As frontman of the Smith Westerns, Chicago-based Cullen Omori was an ascendant indie star before he even left high school. Following the ... More
Album “New Misery”
As frontman of the Smith Westerns, Chicago-based Cullen Omori was an ascendant indie star before he even left high school. Following the band’s 2014 breakup, 25-year-old Omori confronted that legendary creative obstacle: the paralyzing fear that your best work is already behind you. Omori cites this anxiety as impetus for his solo debut, New Misery.
He capably transcends the pitfalls of reinvention on this album, which he recorded with producer Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells, Vampire Weekend, Fucked Up). New Misery expands Omori’s range well beyond the guitar-driven, garage-glam rock of the Smith Westerns and into a synth-laden sonic palette that showcases Omori’s personal take on the classic pop formula. The result is all-embracing, with apparent influences as disparate as Hall and Oates and Joy Division, and invokes the true-to-life sensation of stepping onto a new path, hoping the best is yet to come.
via Sub Pop
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Midnight Special is the fourth feature from acclaimed director Jeff Nichols, who made a name for himself through homage-heavy material including Mud ... More
Film by Jeff Nichols
Midnight Special is the fourth feature from acclaimed director Jeff Nichols, who made a name for himself through homage-heavy material including Mud and Take Shelter. Set in Nichols’ signature Deep South locale, Midnight Special is part car-chase, part psychological sci-fi and part conspiracy thriller featuring Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Sam Shepard, Adam Driver, Kirsten Dunst and newcomer Jaeden Lieberher.
The film centers on a father (Shannon) and his son, Alton (Lieberher), who possesses unexplainable, messianic and potentially-infinite special powers. The duo is on the run from the NSA, who seeks to control Alton’s power, as well as a hick doomsday cult who believes Alton is their savior. Nichols’ pacing is impressively restrained for such a thrilling and imaginative plot, and the film emerges as a tribute to the power of faith, the primal instincts of parenthood and the existential mystery of the human condition.
Krisha is Trey Shults’ directorial debut that swept this year’s SXSW. A moving portrait of a family Thanksgiving, Krisha plays right at ... More
Film by Trey Edward Shults
Krisha is Trey Shults’ directorial debut that swept this year’s SXSW. A moving portrait of a family Thanksgiving, Krisha plays right at the deep-seated emotions between a turbulent septuagenarian addict, Krisha (Krisha Fairchild), and her long-estranged family. The camera—at times aloof, at times frenetic and cramped—follows Krisha’s subjective world of anxiety, overreaction and perhaps misinterpretation. The soundtrack and score prompt creeping horror as emotional baggage seethes just beneath the surface. Using a mix of amateur and professional actors, Shults brings a transcendent sensibility to what would otherwise be a quotidian family gathering. It’s no surprise he has worked under director Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life, Badlands); the humanist quality of the camera’s gaze and subtle metaphors embedded in Krisha deliver an emotional authenticity that is truly rare.
From the multi-talented filmmaker Benjamin Dickinson, Creative Control explores how relationships—working, platonic and romantic—will look with the not-too-far-off technology of augmented reality. ... More
Film by Benjamin Dickinson
From the multi-talented filmmaker Benjamin Dickinson, Creative Control explores how relationships—working, platonic and romantic—will look with the not-too-far-off technology of augmented reality. Dickinson co-writes, directs and stars in the film, aided by a cast of actors and non-actors alike: Reggie Watts (as himself), Das Racist’s Heems, Vimeo co-founder Jake Lodwick and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes. Of particular notice are the performances by Alexia Rasmussen and Nora Zehetner (Brick) and the film’s deliberate cinematography, helmed by Adam Newport-Berra.
While Creative Control can only conjecture at how augmented reality might affect society, it sardonically critiques our screen obsession while exploring the darkest corners of human impulse. The film holds its own among romances set in a world of disruptive technology, such as Spike Jonze’s Her (2013) and Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). Overall, Creative Control’s experience far exceeds the sum of its parts, with a soundtrack primarily comprised of classical pieces, à la A Clockwork Orange, and visual effects conceptualizing a not-too-improbable future.
A collection of previously undiscovered Jeff Buckley recordings, You and I offers an intimate portrait of the singer-songwriter whose tragic death cut ... More
Album “You and I”
A collection of previously undiscovered Jeff Buckley recordings, You and I offers an intimate portrait of the singer-songwriter whose tragic death cut short his burgeoning musical career. Buckley had released his seminal 1994 album, Grace, and was recording his next, to be titled My Sweetheart the Drunk, when he drowned in the Mississippi River outside of Memphis in 1997.
Many of Buckley’s recordings have been released posthumously, including his haunting rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” You and I reveals his taste and talent through a wide range of unreleased covers and two original tracks. These 10 recordings, long rumored to exist as the “Addabbo Sessions,” were discovered in the Sony archives during research for the 20th anniversary edition of Grace.
The album includes a solo studio version of “Grace” as well as Buckley’s resplendent interpretations of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman,” Ray Charles’ “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’,” The Smiths’ “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side” and others originally recorded by Led Zeppelin, Booker T. Washington “Bukka” White and Sly & the Family Stone. Referred to as “a fan’s Holy Grail,” You and I discloses Buckley’s raw and profound potential, as he infuses covers with a moving sensibility and articulate talent.
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Austin’s Holy Wave releases Freaks of Nurture, their third album, recorded in their hometown with Erik Wofford (Explosions In The Sky, The ... More
Album “Freaks of Nurture”
Austin’s Holy Wave releases Freaks of Nurture, their third album, recorded in their hometown with Erik Wofford (Explosions In The Sky, The Black Angels, My Morning Jacket). In Holy Wave tradition, Freaks of Nurture is reverb-heavy with plenty of psych influences, yet is more stripped down, harmonized and laced with hooks—a crystalline honing of the band’s sound.
via The Reverberation Appreciation Society
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Following their 2013 debut Wildewoman, Brooklyn band Lucius releases their second LP, Good Grief. The five-piece is led by Jess Wolfe and ... More
Album “Good Grief”
Following their 2013 debut Wildewoman, Brooklyn band Lucius releases their second LP, Good Grief. The five-piece is led by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who often dress as highly-stylized twins, with Dan Molad, Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri. Good Grief was produced by Shawn Everett (Weezer, Alabama Shakes, Julian Casablancas) and proves catchy and dynamic from the start, underpinned by Wolfe and Laessig’s signature harmonization.
via Mom + Pop
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Lionlimb is the duo of Stewart Bronaugh and Joshua Jaeger, both members of Angel Olsen’s backing band who contributed to her beautiful ... More
Lionlimb is the duo of Stewart Bronaugh and Joshua Jaeger, both members of Angel Olsen’s backing band who contributed to her beautiful 2014 album Burn Your Fire for No Witness. The duo is now releasing a debut of their own, Shoo, which is vibrantly infused with pop experiments from throughout the decades.
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›› ISSUE Feature: Interview with Angel Olsen.
M. Ward returns with More Rain, his eighth solo album since his 1999 debut and an upbeat and ambitious follow-up to 2012’s ... More
Album “More Rain”
M. Ward returns with More Rain, his eighth solo album since his 1999 debut and an upbeat and ambitious follow-up to 2012’s A Wasteland Companion. Ward’s prolific career also includes five LPs with Zooey Deschanel as the duo She & Him and a 2009 album with the supergroup Monsters of Folk, which included friends Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes. More Rain proves a tenacious experiment and progression of M. Ward’s sound that maintains his introspective folk roots.
Originally conceived as a DIY doo-wop album layering Ward’s voice, More Rain developed in a few different directions due to the contributions of collaborators such as R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Neko Case, k.d. lang, The Secret Sisters and Joey Spampinato of NRBQ. In a press release, Ward comments on the intentionality and buoyancy of More Rain: “There must be a place in our brains that allows us to take a bird’s-eye view of humanity, and I think music is good at helping people—myself included—go to that place.”
via Merge Records
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