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.
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Adriane Pontecorvo: “Are You Lost in the World Like Me?” starts off as a noisy cry into space, filled with a yearning for something in the world to work like it’s supposed to. It becomes an embrace, a sincere call across humanity for the fearful to come together. Driving, desperate, and vulnerable, this track never lets up, and would be almost perfect if not for Moby’s signature fake strings peeking their outdated heads in at the end. Still, a synth-heavy stunner. [8/10]
Bruce Springsteen‘s autobiography Born to Run (Simon & Schuster) is a work over seven years in the making. In it, The Boss details his early years, personal struggles, relationship travails and more in the tome. It’s been receiving exceedingly positive reviews from outlets like the New York Times, Vulture and more.
To promote the book, Springsteen was recently in New York City for a stop at Barnes & Noble in Union Square where he posed for photos with hundreds of fans before heading to chat with Eddy Cue at an Apple Store. Check out video of their conversation below as well as a couple of photos from the meet and greet below. In the chat, he reveals some of the artists that he is listening to in 2016.
Andrew Paschal: So sparsely arranged are the elements driving Leonard Cohen’s newest release, that if you were to remove any one of them the whole delicate bouquet might collapse. As it is though, the reverent choir, House of Cards-esque baseline, and Cohen’s iconic and terrifyingly deep voice combine beautifully to make “You Want It Darker” a compelling exploration into the unknown corners of the human soul. Or rather, the track serves as a preamble to such an exploration. Cohen speaks like one returning from the abyss to share his dark understandings with the uninitiated: “I struggled with some demons / They were middle class and tame / I didn’t know I had permission / To murder and to maim,” he recites stonily. He questions whether we really wish to know what we will find once the candle is blown out, but promises to serve as our spectral guide if we choose to look beyond the curtain of light. [9/10]
Boom Bip earned his stripes as an experimental hip-hop producer whose last solo record was 2011’s Zig Zaj. But now the artist has turned his attention to film for his latest release. As the composer of the music for Ben Cresciman’s latest film, psychological thriller Sun Choke, Boom Bip builds a sense of foreboding, terror, and mystery. On “The Trip”, the music builds slowly with bits of silence heightening the drama and cycling synthesizers bubbling constant streams of tension.