Touché Amoré released their newest album, “Stage Four,” in September, so I’m listening to it a little later than I should be. I’ve always been a fan of Touché Amoré’s unique sound, and was fortunate to see them at a small show a few years ago when they played in upstate New York. Touché Amoré is one of those bands whose lyrics stick with me, much like La Dispute or Pianos Become The Teeth. I expected no less from this album, despite some warnings on YouTube and Twitter from fans critical of the release.
“Stage Four” is dedicated to frontman Jeremy Bolm’s mother who passed away from cancer in 2014. Similar to other releases from the band, the album is full of emotional lyrics and rhythmic guitar riffs. The death of Bolm’s mother is the overarching theme, evident in every song, especially “Displacement,” “Eight Seconds,” “Palm Dreams,” and “Skyscraper.”
I applaud you if you can listen to the entire tracklist and not feel emotionally vulnerable when you finish. It’s not something you can listen to on the way to class or driving through town with your friends. “Stage Four” is honest, heavy, and full of corporeal distress. The first song, “Flowers and You” (my personal favorite from the album), draws you in and keeps you listening through each brutally honest (but relatable) track after, finally ending with “Skyscraper.”
I read it best in a review from Stereogum by Tom Breihan: “The concrete details in ‘Stage Four’ are what sticks with me. There’s that line about avoiding the voicemail, or the one about needing to skip track two every time he listens to ‘Benji’ because it hits too close to home.” “Stage Four” will leaving you sunken in your bed, too weak to move as Bolm spills his guts in your ears. This album is everything we’re too afraid to share when we grieve, so it’s comforting to hear it from someone else.
You can listen to (and purchase) “Stage Four” through Touché Amoré’s bandcamp or website, and check out the music video for “Skyscraper” below (or here).
Pity Sex just released the video for 'Burden You' and announced an indefinite hiatus. Though the video is super cool, I'm incredibly salty about the hiatus, as Pity Sex is such a great band and was releasing such consistently good content. Watch below via YouTube.
Check out Pussy Riot's new single 'Straight Outta Vagina' now for a pussy powered anthem promoting pussy-first feminism.
Split 7-inch (Sorority Noise/The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die) By Susan McLean
Sorority Noise and The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die released a 7-inch split with 2 songs, 'Leaf Ellis' (Sorority Noise) and 'Smoke & Felt' (TWIABP) on Triple Crown Records. Both songs are lovely and fit well together on a split. Plus, the art is impeccable. Preorder here, and stream below via Soundcloud. Finally, read more here.
Listen to The Tallest Man On Earth preform new song 'Rivers' live on Pitchfork TV with strings and brass. Read more here
When I was fortunate enough to be recommended Rich Chigga’s music, I found his innocence in appearance, and subtle hints lyrically to be really enticing and interesting in a rap track. This remix removes that innocence, and rather than mainstream almost “socially acceptable” explicitness, it is simply strange. Visually, I thoroughly enjoyed the 18 wheelers decorated in neon like a Ferris wheel, and Rich Chigga’s signature fanny pack, shorts, polo and sneakers.
XXL comments that Ghostface Killah wanted to collaborate on a remix of “Dat $tick” as soon as I heard the track. For the sake of Rich Chigga getting his foot in the door within the American rap scene, and potentially the Wu-Tang Clan, I am extremely excited about this remix. Still, regarding “Dat $tick” I think the original is perfectly balanced between traditional rap themes and Rich Chigga’s inherent innocence. Rumor has it on XXL that Rich will have new music coming soon, and of course I’m looking forward to it.
The video for “Bring Yo Friends” opens with a 90’s style scene of a dated home decorated in the 70’s, and a couple settling in to watch television. And the remainder of the visuals are colorful and stimulating, but can be boiled down to Cadillacs, Benzs, urban landscapes and butts. Although, Tunji Ige and his boys are never in the scenes with the women…interesting. Both visually and lyrically, this track has the makings of being a successful mainstream radio hit. The looping audio contains the eerily familiar chirping “eh” from all party tracks from the last few years.
Personally, I think that Tunji Ige has a solid foundation, and potential. It would be great to see him push the boundaries a bit, and explore something different and specific to him.
Chris Martin of Hostage Calm (rip) released six songs titled 'The Demo' under the moniker 'Fight Song.' The tracks are decent and you can stream below via Bandcamp. The only thing that really gets on my nerves is titling a project 'Fight Song' as it's clearly a multiple song project, it is no longer a singular song. But whatever, obviously that's being picky and butthurt.
I'm genuinely super excited to see what comes of this project as I had a huge soft spot for Hostage Calm.
On another positive note, I really appreciate the art. Very cool, and the choice of blue is really aesthetically interesting and unexpected.
Read more here and support the project here.
There are precious few things as reliably entertaining and visually promiscuous as an of Montreal concert. Fireworks. Super Bowl half-time shows. Presidential debates in the year 2016.
When Kevin Barnes, faerie extraordinaire, cavorts onto the stage escorted by parasol-toting dancers (and sometimes riding a giant, ambiguous four-legged shaggy animal) everything happening outside the doors of that concert hall matters no more. Barnes creates for his audience their own private dimension, and he fills it with the weirdest things he can think of. If the concertgoer can tear their eyes away from the swaying, ambiguous figures on stage and focus their attention on the backdrop, they are in for a treat. I would be hard-pressed to detail even a fifth of the brilliant imagery woven into of Montreal's projection videos. There are many eyeballs. It's glorious.
The music on this tour in question is infused with the vicious electronic edge present on of Montreal's 2016 LP, Innocence Reaches. Barnes has reached back into his discography and retooled new music, old music, rarities and staples with the new and aggressive sound that dominates his 14th record. On past tours, he played guitar on nearly every song. On this tour, having fully metamorphosed into an immaterial Bowie-colored butterfly, he plays guitar on perhaps a third. Freed from that nine-pound block of mahogany and carrying only a microphone, his audience interaction is more personal than ever.
Kevin does not shy away from political and ethical commentary in his music, but he typically allows that commentary to dance in the abstract (on False Priest's closing track, for example, he sings "if you think some prophet's words are more important than your brother . . . you're ill . . . and you're wrong"). While he avoids taking easy shots at specific figures or movements in his music, he allows the props in his performances to express his political leanings in gleeful (and often, overtly sexual) abandon.
Only at an of Montreal show can one reliably expect to see a giant inflatable phallus with the face of Donald Trump, several equally androgynous costume changes, and amorphous iridescent body suits with the approximate texture of a puffer ball all in one night. And, at the merch table, his art director/brother David Barnes' glorious sculptures, covered in a multitude of small, odd protrusions and unlikely limbs.
There's a $20 bill in your wallet. What were you planning to spend it on? Gas? Coffee at Blue State? Durham Fair admission? Damn the coffee, I say, and damn the bunnies, bovines and artisanal alpaca wool outerwear! Let that $20 bill do what it is itching to do. Let it march right out of your wallet and into David and Kevin Barnes' sweaty outstretched palms. Catch of Montreal on this tour, their next tour . . . any tour. The experience is impossible to regret.
Hippo Campus released their new track 'Boyish' a few days ago, and though it's a little bit of a new sound, it doesn't disappoint. With thematic mentions of an apricot tree, and truths, the song is interesting and hopefully there's more of this coming our way. Listen below via Youtube. Art below from here.
What we're listening to.