Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm and 2000s British indie rock - name a more iconic duo. It’s iconic enough, at least, to pack The Anthem in 2019 in celebration of their debut album.
Let’s just get this out of the way: I had every expectation of starting another year of covering shows with a bang, and instead it began with a giant MEH.
But all of this does not a good live performance make.
Succeding where "supergroup" She and Him couldn't quite, Cults have managed to drag the 50's girl group sound straight into the future and in the process have made one of the most fun records of the year. I mean, just look at that album cover to the right. FUN!
In all seriousness, by taking elements of electronica, indie-pop and shogaze and mixing them with a healthy dose of doo-wops and handclaps, this duo, consisting of Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin, have crafted endlessly entertaining and forward looking sound that doesn't sacrifice it's "wholesome" roots in the process.
Check out the track "You Know What I Mean" and tell me someone doesn't want to be a Vandella really, really badly.
"You Know What I Mean"
What was looking to be an incredibly bleak week for releases has turned out to be surprisingly strong..and fun! Look, I'm not the biggest dance/indie-pop fan on the planet. In fact you could say that for the most part, I think it's crap. But sometimes a band trandscends that awful, awful label and delivers something that is ultimately just damn good music. So who did that this week?
What do you get when you mix fun with some fun and add a little more fun in just for good measure? Why the new Cults album of course. This duo from New York manages to mix 50's girl group do wops and hand claps with a more modern, danceable undercurrent that doesn't dial back the fun for a single instant. Think B-52's for the modern. This is the album that both She and Him albums should have been, so take notice "superstars", this is how you can make music from the past sound relevant and hip without boring your audience to death.
Sondre Lerche has been many things over the span of his career. He's been jazzy, indie poppy, even Dylan-y. All of this adds up to a somewhat inconsistent track record,which makes it all the better that on Sondre Lerche, the Norwegian songwriter plays to all of his strengths rather than indulge only a few of them. This album will sound familiar to his longtime fans, but it's focused craftsmanship resulting in a collection of infinitely catchy tunes will be what brings the new fans in.
Loud Planes Fly Low
Cribbing from the play books of bands like Blondie, The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen, The Rosebud's Loud Planes Fly Low has one purpose and one purpose only: to get you to dance it out 80's style. By making this record more reimagination than rehash, The Rosebuds pull a neat trick here. Pulling from just about every single 80's band you ever loved, they somehow avoid sounding like anyone but the Rosebuds. It's refreshing and sentimental at the same time, and fits perfectly into this weeks apparent theme of really fun records.
And here's some other notable releases for this week:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - It's A Corporate World
I don't know why this is good, because they were pretty damninsufferable when we caught them live last month*, but it is. Sorta.
Battles - Gloss Drop
So far, this record is sort of scaring me. In a good way. I think.
Elisapie - There Will Be Stars
Ever wonder wtf "polar pop" was? Well now is your chance to find out. This is a nice little record from WAY up north.
Tedeschi Trucks Band - Revelator
HOLY GIANT F@#@ING BLUES SUPERGROUP BATMAN!!!
*In all fairness, Generationals opened and completely killed their set, so that might have jaded our opinion of the headliner slightly.