2015 has really been a banner year for music. I can’t even keep up with all the new releases! Nothing upsets me more than the Music-Is-Dead attitude shared by so many (lame) people. I mean, if I subjected myself to the radio and heard the non-music it offers, I might share that belief. Not that I’m a pop-naysayer—I proudly own Katy Perry albums, obsess over Beyoncé’s every move, and am weak to Sam Smith’s voice. My hatred for Taylor Swift is even beginning to wane with each subsequent (forced) listen to “Style” and “Blank Space”. However, if this blog can serve as a space to turn even one person on to an indie or lesser-known artist, I’ll feel as though my evangelical mission has been fulfilled.
Here are a few of my July & August favorites.
Shockingly, previous to this album’s release, I had never heard the music of my name twin, Chelsea Wolfe. I always got a goth vibe from her, which I found off-putting. Obviously, my daily all-black attire and my metal-loving fiancé opened my mind to checking her out, and I’m so glad that I did. This album is amazing! So amazing that I’m actually going to go see Chelsea Wolfe at the Sinclair on September 5! Wolfe has this lady Trent Reznor vibe that I really respond to. The music is super dark and distorted, but her voice is very feminine and ethereal. In the words of every contestant on Project Runway ever, it’s the perfect combination of hard and soft.
And yes, I will be wearing head-to-toe black at her concert. Sue me. A PJ Harvey-loving goth adolescent lives within me.
On Friday of last week, Rising Fawn’s debut album, Sifting Through Sadness dropped! I’ve been looking forward to hearing their full-length since I picked up their EP at the Say Anything/Eisley show over 2 years ago.
For anyone not as deeply immersed in the Instagrams of celebrities as I am, Rising Fawn is a duet featuring Chauntelle DuPree of Eisley and her husband, Todd D’Agostino. Husband/wife duets are seriously my favorite. I fully aspire to one day be part of one.
Sifting Through Sadness is haunting and bursting with string arrangements. It contains shades of the moodiness of a Metallica ballad and Renaissance-fair vibes, which could have turned out terribly but actually really works perfectly with Chauntelle’s reverb-y vocals. Both Chauntelle and Todd are guitar players, so it’s really refreshing how tastefully and sparingly the guitar is used throughout. The last (bonus) track, “Hempstead” is a 12-minute instrumental, which is so badass I don’t even have the words to describe it. My favorite tracks thus far are “Ours for Taking” and “Forsaking Calamity” which features guest vocals from Sherri DuPree-Bemis, Christie DuPree, and Max Bemis, unless my ears deceive me. For anyone reading who is a super nerd about this stuff, the ending of “Forsaking Calamity” recalls the bridge of “Save My Soul” from Eisley’s last record and is seriously the best.
And last but most certainly not least, Tame Impala! I wish I could hire someone to play this album on a boombox and follow me around all day. It is the fucking best album of the year. I’ve been a Tame Impala fan for a few years, but neither of their previous releases managed to instantly grab me the way Currents has. From the moment I heard them preview the first track on Conan, I knew that I would fall in love with this album. The whole thing is so lush. I’ve linked to the Pitchfork review above, I’m sure they can give Currents a more eloquent appraisal than I can.
Thanks for letting me share some of my recent picks! The new Beach House album came out the other day, so I’m sure that will make this list before long. For anyone who loves getting hipped to new music, I actually keep a record of the new releases we buy (once I’ve actually managed to listen to them) under the heading Modern Music on the blog.