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New Releases

by Ryo Miyauchi

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Courtesy Rate Your Music

8/10

Lonerism by Tame Impala

Genre: Indie Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Blues Rock

This week was full of great guitar-records, and Tame Impala’s sophomore record Lonerism felt the most accessible than the others. Australian band Tame Impala often gets categorized as “a band full of ‘60s nostalgia,” and that label is appropriate. Figurehead Kevin Parker’s voice’s resemblance with John Lennon will forever be mentioned by many. The guitars melt enough to represent the term “acid rock” while giving Hendrix-ian timbre of Blues Rock.

Pinning Tame Impala as merely a ‘60s revival band is selling the project short, especially through the grand Lonerism. The loud buzz and warped fidelity of Parker’s guitars create a dreamy universe, more expansive than recent groups of Dream Poppers or Chillwavers have tried. “Apocalypse Dreams” plays twisted riffs with a mind of its own as its structure changes abruptly midway. “Mind Mischief” rocks in a more Electronica mind set, splashing a colorfu instrumental.

As huge and extra-dimensional Parker makes his instrument sound, he also grounds a feeling of human reclusiveness. The guitars may roar infinitely but his voice feels trapped in his own physical limitations whether it’d be loneliness or disconnect. Parker’s sentiment in “Why Won’t They Talk to Me?” shouts it best with a heaviness of misery. Lonerism digs into Kevin Parker’s head deeply, and it turns out to be a sun-baked world full of melancholy.

 

Singles of the Week

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“White on White” by FIDLAR

Up and coming Punk band FIDLAR announced the January release of their self-titled debut on Mom + Pop this week and also shared a new song “White on White” from the album. “White on White” has FIDLAR thrashing away a fresh storm. The riff grooves as well as it is edgy, giving an energetic roar to pump along. FIDLAR punches through the song adrenaline fueled, especially with that in-your-face scream as sort of a hook. The scream makes it worthwhile as an exciting release and a highlight of the already explosive jam. If you need something to go buckwild for the day, FIDLAR is a great choice.

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“Winter Fields” by Bat for Lashes

Bat for Lashes/Natasha Khan shared an additional 3 tracks from her upcoming album The Haunted Man. “Winter Fields” is the most melancholy out of the three. Natasha Khan creates her own adventurous world in “Winter Fields” through ancient reed flutes, radiating strings reminiscent of Sia’s “Breathe Me” and huge ritual drums. Along the dramatic score, Khan fills the song with imagery of cold, snowy wilderness. Natasha Khan shivers in her animalistic side and progressively freezes over. When Khan cries “mother! I’m scared to close my eyes,” the song fittingly wanes out, perhaps signaling the end of more than just the song.

 

Courtesy Rate Your Music

6 / 10

Halcyon by Ellie Goulding

Genre: Pop

Finding out Ellie Goulding has finally finished her long-awaited debut Halcyon, it felt like it’s been due time. The anticipated Halcyon has Goulding’s recent affiliation with the EDM scene all over the album. Synth palettes rub off ever so colorful and stellar on the tracks, providing dramatic scenery for Goulding’s voice. While some emphasize Goulding’s intentions to deliver emotional music, the other tracks that completely ignores Goulding’s presence unfortunately weighs Halcyon down.

Ellie Goulding explained that Halcyon has a rather dark, emotional theme and there’s a sense of that bleak intimacy throughout the album. Frustration flows with strength on “Don’t Say a Word” while elegant “JOY” has Goulding heartbroken. But these kind of songs belong more for bedroom recordings, not exhausting rave singles.

“Figure 8” is a head smasher, ripping apart Goulding rather than highlighting the singer. Repetitive synth hits “Anything Could Happen” blands out whatever Goulding tries, and even alter her voice into a unneeded studio technique. Attempts of “Atlantis” to present Goulding into a mythical siren flops with string work that’s too over the top. If Ellie Goulding was trying to be a dance diva, Halcyon was not a good try. And if she wanted to sing melancholy ballads, her choice of production turned that down.

 

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