Bubblemath releases its first album in 15 years, Edit Peptide Friday, 26 May via Cuneiform Records. A little history seems in order: The Minnesota unit’s debut LP, Such Fine Particles of the Universe (2002), was remarkable for its wide-ranging aesthetic, blending elements of pop and prog, then bending back into territories of the experimental and mathematical. The record garnered the band major respect among critics and listeners whose imaginations were matched only by their musical appetites. The prolonged silence that followed came down to a series of personal and professional setbacks that did little to quell Bubblemath’s artistic impulses.
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With the observational skills of Ray Davies, the freak folk interests of early Beck and a conceptual bent that places the outfit in line with fellow Ohioan Robert Pollard, Swarming Branch’s music is as accessible as it is intellectually rewarding. The real pleasure of listening to this collection comes not in peeling away the layers or finding new nomenclature to describe the dizzying array of sounds contained in these tracks. Instead, it’s in letting the music work its charms in these brief and brilliant bursts of both sincerity and hilarity.
Folk rock band the Builders and the Butchers spent 2007-2012 touring heavily and they built a stellar reputation as high-energy, consummate live performers, playing festivals like Sasquatch and Lollapalooza. Since then the group has been slowly crafting a new set of songs, with their latest album taking five years to write as the members carefully labored over the material. Now, at last, the world gets a new Builders and the Butchers LP this Friday entitled The Spark.
Stax Records and Sun Records stand as two of the most culturally significant record labels in popular music history, and they are both Memphis labels. There’s obviously something special in the Mississippi River, as so much of American popular music stems from close to either side of those waters. Stax was the home of Southern soul, sporting a roster that is a who’s who of important soul artists: Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd and more. Sam Phillips’ Sun Records, on the other hand, was the home of early rock ‘n’ roll with Elvis Presley, Ray Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Sun also had an enormous influence in the country music world, launching the career of Johnny Cash.
Indie folk poppers Magic Giant have been active on the festival scene and have toured with Beats Antique and the Revivalists, and now they are set to release their infectious debut album, In the Wind, this Friday, May 19th. The band blends folk and pop in equal doses, creating killer harmonies, intriguing instrumental accompaniment, literally using any instrument they happen to find, including drums, banjo, trumpet, saxophone, harmonica, synthesizers, electric bass, cello, viola, violin, dobro, lap steel, mandolin, and more. Their sound is huge and features melodies that soar to majestic heights, and the way the album was created has a lot to do with that.
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