In preparation for his chamber ensemble’s debut album, Maine native Will Mason headed to a cabin in the northern part of his home state. With no electricity, running water, phone (and of course no internet) he immersed himself in the idea of how powerful and at times frightening and overwhelming it can feel being completely isolated in nature. Beauty and dread walk hand in hand, and the mood can turn on a dime, which exactly the feeling you get on “Finn”, an extraordinary free-form 16-and-a-half-minute composition that forms the heart of the new album Beams of the Huge Night.
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Steve Leftridge: I once got into a debate with a film writer about the merits, or lack thereof, of modern action/suspense films. During this discussion, my friend proclaimed that The French Connection was the greatest police thriller of all time and that nothing made in the last couple decades comes close. So, as always here at Double Take, I’ll have to get your take on the overall quality of the film at some point, but I’m going to open with a discussion of Popeye Doyle, the hard-boiled central character played by Gene Hackman. An original tagline for the film read, “Doyle is bad news…but a good cop.” Do you think that’s an accurate description of Officer Doyle?
His first album since 2013’s covers collection Excitement at Your Feet and his first album of original material since 2011, prolific power pop veteran Tommy Keene is back with a new full length called Laugh in the Dark. One of the standout tracks is the roaring “Last of the Twilight Girls”, which plays right into Keene’s wheelhouse: jangly pop music juxtaposed with robust garage rock. If you’re not familiar with Keene’s music, this will serve as a wonderful introduction. If you are, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear.
If there was ever a genre called “blue devils hip-hop”, Andy Kayes may just be its choice practitioner. His blustering, electronica-squelched hip-hop is heavily saturated with moods so blue, his music grows heavier with every play. The France-based Englishman has been working the underground scenes of Lyon for some years now, splitting his time between open mics and recording studios whilst hooking up with some of the genre’s most respected names.
Featuring musicians from New Orleans, Brooklyn, and Brazil, Nation Beat fuses New Orleans funk and maracatu drumming to create a sound that bursts with life. For their newest EP they’ve teamed up with Indian/funk group Cha Wa to create Carnival Caravan, a thunderous collection of tunes that waste no time in brightening your mood. of the lot, the call-and-response fun of “Liza Jane” is an immediate standout, and you can stream the track below.