Post-rock trio Esben and the Witch will release the album Older Terrors November 4 via Season of Mist. The band has just issued the track “Sylvan” to celebrate the record’s impending arrival. With passages that range from spare and haunting to loud and frightening, the 13-minute tune serves as a perfect taste of the whole album. Vocalist Rachel Davies sings with an uncommon ease and grace, further establishing herself as one of the most remarkable voices in any genre. Drummer Daniel Copeman plays with both taste and passion, while guitarist Thomas Fischer creates intricate but subtle layers that strike the perfect balance between darkness and light.
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Chris Ingalls: The latest project from New York-based electronic artist Joe Williams, Motion Graphics is a purely synthetic stab at experimental synthpop, with an emphasis on “experimental”. With “Anyware”, he basically throws everything at the wall to see what sticks, and the result is a sonic collage packed with unique textures that sounds like Peter Gabriel’s Security album after a wild animal was let loose on the mixing desk. Interesting, restless and far-reaching. [8/10]
Adriane Pontecorvo: Beautiful, soulful, and just a little otherworldly. There’s a tight simplicity at the core of both this song and its video: a voice, a woman, an empty room, piano notes spiraling upward. Within such clean lines, it’s that much more rewarding to go outside the box, glitching and syncopating, defying physics. The way the retro beats play together sounds almost childlike, and Lalin St. Juste’s voice is the perfect counterpoint, pouring through the spaces between keys and loops like honey. The only issue I have with this song is that I want so much more of it; at less than three minutes, this song will get a lot of repeat listens in anticipation of the full album release in October. [10/10]
Last year, we said of Liz Longley’s debut album, “Longley’s clearly ready to seize on stardom, and this album provides all the proof that’s needed.” Fast forward to 2016 and Longley is back with her sophomore effort Weightless, which is packed to the gills with instantly memorable pop rock songs, many of which could be chartbound. Longley’s songwriting is top notch, full of relatable tales of life and relationships and Weightless is the sort of Lilith Fair inspired album that speaks to Longley’s love of ‘90s music. “I grew up listening to music of the ‘90s, and this record feels more like the Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette in me,” Longley says. “All those powerful chick singer-songwriters I grew up loving.”
William Sutton: “Bang Bang” is close to a return to form for Green Day following their disappointing trio of 2012 albums, Uno!, Dos! and Tre!. A searing pop punk number driven by thundering drums and bass, this track is, like much of their recent back catalogue, politically charged, as it addresses the prevalence of mass shootings in the US and how this interacts with an ever growing dominance of social media. Whilst “Bang Bang” is a good track and much better than most of their output since the release of American Idiot in 2004, the track struggles with the feeling that this is a band in their fourth decade and we have heard it all before and often heard it done better. Nonetheless it is a welcome return from the band and provides positive signs ahead of the release of Revolution Rock in October. [7/10]