Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bjørn Torske - Byen

Usually electronic fans have to choose among trance, house and ambient.  But Byen, the new album by Norwegian producer Bjørn Torske, weaves all three into a pulsating, melodic, and thoroughly enthralling musical epic.  Other than the cinematic closing song, all of the tracks run for 7:44 or longer, and are packed with ideas.  But the listener never has to suffer filler.  This music is thoughtfully constructed.  Dance the long summer nights away, your soundtrack is here.

Bandcamp for Byen

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Babe Rainbow - Double Rainbow

We didn't intend this week to be "Australia" week, but it seems to be working out that way.  You hear people talking about wanting rainbows and ponies -- well, small horses are completely outside of our area of expertise (although we have dogs).  But rainbows?  We have rainbows.  In fact, we have Double Rainbow, by Byron Bay, Australia's Babe Rainbow.  And this 11-track gem is not only our album of the week, but it is likely one of our top 20 albums of the year so far.  The lads of Babe Rainbow mine deep veins of '60s psychedelic pop, and that alone would be sufficient to earn our joyful reception.  But this is an expansive, dynamic set of songs that touches on funky disco ("Eureka"), jazzy cabaret pop, folk, and indie pop while providing a full load of psychedelic vibes.

Picking highlight tracks is a fool's errand, but check out "Bella Luna" for a lovely song that reminds of '60s band Friends of Distinction (e.g. "Grazing in the Grass"), or "Eureka" for that funky disco.  Take the When You Motor Away Babe Rainbow challenge:  Listen to the album on Bandcamp and decide whether your really want to be without these songs for the rest of your summer.  There is only one answer.

Bandcamp for Double Rainbow

"I'm Right Here" by Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton

We have broad tastes, but we must admit that we like artists who are exceptional and prolific.  Of course, part of the reason is selfishness, as it makes our job easier.  But it also is better for you, the reader, as it makes it more likely that lazy people like us will bring you good music.  So we find ourselves featuring more music by Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton, whose debut album When It Ends graced these pages about three months ago.  In a happy but surprising turn of events, the duo are back again with "I'm Right Here", a new song from their soon their soon to be released second album, Keep On Trying.  The song perfectly showcases the magic that this collaboration offers.  The pop craftsmanship on this piano-driven track is top class, and vocal interplay is warm and uplifting.  Our appetites are duly whetted, and we eagerly await the album's other delights.  Fortunately, the wait won't be long.

Emma has been a member of bands and a solo artist, while Lachlan's solo work has paralleled his membership in The Ocean Party, which is one of our favorite bands.  Keep On Trying is out July 18 via Osborne Again Music.

Bandcamp for Keep On Trying
Osborne Again

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"Crossing Rivers (Away From You)" by Arcane Station

Let's start today with some smoking hot electro R&B from Bodø, Norway's Thomas Pettersen.  Performing as Arcane Station, he has worked with Marianne Hekkilæ to create "Crossing Rivers (Away From You)".  It is his sixth single (and second with Marianne on vocals), and should further accelerate his rise as a producer we should follow.  The single is available at all the usual digital outlets.

You Tube Music link

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Watoo Watoo - Modern Express

Time for us to be 'happy sad'.  We are sad because Michael and Pascale, the core members of French pop project Watoo Watoo, are calling time on the band.  We are happy because at least they are going out it fine style with a final LP -- the new Modern Express.  For their swan song, or swan songs, the duo remind us why we treasure their work.  The songs are melodic and richly detailed.  The scope covers classic French pop, but reflects the jazz and bossa influences, as well as the electropop of Broadcast and Stereolab.  The music is sweet and vital, and just makes us happy to be living.  Consider it the new soundtrack for your day, especially if you are dashing, footloose, and traveling around France in a cute sports car with an even cuter companion at your side.  Or just pretend -- this album will provide the inspiration.

Pascale and Michael are based in Bordeaux.  Both have other projects but collaborate after Michael creates some new music, gathers some friends to help with various instruments, and persuades Pascale to provide the vocals.  Modern Express is out now in digital and CD formats via Jigsaw Records.

Bandcamp for Modern Express

Monday, July 9, 2018

Melody's Echo Chamber - Bon Voyage

Our executive board has decided that the best way to kick off this week is with the broadly-conceived and joyfully performed psychedelic pop of Bon Voyage.  And while we don't actually get to say goodbye to anyone and travel to a better destination than our offices, this delightful album gives our minds and hearts a chance to explore and soar.  The seven inventive creations are the work of Melody Prochet, recording as Melody's Echo Chamber.  Prochet suffered a near fatal accident a couple of years ago, which delayed the release of Bon Voyage.  Her return with this album works well as a celebration of her return to health.  But more than that, it seems to reflect a new-found freedom to experiment without boundaries or expectations, because who knows what tomorrow will bring -- or whether tomorrow will even come.  This is an album of colorful textures and broad influences, superbly produced and performed with conviction and heart.  Happy Monday!

Bandcamp for Bon Voyage