Fiona Apple – Paper Bag
Crystal Castles – Plague
Toronto’s electronic goth duo Crystal Castles have finally released their new single Plague from their upcoming album (please say it’s titled Crystal Castles III?) due later this summer. Plague has Alice Glass and Ethan Kath approaching their music with a much darker, ominous sound that was alluded to on 2010’s album Crystal Castles II. While Crystal Castles II may have hinted at a growing sinister sound, new single Plague is a fully evolved nightmare that contains creepy church organs, mirrored echos and eerie lyrics. Alice Glass continues her reign as an evil intergalactic space princess (think Moon Child [The Never Ending Story] meets Lilandra Neramani [X-Men]) as she taunts her victim with “I need you pure, I need you clean. I am the plague”. Crystal Castles may haven taken a few notes from fellow witchgaze band Salem as far as their sound goes but the thinly veiled influence seems more like an afterthought than a direct imitation. Stir in some Prometheus-esque sirens and Crystal Castles have created what is truly a beautifully disturbing masterpiece. Genius!
Bloc Party – Octopus
Are they together or aren’t they? After much speculation, various rumors and a few odd announcements, the London foursome have finally returned with their comeback single Octopus. Word broke out in early 2011 that Bloc Party had begun work on their at the time untitled record but fans were soon left with news that the band was disbanding and going on hiatus while lead singer Kele Okereke focused on a solo career. Kele claimed Bloc Party was looking to replace him as lead singer and blogs speculated about the band’s grim future, but fast forward to a few months later and SURPRISE!…it was all just a lie to buy the band some more preparation time. So was the extra time worth the wait? Simply put; Absolutely. Octopus is the perfect fusion of the guitar based indie-rock sound on Silent Alarm and the brash electronic manipulation found on Intimacy. Bloc Party sound confident, refreshed and inspired which in return makes Octopus a true return to form for the talented band. Well done Bloc Party, well done.
Four is set for release on August 20th and if you’re not picking this one up we probably can’t be friends anymore.
Passion Pit – Constant Conversations
Passion Pit have released yet another song from their highly anticipated sophomore album Gossamer and unlike their previous tracks (Talk A Walk & I’ll Be Alright) Constant Conversations contains no political undertones or forgettable melodies. Instead Passion Pit return with Michael Angelakos’ sweet smooth falsetto on full display layered upon a soothing R&B beat that will make your heart melt. At first listen it sounds as if though Passion Pit had the genius idea to collaborate with the brilliant Kate Bush but that isn’t the case. Angelakos channels his inner Kate Bush (with the help of vocal manipulation) with all her fiery passion and emotion, and the duality in his vocals is absolutely extraordinary. Constant Conversations is oddly nostalgic like a warm Autumn evening that is reminiscent of lost lovers, failed relations and constant struggles. It’s simply quite lovely and is easily a stand out track from Gossamer. Presssss Play!
Gossamer is available for purchase and digital download on July 24th. You better pick this one up!