Cold War Kids, Father John Misty & Guided By Voices Are Top Of The AD Albums of the Week - April 7
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:33:09
Cold War Kids Videos
This week in album releases brings a range of contrasting and complimentary sounds that present a good cross section of what's going in pop culture.
Cold War Kids refine their indie sound with their most mature and mystical album to date. K.Flay delivers the most confident set of personal and political tunes of self determination that we've heard since her debut EP. Guided By Voices expand into a double-disc release that shares input from the full band. Chainsmokers retain the wit and energy of their dance floor fillers but bring a more inclusive and rewarding sound. Father John Misty brings an album that delivers on all the potential of previous efforts.
Like we always say — there's too much to cover, and we're sorry to those artists who releases incredible collections this week who don't feature here — but for now here are the albums that ARTISTdirect considered to be amongst the best of what's on offer this week...
Cold War Kids — "L.A. Divine" — Capitol Records
Nathan Willett and his band return with an album that plays with the mythology of their L.A. hometown. The band is older, wiser and now rooted in the City of Angels with families and growing faith in their abilities to implement change. Songs that celebrate the magical qualities of everyday locations and events display a shrewd reverence for the lives and loves of a band who have experienced change, challenges and upheavals. If this is the new, balanced, future of the band, then fans can only be happy. Plenty of hook-heavy choruses, featherings of off-kilter barbs and some of Willett's finest penmanship to date.
K. Flay — "Every Where Is Some Where" — Interscope Records
Kristine Flaherty is back. More political than ever and more personal than before, K.Flay delivers on her new album — her first under the Interscope imprint under the guidance of Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds. The freedom to do as she wants to do, with the support of a seemingly nurturing new home, has produced an album of confident tracks that echo the heroines of the rapper's formative years. Here, the echoes of Shirley Manson and Karen O lay over hip hop beats and graveled blues riffs. It's strong stuff that sees the Bay Area star rising further in her ascendency.
Father John Misty — "Pure Comedy" — Sub Pop
Pure Comedy from Father John Misty is an album of the typically untypical from one of pop culture's favorite alter egos. Unsurprisingly, lyrics span a range of hot topics, and measure the zeitgeist with a twist of the usual sardonic wit and wisdom that we now expect. However, when the cleverness of concepts relaxes — like on the title track — we're left with what FJM does best. He can sing about iron deficiency, confusion and the compulsion for conflict with startling resonance. Instrumentation knows how to handle itself, and production values echo classic sounds of songwriters who are now archetypes, and FJM delivers some of the best vocal performances of his career. This could be the perfect album that the artist, as character gives way to heart and accomplishes full potential.
Guided By Voices — "August By Cake" — Guided By Voices inc
August By Cake is the 100th album of Robert Pollard's recording career. Across solo ventures and side projects the driving force of Guided By Voices has proven to be the most prolific artist in pop culture. This album, which hits a landmark figure as a double album (!) is the album that Pollard believes the fans deserve. Believing that albums with lots of songs are just ‘better', Pollard and his band assembled an expanse set of jangling, loud, dynamic tunes that express the best of what this band can accomplish. All worthy of replay and with no filler tracks — there's more than numeric supremacy here. With a summer tour lined up in support of this new album, the shows promise to deliver a little of something for everyone who has loved this band for the last 34 years.
Chainsmokers — "Memories...Do Not Open" — Columbia Records
When The Chainsmokers announced their debut album, a large majority of the population stood silent for a moment. What could this mean? The production/DJ duo known for novelty records and dance floor drops were going to build a cohesive collection that demanded our attention for a full span of an album? What could this look like? Well, with "The One" a surprise release of the first track of the collection, which arrived ahead of the album, what we hear is a genuine surprise. This is no club-banger, this is no swaggering, self-congratulatory grin of cleverness. What we have is a well-measured, sing-along moment that focuses on songwriting, inclusion and melody. The rest of the album also flexes into surprising areas, and Chainsmokers show that what they did in bite-size snaps of sound they can extend, enjoyably for a full album. Their summer tour should be fun.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff