Andrew Paschal: Dirty Projectors return with this emotionally complex, multifarious number. David Longstreth’s vocals glide elusively between naked crooning and a kind of wry, winking humor. He makes himself stunningly vulnerable and then seems to shrug it all off with a sad smile, as people do when coping with heartbreak. By turns, he is both cagey and devastatingly honest. The straightforward piano balladry combines with squeaking vocal snatches, samples of both themselves and Dan Deacon, and glitchy beats to add to the overall impact, no less affecting for being so disorienting. [8/10]
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Classically trained Scottish musician and composer C Duncan creates gorgeous, dreamy soundscapes that are carefully crafted one layer at a time in his home studio. Growing up the son of two musicians, Duncan excelled at music from an early age and eventually attended the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he focused on composition. That training lends Duncan’s music a harmonic complexity and tonal richness that complements the gentle electronics and acoustic elements. Duncan’s latest album, The Midnight Sun, released last Friday and it ups the electronic elements, as well as contains the deliciously, dreamy song we’re sharing with you today, “Do I Hear”.
Atlanta rockers O’Brother are about to head out on tour with the Dillinger Escape Plan on October 12th, but before they do they’s shared this amazing cover version of Portishead’s “Silence” from that group’s brilliant album Third. Earlier this year O’Brother released their third full-length album Endless Light, while “Silence” is a brand new track. The band nails the Portishead aesthetic as it makes the song’s sound both heavier and darker than the original.
Floridian singer-songwriter Matt Hires upended his life for the better when he and his wife relocated to Nashville and he fell in with a group of other writers that gathered each week to share the music they’d written that week over a good bottle of bourbon. That’s just one reason why Nashville births songs like Detroit used to churn out cars. That process led Hires to create the strongest set of songs of his career. With a charismatic voice that echoes R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe and a sound rooted in ‘90s alternative rock crossed with Americana, Hire’s new album, American Wilderness releasing this Friday, pulls you right in with its slate of deeply personal, searching, musically accomplished alt-pop songs. Hires has a voice to light arenas and thrill small songwriter night crowds. He’s the real deal and will make you a believer.
Five well-known, always busy Chicago singer-songwriters—Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, Alex Hall—get together to form a pop supergroup called the Flat Five that uses vocal melodies and harmonies as the main means of delivering 12 memorable earworms that will stay lodged in your brain for days. Chris Ligon wrote this batch of songs that offer a much needed dose of positivity and light heartedness as the bitter U.S. election nears its long-awaited end. The album title of the Flat Five’s debut release, It’s a World of Love and Hope, conveys this optimistic outlook. It releases this Friday via Bloodshot Records.