Catching up on three weeks of Record of the Week. That’s a daunting task. It was made a whole lot less daunting though when you think about the quality of releases we’re talking about here. These things practically write themselves!
First and foremost is our Record of the Week for September 21st! Back after a nearly 15 year hiatus from releasing their last full length, Soundtracks For the Blind, the legendary Swans are back with their twelfth album, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope To the Sky.
A band reuniting after a 15 year hiatus, who had been around since 1982, could lose a step here or there. Not be nearly as involved. Not be nearly as captivating. This couldn’t be further from the case with Swans. Founder, Michael Gira, is just as intense as he’s always been, his croon sending shivers up your spine as sings of lost friends, throwing liars on the fire to keep warm, and other equally depressing topics.
Gira has adopted a lot since his last days as Swans, bringing a little bit of his Angels of Light moniker into the music. There is a gospel and western tinge to these tracks that weren’t immediately obvious on previous Swans releases. It all lends to this being one of the best albums of the year and one of the most crushingly depressing things you are bound to hear in a long while.
Listen to “Jim” from Swans’ My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
As a stark contrast to September 21st’s Record of the Week, September 28th’s Record of the Week is of the dreamy, ethereal sort with a brand new album by store favorites, Deerhunter.
We’ve long been a fan of just about anything Deerhunter frontman, Bradford Cox, has touched. His albums as Deerhunter have always gotten lots of love from us and his solo albums as the Atlas Sound haven’t been short of praise from our end either. You certainly aren’t going to see this love affair end anytime soon either as Deerhunter’s new album, Halcyon Digest, might just be one of their best.
With each album they step a little further out of the shadows that are reverb and delay and refine their songwriting more and more. They’ve stripped down to some very basic elements at times and even dip into more natural and acoustic sounds like the saxophone that comes in out of left field.
If you were a fan of Deerhunter’s previous albums, there is absolutely no excuse why you shouldn’t pick this up. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with Deerhunter yet, this is a great album to start with as it’s one of their finest efforts yet.
Listen to “He Would Have Laughed” from Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest
Our third Record of the Week comes from the very hazy 80′s throwback styling’s of Tamaryn. Bringing to mind Siouxsie Sioux or Elizabeth Fraser from Cocteau Twins, Tamaryn’s vocals are hushed and never confrontational, usually finding themselves melting into the mix along with the music.
They seem to be getting tagged under the genre shoegaze quite a bit but they seem to have more in common with bands like Cocteau Twins, leaning more towards the gothic dream pop vein than shoegaze. There might be a tinge of Slowdive here and there, but not enough to label them shoegaze completely.
The Waves is an album that flows together incredibly well, not just showcasing a couple killer tracks with a bunch of filler. That also means there isn’t that one “definitive” single on the album, which I have had no problem with. It’s an album you put on and just get absolutely lost in.
Listen to “Sandstone” from Tamaryn’s The Waves