Friday, September 17, 2010

New Material

There's a lot of quality music that has come out recently, but I'm particularly impressed by two releases. If I had to pick a favorite album of the year so far it would be The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man on Earth. Amazingly, less than six months later Kristian Matsson has already released a follow-up ep . Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird features both the new and familiar for Matsson, whether it is his typical 3-finger cross picking or simple/bluesy strumming. Opening track 'Little River" and the new guitar version of "Like the Wheel" are the standout songs for me.
The second album technically isn't out yet. Readers of this blog are quite familiar with my obsession with Sufjan Stevens. From A Son Came, to The BQE, to even the obscure tracks he's never officially released, I'm in love with everything this guy puts out. But after reading the press release about his new album The Age of Adz, I was more than a little apprehensive about Sufjan abandoning a narrative approach to song writing, because let's face it, even if it's is genius, Enjoy Your Rabbit is barely listenable. Thankfully my fears have been assuaged by the first two preview tracks he has shared from the forthcoming album. Both "I Walked" and "Too Much" are ambrosial, electronic ear candy with all the eclectic eccentricities we've come to to expect from Sufjan. The expanded digital palette is a decidedly new flavor (previously hinted at in parts of The BQE and his cover of Castanets' "You are the Blood"), but it doesn't feel forced or unnatural. Most importantly, they're tracks I want to play over and over again- catchy but intricate enough to invite repeated listens.

Sorry for doubting you Sufjan. By all means, do whatever you want with music.

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