“The first phrases of ‘Rainy Days Ahead’ came to me when I was spending time at our summer cottage,” says Kari Rueslåtten. It’s “an old, worn out farm house in mid-Norway. The place is surrounded by the wild landscape that area is known for: steep mountains going straight into the sea and beautiful open spaces of green in between.” Rueslåtten’s description is one that could apply to any number of the tracks on Time to Tell, her first studio album in nine years. She composed the album primarily by singing while at the piano, which allowed her to find the strongest melodies and arrangements possible: “If the verse and chorus works just accompanied by the piano, it will work with other arrangements in studio too.”
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With its video for “Your Condition”, intercontinental indie-pop act King of Prussia offers up a bittersweet sampling of its ambitious double album Zonian Girls…And the Echoes That Surround Us All. Premiering here on PopMatters, “Your Condition” is a jangly chestnut that combines winsome immediacy with hints of a grander scope once the orch-pop strings come in—after all, this is an effort that brings in 20 collaborators, most notably R.E.M.‘s Mike Mills.
Turning Rocks, the upcoming full-length by Montreal-Stockholm outfit Thus Owls, is a study in contrasts. The husband-wife team of Simon and Erika Angell brings together organic and high-concept elements in a way that coheres intricately on Turning Rocks, striking a heady balance between warm instrumentation and a stylish veneer. Thematically, Turning Rocks conveys a sense of nostalgia and patiently dramatic moods, its songs based on stories told to Erika Angell by her grandmother about the small Swedish village where they lived.
Eric Lindley (a.k.a. Careful) is releasing his fourth full-length album, The World Doesn’t End, on April 22nd via Circle Into Square. With a background in LA’s subculture of electronics hackers and experimental artists, Lindley has immersed himself in the theories of artistic creation. The result is a pleasingly intellectual approach to creating music that satisfies the head and the heart in equal measures.
Premiering on PopMatters, “Take It Slow” is Southern California dance-pop act Tapioca and the Flea‘s contribution to a split 7” compiled by Red Bull Sound Select for Record Store Day (April 19, 2014). Just don’t let the title fool you, since “Take It Slow” is a brisk, catchy synth-driven number, a combination of old-fashioned pop-minded songwriting and a state-of-the-art vibe.