The Decemberists released their eighth album, I’ll Be Your Girl, last month, and it saw the band moving in a notably different direction than their previous releases. With much more dominant synth parts featured in a number of the songs, it frequently sounds more inspired by New Order than by the prog rock and folk music influences of their earlier work. Perhaps the change is a direct reaction to coming off of last year’s Offa Rex, a collaboration with Olivia Chaney that saw them delving deep into the English folk rock stylings of bands like Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention. Regardless of the reasons for the shift in direction, the album has met with generally favorable reviews, and on Saturday night the group brought their tour for it to their Washington, DC fans at The Anthem.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from The Shins, who released their last album, Port of Morrow, in 2012. In the time since, bandleader James Mercer released the second album by his side project with producer Danger Mouse, Broken Bells. The band resurfaced last year with a new single, “Dead Alive,” and their long-awaited fifth album, titled Heartworms, finally came out this year in March. It’s a varied album, which finds Mercer taking the now classic sound of The Shins and expanding on it to make his most experimental record yet. The band has embarked on extensive touring for the album, playing shows on the west coast in March and swinging over to the east coast this month. They played the closest show to DC that they currently had booked to a sold out crowd at The National in Richmond on Wednesday night.
First Aid Kit – The Lion's Roar
The Soderberg sisters have grown up in a hurry and keep getting better. This alternately beautiful and haunting album doesn’t have a weak spot on it, and a guest appearance by the Felice Brothers (among many others) makes for a fun ending.
Dent May - Do Things
The album we all wish the Beach Boys had released this year, Do Things was the best album of the summer and, it turns out, one of the most fun records of the year.
How do you get to be a writer for ChunkyGlasses? Apparently win tickets to a Damien Jurado show. Justin came to us out of a shared love of music, won his tickets to a sweet show, then threw in a "BTW...I can write and s@#@." And guess what? He wasn't kidding. He's got a Master's in the @#@$. Pair that with a deep appreciation and knowledge of music both old and new, and our newest addition to the team has turned out to be a total winner...even if he happens to like that damn Japandroids record much as the rest of you other ingrates.
In this installment of ChunkyGlasses we boldly go where no podcaster has gone before...or at least no intelligent podcaster...and take Harris along for the ride for good measure. Listen in as we discuss new releases from Damien Jurado, The Wooden Sky and more (See the complete list, with ratings and links below). So grab a seat, grab a beer and strap in because, well, what else have you got to do?