The Albums You Need to Know About Every Week
This week’s best releases are all from bands who have all been around the block at least once. Sleigh Bells, fun., Frankie Rose, and Princeton are all releasing the dangerous, all-important sophomore album, while Grimes and Jonquil are proving their stamina with album number three. Sonically, the albums are all across the board and totally unique, but they do manage to have one thing in common: a strong, progressive point of view that manages to push the envelope yet maintain the magic of previous work.
FUN. – SOME NIGHTS
Last week fun. (@ournameisfun) graced the world with an early stream of their second LP Some Nights, but the album officially drops today. Some Nights sees the band taking a slight departure from the more traditional indie-pop roots they showcased on debut Aim & Ignite, as there is a decidedly evident hip hop influence (and an unfortunate amount of unnecessary auto-tune). However, true fun. fans will recognize the quirky, clever lyrics and unique melodies (sung ever so expertly by vocalist Nate Ruess) that have made fun. such an awesome band from the beginning.
SLEIGH BELLS – REIGN OF TERROR
Sleigh Bells (@sleighbells) skyrocketed towards relevancy quickly following the release of their debut album Treats in 2010. With their new effort, Reign of Terror, they have decided to stick to the same formula — sweet female vocals and jarring electric guitar over hardcore hip hop beats. There are subtle differences between album one and two, most notably Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss’s new exploration of a slightly darker, more atmospheric approach. For the most part, though, Reign of Terror is a natural progression of Sleigh Bells’ sound. When something works, don’t mess with it.
GRIMES – VISIONS
Claire Boucher is only 23, but under the Grimes (@grimezsz) moniker she’s already released 2 full-length albums and an EP. Today marks the release of her latest and best album to date. Visions is a clearly focused record that makes good use of Boucher’s obvious expertise in the studio. More than just the Grimes signature of cutesy vocal loops placed over percussive electronic elements, Boucher uses her technical talent to create a moving texture, put in place well after the instrumental tracks were laid down. The songs here make up an extremely cohesive record that is ethereal and mysterious, but also interesting and accessible.
FRANKIE ROSE – INTERSTELLAR
If there’s anyone who knows about girl group garage pop, it’s Frankie Rose (@missfrankierose). With stints in bands like Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Stilts, and her own Frankie Rose And The Outs, she certainly knows what she’s doing when it comes to 1960s influenced fuzzy guitars. However, her new record, Interstellar, leaves behind the expected motifs often associated with her signature genre in favor of something more dreamlike. Sure to open up a new territory for an artist who is bound to be around for a while, Interstellar is a confident album of big ideas and sounds more massive than anything Rose has previously released.
PRINCETON - REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS TO COME
A common occurrence on sophomore albums, Princeton’s (@princetonmusic) second LP is more creative, more ambitious, and less conventional than their debut. While Cocoon of Love relied on traditional guitar rhythms and established song structures, Remembrance Of Things To Come is more orchestral and explores other musical genres in addition to the band’s sweet spot of laid-back California indie rock. Minimalism, dance-inspired songs, and layered strings all characterize this excellent release.
JONQUIL – POINT OF GO
UK-based Jonquil (@jonquilband) have previously released two albums together, but their latest, Point Of Go, will be unique in many ways. Previously a 6-piece band, Jonquil has dwindled down to four members, and Point Of Go also employs much more sophisticated recording techniques. While most of Jonquil’s older material was recorded in bedrooms and DIY studios, Point Of Go got the full professional studio treatment. These new changes may serve to broaden the band’s audience — all of the members say that the songs here are more mainstream than anything they’ve released before.