A reminder of this works: Basically, I’m sharing with you some of the music I’ve listened to this week. Much of it comes from random browsing of blogs, suggestions from friends or my own personal taste—which varies from day to day.
This is not designed to be a list of the "THE BEST" releases of the week. It’s simply a compilation of some interesting tunes that I picked up along the way that I thought would be worth sharing with you.
The concept is reciprocal. I want to know what you’re listening to.
A huge Spotify playlist is at the bottom of the page.
Janelle Monáe, "The Electric Lady"
The sophomore release from Janelle Monáe is stunningly good. Like Justin Timberlake’s "The 20/20 Experience" (the second half will be released Sept. 30), the album is crammed with radio-friendly singles. The first hit, a song called "Q.U.E.E.N.," features Erykah Badu and was released on April 23. The song’s video hit 4 million views within the first week. The album also features guest appearances by Prince and Miguel. Exclaim said of the new release that Monáe "has arrived." Paste says, "What could be unwieldy becomes a vast patchwork of influences buoying empowerment."
Emiliana Torrini, "Tookah"
Iceland has brought to us a ton of talent, including Bjork, Sigur Rós and—most recently—Of Monsters and Men. Another emerging artist is singer Emiliana Torrini, known for her mild acoustic hit "Sunny Road," released in 2006. "Me and Armini," a 2008 follow-up, received lukewarm praise in the United States but acclaim in Germany. With the latest release, "Tookah," Torrini once again makes a stab at breaking through to new listeners. Highlights are "Speed of Dark" and "Tookah."
Hip Hatchet/Alameda split
Hip Hatchet is the songwriting project of Philippe Bronchtein. His album "Joy and Better Days" was one of my favorite releases of 2012. His latest project is a split EP with Portland-based Alameda. Bronchtein’s two songs are "Mountain Cadence" and "Beautiful Day." Both are excellent and worthy of a listen. Alameda is growing on me. Check out the split here. Bronchtein’s voice is reminiscent of David Berman’s.
New album from The Stepkids
Bill Colrus is not only a wonderful writer, but he also knows his way around obscure and interesting music. This week, he recommended to me the new album from The Stepkids, an American psychedelic band from Bridgeport, Conn. "Troubadour" is the band’s second release after their 2011 self-titled album, which was No. 25 of the top 50 albums of 2011, according to Mojo magazine. The latest release is filled with Steely Dan-esque hooks and enough tunes to keep you interested. Highlights are "The Lottery" and "Sweet Salvation."
Arcade Fire releases single "Reflektor"
Buzz around the upcoming Arcade Fire release has been mounting for weeks. What would it be? Teasers have gone up in cities throughout America in the form of graffiti (much to the dismay of some business owners). This week, the band finally revealed what the cryptic messages were all about by releasing an interactive music video for a song called "Reflektor." The video is a "virtual projection" by Vincent Morriset. Watch (experience) the video here. Make sure your webcam is working.
Heard the new Sean Paul track?
Pop star Sean Paul has a new single out that is possibly the most ridiculous song on the radio right now. That’s saying a whole lot.
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