WVAU’s DJs weigh in on the music industry’s newest releases.
AlunaGeorge – Body Music
Vocalist Aluna Francis and producer George Reid come full force with their debut album, “Body Music.” It’s a fitting title, as each R&B/electronic hybrid of a track that Reid creates has a life of its own. With a voice reminiscent of Ellie Goulding and Lily Allen, Francis steals the show- her sugar sweet vocals regularly morph into slow taunts with the drop of a beat. The album is high energy in an understated way and the duo draws on 90s pop divas and current indie and R&B powerhouses to round out their sound. There’s uniformity in “Body Music” that keeps the project together, but during the final string of tracks, the shock value is gone.
RIYL: Lorde, Little Dragon, Delilah – Mandi Ray, WVAU music staffer
Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (Domino)
The tracks on this record are poppy and good to dance to, especially tracks 1, 2 and 4. The problem with this record is that there is nothing especially memorable about it. There are no good hooks, no catchy guitar riffs, no chorus you’ll find yourself singing in the shower, just some average songs. Though sometimes it’s hard for bands with such great track records (pun intended) to come out with something as quality as their older material, Franz Ferdinand could’ve done a little better than this.
RIYL: Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, The Killers
-Drew Sher, Fur Sher on Friday 4-6 p.m.
Holograms – Forever
Sweden is a rough country. In the wintertime, it’s dark and cold and people eat weird things like pickled herring and pickled beets and all kinds of pickled stuff. Holograms seems to come right out of the woodwork with severe-sounding, hard-hitting heavy punk on their second release “Forever.” This is the sort of punk that any listener can get behind, with catchy synth parts and a constant, rapid beat. Hollow, haunting lead vocals, a steady bass line and the general attitude of separation, depression and self-pity of the album is reminiscent of Joy Division’s dramatic and poignant sound. This will make you wanna fist pump and headbang and be a punk.
RIYL: Iceage, Var, Joy Division, Sweden – Clare Teeling, WVAU music staff
The Dodos- Carrier
There’s a melancholy aura about the fifth album from the indie-rock duo of San Francisco’s Logan Kroeber and Meric Long. Softly glowing with amber hues yet chillingly reflective, “Carrier,” sparked by the death of Dodos’ guest member and friend Christopher Reimer last year, is the most emotional Dodos record yet. That’s not to say it’s all mourning but rather, thanks to psychedelic overtones, thoughtful lyrics, more drawn out vocals and overall deeper structures, it’s a pensive and moving record. The Dodos here are a lot less acoustic too, but their great strength in transitions stays strong, like from cymbal-heavy opening in “Substance” which moves into a bright brass section and cools to acoustic fingerpicking. You’ll get your fix of solid percussion and bursts of distortion, but what will keep you coming back to this record could be the way it carries you away.
RIYL: Local Natives, Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear – Molly Pfeffer, Velvet Sessions on Tuesday 6-8 p.m.
Dent May- Warm Blanket
“Warm Blanket,” the third studio album by Paw Tracks understudy Dent May, feels like his grab for the spotlight. He is clearly cut from the Paw Tracks/Carpark cloth, recalling Toro Y Moi’s soft grooves, Ariel Pink’s love of cheesy pop and most prominently Panda Bear’s obsession with the harmonies of the Beach Boys. Armed with his soothing tenor, Dent May filters all of these influences through squeaky-clean production and straightforward, searching lyrics to deliver a smooth, feel-good album with some strong highlights, such as disco-tinged single “Born Too Late” and the weightless lullaby “Endlessly.” And then there’s the crowning moment, the gorgeous, heartbreaking ballad “Yazoo,” which perfectly expresses the mood of the album and its season; this silly time of year, when the weather feels like summer but we have to get back into the grind, and our summer memories begin to fade into and become indistinguishable from all those past.
RIYL: The Beach Boys, Toro Y Moi, Panda Bear
-Jesse Paller, WVAU Music Director