Put an elegant woman on an expansive beach and throw some wind in her direction, and what do you get? The video for Eddi Front's elegiac "Gigantic" – a torch song based on reedy, reverberated vocals and a powerful piano part that's so dark it sounds like it was recorded in the middle of a black forest. Her debut EP is out now on Best Fit.
We’ve already done our due diligence on the new Talk Talk cover album and urged you to purchase, but if you still haven’t, here’s exhibit B. Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire fame) has molded “I Believe In You” into a sleepy, soaring indie ballad. Classical keys and torpid whispers invoke the feeling of watching the rain stream against the glass on your bedroom window. By the time the song has feathered across its beatific finish line, you just may decide to stay ensconced in your private pillow fort all day long. No judgment from us if you do.
Some covers are amazing. Some covers aren’t. At RCRD LBL, we aim to bring you only the worthy. That’s why we’re gifting this revise of Arcade Fire’s “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" by Cali duo Meklit Hadero & Quinn DeVeaux in which jazz, folk and Ethiopian tones drop into Chicago blues and New Orleans gospel. Imagine if the original was marooned at an island fish fry during happy hour and you’d be close. More renditions abound, including those of Patti Smith, Neil Young, Lou Reed and MGMT on Meklit Hadero & Quinn DeVeaux’s debut, available for pre-order over on Amazon.
Blonds aren’t blonds at all: they’re a raven-haired, inked up, spiritual necklace wearing duo who makes bruised indie rock symphonies with rich siren vox, contemplative riffs and many a stretchy transition. No surprise these kids have shared the stage with Surfer Blood and are about to with The Hold Steady, Blonde Redhead and Cults, considering their woozy sound and tailor-made production by the man behind records from Dirty Projectors, Deerhunter and Spoon. Enough name-dropping, you get the idea. Blonds are good, and their debut is going to be a big one, titled The Bad Ones and coming to an earhole near you on August 7.
"I can liken you to a werewolf, the way you left me for dead," starts this new one from Fiona Apple, like she never went away. She's still one of the most powerfully emotional performers we have, here going both sweeping and spare and letting her roller coaster of a voice do the heavy lifting. Her upcoming album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw, And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, is out June 19 on Epic.
(Photo: Leigha Hodnet)
We keep hearing Meiko’s star is still rising, but to us she’s already an indie heavyweight whose spare, oceanic folk dreams have revived us from many a breakup (case in point: this). In this freshly-pressed remix of “Leave The Lights On,” her coquettish voice still manages to pierce every ventricle, even through an unyielding party wall of The Crystal Method’s twilight synths, crunchy bass and poppy club ribbons. Pretty, dancey stuff with an edge, and a great taste of what’s to come on Meiko’s upcoming LP, The Bright Side, via Fantasy/Concord on May 15.
The blithe, the blessed, the unscarred: those are not welcome here. For the rest of you, meet the haunting alley cat songstress that is Doe Paoro and her withering single “Born Whole.” With little more than her tarry vocals, a mild dubstep mist and the pounding of a few plaintive piano keys, she’ll scratch what’s left of your heart into ragged bits. Her atonal cover of Future Islands’ “Little Dreamer” is sparer still, and just as raw and emotive. Slow To Love is Ms. Paoro’s debut LP, and she’ll be unleashing it on those in need of a good cry on Valentine’s Day.
If dissolving into a circumstance where "Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out" is anything like The Antlers’ mildly Spanish, strummy, bumpy, vulnerable rock nightmare, then I look forward to it. Another thing I'm looking forward to? Getting killed softly by more of the melodious same on The Antlers’ latest LP, out on Frenchkiss (U.S.) and Transgressive (U.K.) now.
Maybe it’s all this hurricane talk; all this harping that America’s eastern seaboard must evacuate (to where?) and huddle close (with whom?) in a shelter (again, where?) to pray that Irene will not strike us down where we cower, but it seems to me that we could all use a collective hug. Thanks then, to Cat Martino and Sufjan Stevens and the aptly-titled “Yr Not Alone”—the intimate and comforting single from Cat’s forthcoming album of the same name. To listen is to be shrouded in mothering melody: feathering beats and synthy instrumental swells undulate beneath Cat’s mesmerizing vocals and Sufjan’s supporting hum. Replay until this storm, or any other, has passed.
For those who thought one-man-Brit-band Mr Fogg couldn’t get any more evolved and achy, behold this acoustic version of much-remixed single “Moving Parts.” Its twinkling chimes, soft keys, and wavering vocals shall tenderize even the hardest of hearts, and rightfully deserve the often-lobbed Coldplay and ilk comparisons. The deeply pensive song also has a deeply pensive video directed by—of all people—American History X’s Tony Kaye, viewable here.