I’ve been on a podcast binge this month, and my favorite thus far has been Unexplained. It’s filling all of the empty needs that Lore leaves (I listen to Lore, but I can’t get past the mental image I’ve constructed of the narrator wearing khakis at all times. I don’t know why this is.). Unexplained is more in depth, and the stories are quite a bit darker. Special thanks to Nicomi Nix Turner for this recommendation, I’ve listed to the first season twice already.
I remember re-discovering Mark Lanegan in 2008 or so, when I stumbled upon his Gutter Twins Saturnalia album, and thought, “Holy crap, it’s that growly-voiced guy from the Screaming Trees song back in the early 90s!” That was a pretty good song, right? And although I guess that was really the only song I knew by him at that time, I soon realized that Mark Lanegan had never really stopped making music–as a matter of fact, this prolific artist has been churning out, like six albums every year for the past twenty years. Ok, maybe not quite that many, but it does seem like every time you turn around, he is releasing a new album. His latest, Gargoyle is, if you’re familiar with his œuvre, pretty much the same old, same old Lanegan–gritty, gothy noir blues, a gravelly and grizzled guttural croon, and brooding ruminations on wickedness and redemption. Is it similar (or maybe indistinguishable) from his last few albums? Sure, but that’s fine with me. I’ll buy the next five he releases in 2018, too!
Favorite song: “Nocturne”
I’m not always in the mood for poppy music, but Goldfrapp is so damn good at changing my mind. Though it was probably one of my best loved albums of the year, their dreamy, delicate and hauntingly intimate Tales of Us in 2013 was more restrained than what I generally think of, when I consider the lush, infectious synthpop of Goldfrapp’s previous offerings. Silver Eye is a return to form that ebbs and flows from darkly atmospheric electronica, to spooky, spellbinding chillout vibes, to glittery & glamorous, uptempo electronic beats. Exploring themes of transformation and mortality, Silver Eye’s gauzy textures envelop you, its shadowy, crackling waves of sound wash over you, and Alison Goldfrapp’s shimmering, hypnotic vocals both lull and arouse in equal measure…and I’ll confess, this is probably as close to a pop album as I like to get. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to turn up the volume and sway awkwardly in a dark corner.
Favorite song: Ocean
I definitely remember downloading this album as a teenager off of Audiogalaxy or one of the similar mp3 sites where everything took an hour and often ended up on your computer with a ridiculous name like “Sisters of Mercy – Cry Little Sister”. Anathema was recommended to me by an online friend named Ryo, who I will always be indebted to despite having no recollection what his real first name was. Every few months I get a craving for this album and it still sounds as sorrowful and triumphant and dramatic as it did in high school when I penciled the lyrics to Emotional Winter on the pages of my sad goth art. WASTED MOMENTS / WON’T RETURN / AND WE / WILL NEVER FEEL AGAIN. Ryo, thank you.
Favorite song: Deep
I’m a Grimes apologist. And unlike Sarah, I’m pretty much always in the mood for poppy music. Art Angels is an immaculate pop album, catchy and summery and roll down the windows until your hair is utterly fucked up. It also feels a lot more “full” than Visions, more thick vibrating air and less minimalist echo. If you liked Halfaxa and Geidi Primes more than Visions this will not be your thing but if you can’t help describing all music you like as “lush” than, well, it’s highly recommended.
Favorite song: Realiti
I’ve got Twin Peaks on the brain and no doubt will for the foreseeable future since we’ve 14 weeks worth of new episodes to look forward to, which both feels like a luxuriously long time and an agonizing wait. In addition to enjoying the superb blend of old and new compositions by Angelo Badalamenti for the new Twin Peaks soundtrack (due to be released in September), I’m loving how each episode thus far has ended with a different band performing a single song on stage at the Bang Bang Bar aka the Roadhouse. Here are the three songs we’ve heard thus far, each very different, but all dreamy and wistful in their own respective ways:
The Chromatics and Au Revoir Simone are much more to my personal liking than the folksy, country sound of The Cactus Blossoms, but I still appreciate their melancholy tone in the context of Twin Peaks, especially performing for the crowd in the Bang Bang Bar.
For an additional Twin Peaks music fix I recommend following Nighttime at the Roadhouse, a fan-sourced playlist of Twin Peaks and Twin Peaks-themed music on Spotifty forming an aural fantasy about a dreamy night spent hanging out at the Roadhouse. This playlist is still being updated, including the immediate additions of any songs heard at the Bang Bang Bar throughout the new season.