Kongos have released another set of stunning songs and decided to explore another human condition in their Lunatic follow up album, Egomaniac. Although Egomaniac keeps that distinct Kongos sound, catchy rock with heavy drums influenced by African drummers of burundi, this new album is definitely an evolution. With these 13 new tracks comes a distinctly more pronounced electronic influence and all around bigger production and larger sound. There has also been a noticeable shift in tempo and while listening to songs like Autocorrect, Take It From Me, and Repeat After Me I couldn’t help but imagine how great they would be in a live context, especially compared to their mostly slow to mid tempo songs from Lunatic.
While Lewis Del Mar might have taken a straightforward name for their debut EP, entitled “EP”, there is nothing plain about the music it contains. A perfect combination of acoustic and heavy alternative, Lewis Del Mar is intense but not overwhelming, unique but accessible, and sparse yet complex. Their sound features an ever-present acoustic guitar which is refreshing to hear on a more powerful canvas of sound which also incorporates samples of percussion and old Latin records.
Jack Garratt’s debut album, Phase, is once again a beautiful challenge to describe. You could call it alternative music, but all in all this masterpiece cannot be contained to one genre. Beat heavy electro blues pop that uses acoustic instruments just as readily as synths is just a sample of what he brings to these twelve tracks (or nineteen if you’re looking at the deluxe album). Of course, as always there is his majestic voice readily soaring through the complex sonic backdrop. His accessible hooks make songs that may be overly strange at first into an undeniable dance party. Even that’s not mentioning his beautiful simple tracks like the folky I Know All What I Do and the quiet closing track My House is Your Home which is a sad quiet goodbye at the end of the album.
After four years of having Matt Corby at the top of my bands to see list, I knew it was going to be difficult to have my expectations reached. That being said, when I saw Matt Corby on January 29th, my hopes were not only met but absolutely shattered by his mind blowing performance. When Matt walked on stage at the Pheonix Concert Theatre he was met by a deafening roar of adoring fans who had been waiting years to catch what was his first ever Canadian show. Instead of going straight into song, he silenced the sold out crowd, thanking us for coming and saying apologetically that he would be playing some new songs tonight (as though we didn’t come hoping to catch a preview of his long awaited debut album, Telluric!)
Even though Awolnation’s sophomore album Run certainly gave fans enough unique music to obsess over for a lifetime the band has decided to bless us with Wichita Panama, a B-Side that didn’t make the album. Wichita Panama is pretty typical Awolnation- which is to say, it’s not typical at all. With prominent beats, trumpet, and instantly likable catch lines sung or melodically shouted in Aaron Bruno’s distinctive voice, Wichita Panama stays accessible but also unpredictable.
Wichita Panama is the first song released as a part of Redbull’s 20 before 16 exclusive where they will be sharing 20 new songs over 20 days to bring in the new year. You can listen to Wichita Panama on their website here!
Check out my review of Awolnation’s sophomore album Run here
Find out if Awolnation will be playing live near you here
From Candy to Dopamine, BØRNS continues to provide a sugar rush of music on his first full length album. If you’ve been following BØRNS, Dopamine contains six brand new songs (out of the 11 tracks), none of which fall short of the high expectations he’s already set with songs like the cleverly catchy “Electric Love” or heart stirringly gorgeous “The Emotion”, both of which feature on this brilliant debut.
If you like Vampire Weekend, you should listen to their bassist Chris Baio’s new solo album, The Names. If you don’t like Vampire Weekend, you should still listen to The Names. Heck, if you just came up from that rock you’ve been living under and have no clue who Vampire Weekend are, you should still listen to Baio’s masterpiece, The Names. That’s because Baio’s first full length album isn’t just a Vampire Weekend side project: its 5 years of work, the product of which is uniquely Baio. Here are ten things to think about while listening to The Names: