Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Recently Released Album Obsessions

Here are some newly released albums at the library that are definitely worth listening to:

Vestiges and Claws by Jose Gonzalez
Find it in the catalog!
Regular fans of the Swedish/ Argentinian guitarist Jose Gonzalez will not be disappointed by his latest effort which has been eight years in the making.  The album features his signature distinctive brand of spare, gloomy folk music (a favorite of mine) that he showcased on his two previous albums, Veneer and In Our Nature.  However, this time out he has more complicated musical arrangements (featuring flute and cello) and a slightly more upbeat worldview.
Repeat tracks:  "Forest," "Let It Carry You," and "Open Book."

Kintsugi by Death Cab for Cutie
Find it in the catalog!
This latest release from indie rock band Death Cab is a duel break up album.  Not only is it the first album since lead singer Ben Gibbard's divorce from Zooey Deschanel, it also marks guitarist Chris Walla's departure from the band.  Loss haunts this album, and it's got some pretty great heartbreak tracks on it including "You've Haunted Me All My Life" and "Binary Sea." The music, however, remains relativity upbeat and poppy.  Chris Walla's distinctive guitar style is always a big draw on Death Cab albums, and Kintsugi is no exception.  His presence will be missed in the band (at least by me).
Repeat Tracks:  "Little Wanderer," "Everything's a Ceiling," and "Good Help (Is So Hard to Find)."

Magnolia Electric Co. by Songs: Ohia
Find it in the catalog!
Didn't It Rain by Songs: Ohia.
Find it in the catalog!
These two deluxe edition album reissues represent the finest work of the late musician Jason Molina.  For those unfamiliar with Molina, check out fellow Media blogger Jason's tribute to the singer. Songs: Ohia has sort of an alt-country sound that can achingly haunting at times (especially the back half of Didn't It Rain) or hard rocking (like the first half of Magnolia Electric Co.).  Molina's singing voice is deep and rich, and one of my favorite things elements of these albums is his vocals. If you haven't listened to Molina before, definitely check out both these LPs!  For hardcore fans, there are additional discs with demos and outtakes for each record.
Repeat Tracks:  I love all three of the last songs on Didn't It Rain: "Blue Factory Flame," "Two Blue Lights, and "Blue Chicago Moon."  Off Magnolia Electric Co., my favorites are: "Farewell Transmission," "Almost Good Enough," and "Just Be Simple."