¨¨¨°º the adventures of choklit chanteuse º°¨¨¨


Aural Goodness

I've been consumed with putting on a circus for the past few weeks ~ which I'll be writing about as soon as I have some good imagery. In the meantime, for your various and sundry entertainment needs, here are a few tidbits of aural goodness from my music world.

Three albums that have been garnering my attention as of late... first, My Maudlin Career, the new offering from the luscious Scottish indie pop band Camera Obscura. Not unlike my other favorite Scottish band, they spin a lovely web of stories and sounds.

The shimmering, tambourine-rich, sixties candy-pop sound reminds me of the soundtrack of my early college years ~ that would be Mazzy Star ~ but with a horn section that gives it a more soulful flavor. The singer, Tracyanne Campbell, has an endearingly human voice - not seductive or terribly powerful, but lovely in a vulnerable way. If you're in the mood for perfect pop charm, listen to this.

On another end of the indie spectrum, NYC-based Grizzly Bear has been intriguing me with their much-lauded new album, Veckatimest. The band pushes the boundaries of indie rock with slightly dissonant harmonies and unexpected rhythmic changes, but somehow it all comes together in a surreal and mesmerizing stew of dense textured beauty.

I find myself at a loss for words to describe this album well, and it keeps growing on me. There's nothing simple here; many of the songs disperse and regather like oil on water, moving you from folky chamber-pop to epic wall-of sound rock with ease. But if you have a soft spot for complicated artistry and risk-takers, like I do, you just might fall in love.

The last album on my playlist is Dark Night of the Soul, the phenomenal and mysterious collaboration between renegade producer Danger Mouse and reclusive genius Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. This project is noteworthy for a variety of reasons - first, their third collaborator was David Lynch, who put together a collection of his photography based on the music. Even more intriguing was the unconventional release ~ because of a legal dispute with industry giant BMI, they were unable to release the album, and instead published the book of Lynch photos packaged with an art-printed but blank recordable CD-R.

Best of all, though, is the music itself, which is dark, lush and surreal, and varies as greatly as the all-star cast of guest vocalists, including James Mercer of The Shins, The Flaming Lips, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Frank Black of the Pixies, Iggy Pop, Nina Persson of The Cardigans, Suzanne Vega, and more.

Read more of the story, and hear the whole album, on the NPR web site.

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