Image: Nina Hartmann
Skin Lieutenant - My Teenage Stride
From Lesser Demons (eMusic), Myspace
Image: Liu ZhengLCD - Mathematicians
Image: Brian Finke
Lights & Music (Superdiscount remix) - Cut Copy
From Lights & Music EP (Amazon, eMusic), Myspace
Image: Mary Coble
Lions After Slumber - Scritti Politti
From Early (Amazon, eMusic), Myspace
Image: Suzy Poling
Navigate, Navigate (Loving Hand remix) - These New Puritans
Image: Ringl & PitLos Ninos Del Parque - Liaisons Dangereuses
From Disco Not Disco 1974-1986 (Amazon, eMusic), Myspace
Image: Levi van Veluw
Converging in the Quiet - Crystal Stilts
From Crystal Stilts (eMusic), Myspace
Image: Hellen van Meene
Kast - Silje Nes
From Yellow (eMusic), Myspace
Zip file of April mix
Smallest in the crowd
Image: Cathy CullisI Don't Feel Young - Wye Oak
A lot of indie pop bands, to their credit, recast the misery of being young and awkward and self-conscious as a magic of infinite possibility, constant discovery and profound connections. But what of that unaddressed misery--the lack of control, the sense that you speak too fast and laugh too loud and can't trust anyone enough to unburden the lead backpack of secrets from your shoulders? Wye Oak speaks of the purgatorial space between not feeling young but not being old enough to do anything about it. In words, but also in sound, engulfing singer Jenn Wasner's unhappiness in a snowstorm of buzzing cymbals and loud liquid guitar chords.
From If Children (eMusic, Amazon), Myspace
Cathy Cullis' poetic textile and mixed media collages (see above).
Jezebel's mad, literary letterpress cards.
All hail second albums
Image: wondercabinetI Feel Better - Frightened Rabbit
I didn't really see it before, comparisons to fellow Scots, The Twilight Sad. But now that Frightened Rabbit has traded their small-scale art songs for broad mural-scope anthems with dramatic instrumental builds, the points of convergence are coming into focus. The band's lyrical pessimism and Scott Hutchison's mournful voice works both in scrappy and -- on the new album The Midnight Organ Fight -- ambitious modes. So whether you'll like the new album better or worse than Sings the Greys is probably going to be an aesthetic, not a critical, choice. I'm a little leery about a few Coldplay-falsetto moments, but there are plenty of awesome, ultra-catchy tracks here like "Modern Leper" (I posted a live version last year), "Good Arms vs. Bad Arms," "Floating in the Forth" and "I Feel Better." The last works in sort of a"You're So Vain" vein. Hutchison promises "This is the last song I ever sing about you," but the way he chants "I feel better and better" like he's shredding the sofa with his teeth, suggests otherwise.
Previous posts on Frightened Rabbit here, here, here, here and here. Buy The Midnight Organ Fight (Amazon), Myspace.