On their third album, Americana rockers Delta Spirit bring their faithful soul-folk sound to broader sonic territories. It's a bold move, and, to generalize, is kind of like going from rootsy Fleet Foxes-lite to full-on My Morning Jacket grandiosity. The San Diego 5-piece knew it was, and opted for the self-titled tag as a real declaration of their new identity. It works in places; Delta Spirit is unquestionably lush and pretty, but doesn't quite match the scale of their sudden atmospheric contemporaries and does run the risk of asking existing fans to take a leap...we'll let you decide.
The next in a growing line of arty, left field hip-hop artists on Sup Pop (see: Shabazz Palaces and THEEsatisfaction), South African rapper and futurist genre-bender Spoek Mathambo is poised for a big showing on his sophomore release and first with the seminal label. Father Creeper is all over the place (electro, house, soul, tribal, 8-bit, metal), and infinitely interesting, if a bit disjointed. And while it's hard to peg, the album's production sparkles, often shining brightest in its the instrumentals spurts between verses.
Rock legend Nick Cave (and his Bad Seeds) formed Grinderman in 2006 out of a desire to experiment without the weight of expectations. What resulted was two critically praised albums of refreshingly primal noise and the lyrical intensity Cave is known for. Last year the band announced that perhaps the project had ran its course, and so it appears this collection of Grinderman 2 remixes might have been the last thing left to do. And among those doing the honors are Josh Homme, The National’s Matt Berninger, UNKLE, A Place to Bury Strangers, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner.
You've probably made your mind up on The Decemberists by now, and if their brand of whimsical indie folk has earned your fanship, than this live album might become something more than a live album. But for the rest of us, it's a live album, heavy on extended jams, violin solos, and audience participation...even some two-step and yodeling. Two albums worth. It was recorded over twelve different shows from their 2011 tour, and captures the renowned storytellers with crisp quality.
Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood has more than dabbled as a composer over the years, releasing an experimental classical/electronic jazz album and film project in 2003 called Bodysong, followed by 2005's radio static inspired Popcorn Superhet Receiver, and an acclaimed score to the 2007 film There Will Be Blood. Safe to say the work has been a large departure from Radiohead material, but does in a way enforce just how capable that band really is, and how brilliant and curious Greenwood continues to be as an artist. Here he's working directly with one of his own idols and primary influences in previous work, Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. It's a moody, string-based affair, recorded from a joint performance of their pieces by an orchestra ensemble.
See What's In The Spotlight