Brighton, UK based duo IYES only have one released tune to their name at the moment, and there isn’t a lot of available information about them either. In fact, all I know so far is that 1) they are opening for Born Gold in Brighton and 2) their debut demo is pretty damn good. It’s a simmering, synth-laced pop groove with coed vocalists and more than a hint of The xx bubbling through the melody. Take a listen and enjoy.
Listening to Phonte rap is like breathing in a deep breath of fresh air. He brings you something original, clever, honest and on point. Phonte tells it how it is, nothing over exaggerated. His word play is second to none and keeps you engaged in what he is saying. But if y’all had payed attention during his stint in Little Brother then y’all already knew this. Tigallo has quickly become a bright star in an already impressive galaxy of MCs that have graced my headphones over the years so check out this latest gem featuring Median.
Buy Charity Starts At Home on 2xLP from Insound. Check out the video for the track on Vimeo.
Initially I was convinced I’d never find a good meal to pair Fiona Apple’s latest album with. In some regards, it appears to be not particularly Turntable Kitchen friendly. First of all, the title of her new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, is far too long to fit within the space we’ve reserved for our headings here at TK. If I tried to write it all out, the text would spill over the date and into the picture when viewed from our homepage. That is a small issue, but it also works for a symbol of how non-pliant this album initially appears to be as a whole.
On first blush, The Idler Wheel (as I’ll refer to it for the remainder of this review) is a really difficult album to suggest as a musical pairing with any recipe. After all, it’s very clearly not intended as background music. In fact, it pretty much demands you pay attention to it. What’s more, there are no traditional singles on the album (the closest cuts would be “Werewolf” and “Periphery”) and very few elements in her current songwriting efforts that could be referred to as a “hook.” Further complicating our pairing is that the track “Regret” involves a pretty unappetizing line about a specific bodily fluid that is repeated over and over again.
And yet, I’d argue that all of those factors that make it a difficult pairing actually make it perfect dining music. After all, the purpose of pairing music with food is to create a memorable experience. My most memorable food and music experiences have rarely involved “easy” music. Nonetheless, to keep the experience balanced The Idler Wheel definitely needs a pairing it can compliment and one that won’t be completely overshadowed by Apple’s aggressive songwriting. With all of that in mind, I think the album actually pairs quite well with Kasey’s recipe for Farro and Cherry Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette.
The recipe, like the album, is a blend of competing elements. The cherries are sweet. The farro is meaty and chewy. The spinach is leafy and green. The champagne vinaigrette is sour and aromatic. These ingredients blend together beautifully for a complex and tasty dish. Apple’s album is similarly complex balancing beauty and vulgarity; crafting sparse instrumentation into complicated arrangements; and collapsing hook-less melodies into catchy compositions.
Indeed, Apple’s fourth full-length album is carefully layered with a blend of both unique and traditional instrumentation: piano, guicharo, auto harp, string harp, teisco guitar, “pillow,” thigh slaps, tympany, drums, bass keyboard, truck stomping, bouzouki, marimba, etc. That list would suggest that the album would be lush and orchestral, yet it’s actually quite sparing in instrumentation. When Apple performs live she is accompanied by a team of very talented musicians. Yet from the very beginning there can be no question that she is the star of the show. And, it’s not just because it’s her name is on the marquee. Her voice easily cuts through everything that surrounds it. She is the star because she commands your attention. And the same can be said of every tune on The Idler Wheel.
That is not to suggest that the instrumentation supporting her is an after thought. To the contrary, every beat, note or background field recording has been meticulously placed. In fact, there can be no question that all unnecessary bits have been thoroughly scrubbed from the recording. And yet many of these somewhat sparse compositions would sound lovely and engaging even if Apple left her talented voice at home. The piano on “Werewolf” is bright and clear. Little flourishes fill in nooks and crannies in the melody. It builds into cascading piano rolls and tense percussion. And all along Apple’s vocals rise and fall effortlessly drifting from sweet and gentle to growling and aggressive. “Periphery” literally shuffles open into a springy piano-led melody feathered out by the sound of feet shuffling rhythmically through gravel. Each of the melodies rely upon little accompaniment. As a result, it’s hardly surprising that the most “crowded” space on the entire album is packed to the gills with little more than Apple’s own voice layered repeatedly upon itself on the closing track “Hot Knife.”
So, yeah, despite it’s initial appearance it’s my opinion that The Idler Wheel is actually “anytime” music. At least for anytime you want to listen to a beautiful and memorable album featuring masterly compositions and amazing vocal performances. If you hadn’t heard it yet, The Idler Wheel is a pretty damn good album.
Some of my mixes come together quickly and some are harder to piece together. For whatever reason, the July 2012 Mix was one of the harder mixes to piece together. Nonetheless, in the end I think it came out quite nicely and I think you’ll agree. We’ve got blazing hot new music from Frank Ocean, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Tame Impala, Sean Blackthorn, Lord Huron, and Flying Lotus (feat. Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler no less). There are also jams by newcomers including Leif, Young Hunting, Seatraffic, Yuna, The People’s Temple (who we were introduced to by our newest contributor Robert), and Arc In The Round (who we were introduced to by our friend Bruce). There are some interesting covers and some engaging remixes. There is indie rock, indie r&b, a little electronica, and some hip hop. Yup, the July 2012 Mix might just have it all. And now you do too.
Also, you may have noticed that we’ve had a few changes around here recently. For example, you may find the Turntable Kitchen Market of particular interest. At the moment we’re selling a few items including a pair of specially designed TK shirts. We’ve only had a limited number of the shirts made and they are selling pretty quickly. Order before the end of the week and we’ll throw in a few goodies leftover from our previous Pairings Boxes.
“Never Tear Us Apart” was released by Australia’s INXS late in the summer of 1988. It was a huge pop hit charting at #7 in the United States. It was often thought of as the anthem for INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, and was even selected by his family and friends to be played as his coffin was carried out of Saint Andrews following his untimely death in 1997. The sensual jam has been covered a ridiculous number of times including by everyone from Carrie Underwood to Bono. I’ve included three indie takes on the tune here.
The version by St. Vincent recorded with Beck, Os Mutantes, and Liars for Beck’s Record Club is heart-achingly beautiful. The talented musicians supporting Clark create a twinkling and orchestral backdrop to accompany her powerful and lovely vocals. The Great Book of John turn the track into a floor-board stomping blues rocker complete with a driving rhythm section led by a grungy bassline and softly crooned vocals. Finally, the version recorded by The Twilight Sad is really, really, startlingly Scottish. I’d pair it with haggis, Sean Connery, and 18 holes of golf. It’s that Scottish.
You’ve no doubt heard that The xx are poised to release their sophomore album Coexist on September 11. In fact, they’ve already released the first single “Angels” from the album. It’s sparse, velvety and as hot as wax dripping from smooth white candles.
As you might imagine, it’s already getting the remix treatment from pretty much everyone on the Internet. As you can also no doubt imagine, most of those remixes aren’t particularly interesting or good. Thankfully, folks like Bodhi are out there working hard to justify the remix as an artform with his lush, newly composed version of the slow burning ballad. Hear his take and the original below.
There is nothing worse in the life of a blogger when you dig a track from a bandʼs new record, only to realize its from that same band you completely ignored the year before. Case in point with The Soft Pack. The San Diego outfit have put together a killer of a single with “Saratoga” but it made me realize that I should have checked out their self-titled 2011 debut. The new album Strapped sees a September 25th release date.
I’ll probably be experimenting with the formatting of the Single Servings posts for the next few weeks to find something I like. However, instead of featuring one new track per post, I’m planning on featuring a collection of new singles in each Single Serving post. I really really feel compelled to try to keep tings neat and orderly, so I may try to lump all the Soundcloud-hosted tracks into one Single Serving post, all of the Bandcamp tracks into the following Single Serving post, and then the free downloadable tracks into another. Anyways, if you have any feedback I encourage you to share.
This week we have four new tracks to share including a really sunny remix of Notorious B.I.G. by Viceroy and new singles by Andrew Bird, The Shins and Sleigh Bells. Enjoy!
Notorious B.I.G. – Going Back To Cali (Viceroy “Jet Life” Remix)
I’ve come to accept that I’m not really a fan of remixes. That’s not to say I don’t like any remixes (there are plenty that I do like), but I’m very picky. This remix by “Summertime, All The Time” producer Viceroy hit that happy spot for me where a remix offers something new and upbeat without crossing the line from fun to cheesy.
Andrew Bird – Eyeoneye
Andrew Bird fans will be excited to hear that the man’s latest album, Break It Yourself, is scheduled for a March 6th release. If you’re a huge Andrew Bird fan you’ll probably want to pick up one of the linen-wrapped limited edition box sets of the album before they are gone. Limited to 1000 copies that include the record on vinyl and CD, a DVD of some early live performances of Break It Yourself material, a poster, a photo, and a stationary set.
The Shins – Simple Song
In case you missed it when it was released a few weeks ago, The Shins have released the first single off of their upcoming album. It’s titled “Simple Song” and it’s a welcome reminder of why we love The Shins so damn much.
Sleigh Bells – Comeback Kid
It’s been a hot minute since we heard from Sleigh Bells, but they are back with the single “Comeback Kid.” As you’d expect from Sleigh Bells, the track is bombastic, loud and strangely melodic.
The October 2011 Mix is heavy on the new music with only a handful of tracks whose release will date back to more than a couple of months, but that is just a testament to all of the great music that has been making the rounds. I think 2011 will be remembered as a very good year for new music. A lot of the artists on here you’ve heard before if you follow us regularly, and a lot of the rest of it will be featured here in the near future during the course of the month. But however you look at it, the bottom line is that there is a lot to love here. Speaking of great music, I wonder if one of these artists is going to appear on a future limited-edition 7″ for Turntable Kitchen’s Pairings Box? Could be, but our lips are sealed.
Anyways, I’d suggest turning up the volume dial as loud as it will go and blasting these jams until you blow out those old speakers you’ve been using. You’re probably thinking: “But if I blow out my speakers, what will I use to listen to the Turntable Kitchen November 2011 Mix?” Well, you’re in luck! We’re partnering with Sonos to offer one reader a Sonos PLAY:3 speaker system and a Sonos Bridge to setup your Sonos wireless network (approx. retail value $350)! Sweet, huh? You can see a picture below. But I’m not going to give this baby up easily. To win you’re going to have to tell me your city’s best kept secret in the comments section. I’ll pick a winner on Monday, October 17th. If you don’t win, you can always score Sonos equipment at Target.
Update: The giveaway is now close and we’ve selected and notified our winner. Stay tuned for more great giveaways!