Six.

Jan. 5th, 2012 02:53 am
urgencytobleed: (Default)
I really do have three of these to post today. They're written and everything this time, promise.

Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know


At first, A Creature I Don't Know seems like Laura Marling's chilliest album to date. Gone is the earnest romanticism of Alas I Cannot Swim. Gone too is most of the unbridled passion and world-weary cynicism of I Speak Because I Can. The absence of these qualities may initially make the album appear to be less of an accomplishment than its predecessors, slight and strangely closed-off. Even the most bombastic songs - the darkly playful horn-infused "The Muse," the sinister and bluesy slow-building rocker "The Beast" - sound naked and blunt, simplistic in a way that even the most reserved, stripped-down moments on I Speak Because I Can were not. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes the album so initially impenetrable: is it the no-frills, organic production that perhaps sometimes falls a little too flat? Is it the more abstract, impersonal lyrics or the fact that Marling's voice remains, for the most part, on a low simmer? Though these slight changes may at first keep the listener distanced from the music, ultimately, it is also these changes that makes A Creature I Don't Know such a beautiful album. It is possible that the songs here will not immediately hit you emotionally, the way that I Speak Because I Can felt like such a punch to the gut; their simplicity and subtlety is instead more like a slowly-twisting knife - they root themselves inside of your brain, ever so slightly chipping away with every listen until, suddenly, they become some of the most tender, aching and genuinely affecting sounds you've ever heard. This time, the impact of Marling's voice is not in its volume or intensity but in the barely perceptible changes in inflection it can undergo in a single line and the impact of her lyrics is not in their barely-contained anger but in what lies beneath the surface of that anger. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the three-track run of "Salinas," "The Beast" and "Night After Night." Emotionally dizzying on all levels, it is actually in their quiet beginnings that they most shine - nothing is more heartbreaking than Marling's understated, slightly husky voice barely rising above a whisper with only a gently-strummed acoustic guitar for accompaniment. The way she utters certain lines, imbuing them with far deeper meaning than comes across simply in the words ("That gun will turn before the sun starts to burn, understand;" "He lies, he lies, so sweet that I choke;" "Dear lover forgiven, my love is driven by rage"), is stunning to say the least. "I Was Just a Card" and "Don't Ask Me Why" are less sprawling and adventurous musically but thanks to some lovely string arrangements and, again, Marling's impressive talent both vocally and lyrically, just as affecting. The lyrics in "Don't Ask Me Why," particularly, are downright poetic: "I took the wind from the sea/I took the blood from an arrow/I took the wisdom of spring/I was thrown and blown and tossed and turned until/Time found its hand and called it an end/Me and time, we go way back when/I was a child/And I always knew why." A Creature I Don't Know is not an album that wears its heart on its sleeve - but do not let that lead you to believe it does not have a heart at all. Marling only keeps growing better and she is also an artist who does not seem content to settle; her musical future is wide open.

urgencytobleed: (Default)
I've actually heard a few of these albums since writing this up. Oh well. I guess that's what I get for being lazy about posting.

I close my eyes to conjure up something but it's just a faint taste in my mouth. )
urgencytobleed: (i ride alone and hide what you show)
I know I said I might not be posting for awhile but I saw this prompt on the front page of Livejournal when I signed in and it inspired me: Is there any song you could listen to 20 times in a day without ever losing interest? I mean, it's perfectly suited to this blog, no? So I thought for awhile about whether I should go with the old standards, aka the songs I've loved forever and already gushed about and will never grow tired of, or newer obsessions that I haven't yet posted. I decided to go with the latter since I basically just posted a week's worth of entries containing songs I've already mentioned. Maybe that means I'll look back on this entry in a year and think, "Seriously? I could have listened to that 20 times in a day?" but at the moment they all seem like good choices. They're also a rather odd combination of artists I'm just getting into and ones I've loved for awhile but I'm 99.9% certain that every song here can be found in no other entry. So, enjoy!

Read more... )

Yeah, can you tell I quickly gave up on trying to describe most of these songs eloquently? Sigh.
urgencytobleed: (Default)
The only comments I've been getting lately are anonymous spammers so I had to disable anonymous commenting. I do get some really nice anonymous comments once in awhile but... if you want to post anything you'll have to register for Livejournal. Sorry.

Well, darling, I can't go but you may stay here with me. )
urgencytobleed: (Default)
Here's a lovely video of Beach House performing "10 Mile Stereo" on Conan from last Monday. I can't get over how flawless Victoria Legrand's voice sounds live, my goodness. I think it actually might even sound better than on the album which is quite awe-inspiring. If you haven't heard Teen Dream yet, well, then, what are you waiting for?!? It's one of the best albums of the year! And I promise, I will do a better job of convincing you of that once I actually get around to posting my top albums of the year. Until then, enjoy the performance.


In random free music making its way around the Internet, Owen Pallett has released a demo EP that you can stream and download for free here. It's mostly instrumental, containing a few songs from Heartland without vocals and some new compositions. But the clear standout of this little collection for me is the one song that does have vocals, an alternate version of one of Heartland's best, "The Great Elsewhere," with Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond singing instead of Owen. It helps that the song is just fucking amazing anyway but I'm fairly certain that Shara could sing anything and make it sound like a work of genius. She's that good, folks.

Also, Sherri DuPree-Bemis from Eisley recently posted a lo-fi cover of Kanye West's "Heartless". I didn't think this cover was going to work but it turns out, it's actually quite a perfect choice. Sherri turns the song into kind of a dark, plaintive acoustic guitar ballad and, oddly enough, it seems completely suited to this style. Also, her voice sounds as beautiful as ever. Here is that for you.
urgencytobleed: (why do you edit? just give me credit)
A random assortment of unrelated odds and ends because I couldn't be bothered to think about making a Christmas post until Christmas was nearly over. So, yeah, happy holidays and enjoy!

I. SOME NON-TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY TUNAGE )
II. A NEW BRIGHT EYES SONG (WHICH IS BETTER THAN 85% OF OBERST'S LAST THREE ALBUMS) )
III. A DELICIOUSLY WEIRD VISUAL FEAST )
IV. A SONGWRITING MARVEL )
V. A HOLIDAY CLASSIC WITH A TWIST )
urgencytobleed: (i put a pearl in the ground)
So, I wanted to make a Halloween mix, an idea that I first tried out on here awhile ago (almost three years ago, what the hell?!?) but wanted to expand to a more CD-filling running time. At first, I was only using songs that had scary/Halloween-y words in the titles but then I ran out of those and focused on songs with a creepy/haunting vibe to them musically and, in the end, both of those groups ended up being pretty equally represented. So it's not exactly strictly Halloween-based anymore but it fits the spirit of the season well anyway. Enjoy the music!

All hail the queen. Still, I've never seen a witch this mean. )

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Shannon

April 2012

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