Friday, January 24, 2014

Some Music I Liked This Week

Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco has started releasing music from his upcoming LP, Salad Days, which drops this April Fools Day according to Captured Tracks. At this point, we'll assume it's not a joke, though DeMarco is certainly known for his shenanigans (NSFW). "Passing Out Pieces" is the latest release from the upcoming record.



Photo from Mexican Summer
Quilt, Held In Splendor. This is the second full-length record from the Boston trio and it's currently available for streaming over at NPR's First Listen. I'm going to check them out with my girlfriend at the 7th Street Entry in a couple of weeks.
"Quilt is the perfect name for this band, whose every song seems to seamlessly knit together at least three distinct tunes. There's a sense of adventure, shifting perspectives and surprise in these pop treasures, each of which feels like a long jam distilled to its essence. At their heart are harmonies and guitars that recall the golden age of The Byrds, whose own high, ringing guitar tones were mixed with two- and three-part vocal harmonies." 
 Bob Boilen, NPR Music


Since I became conscious of modern of music as a youth, Beck has been a fixture of the alternative rock scene (although I'm sure you could assign many other more colorful genres to him than alt-rock). It's almost assumed that I'll purchase a new Beck record when it's announced, but as I recently looked back on my Beck catalog, I realized how many of his latest records only occupied a small space in my memory - maybe only being able to recall one or two songs at best. I'm sure it's not a reflection on the quality of the compositions, but maybe more so their ability to resonate with me at the time.

Regardless, I just listened to the track "Blue Moon" from his forthcoming record, Morning Phase, and for the first time since I can remember, I'm genuinely enthusiastic for what's to come from Beck. I guess we're back on the same wave length. If the rest of the album hits me like this, I have a feeling you'll find it on my year-end list.


San Fermin

La Blogothéque never ceases to impress me with the variety and production of their Soirée de Poche or Take Away Shows. One of their latest features highlights the pipes of San Fermin's Holly Laessig (at least I'm assuming that's who she is), who's also one part of the group Lucius. The first song, "Sonsick," is my favorite track off of San Fermin's self-titled debut, which was composed by lead man Ellis Ludwig Leone. It's wonderful to hear that Laessig's voice is just as pure and piercing out on the street as it is in the studio.


Beats Music

Dr. Dre's Beats Music is the latest streaming service to throw their hats in the ring. It sounds like after they pick their hats up from the ring, they're hanging them on curated playlists and intuition. Much like services like Spotify, you'll be able to track down almost anything you want to hear on Beats Music, but unlike Spotify, it's not yet available to use on the web (and they don't claim that it will be) or for free for that matter (subscription is available for iOS and Droid devices - Windows devices will be served soon), but they also boast that you'll never hear an advertisement while using their service. I'm intrigued by a few of their features, but not enough to start paying for their services. I will be anxious to see how users, especially musicians, react to the service.
"Our curators are driven by a passion for music. They know the only thing as important as the song you’re hearing now is the song that comes next. Their expertise, combined with the best technology, always delivers the right music to you at the right time. What if you could always have the perfect music for each moment, effortlessly? Tell Beats Music where you are, what you're feeling and who you’re with and we'll serve you a unique stream of music that fits your situation perfectly. Nothing’s more individual than your taste in music. Choose your favorite genres and artists. Follow your favorite bands, experts or friends. Love or hate a song. It all helps us recommend music that’s right for you."
 - Beats Music

I asked Sondre Lerche about Beat Music, since he curates a few of my favorite Spotify playlists. I guess he's in.

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