There are many things about Moby’s new album Innocents that will resonate with his prior fans: the atmospheric background of strings, the occasional piano key, and the peculiar softness of Moby’s voice. However, there is one thing about this album that may throw many devout Moby fans off-kilter: the presence of other artists. Moby traditionally is not known for collaborating with other musicians, but has successfully managed to create some of his best compositions yet due to the various arrays of voices and sounds implemented.
The opening track, “Everything That Rises,” is typical of Moby: creating an ambient “safe-space” with synthesized strings against calming drum patterns, but with an extra sitar-esque exoticness that brings the track to another level. “Almost Home” is a track that would be appreciated by fans of artists like Bon Iver, with falsetto-dominated vocals and depressing/inspiring lyrics (depending on which way you decide to take them). The album is full of highly variable tunes; the listener moves from one genre to another just by skipping to the next track, or sometimes not even that. “The Perfect Life” travels from verses filled with distorted, galactic-sounding, warped guitar reminiscent of a Space Odyssey-era David Bowie, to choruses with church choir vocals and powerful female voices.
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Bristol pop-rockers Neotropics are making waves on the charts recently, and for good reason. Stating that their self-described “nostalgic blend of Sonic 80’s Synth Pop & Modern Anthemic Rock” is catchy is an understatement to the inherently danceable characteristics of their music. Here is a band that sounds like the keyboards of M83 with a tip of the hat to The 1975 (whom they recently opened for at two sell out shows) and pop-punk all conveniently available in one package undoubtedly destined for greatness in the coming months. The three person outfit’s most recent single “Closer” (available on Soundcloud) will likely become your iPod’s guilty pleasure in the coming weeks, like any decent alternative-pop song, but it’s ok to admit that there are some pop performers with a lot of talent. Besides “Closer”, make sure to also listen to “Reflections” for a more downbeat but just as catchy break from all the dancing you’ll be doing.
Review by Conner McInerney
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The line was long and the majority of the crowd was…short. As we walked up to the Black Cat last Saturday to see Jacuzzi Boys, King Tuff, and Wavves, we were met with a wide-ranging crowd in terms of age. There were old D.C. punks who clearly had been frequenting the pit since Fugazi, masses of preteens who were enjoying their first outings of parental freedom, and then the occasional laid back older teenager—of which a strange majority were wearing Hawaiian printed shirts. In lions riding pineapples they trust! [No, really, there was a kid who had that shirt. And it was all right.]
Upon finally making it in after dealing with the disgruntled gatekeeper of the Black Cat, guest list confusion, denial of admittance, more confusion, calls to managers, and the final admittance, Max Blackman [Shoutouts to The Schoolyard, tune into that!] and I made our way to the front. We easily slithered up the side and onto the edge of the pit. I’m not one for mosh pits—I can’t say I enjoy getting man handled and punched by other sweaty individuals. But, I enjoyed watching it. There were some goofy kids hopping and jumping and singing their hearts out while elbowing other kids in the face—and something about it was strikingly heart-warming.
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Myron & E are a duo off of Stone Throw’s Records who just released their first album, Broadway. The album begins with the song “Turn Back,” and we are instantly reminded of the opening drum beat from Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You”—but the similarities stop there. Myron & E’s actual song is far trippier and reminiscent of a nice drive down a sunny California road. However, their lyrics are strikingly cliché and the voice does not match the soothing vibe the music is trying to achieve. The album improves with “If I Gave You My Love,” because a certain Blues Brothers sax comes through and shows their ability to produce music that is reflective of multiple eras. “Everyday Love” gets you dancing, but the layering of Myron’s voice on the track makes it sound like a bad vocal mash up.
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After the release of the insanely popular single “Levels,” Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii, left fans greatly anticipating his first studio length album. Strangely, after debuting previews of his tracks at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, fans began questioning his taste and follow-up singles. The album, True, out September 13th, in its entirety is completely different than any other electronic dance record currently out. It uniquely combines a variety of genres not yet explored by Bergling and other remix artists of this electronic generation.
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