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Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church had a chance meeting on a train in Canada when they were merely 18 years of age. Their fortuitous meet precipitated an eventual marriage and sparked the genesis of yet another creative relationship known as “Exitmusic.”

This now Brooklyn-based duo’s full LP, Passage, is an impressive set of dark-tinged-dream-pop which features stark but emotionally compelling songs. With dense layer arrangements, rumbling compromises, washed-out guitars, stately pianos, martial-like rhythms and lovelorn lyrics all sung by Aleksa Palladino’s haunting vocals, Passage is one endearing album with unforgettable peaks.

Can’t wait to see what more these guys have got to offer.

Album Rating: 8

Check out their single, Passage, here:

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No one sets it off like this duo. The dream-pop band–my personal favorite–, Beach House, has finally released their fourth album Bloom. Aesthetically, the album seems to distinctly recognize the beauty of life’s riddles and woes through ten poetic tunes.

Well, having anticipated writing this post for such a while now, I really would like to first and foremost apologize for the delay and the blog’s hiatus.

Anyway, enough about me, back to Bloom:

I’d like to start off by saying that I truly don’t think I’ve heard a more prepossessing album than Bloom. The first dreamy-track on the 10-hit record is “Myth.” With its layers of echo surrounding Legrand’s voice while putting heavy emphasis on Alex Scally’s hazily-divine backbeat and heavenly guitar riffs, you know you’re stuck in momentary bliss. In “Myth,” Legrand’s beautifully-aching voice contemplates the meaning of made up realities which play and serve purpose to the meaning of everyday life.

With great similarity to Teen Dream, one would suppose that Bloom may seem like a carbon copy of the band’s junior album. Interestingly enough, Bloom plays almost as a sequel to Teen Dream. While Teen Dream chants heart-wrenching romance melodies and vocals, Bloom follows up with Legrand’s ethereal voice telling the expansive saga of life’s ever changing nature. Each song gracefully tells it’s own story; “Wild” is the clear depiction of teenage wasteland; “On The Sea” details the story of a girl who is coming of age; “Wishes” notes experiencing the pains of second thoughts; “Troublemaker” vocalizes haunting memory; “Irene” realizes finding peace and the lucidity of future recollections; and so on, and so forth, and so on. Admittedly, Legrand’s accompaniment of loose vocals and beautiful lyrics allows listeners to be fully-captivated and enchanted with every moment of Bloom. 

In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Beach House explained that their intent for this album was to explore deeper themes while still developing, rather than changing, their distinct roots. Alex Scally continued with saying  he “hate[s] it when bands change between records.” Incredibly, Beach House–unlike many, according to Scally– keeps it real and without ever changing their sound, they still manage to continuously improve with every album.

Audibly, Beach House never fails to amaze me. After seeing them play their last show of their US tour in 2010, the band truly convinced the audience that Teen Dream would be the remains of the band for a while. Gladly, we were played for fools. That said, I think Bloom is an album that the world should listen to because it’s crafting elegance is the epitome of the synth-pop genre and deserves to be applauded and enthralled by all.

So, I’m trying to stray away from album ratings, but..

Album Rating: 10

Listen to a personal favorite here:

Don’t forget to buy tickets to your local Beach House tour!

http://soundcloud.com/jagjaguwar/moonface-headed-for-the-door

Big news came following the indefinite hiatus of Montreal rockers Wolf Parade, when band co-leader Spencer Krug announced the next installment in his solo project Moonface was to be released later this year. “Headed For The Door” is the first track to drop from the upcoming LP Heartbreaking Bravery, and  the sounds coming off this track are unlike anything Krug or Wolf Parade has explored before. The simplest word to describe is big. Big in every way possible: ambient drums, flowy soft synths, wandering electric guitar, and Krug’s very distinct vocals, all drenched in reverb.  Although I haven’t been a fan of Moonface’s earlier more lo-fi works, “Headed For The Door” has certainly excited me for Heartbreaking Bravery which is set to release on April 17th.

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Let me start off with a few blunt statements. Purity Ring is one of the greatest live acts I have ever seen. If you are into Electronic music, see them. If you are into Pop music, see them. If you are into music, see them. See them, see them, see them.

Now that I got that out of the way, lets get to the show itself. Brooklyn based Ava Luna kicked off the night the right way, fusing funk and soul into strange modern grooves. This band has some serious chops, but their lead vocalist really sends them over the top, hitting notes with a charisma that I have only seen from the likes of James Brown and Michael Jackson themselves. These guys have a seriously distinct sound and the talent to back it up.

After a long intermission and stage setup, the lights dimmed. Megan James and Corrin Roddick took the stage to the sold-out crowd . Roddick fiddled with his laptop, grabbed a drumstick, and hit one of the eight paper lamps that were setup during the intermission. The lamp lit up bright orange and triggered a dark and ominous wobbly bass. He hit another lamp, and triggered a different not from the same bass sound. James soon joined in the jam using her youthful voice while pounding a sole kick drum that also lit up each time she hit it. By the time the first track ended I knew I was in for an show unlike anything I’ve seen before. There was not a single dull moment in their short but sweet set, filled with unreleased tracks, more midi light sequences, and masterfully timed live vocal effects. Their sound and performance are so unique that I can’t do them justice by trying to explain them. Their genre has been coined “future-pop” by some of the music world, but their sound is really so much more than that: hints of pop, hints of dubstep, excellent use of sampling, and a blend of prerecorded and live melodies. While Purity Ring may only have three released tracks, I can assure you that they are the next big thing in electronic music.

Province is a split LP from Russian producers OL and Vgtnike. There isn’t really much to say about this album. It is quite simply a solid collection of beats and tracks from each respected artist. It is not as cohesive as possible, and some of the tracks are not as high quality as others, but I enjoyed it pretty thoroughly. The album is currently on sale on their band-camp (below) for “name your price” (free).
Album rating: 7

If you don’t feel like checking out the whole album, listen to a soothing track by OL below.