AFI, Cherry Glazerr & Foxygen Lead Albums Of The Week - January 20
Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:06:26
Another week of album releases and another week of contrasting artists, each offering their quality to the world of noisy art. We have explosive rock in the shape of AFI, polished pop in the shape of Austra, something of an indie strut with Foxygen and an album of existential beauty from Kid Koala.
In a week where many eyes will be on Washington D.C. and the late night feeds that reflect on events in the political realm it's reassuring to have a diversity of artists offering a unity of vision; speaking to their truths and representing an alternative, or offering solutions to the colder world of scrolling news. So, without further ado, here is the cream of the crop — ARTISTdirect's favorite albums of the week...
AFI — AFI (The Blood Album) — Concord Records
AFI have finally released their 10th studio album — the eagerly awaited AFI (The Blood Album), the band's first release on Concord Records. The collection is populated with songs that sound inevitably lofty — as if designed to climb the charts and then dominate from above. Early punk sounds of the band are echoed here but things are less dangerous, softer round the edges and so more likely to fare well on mainstream radios. AFI — once on the edge of things are now the heavyweight act that has unwavering momentum — and this album proves it.
Austra — Future Politics — Domino Records
Katie Stelmanis takes the helm of Austra — and delivers a sonic tonic to the current climate, the clouds of which gathered throughout 2016. Future Politics, album number 3 from Austra, delivers more than was dared suggested on previous, excellent releases. The type of pop on display here goes deeper, dances harder and delivers a kind of lyrical precision that assumes a level of intelligence of the fan base. No spoonfed thinking here, just pop as it's meant to be served.
Cherry Glazerr — Apocalipstick — Secretly Canadian
Clementine Creevy — singer, songwriter and guitarist of Cherry Glazerr is on a mad trajectory. Her band's first album Haxel Princess was released before she'd graduated high school, at which point she'd already started writing Apocalipstick, her band's second album. The subjects up for discussion on Cherry Glazerr's sophomore effort are as frenetic as you'd hope… junk food, solidarity, feminism, pop culture and the desire for community. The quirky tone of the band's impressive debut has been dropped and instead there's a sense of authority, and seriousness that does well when volume is added.
Foxygen — Hang — Jagjaguwar
Foxygen swoop into action with their new set of symphonic pop tunes. These are big sounds, infectious, broadly stroking tracks that smuggle messages in under the pretense of making you sing, swing and swagger along. While the band have had moments for being as famous for in-house politics and onstage dramatics, here we have the luxury of hearing what Sam France and Jonathan Rado do best. They write songs that impact immediately on the ears and feet, and hearts. You don't get any better indie rock releases than Foxygen in a week when Foxygen are releasing.
Kid Koala — Music To Draw To: Satellite — Arts & Crafts Records
On an album that shows Kid Koala going further into space than he even dared on Space Cadet, this new release which features icelandic singer Emilíana Torrini sees Eric San venturing further into the misty world of space. Amorphous sounds shift around this ambient collection that Torrini's vocals lend direction to. The sense of loneliness here is incredible — but so is the scale of hope and beauty. The indefatigable sense of ambition that Kid Koala brings to his work retains the tenderness that fans of his "Music To Draw To" series have come to expect — and Torrini brings something of transcendental beauty to the process. This album is essential for fans of experimentalism and individualism. Get your headphones on.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff