Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Music Tuesday

Sometimes Tuesdays feel like Christmas. With all the anticipation and build-up of what's inside that strangely-shaped box wrapped with that giant red bow, opening the present either results in massive disappointment or utmost exultation. And so occasionally the music industry's designated day for new album releases carries with it that same excitement and anxiety, specifically when a highly-touted new act with previously leaked tracks finally gives us their first full-length.

For months we've been teased with the same two or three tracks from Next Big Thing Vampire Weekend. Well today their self-titled debut finally dropped, and it truly is a gift. With a throw-back sound recalling Peter Bjorn & John, the NYC quartet moves quickly through each track (the whole album is a brief 35 minutes) of post-new wave pop. Perhaps it is simply that each song is only two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half minutes long, but not a single one dissatisfies. "A-Punk" may be the preppiest punk ballad ever, but it may also be the most accessible and enjoyable, and "I Stand Corrected" is a pleasant admittance of wrongdoing that denies refusal of forgiveness. Added to previously released/leaked "Mansard Roof", "Oxford Comma", and "Walcott" - each duly creating the aforementioned hype - this is a most promising debut. Let's hope they get to the middleCoast soon. In the meantime, enjoy the mp3 for "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", the reason for all the Paul Simon comparisons:

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Make friends at http://www.myspace.com/vampireweekend.

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Joining in the gift-giving this holly Tuesday are Portland duo The Helio Sequence, with their fourth release (their second for Sub Pop), Keep Your Eyes Ahead. These indie rockers have always been masters of creating atmosphere, and the soaring guitars and ethereal vocals on "The Captive Mind" and title track "Keep Your Eyes Ahead" continue that virtuosity. What Helio Sequence manages to pull off on this most recent LP, though, is to evoke shades of (dare we say it?) Bob Dylan. "Shed Your Love" is gorgeous melancholy, a tale of love lost and the self found. Finale "No Regrets" has all the country thump and lo-fi production of a Guthrie-cum-Zimmy track, harmonica and all. The two styles combine for cultivated collection of truly endearing dream pop.

Unfortunately, the closest these fellas are planning on getting to the middleCoast is Denver, so you can check out their live performance from today's KEXP broadcast here, or enjoy the mp3 for "Lately" here:

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Make friends at http://www.myspace.com/theheliosequence.

-jT

1 comment:

JenniferToo said...

Where would we be without you?