I’m over the moon for this record. I’m a frothing Dirty Beaches fan, and that biases my opinion a little, but there is a lot to love on this album. Alex Hungtai, AKA Dirty Beaches has let his guard down a little, and we’re seeing new sides of him and his mysterious persona. Coming off of 2011′s amazing full-length Badlands and some extensive touring, Dirty Beaches has clearly learned a thing or two, and he’s brought it to this new record.
Spanning 16 tracks over two discs, the album is a lot to digest, but that’s completely fine by me. Beginning in familiar territory off-the-bat with “Night Walk,” the first disc hits an apex with the 9-minute odyssey that is “Mirage Hall.” Love is the Devil is mostly instrumental, and sounds like it would/will make for a great film score. The entire album (both discs) is haunting and comforting at the same time, the ambience of the instrumentals is familiar, taking me back to the days when Godspeed! You Black Emperor first blew my mind with their epic soundscapes in my freshman year of university.
Alex described some emotional moments while recording elements of the album and it really shines through. It’s at once impactful and subdued, an album that might fade in to the background for a few tracks, before silently sneaking up and giving the listener a musical punch in the gut.
Fresh off of the release of a 23-song record, Montreal’s johnny_ripper has turned to remixing, with a compilation of such efforts to be released sometime in the near future. He takes this ethereal Heidi Harris song to another level by adding a snappy drumbeat apparently made by snapping branches and hitting glass.
Cool Dirty Beaches video!
Montreal’s Drug Train first came across our radar with the release of a (sadly now unavailable) Electric Voice split album. It has been quite some time since we heard anything from them, but clearly they were biding the time to release their excellent debut album. Now, after being picked up by esteemed French netlabel Beko (home of faves Chevalier Avant Garde), Drug Train have astounded us with a brand of lo-fi, drone-infused electro-pop. Each song on the self-titled album has a unique and distinct character; the Suicide thrash of opener “Bipolar,” or the subtly danceable breeze of “No One Cares.” The one through-line is the saxophone, and the way Drug Train showcases that wonderful instrument places it squarely with such luminaries as Colin Stetson or Bowie’s Berlin Era with its beautiful bleat. This will turn any nonbeliever into a devout follower, absolutely.
Dresden Dresses – C.L.V. (Life Is Life)
We can’t decide which Antoine we like better. Shirtless tattooed? Manicured crazy? Y’know, the Chicago Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs yesterday, so in solidarity to Nate Robinson, we’re going to have to go with Dennis Rodman jersey-clad Antoine. Clearly, the release of this video was timed perfectly with that heartbreaking defeat.
Mathias Mental is back again! This is, as far as we’re concerned, forever and always cause for excitement. This one is a little more guitar driven than some of his other work, and cleaves to his recent trend of singing in French. The bridge bit when the synths come in is perfect. This guy seems to just keep getting better.