Five Must-listen Albums of The Week (10.03)
Lost in the beauty of Americana transitions, neo soul and baroque-pop almanacs we bring you our weekly digest of albums to get addicted to.
The Magnetic Fields “50 Song Memoir”
The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt is a true fan of concept albums. He played with album tracks beginning with an “I” on album “i” (2004), he made a grand album of 69 love songs on the eponymous album. Concept after concept, finally Steven arrived to a memoir of his life. And although this whole idea might seem like an utter bore for listeners, taking into account the fact of 50 songs to listen to, Merritt turns this into a real carnival, an almanac full of vivid pictures, a kaleidoscope o styles. “50 Song Memoir” drives us through years, lets us witness Merritt’s thoughts and participate in events. A backstage of an ingenious project. It does take an effort, however, to cover the whole retrospective, yet it’s truly rewarding for whoever dives into.
Hurray for the Riff Raff “ The Navigator”
Alynda Lee Segarra is one on few Americana/Folk singers-songwriters who try to reimagine these genres without blendong them with excessive mud of mainstream or ridiculous experiments. She tends to move froward in terms of the traditions with a gentle yet firm pace. Take for instance her latest album “The Navigator” released by Alynda’s project Hurray For the Riff Raff. “The Navigator” is yet another concept record on our list. Build from the perspective of young Puerta Rican girl in a form of a pseudo-auobiographical journey. Album mingles politics, sexuality and gender issues, with a bright and wide scope. It adds a lot of new elements into Alynda’s Americana, broadens the pattern with altpop and funk.
Valerie June “The Order of Time”
We continue with Americana vibes into the land of Valerie June and her sophomore album “The Order Of Time”. Unlike Hurray for the Riff Raff, Valerie keeps to a more classic side of the genre, deepens into the roots and expanding the space with instrumental means and her rich vocals. She spices the record with gospel, blues and soul elements, at some point creating a dream-like state with arrangements. A bright example is Astral Plane, which might seem plain, but it sweeps you instantly. A wonderful release that is balanced and fresh.
Cameron Avery “Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams”
Cameron Avery toured quite a lot with his Australian fellows from Tame Impala, before settling on his own ground. And boy this ground is fruitful and generously vivid. In his interviews Cameron insisted that with his debut album “Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams”, he wanted to revive the likes of Dean Martin, Johnny Hartman, etc. But what is notably Cam’s biggest influence — Leonard Cohen. In lyrics, in voice and in music. But the most sincere homage is done through the track “Dance With Me”. This album is a treasure for those who seek lush orchestrations. It’s the Eden for those who crave for soulful music. And it’s a wonderful debut.
Laura Marling “Semper Femina”
Semper Femina can be translated as “always a woman” is proudly tattooed on Laura Marling’s body. And yes, obviously Laura’s new album is founded on this simple message, moreover this is the main concept which makes album solely about women. Expressing her very personal feelings and ideas, Laura makes a very sincere record. It starts from the opener Soothing, and goes on into a magical voyage. Keen observations and reflections, multiplied on Laura’s haunting vocals and beautiful and stunning arrangements make “Semper Femina” Marling’s true masterpiece.