Dan Kok: Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson made his name with lo-fi recordings of intricately composed acoustic tunes. And while he hasn’t ever deviated too far from those roots, “Rivers” find him adopting a fuller sound accompanied by horns and piano. There are spikes and other hints of the unpolished recordings and Matsson’s dense lyrical imagery has only become more dense since the beginning of his career, but the sound is cozier and easier. It seems that he’s managed to add instrumentation and warmth without sacrificing his unique artistry. [9/10]
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Andrew Paschal: “Cali Sun” flirts heavily with being a full-on EDM banger but shows just enough restraint to avoid falling over the edge into face-melting tastelessness. Dawn Richard provides a summery vocal delivery, and when she sings “let’s stay young forever”, she at first appears to succumb to the insipid youth-worshipping that plagues much of our culture; however, when she follows it up with the line, “that way our mistakes will never count”, it combines with repeated mentions elsewhere of “regrets” to subtly critique the carefree, irresponsible illusion proffered by the light of the California sun. [7/10]
Recorded live in one take, the bubbly “Goodbye Temporarily” set the tone for Far Cries and Close Calls, the forthcoming album from Oklahoma singer/songwriter John Calvin Abney. Decamping to Little Rock, Arkansas, to record his latest LP, Abney notes of the lead single, “It was the first song approached when entering the studio, and gave the entire space, along with those involved, a calm yet energetic sense that we were going to create something glowing and real.”
I received a press release this week, the subject line of which read: “This War of Mine Creators Unveil Their New Game – FrostPunk”. What followed was the standard stuff that appears in game press releases, a link to a press kit to download, a link to the game’s first trailer, and a few very brief paragraphs describing the game.
Now, it isn’t my normal practice to do much with initial press releases for games, other than file them in my e-mail to really take a look at when the game is closer to release and I might need to contact someone about getting a review copy for one of our writers. However, this press release had me at “This War of Mine Creators”. I played This War of Mine on its release in 2014, and, I mean, I played a lot of This War of Mine. It was one of my favorite games of that year.
Rochester, New York pop/rock singer-songwriter Adam Clark is back again, and this time with a brand new collaboration alongside Dutch electronic recording artist Anthony Dircson (Reepublic Records). Clark and Dircson’s first work together comes along in the form of a remix of the former’s initial debut single following his team-up with multi-platinum selling, Grammy-nominated producer David Schuler (P!nk, John Legend, Daughtry), “King of the Sky”.