Once we really get the blog started up I’ll start posting a bunch of album reviews, but for now I’ll just fill you in every once in a while and try to point out some music that merits a listen.
“KID A” by Radiohead
Doesn’t get much better than this. Nothing short of a sonic landscape. It’s almost surreal to think that a human could create such beautiful melodies, because it times it can sound almost transcendent of our capabilities. And if there’s a better way to get fired up than listening to that rabid trumpeting on The National Anthem or a better way to get lost in a song than lying down and listening closely to Idioteque and marveling at how Radiohead can make electronic instruments sound so human and personal, I have yet to find it.
TV ON THE RADIO
I’ve really taken a liking to these guys lately. If you listen closely, the instrumentals they use can be uncannily similar to Radiohead’s: they blend jazz, electronics, and drums and somehow make it sound deeply personal and natural. The difference is that instead of having Thom Yorke’s spastic wailing, we have the soulful yelps of Kyp Malone and Tunde Adibempe. I’ve heard some people refer to them as “the black Radiohead,” and that seems more accurate each time I hear TV on the Radio play.
Feist has become a pretty divisive figure among indie fans, with some commending her unique, pure voice and creative but down-to-earth instrumentals but with many more dismissing her as an overrated MTV princess, putting her in the same boat as (shudder) Paramore and Alicia Keys. I am firmly among the former. It’s not Feist’s fault that people across the country realized that she is extremely talented. Unlike most indie music, which tends to focus more on instruments than vocals, Feist’s number one instrument is unquestionably her voice. Most female vocalists would sound terribly boring when put up against the low-key, humming instrumentals that Feist uses, but Feist’s voice is so delicate and beautiful yet powerful and overpowering at the same time that she can more than pull it off. Just listen to “I Feel it All,” which very well may have been the best song that nobody-either indie fans or mainstream “1234” lovers-have heard. Unlike Feist’s usually timid lyrics, she sounds vaguely pissed off in this song. I can’t tell for sure, but I think the premise is that she has either killed or kidnapped her lover in order to prevent him from leaving her. At the end, she says “I’ll be the one to break my heart” over and over, apparently suggesting that she likes the power of being able to decide whether or not the relationship ends. I could be completely wrong, but I’d like to think I’m right, because if so, it makes this song seem utterly ingenious.