New Albums of Note: Midlake, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Yeasayer, Gorrilaz

A few upcoming releases by established performers that I feel are worth the hype:

Midlake, The Courage of Others

Feb. 2

Preview the whole album right now over at NPR!

It took Midlake a good long while to follow up The Trials of Van Occupanther, the breakthrough album that came out nearly four years ago. I for one am glad the band took its time. Folk-rock this perfect-sounding doesn’t come easily (especially if you refuse to bury your vocals in blemish-hiding reverb). Also, the time off allowed the legend of Occupanther, an exceptionally sequenced full-album experience, time to grow in spite of the fleeting blog success the disc initially received over just one song.

Charlotte Gainsbourg, IRM

Out now!

Just as Midlake’s latest is likely to help Fleet Foxes devotees bide their time till that band drops its follow-up, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s IRM could fill the void for fans of Feist’s The Reminder. Charlotte is the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg, legendary sleezebag and mastermind behind the sexiest driving music I’ve ever heard, the 1971 album Histoire de Melody Nelson. It’s no wonder why Beck was called in to write and produce this album: his “Paper Tiger“, a track from 2002’s Sea Change, is basically Melody-by-numbers.

Yeasayer, Odd Blood

Feb. 9

I had the dumb luck to see a Yeasayer-MGMT double bill — at the Casbah in SD, with MGMT opening — about two years ago. It’s strange to think back on the pairing, considering the mainstream success MGMT has enjoyed since. But really the two bands trade in a similar brand of  psych-pop: Plenty of bells+whistles, but with a mix that’s kept loud and proud, and not a wink in sight. Dig the strangely sincere lyrics of the new “Ambling Alp”: “Stick up for yourself, son / nevermind what anybody else done.”

Gorrilaz, Plastic Beach

March 8

New track “Stylo” (feat. Boby Womack & Mos Def) is spinnin’ over at the band’s homepage.

For a guy who doesn’t usually enjoy hip hop or Britpop well enough to sit through an entire album, I find Gorrilaz to be a perfect comprimise. The rhymes are intermittent, the production (from Dan the Automator on the first album, then Danger Mouse, and now who ??) is tight, and the hooks are nice + kooky, courtesy of the legendary Damon Albarn. Rumor has it  Snoop Dogg will be on this one, plus Lou Reed, and the National Orchestra for Arabic Music, apparently chosen in keeping with Albarn’s recent Open Strings project.


3 Responses to “New Albums of Note: Midlake, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Yeasayer, Gorrilaz”

  1. 1 Lissy Letwin
    February 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Hey, sorry was snooping on facebook and came across your blog. I love it! I don’t always have time to keep up with my music so thanks for these albums. I’m addicted to Yeasayer and better yet they are secretly Canadian. Lol! Awesome!


    • 2 lchennig
      February 27, 2010 at 4:46 pm

      snoop away! thanks for reading! what do you think of the new yeasayer now that it’s out?

      • 3 Lissy Letwin
        March 4, 2010 at 1:12 am

        It’s not bad. My favourites are ONE and Ambling Alp.Good for running by the river You? Check out Spoon’s new album Transference if you get a chance. I’m addicted to 1,4,and 10 right now.

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