D é N O U E M E N T S

Bat For Lashes: “Laura” (Music Video)

http://vimeo.com/46386587

A string of songs with names of people as titles: Fur and Gold has “Prescilla” and “Sarah,” Two Suns‘ “Daniel” and two songs about her alter-ego Pearl (“Pearl’s Dream” and “Siren”) and now “Laura” for the upcoming The Hunted Man. Natasha Khan has skillfully and sometimes peaks into laudability in projecting different versions of “herself” in her songs, herself as a representation of the way she sees herself, she is seen, hopes to be seen and even as the contrast of all these . It could be taken that the characters made up for a “concept” is one imbibed out of frustration, desires or foretelling fate. In any occasion, it is the practice of this that makes a musician’s work a lot less boring and self-centered, than, let’s say referencing “I” and “me” all throughout the record. This, however, does not mean that the characteristics taken into life by these projections reflect the reality of its maker, like say how Two Suns ventures into  cosmic-astro consciousness.

Except for “Daniel,” listeners are given a glimpse of that thinking, especially through Pearl where she is portrayed as a threatening yet loving persona— an inclination for affection but a powerlessness to her uncontrollable nature. “Till the siren come calling, calling/ It’s driving me evil, evil/ I was a heart breaker, I loved you/ The same way I do/ But I’ve got so much wickedness and sin/ My name is Pearl/And I’ll love you the best way I know how/My blonde curls slice through your heart,”  Kahn confesses in “Siren.”

I got into this thing again when I heard Khan’s latest “Laura.” The name title did not come as a surprise but the words and the sparse piano reminiscent of a delicate Antony and the Johnson’s song moved me.

As her most dedicated work to date, the track sets itself apart from former Bat For Lashes songs, devoid of towering percussions and mounting build-ups. “Laura” slowly forms a fragile center which the befallen star stands still, ageing, lost of crown and “stuck in a pale blue dream.” The former diva, alluded in its storytelling, has gone past the glitter of fame. Like someone very dear to her, Khan charms her about the days of her reign (“can we dance upon the tables again?”) and memories remain like a burning euphemism, she declares “You’ll be famous for longer than then/ You’re name is tattooed on every boy’s skin/ Oh, Laura, you’re more than a superstar!” 

The music video for “Laura” is directed by Noel Paul of That Go collective that visually explores the story within the song. A perfect companion, Paul’s work elaborates more with dramatic shots of Laura with whom Khan slow-dance for a while. Like a meeting of the present and the future, the dance works like a mirror which assumes that Khan could be singing a song to herself, a possible track to listen to when she herself has aged. Really powerful stuff to ponder about.

DOWNLOAD “Laura” by Bat For Lashes. (Updated external link)

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Filed under: Not Your MTV, Song/MP3 Parade, , , , ,

Crystal Castles: “Plague” (MP3)

Things just got a bit crazier that I had to break my blogging hiatus (ha!) for this new Crystal Castles track. Yesterday was a surprise SBTRKT track “Gloss” and now we have “Plague” from the Canadian goth electronica duo. Ethan and Alice has been quiet some time now since I last heard them work with Robert Smith for the “I’m Not In Love” redux. Their absence could be taken as a preparation for a new album after, well, Crystal Castles since they name their albums same all the time. In the new track, like its title, “Plague” diffuses into wild energy through its rousing beats and synths as Alice, sounding like the bearer of the havoc, screams her way through the chorus. “I am the plague,” she assures repeatedly as the track closes into an abrupt end. The track is up for download via the group’s Soundcloud page. I reckon that a new album will be soon on the way.

Crystal Castles: “Plague”

DOWNLOAD “Plague” here.

Filed under: Song/MP3 Parade, , , ,

THEIR LIST: Best of 2012, So Far

Based on experience, it is quite a task catching up with all the records coming out. It is a hit-or-miss as we scour through these releases and find the gems of which blogs adorn with high-praises as Best New Music or Best New Album, whatever they call it. Thinking of great amount of time listening to each hottest record of the moment, the potentiality of -not-my-things always prevails when it comes to really getting the music we like.

Last year I came up with this idea of making an aggregated list of all the lists published by numerous blogs all over the Internet with some of my favorite reads added in. Out of intention of creating a one paged-entry that sums up their choices, I hope a reader can make out the standouts by “leafing” through this list. Few weeks late but still a one-year old tradition is up!

RCRD LBL: 2012 Halftime by Carter Maness

Beach House – Bloom
Lee Hazlewood – LIH Years (Reissue)
The Walkmen – Heaven
Mount Eerie – Clear Moon
Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

THE LINE OF BEST FIT: Favorite Albums of 2012 So Far (This particular list is really messy and random. It was hard choosing the best five out of it. So I opted to get the first five out the two part entries LOBF has published.)

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
Errors – Have Some Faith In Magic
Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
Sharon van Etten – Tramp

MUSIC FOR KIDS WHO CAN’T READ: Best Album of 2012 So Far (First five, too.)

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
Hospitality – Hospitality
Shearwater – Animal Joy
Grimes – Visions
Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

MIND EQUALS BLOWN: Top Albums of 2012 (So Far)

John Mayer – Born And Raised
Gojira – L’enfant Sauvage
Cherri Bomb – This Is The End Of Control
No Trigger – Tycoon
Schoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions

STEREOGUM: from Top 25 Albums of the Year

1. Cloud Nothings- Attack on Memory
2. The Walkmen- Heaven
3. Chairlift- Something
4. Japandroids- Celebration
5. Beach House- Bloom

BANDCAMP HUNTER: Other Bandcamp favourites from the first half of 2012

Secret Mountains- Winter Sessions
New Myths- New Myths EP
Gunn-Truscinski Duo- Ocean Parkway
eyes, wings and many other things- Napalm Beach
Lower Plenty- Hard Rubbish

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Album Commentaries, , , ,

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