as the music takes its lead from the previous track, direct and right out of the gate. But there’s another side to Doiron, a more reserved version of herself. The softer “Dreamed I Was” she sings lightly, accompanied by guitars and nothing else is needed or matters for the fact except Doiron and her words, wrapped around her nocturnal visions. It’s her unique delivery that’s so inviting here and on “Good Reason,” a track moving mid-tempo where she sings of a meeting of minds & hearts with a little indirection. Her voice here rises and falls in the best of ways. If there’s one place I find myself falling freely within, it’s in “The Letters We Sent.” This is where magic happens; filled with melancholy as she sings with no regrets, leaving herself open. And the music! Oh, the emotion within the music itself is captured. It’s haunting.
Yes, it’s true. Julie Doiron is back and I Thought Of You delivers at every turn, giving listeners a multitude of reasons to listen to this album from start to end.