New Release Round-Up 04-07-17
FATHER JOHN MISTY - Pure Comedy - Sub Pop
Pure Comedy, Father John Misty's third album, is a complex, often-sardonic, and, equally often, touching meditation on the confounding folly of modern humanity. Father John Misty is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Josh Tillman. Tillman has released two widely acclaimed albums – Fear Fun (2012) and I Love You, Honeybear (2015). While we could say a lot about Pure Comedy – including that it is a bold, important album in the tradition of American songwriting greats like Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, and Leonard Cohen – we think it’s best to let its creator describe it himself. Take it away, Mr. Tillman: "Pure Comedy is the story of a species born with a half-formed brain. The species’ only hope for survival, ﬁnding itself on a cruel, unpredictable rock surrounded by other species who seem far more adept at this whole thing (and to whom they are delicious), is the reliance on other, slightly older, half-formed brains. This reliance takes on a few different names as their story unfolds, like 'love,' 'culture,' 'family,' etc. Over time, and as their brains prove to be remarkably good at inventing meaning where there is none, the species becomes the purveyor of increasingly bizarre and sophisticated ironies. These ironies are designed to help cope with the species’ loathsome vulnerability and to try and reconcile how disproportionate their imagination is to the monotony of their existence. Something like that."
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS - Whiteout Conditions - Concord Records
"Cohesive." It's a word New Pornographers founder A.C. Newman still sounds a little bit surprised to say as he describes the band's seventh album, Whiteout Conditions. It's a quality that you wouldn't necessarily intuitively associate with a so-called supergroup that, by its very collective nature, seems bound to have a good deal of stylistic variance built into the formula (or lack of it). Can an outfit built on the appeal of multiple frontmen and frontwomen develop a signature sound after all? Maybe, and maybe better late than never.
COLD WAR KIDS - LA Divine - Capitol
LA Divine, Cold War Kids most expansive and ambitious effort so far, pays tribute to Los Angeles in all its strange glory, embodying the Long Beach-bred band s endless fascination with their adopted hometown. "In many ways, LA is the least divine city, the most hedonistic and irreverent and disconnected from history," says vocalist Nathan Willett. "LA's so massive, I feel like I'm always finding something new in it," adds bassist Matt Maust. "It's an incredibly weird place, and I'm happy to have made an album that totally honors that weirdness."
THE CHAINSMOKERS - Memories...Do Not Open - Sony
Memories...Do Not Open is the debut full-length album from Grammy Award winning artist/producer duo The Chainsmokers. Comprised of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, The Chainsmokers have evolved into a dominating musical force with a diverse repertoire of songs that have led them to become today's hottest young artist/producer duo. With a signature sound that deftly reaches across indie, progressive, and pop realms, their original tracks and remixes have topped the charts throughout the world.
FUTURE ISLANDS - The Far Field - 4AD
The Far Field refines and builds on the breakthroughs of the Baltimore-based trio’s 2014 album, Singles, bursting with undeniable hooks and disarmingly honest lyrics. After the success of Singles and the hundreds of Future Islands shows played in that period, the band began writing new material on the coast of North Carolina, and continued throughout the year in Baltimore before road-testing these songs at a series of secret shows under fake names. Later that year, they traveled to Los Angeles to record with Grammy Award-winning producer John Congleton at the legendary Sunset Sound. The Far Field is the first Future Islands record to feature live drums by Michael Lowry, who joined the band prior to their sensational performance of “Seasons (Waiting On You)” on David Letterman’s late night TV show. Across The Far Field’s twelve chest-pounding love songs and odes to the road, Future Islands brilliantly expresses the band’s central themes they’ve been exploring for the last decade: that there is power in emotional vulnerability, that one can find a way to laugh and cry in the same breath – and be stronger for it.
For more information on these and other releases out this week, check out our New Releases charts by week section and don't forget that many of these titles are also available on vinyl.