I’m not going to lie to you loyal readers, this week was a rough week for music over here at the Berklee Internet Radio Network. There weren’t any albums sent in that struck me as deserving of a Prime Slice™ Designation, so I’m going to hit you with a few singles that made me happy.
Rock is pasé. Bands in the current musical climate tend to shy away from the descriptor and aesthetic. Hop Along embraces the normalcy of the “rock” sound without fear and present their incredible songwriting in a warm and familiar environment. The production on the record is full and crisp, with attention to every small details from the acoustic guitar to the lush string arrangements. Bark Your Head Off, Dog is sonically familiar but their strong writing and Francis Quinlan’s unique artistic and actual voice carry it to special and specific places. Continue reading “Ruby’s Prime Slices of the Week (4/2-4/8): Hop Along, Dr. Octagon”
Amen Dunes – Freedom (Indie Rock, Alt Folk, Whatever)
Amen Dunes’s fifth album is naturalistically weird. If put at a low volume in an upscale casual restaurant or a mellow party it would not strike anybody as bizarre, but when you hone in on the details of the music everything has a strange and unique timbre. Everything sits at a gentle volume and intensity and Damon McMahon’s inflected voice and fast tremolo vibrato cut through everything to deliver songs both catchy and esoteric. Freedom is both easily enjoyable and dense enough to accumulate more and more worth with every listen. Continue reading “Ruby’s Prime Slices of the Week (3/25-4/1): Amen Dunes, Soft as Snow”
Joan As Police Woman – Damned Devotion (R&B, Singer Songwriter)
Lou Reed and Elton John collaborator, Joan Wasser, returns with her Joan As Police Woman project to deliver an excellent album that sounds both current and referential. Damned Devotion feels as though it has always existed. Wasser’s songwriting and arrangements are front and center and accented by the warm and clear production.
Favorite Songs: Wonderful, Warning Bell, The Silence
Stone Woman is a stellar R&B EP full of rich warm production and a strong vocal lead. Charlotte Day Wilson delivers the intimacy of a lo-fi release with the clarity of a Billboard top 40 artist. Stone Woman is at times textural and ethereal and at other times sensual and direct.
Ought – Room Inside The World (post punk, art rock)
Ought’s latest album manages to be thrilling and repetitious at the same time. Room Inside The World incorporates more synths than Ought’s previous work without taking focus away from the unique guitar lines and idiosyncratic vocals.
Favorite Tracks: Disgraced In America, Take Everything, These 3 Things
Math rock for people who hate math rock. Palm uses repetition and a cutting pop melodic sense to paint emotional pictures within the tropes of a genre that is too often devoid of feeling. Rock Island is one of the freshest sounding rock records of the past few years.
Favorite Tracks: Composite, (Didn’t What You Want) Happen, Dog Milk, Pearly
I got a chance to sit down with Erin Birgy, the mastermind behind avant-garde pop band Mega Bog, before their show at the Sinclair with Destroyer. Here are some of her thoughts on music, Star Trek and pierogies:
Ruben: Is there a motif or concept that tends to drive your music?
Erin: Suffering (laughs). I think there’s a lot to be said. Actually one of my favorite writers passed away yesterday, Ursula Le Guin. In one of her books she talks about how the whole purpose of human, or what it is to be human, is to share and absorb other people’s suffering and make it less of a burden on one person. To like actually take that pain into yourself so you will feel bad but you will be helping somebody else feel less bad. I think that’s a lot of what it’s about and lot of where writing and songs come from. Continue reading “Interview: Erin Birgy of Mega Bog”