Fluxblog

974 posts
  • How I Learned Not To Care MP3

    Foxygen “How Can You Really” One of my friends made a joke that Foxygen’s …And Star Power sounds “like disc 47 of the Their Satanic Majesties Request sessions box set,” and yes, it definitely does. (With a bit of Todd Rundgren in there too, I suppose.) This isn’t surprising – a lot of the best stuff on their previous record was flagrant Stones mimicry – but the thing here is how much it all feels li...

    17.10.2014

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    17.10.2014

  • It’s In His Kiss MP3

    Octo Octa “His Kiss” Octo Octa is so good at hitting this midpoint between dreaminess and excited energy – listening to “His Kiss” feels like being awake and totally thrilled in the middle of a particularly great dream. A lot of it comes from his taste in synth tones – everything just sparkles and floats, it’s almost too bright and light and perfect to be real. The vocal lo...

    27.11.2013

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    27.11.2013

  • Just You And Me, Baby MP3

    Charles Bradley “Strictly Reserved for You” Charles Bradley’s voice falls somewhere in the gap between a lot of the best male soul singers of all time – a bit of James Brown, a bit of Otis Redding, a bit of Al Green, a bit of Syl Johnson, and on and on. The downside, if there is a real downside to that, is that he can seem more like the idea of a soul singer than a distinct character in his o...

    26.11.2013

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    26.11.2013

  • All That I See MP3

    Factory Floor “Here Again” Factory Floor have a fairly narrow range – all of their songs follow more or less the same template of a repetitive groove that grows increasingly tense and heavy – but they are absolutely brilliant at what they do. “Here Again” is the closest they come to a pop song, partly because the vocals are very prominent, but mainly for the way it keeps adding b...

    25.11.2013

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    25.11.2013

  • My Guard Might Come Down Very Slow MP3

    Loud Family “Screwed Over By Stylish Introverts” Matt LeMay organized a tribute concert to Scott Miller on Saturday night at Cake Shop in New York City, and I was there to contribute a brief reading of Scott’s brilliant music criticism. There were a lot of performances – AC Newman, Ted Leo, Doug Gillard, Charles from The Wrens, Jennifer O’Connor, Home Blitz, Matt himself – but ...

    30.06.2013

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    30.06.2013

  • Just The Chemicals In My Brain MP3

    Lightning Dust “Diamond” Lightning Dust’s single “Diamond” has a cool, patient sound to it, but you can hear Amber Webber crack a little as she sings it, like she’s just barely holding back a tidal wave of emotion. She blames her feelings on the chemicals in her brain, and remains stoic when someone apologizes for not being in love with her, but as much as she tries to hold it to...

    26.06.2013

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    26.06.2013

  • You Need A Resolution MP3

    Quadron “It’s Gonna Get You” I’m not sure how you could make the keyboard and bass in this song scream “STEVIE WONDER!!!” any louder, but I’m not really complaining. This is a good sound for Quadron – right in the center of their retro soul deal, and highly flattering to Coco O’s voice, which actually comes closer to the tonality and phrasing of Stevie and yo...

    25.06.2013

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    25.06.2013

  • Tiny Outer Space MP3

    Candy Claws “White Seal – Shell & Spine” Candy Claws’s new album Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time Forever feels a little confusing at first, maybe because it seems so strange for a shoegazer album to feel so bright, hopeful, and sorta extroverted. At times the music sounds like Kevin Shields producing Os Mutantes or Burt Bacharach – comfortable, now archaic sounds of luxury an...

    24.06.2013

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    24.06.2013

  • Cash In The Mirror MP3

    Schoolboy Q featuring Kendrick Lamar “Collard Greens” Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to be a rapper who doesn’t produce their own tracks, and how they’re kinda at the mercy of whatever other people come up with, because it’s not as if every producer is tailoring their beats specifically for your technical skills. Beats get shopped around, you know? But this track is such a g...

    21.06.2013

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    21.06.2013

  • Loving With Nobody To Love MP3

    Kanye West “Bound 2″ “Bound 2,” the final track on Yeezus, is the one song on the record that feels like something that could have been on one of his first three albums. It’s also one of the album’s most emotionally knotty cuts – it seems to be, in its own way, a show of affection for Kim Kardashian, but half the lyrics seem either passive-aggressive, dismissive, or openly...

    19.06.2013

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    19.06.2013

  • We Hang Side By Side MP3

    Lorde “Swingin’ Party” Lorde’s cover of The Replacements’ “Swingin’ Party” is extremely minimalist – aside from some subtle percussion and a keyboard drone, it’s basically a cappella. And though the sad guitar arpeggios are one of the best and most beautiful things about the original, the silence of Lorde’s version is just as moving: The space w...

    18.06.2013

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    18.06.2013

  • Love Come And Go MP3

    J. Cole “Forbidden Fruit” I was going back and forth on whether or not it was genius or foolish for J. Cole to deliberately release his second album on the same day as Kanye’s Yeezus, but I think I’ve settled on the former. Born Sinner is nowhere in the same league as Yeezus, but it’s still very good, particularly as counter-programming. Cole’s aesthetic is much closer to where...

    16.06.2013

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    16.06.2013

  • An Endless Cycle MP3

    Deerhunter “Back to the Middle” The thing that really gets me about this song is the way Bradford sings about getting dumped in a way that sounds very fresh and naïve. I’m not sure whether he’s going for that specifically – he’s been open enough about his life experience that I think whatever inspired this probably was a new thing for him – but it perfectly captures t...

    14.06.2013

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    14.06.2013

  • A Shot In The Dark MP3

    Annie “Tubes Stops and Lonely Hearts” It took me a little while to notice that this song is called “Tube Stops and Lonely Hearts” and not “Tube Tops and Lonely Hearts,” which I think would be a much different sort of song. Tube stops is great, though – that context adds a lot to the song, which sounds more and more like someone feeling anxious and tired on the way home, and ...

    12.06.2013

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    12.06.2013

  • Promises Eternal Life MP3

    Boards of Canada “Nothing Is Real” The arrangement here is so subtle, and so brilliant: The core of the song is that lovely, repetitive piano motif, this thing that sounds halfway between a snippet of adult contemporary radio or some new age CD, but as it goes along, these more dissonant and uncomfortable sounds slowly emerge. First it’s like a vague fog, but as the track progresses, it’s li...

    11.06.2013

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    11.06.2013

  • My Seeds Marry His Seeds MP3

    Wu-Tang Clan “Family Reunion” Is this the most wholesome Wu-Tang song of all time? It must be. But the beautiful thing about this track is that the warmth and friendliness does not seem forced or awkward – this sounds like a bunch of guys in their 40s who are genuinely happy to see each other, and have put a lot of petty stuff behind them. It gets a little corny and maudlin – it’s sta...

    07.06.2013

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    07.06.2013

  • Do The Damage That Needs Gettin’ Done MP3

    Queens of the Stone Age “Smooth Sailing” I’d say that this is the best sleaze rock song of the year, but how much competition does it really have, even over the past several years? You can tell how much the band is delighting in the raunchiest of this song’s groove, but at the same time, you can also tell Josh Homme is smirking at his own lyrics. It’s an over the top parody of rock st...

    05.06.2013

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    05.06.2013

  • Restless Whispers And Cheats MP3

    Disclosure “F for You” There’s a lot of guest vocalists on Disclosure’s debut album, but the song that impresses me most, “F for You,” is sung by one of the two members, Howard Lawrence. Lawrence has a natural voice for this sort of house-pop hybrid – smooth and slick, just romantic enough to elevate the vibe without being so flashy that the vocal distracts from the beat. ...

    04.06.2013

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    04.06.2013

  • Frequent Rejection, Occasional Affection MP3

    Eleanor Friedberger “I’ll Never Be Happy Again” The mood of this song is very precise: A steady, low-grade sadness that slowly but surely downgrades all your hopes and expectations, but never feels too uncomfortable or painful. It sounds like a permanently overcast horizon. It’s a feeling that seems infinite, but doesn’t have to be. You can tell Eleanor knows this in the tone of her v...

    03.06.2013

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    03.06.2013

  • Darkly Obsessed So Sad MP3

    Glass Candy “The Possessed” Ida No and Glass Candy fake vintage NYC new wave/disco so real, they are beyond fake. Like a great period drama, they get the important details just right but know exactly where to run with artistic license, so their songs don’t just end up sounding like a bunch of scrapped Blondie demos. “The Possessed” is one of the best they’ve ever done – th...

    31.05.2013

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    31.05.2013

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