“Little Dark Age” by MGMT

MGMT have just released their promising new single and title track for their upcoming album “Little Dark Age”.  Hopefully this album will be a return to the magical form of Oracular Spectacular and Congratulations.

 

– MCG.

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Relatives in Descent by Protomartyr

I’ve been listening to this album nonstop since it came out yesterday.  I’m a big fan of their previous two efforts but I think they really got everything to click with this one.  It’s perfectly controlled chaos.  It builds and crashes out of nowhere.  It’s the feeling of rolling down a mountain with no brakes while laughing uncontrollably.  It’s thrashable and it’s danceable at the same time.  This is a master class in post-punk.

“Day I Die” by The National

Admittedly, I don’t like how album roll-outs are going this year, with half the album being released as singles before the album comes out.  It kind of takes away from the luster and excitement of hearing it all as a whole piece of music for the first time.  That said, I don’t have enough self-control to wait when it comes to one of my favorite bands (“they made me looooose my, self controoooool, my self controoollllll”), so here’s another new jam by The National.

Sleep Well Beast is out September 8th and I can’t fucking wait.

 – MCG.

Album Review: The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

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The War On Drugs’ music sets a certain mood very well.  I liken it to the feeling I got when I first heard Radiohead; it’s a calming, peaceful feeling that induces bouts of melancholy.  I’m not comparing The War On Drugs to Radiohead in any way, all that I’m saying is that I feel the same sort of self-reflecting existential dread when either band is playing.  It’s a strange feeling, very unique to certain experiences.  It’s heavy, it’s sad, it’s happy, and most of all it’s beautiful.

The War On Drugs’ previous two releases, Slave Ambient and Lost In The Dream are  great, and I have spent a fair amount of time with both of them.  It seems as though Adam Granduciel is a very meticulous person, at least with his art, and with this latest release he has compounded, concentrated, and improved upon everything he’s previously done, amounting to something truly epic.  If he was an artificial intelligence program, before now he was an extremely efficient one that got the job done just about perfectly, as he was programmed to do.  On A Deeper Understanding, he became self-aware, which allowed him to make the necessary adjustments to not only produce something as great as he is capable of once more, but to improve upon it in a way that was previously thought to be unattainable.  It’s a culmination of his lifetime experience as a musician that has been arranged and sequenced into a sprawling and absolutely gorgeous journey.

Take, for example, the slightly off-center highlight of the album, “Thinking of a Place”.  It was the first single released back in April of this year, and has been an unavoidable entity in my life since.  It’s eleven minutes long, and so in the traditional sense of a “single” it makes the least sense out of any song on the album, but it exists as a microcosm of the calculated wandering and transcendent perfection achieved on the album as a whole.


By stepping outside of his own box he was able to view everything from a new vantage point, shore up the weaknesses, and improve on the already unique and enthralling strengths.  It’s a great leap forward, which makes me wonder about where he can go from here.  I’m looking forward to bearing witness.

  A Deeper Understanding is out everywhere 08.25.17.

 – MCG.

“Carin at the Liquor Store” by The National

This is the third single from their new album entitled Sleep Well Beast, out 09.08.17.  I was a bit worried after “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness”, but “Guilty Party” and this new song are just experimental enough while still holding on to that same beloved feeling that The National always brings.

 

– MCG.

One of the Best Songs of 2016 Thus Far.

Hamilton Leithauser, the vocalist of The Walkmen, and Rostam Batmanglij, the mastermind behind Vampire Weekend, are releasing a collaborative album next week.  This is the first single off that album which they recently performed on The Late Show.  The song is epic, and this performance of it is even more epic.  Enjoy.

“A 1000 Times” by Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam Batmangli

– MCG.