Monday saw the premiere of Green Day’s newest single, the public’s first taste of an audacious album trilogy that will see its first installment, ¡Uno!, hit stores in September. As a longtime fan (Dookie and Nimrod practically soundtracked my high school years), I’ve had mixed feelings regarding the trio’s more ambitious post-American Idiot undertakings (increasingly ponderous music videos, a second rock opera LP, an honest-to-God Broadway musical). It’s laudable that Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool are so intent on broadening their stylistic palette and challenging themselves creatively so far into their career, but the manner they’ve gone about it has felt increasingly stuffy and po-faced with each new “We’re an Important Band now” gesture. Luckily, Armstrong was quoted by Rolling Stone last month as saying, “The last record got so serious. We wanted to make things more fun”, which was a much-welcomed comment to hear after years of plodding ballads like “21 Guns” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends”.
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Continuing to defy logic and expectations like the noble sasquatch defies discovery, the Finnish psychedelic anomoly’s new offering for “Go Supersonic” isn’t so much a video for one of the best songs from their recent masterpiece Queen of the Wave as it is a mock advertisement for the Super Sonic Sound System, a wood panelled modular package presented by a go-go dancing marketing manager. It’s an “homage to the glorious age of Hi-Fi, when speakers were big and far apart, many people actually built their own systems and portable meant ‘with a forklift’”. As such, it has nothing to do with the album’s pop opera libretto, and the song is talked over and tweaked throughout the video, making it hard to actually hear the music the video was made for.
Denmark’s Tina Dico possesses a deep, atmospheric voice suggesting the chilly outdoor landscapes of rural northern Europe mixed with the cozy interiors of rich colors and a fireplace. In other words, her voice is perfectly suited to music that is simultaneously cool, moody and warm. So, taking the spare approach of Dico’s new single, “Moon to Let”, and adding in layers of bubbling synths, Zero 7 adds a further warmth to the song with an electronic sheen.
The “Moon to Let” EP will release on 16 July (UK), 17 July (US) and features the original tune and remixes like this one and another by Fink. Dico’s new album, Where Do You Go to Disappear?, produced in Iceland with her musical partner Helgi Jonsson, will be available on 10 September via her own label, Finest Gramophone.
Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra is as much an anomaly as it is an enigma. The 18-piece ensemble, conducted by noted Berlin composer Daniel Glatzel, crept into the underground in May of 2009 with their Danny Elfmann-esque debut Take Off!. While that album was a genre-hopping exploration of film music, jazz and classical, lush with the live-off-the-floor sounds of a complete, authentic orchestra, their new album defies even their own expectations. Bum Bum is practically a deconstruction of everything their previous album was based on, recording most of the instruments separately and reassembling them in the studio along with the odd vocal and referential pop culture sample into forms unrecognizable. The results are more manic yet familiar than ever thought imaginable. Case in point… What exactly is the opening track “Saturn Hoola Hoop?” Is it instrumental hip-hop? Is it plunderphonic bop jazz? Is it a schizophrenic cacophony? It’s up to the listener to delve in and find their place at the eye of the storm.
Swing Lo Magellan
Release Date: 10 July 2012
Dirty Projectors’ mastermind David Longstreth has always stood out for his omnivorous, hyperactive imagination, which is infused in his group’s inventive eclecticism through and through. While that pioneering spirit is certainly apparent on Dirty Projectors’ latest Swing Lo Magellan, it’s channeled through more focused arrangements and subtle craftsmanship than before. Tracklist and tour dates after the jump.