Featured Download: Lusine - Two Dots Two Dots is out now on Ghostly International.
My first exposure to Lusine was his set at the Ghostly 10 Year Anniversary party, one of the few shows where I expected brilliance even from the unknowns, based solely on the strength of Ghostly's reputation. Lusine was one of the bright spots of the night. He composes music like a pointilist paints, with minute elements congealing to form an interconnected whole. "Two Dots" is a sampling of his refreshing form: echoes speckle the backdrop of this track, supplementing soothing vocals - some of them cut up and some of them whole, though the former is somewhat imperceptibly birthed from the latter. It builds steadily to the end, each new layer of echoes occupying a space which doesn't seem to exist until it's filled. Quite a fresh approach - we can't recommend this one enough.
Featured Download: Sharon Van Etten - For You Because I Was in Love is out now on Drag City.
Unfortunately, Sharon Van Etten will be hard pressed to avoid comparisons to Cat Power, with her minimalist but pretty song structure, and captivating bluesy vocals. The plucky guitar work on "For You" reminds me of a slowed-down version of the well-known melody of the Turtles, "So Happy Together." Having not heard any of Van Etten's other work, I'm not sure whether she leans more towards a country-blues type sound, or whether she is emblematic of the indie-folk crooner types like Miss Chan Marshall. Frankly, either could work in her favor, as her vocals convey as much emotion as the music does, if not even more so. "For You" is a beautifully vintage-sounding two and half minute track from the New Yorker's forthcoming album, which was released on May 26.
Featured Review: Grizzly Bear: Good or Fad?
What makes Grizzly Bear so captivating is that they are extremely talented musicians, a facet that is hidden behind the vastness, the shear space, on their recordings. That is, the grandiosity of orchestration - instruments, melodies, and rhythms all colliding - overshadows the individual talents of each Grizzly Bear member. Their recordings are symphonies without solos, so there's no showcasing of singular skills. Live, however, the musicianship and emotion is visible, allowing you to grasp, not only the individual aptitude of each member, but the collective tightness of the whole band.
Label Spotlight Series
Have you checked out any of our Label Spotlights yet? Every month we feature a new record label. These labels are the cream of the crop - the tastemakers. They put out records because they love them and they know we’ll love them too. They hold their genres dear, but have the courage to branch out. They believe in the music they release and, no matter what the sales expectations were, every album is a success because they released something they loved. Each spotlight features a music sampler and multiple mp3 downloads!