The reviews I submitted to the Music Directors at KHOL today:
Panda Bear – Tomboy
Psych Folk, Dream Indie-Pop, Noise Rock
RIYL: Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Experimental
Noah Lennox was mostly an unknown member of Animal Collective until he wow-ed us all with his break-out musical experiment that is Panda Bear, with the album Person Pitch (2007). Now, with the much anticipated follow-up album, Tomboy, the name Noah Lennox will undoubtedly be remembered. The feel of Tomboy is more of a personal journey for Lennox. It starts off on more of a pych folk discovery with, “You Can Count On Me” and, “Tomboy” then moves into a dream indie-pop vibe with the head-bobber, “Slow Motion” and the lay-in-the-grass lovely tune, “Last Night At The Jetty.” Lennox gets more and more self-indulgent as the album goes on; getting into more long, experimental tracks such as, “Scheherezade”, “Friendship Bracelet” and “Afterburner” (which weighs in at almost seven minutes long.) Tomboy is the refreshing listen we need for Spring. But, just like Spring, there is sunshine in the beginning and then there are the long melts that hold beauty less obvious.
PLAY FIRST: 1, 2, 3, 5 DEEPER CUTS: 7, 8, 10, 11
Emilie Simon – The Big Machine
RIYL: Goldfrapp, Björk, Oh Land
Do you need some lady-powered, pop, dance music in your life? Then Emilie Simon is here to save you. This French native brings us upbeat, electronic songs with strong vocals that are almost theatrical. I can’t help but think of Simon performing, “Rocket To The Moon”, “Rainbow” and “Closer” as the main event of some kind of futuresque burlesque… and I mean that in the best kind of way. Fans of Simon’s have played her previous albums down to the bone and will not be disappointed with the long-awaited The Big Machine. (p.s. Watch out for track 10, “Fools Like Us”… I’m 92% sure some of the lyrics are French.)
PLAY: 2, 12, 7, 4, 1, 8, 9
Chris Bathgate – Salt Year
This sounds like if Chris Martin moved to Portland to record a bluegrass album but then married a hipster Yoko Ono who tried to indiefy everything.
Track 1 is my favorite. I dunno… the more I listen to it, the more I think I could maybe get into it. I think it’s just a tad off the mark… take a couple listens.