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Rock - Verschenen op 21 mei 2021 | Matador

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
Rooted in the same issues that once inspired the American blues it's modeled on—poverty, corruption, conflict—West Africa's desert blues boom still has much to say, eloquently weighing in on both public disputes and personal struggles caused by assouf, which in the Tamashek language means loss, longing, homesickness, or "the pain that is not physical." By adding grooves and most importantly, the electric guitar, this maturing genre—percolating since the 1980s—from bands like Tinariwen, Imarhan, and Bombino, has made West Africa a source of fresh inspiration for electric blues rock and psychedelia (two forms of Western music in dire need of new energies). Mdou Moctar, (aka Mahamadou Souleymane)—deemed the "Hendrix of the Sahara,"—has become the latest performer to make the leap to Europe and the US. After a live album for Jack White's Third Man records in 2019, this studio album is a crucial step up in his rapidly rising career. A remarkable collage of sound considering there are only four musicians, Afrique Victime has both ballads and upbeat numbers, all of it rhythmically vital and improvised around a core groove. The left-handed guitarist is supported throughout by his band of rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane (a star in his own right who has collaborated with Moctar since 2018), drummer Souleymane Ibrahim and American bassist/road manager Mikey Coltun who also produced this album which Matador is modestly calling, "Van Halen meets Black Flag meets Black Uhuru." Recorded while the band was on the road in Amsterdam and the US, the overall sound is reasonably clear and well-balanced and was mixed to give the band equal prominence to Moctar's guitar and singing. Nowhere near the equal of his guitarwork, his vocals in Tamashek are often doubled and tripled to make them sound like a chorus. After setting the scene with the buzz of insects, a crowing rooster, and footsteps in gravel, opener "Chismiten" has Moctar singing, "To become a better person, you need to stop being so jealous and insecure," before ripping into a razor-edged electric guitar solo that's swirled with reverb and a slightly distorted tone. Muscular and original, this stirring statement leaves no doubt that this self-professed Eddie Van Halen fan has the requisite ideas and confidence to be a guitar hero. Despite the album's title and the political bent of much of the music from this region, the songs on Afrique Victime are for the most part love songs. In the enchanting chords of the album's most fully realized tune "Tala Tannam" he sings, "I adore your eyes and body shape." In the acoustic guitar and hand claps-led "Ya Habibti" his "heart beats fast when I think of you." And while the humor may be unintentional—the product of a less than elegant Tamashek-to-English translation—the closer "Bismilahi Atagah," finds our hero weary from the battle of the sexes, declaring, "Love has become a painful boil in my life/ More painful than the sword of my enemy." A star on the rise, a guitar hero gently weeping. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 7 mei 2021 | Mexican Summer

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Wereldmuziek - Verschenen op 23 april 2021 | New Amsterdam

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
Arooj Aftab is a young prodigy of Pakistani origin who has lived in Brooklyn since she was 18. This is the second album from this singer-songwriter (and what a singer!). Six years after Bird Under Water, her music is taking wing again and soaring even higher with Vulture Prince. She had hoped that this release would be filled with light and joy: but a family bereavement got in the way.  Her younger brother and a journalist friend both passed away as she was writing this album. The young woman set out to find a connection to life after death and to pay tribute to them. The album is dedicated to her brother Maher and the track Saans Lo is based on a poem by her friend Annie Ali Khan, with whom she had long been planning to collaborate. Arooj Aftab draws strength and originality from the blend of her mixed heritage. Her singing voice is inspired by the Indo-Persian traditions of earthly and divine love songs, by the ghazal form, and by Sufi poetry. Last Night is based on a poem by the founder of the whirling dervishes Jalâl ad-Din Rûmî, while Mohabbat is written around verses by Urdu poet Hafeez Hoshiarpuri. Musically, Arooj Aftab borrows deftly from jazz and mystical electronic music, which provides a perfect foil for her heavenly singing. Track after track, the music's radiance offers comfort and pure, deep euphoria. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz
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Metal - Verschenen op 16 april 2021 | Sargent House

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Jazz - Verschenen op 9 april 2021 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
Although it stems from a work that Iyer originally crafted back in 2011, one could hardly imagine a better title for a 2021 album release than Uneasy. As the world wobbles onto its post-pandemic footing and the United States begins to take stock of the social and political toll from years of continued divisiveness, any optimism or forward motion one may feel is almost always tempered by the reality of that which came before. That anger and frustration with the past and the resultant realism about the future is at the core of the pianist's first trio album for ECM since 2015's Break Stuff. Like that outing, Uneasy relies on tight, confident interplay between three highly skilled and unique musicians, but this lineup is all new, featuring double-bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Iyer's skills as a player, composer, and collaborator have since grown considerably and Uneasy is an excellent showcase for all of them. "Children of Flint" and "Combat Breathing" are stunning compositions, focusing on the human costs of political negligence and malfeasance, forces that have unmistakably driven the uneasiness behind the album's title. "Children of Flint" is the more rigorous of the two, opening the album in a dramatically unfolding manner, but "Combat Breathing" definitely holds its own, finding a sturdy groove that's fueled by fire—not funk—and culminating in a cluster of sonics that evaporates into the ether like so much tear gas. The interplay between the three players is remarkable throughout, most notably on the dramatic "Entrustment," which relies on telepathic communication between the rhythm section and Iyer's piano; likewise, "Retrofit"—a piece written for sextet and appropriately complex—gets handled deftly by these three, giving each plenty of opportunity to shine. Of course, it's Iyer's piano work that holds down the entire affair, and as he wends through the dense, melodic "Touba," he manages to evoke Coltrane's spiritual-era changes, but with a more pensive vibe, while on the solo piece "Augury," his playing is both insistent and introspective. On Uneasy, Iyer continues his unique balancing act of presenting complex and demanding compositional ideas in a framework that's welcoming and accessible, with players who see eye-to-eye and can help execute that vision in a way that's imaginative and invigorating. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 2 april 2021 | 4AD

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
Few bands from the post punk revival that began in the 2010s are led by women. Florence Shaw is redressing the balance with brilliance. The Londoner who heads up Dry Cleaning has above all a uniquely serious, warm and rather sensual voice that balances perfectly against the roughness of the abrasive, dark rock'n'roll played by guitarist Tom Dowse, bassist Lewis Maynard and drummer Nick Buxton. This singing sometimes borders on spoken-word (Grace Jones, Annette Peacock or a female Baxter Dury come to mind). This voice plays hide-and-seek with a soundtrack that refers to the classics (Joy Division, Magazine, Gang of Four, Feelies, Wire) without ever going overboard. This all dresses up a collection of collages à la William Burroughs, in the famous and rather extreme cut-up style, which inspires as much love as hate... At the console, we have John Parrish, PJ Harvey's faithful accomplice. He has tailored an impeccable sonic suit for New Long Leg: one that's full of heady compositions. These compositions stand out from those of their colleagues like Shame, Fontaines D.C., Girl Band, Idles and Murder Capital. This is real original Dry Cleaning material. It's one to discover urgently. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Electronic - Verschenen op 26 maart 2021 | Luaka Bop

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
As many classically-inspired composers have moved from acoustic instruments into electronics, the possibilities of collaboration with jazz players has increased. Despite instrumental firepower and the best intentions, the history of jazz-classical blendings—specifically with tenor players like Wayne Shorter, Anthony Braxton and Ornette Coleman—has been mixed, finding the most success when the reeds are an integral part of the composition. Here the wise, eminently accomplished 80-year-old Pharoah Sanders—whose career has lived for the edges—has teamed with young UK composer Floating Points (aka Sam Shepherd) and the strings of the London Symphony Orchestra for a realization of Shepherd's "Promises." A collaboration of nine unnamed movements that run as one long (46:37) intricately constructed piece, Shepherd's plethora of keyboards (many of them vintage synthesizers) effectively mesh with Sanders' gift for breathy, urgent skronking. Recorded at Los Angeles' Sargent Studio and London's Air Studios, and mixed by Shepherd at EMS4 in London, Promises is dreamy, mysterious and close-miked to the point where you can hear Shepherd's fingers on the keys.Built around Shepherd's slow, rhythmic repetition of a similar note pattern first on harpsichord, then organ and later on vintage analog synthesizers—and often rendered in a harp-like tone– Promises starts out slowly and quietly with a full-toned Sanders at his most accessible, at times aping the repetitive rhythm of this percussion-less composition. As Shepherd keeps up this pattern, he progressively adds keyboard lustres, and at the 10-minute mark plays a solo where he bends and twists notes on a synth, while Sanders wordlessly jabbers before adding robust phrases and statements on his horn. As the piece continues, the recurring pattern returns over which Sanders shows a rarely displayed lyrical side to his playing before a solo violin announces the entrance of the LSO conducted by Sally Herbert. The massed strings gradually build and the piece turns lush with high and low strings washing across the soundstage with gorgeous presence and majesty. Building to an early climax, Promises becomes a cinematic whirl of dense string textures before winding back down to just the recurring note pattern. At the 34-minute mark, another climax occurs as shimmering waves of synth textures dissolve into a twinkling stasis before the rhythmic pattern reasserts itself accompanied by simple loops that rise and fall in tone and volume. Sanders adds urgent assertions before smoothing out into a legato moan. Not surprisingly, Promises concludes with more B-3 organ, the sound of whisking on a loop, rising synth chords and the dramatic return of violins for a final flourish. While one can wish for more Sanders (or even more LSO), Shepherd's skill with his gang of keyboards creates infinite musical forms and flexibilities that are the central feature of this scenic and assured sound. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 26 maart 2021 | Smalltown Supersound

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
Jenny Hval is an experimental artist who knows no limits. Take, for example, her album Blood Bitch (2016) on which the Norwegian used her electro-speckled pop and her vaporous, chloroformed, dreamlike vocals to talk of nothing but blood! Menstruation and vampirism fed this disturbing new wave-influenced sixth album... Written as a duet with her compatriot Håvard Volden with whom she has been working regularly since 2008, Lost Girls is another story altogether. This duo's trip is all about the desire for freedom. It is a kind of total improvisation and mixes electro, new age influences, spoken word, a mille-feuille of percussion, drone sounds, and more. Menneskekollektivet makes it look like a live performance even though it was recorded in the studio, at Øra Studios in Trondheim, Norway. In this 45-minute stream, Hval and Volden slalom between club, ambient, krautrock and avant-garde, paying little heed to the boundaries between them. It's a fluidity that imbues this album with real poetry and makes it quite captivating. We are often reminded of the works of contemporary American composer Robert Ashley, or a dance version of his works. Laurie Anderson has also left a mark on these Lost Girls, who have produced the most fascinating discographic oddity of the moment. ©Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 5 februari 2021 | Fat Possum

Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
Categorized as a "folk artist" since her 2009 album debut, Tamara Lindeman—frontwoman of the otherwise ever-changing band that is The Weather Station—defies pigeonholing with her fifth effort: a sensual, lavish collection of songs that borrows from modern jazz, electronica and straight-up dance music. With its steady rock beat, bubbling melody and low-key dynamics, the terrific new track "Tried to Tell You" could be an Arcade Fire song. It all suits Lindeman's voice, a shape-shifting thing of dark beauty that begs Joni Mitchell comparisons but also easily travels from Kate Bush flutters to Annie Lennox heft. Things get appealingly enigmatic and weird right from opener "Robber," with its high-hat hiss, sharply punctuated strings, and moody sax and piano. Lindeman sounds like she's breathing the lyrics more than singing them: "I never believed in the robber. I never saw nobody climb over my fence; no black bag, no gloved hand." It's delightfully open to interpretation (a lover who stole self-esteem? a psychic vampire? a literal thief?), but Lindeman has also said that it was inspired by earth-harming actions of Exxon Mobil. Indeed, she's revealed that much of the album was written during a winter obsession over the apocalyptic nature of climate change, That said, it's not easy to parse when the lyrical malaise is about that or some other bruise. "You lay in bed...every other part of you hurt...loss is loss," Lindeman intones on "Loss," a song that musically evokes the hum of traffic on the move. "Dim the lights and draw the curtains; this is the end of love," she sings like some Byronic hero on the stark-to-lush "Trust." Even the album title, Ignorance, begins to feel like self-damnation. Hell, maybe it's enough to take a lyric like "you know it just kills me when I see some bird fly. It just kills me, and I don’t know why"—from the throbbing "Parking Lot"—at face value. By the end, as the emotions (both lyrical and musical) have simmered for 40 minutes but never quite boiled over, you might need a constitutional, or at least some caffeine, to shake it loose from your thoughts. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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R&B - Verschenen op 8 januari 2021 | RCA Records Label

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
Reality Show was a major milestone in Jazmine Sullivan's career. With this third album, released in 2015, the Philadelphia singer was gaining in stature, in her singing and deepening her relationship with melody and groove. The grace of her old-school R&B mingled with some rather elaborate lyrics. Five years later, and after some impeccable features for artists like GoldLink (Meditation with Kaytranada), Frank Ocean (Solo and four tracks on Endless), Kindness (Hard to Believe), Mali Music (Loved By You), Niia (Sideline) and Robert Glasper (You're My Everything on Black Radio 2), Sullivan gives us even more swagger with Heaux Tales, a viscerally committed work that talks unsentimentally about money. “Heaux Tales is about my observation of today’s women standing in their power and owning who they are.  No longer is male patriarchy dictating what it means to be a ‘good girl.’  The truth is, women of all ages have been called a ‘heaux’ at some point in life, whether deserved or not, by some man trying to put us in our place; a place designed to keep us under control, out of the way and usually beneath them. Women are over feeling ashamed about the decision we have made, or chose to make, in regards to our bodies. We are multi-faceted and shouldn’t be defined by any one thing.  We all have a journey to make and it’s our choice alone how we get there.” These sentiments are set impeccably to music, as on the sure-fire hit Girl Like Me which closes the album, a demented duet with the Californian Gabriella Wilson a.k.a. H.E.R, a classy love story with deception at its heart. Two other guest appearances enrich Heaux Tales (Anderson .Paak on Pricetags and Ari Lennox on On It). Her spot-on voice is hoarse with a naked soul timbre (Lauryn Hill/Brandy) and she sometimes takes a playful run at Kendrick Lamar's flow (Put It Down) or flirts with gospel (Bodies, Lost One). Above all, Jazmine Sullivan is not content to throw together a feminist hotchpotch to catch the pulse of the moment. This is her fourth full album. A beautiful and deep work that will stand the test of time. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Verschenen op 25 december 2020 | AWGE - Interscope Records

Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
For Playboi Carti, red means many things: the colour of the Bloods, the gang with which he is affiliated; the colour of the lean that gives him inspiration; and of blood, because on Whole Lotta Red, his second album, The Atlanta rapper turns into a vampire. This effort, which appeared in the twilight of 2020, just when it was least expected, could wake the dead with its great billows of saturated trap and penetrating bass, and it closed out the year beautifully. All the Atlanta sound is here, condensed into twenty-four tracks, from codeine odes such as Sky or Teen X (featuring the ubiquitous Future), to cries of wild monsters, sometimes so deafening that you might imagine yourself in hell, like on King Vamp, F1lthy, or the unstoppable No Sl33p. "When I go to sleep I dream about murder", he intones on this last, as if to remind us that monsters not only populate this album, but also the streets Playboi Carti ran during his adolescence. As executive producer of the album, we find Kanye West, also a guest on the track Go2DaMoon, which introduces an absolutely monstrous banger called Stop Breathing. Whole Lotta Red is a masterclass in contrasts. Because despite the unity of the productions based on the TR-808, Playboi Carti masters everything: the slow groove of New N3on (a huge favourite from producer Maaly Raw), the bass that drives the crazy Punk Monk, the most melodic productions from beatmaker Art Dealer, or the sensitivity of F33l Lik3 Dyin, which closes this fantastic album. So the rumors were true: Atlanta is indeed home to the one and only vampire of rap. © Brice Miclet/Qobuz
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Wereldmuziek - Verschenen op 12 november 2020 | Golden Child Entertainment Ltd

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Jazz - Verschenen op 31 oktober 2020 | International Anthem

Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 23 oktober 2020 | 4AD

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 23 oktober 2020 | 4AD

Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Before Big Thief became indie-folk-rock fans’ favourite band, their singer Adrianne Lenker released three solo albums: Stages of the Sun (2006), Hours Were the Birds (2014) and Abysskiss (2018). This time around, the folk fairy does even more with even less. Alone with her acoustic guitar, she recorded this double album (available separately under the simple titles Songs and Instrumentals) in a cabin in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. You can hear the wood crackling. Birds and insects as well. And even her fingers sliding around on her strings. With every second, the real world slips away a little more. And her fragile voice is like a magnet that pulls you into every melody... She explores classic themes like loneliness, break-up and regret with a hypnotising, stripped-back sound that brings the likes of Vashti Bunyan, Judee Sill, Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell (obvious influences for the Big Thief singer). Adrianne Lenker often uses repetition, like on the moving song Come where you can hear the rain outside. Sometimes, it’s space that she focuses on (My Angel). Each song is soft and intimate. The two long instrumental pieces (21 and 16 minutes) that make up the second part require more attention but prove to be totally in line with the songs on the first record. You’re left stunned by just how refined both albums are. A sublime work that will easily stand the test of time. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 22 oktober 2020 | 4AD

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Before Big Thief became indie-folk-rock fans’ favourite band, their singer Adrianne Lenker released three solo albums: Stages of the Sun (2006), Hours Were the Birds (2014) and Abysskiss (2018). This time around, the folk fairy does even more with even less. Sat alone with her acoustic guitar, she recorded this double album (available separately under the simple titles Songs and Instrumentals) in a cabin in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. You can hear the wood crackling. Birds and insects as well. And even her fingers sliding around on her strings. With every second, the real world slips away a little more. And her fragile voice is like a magnet that pulls you into every melody... She explores classic themes like loneliness, break-up and regret with a hypnotising, stripped-back sound that brings the likes of Vashti Bunyan, Judee Sill, Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell (obvious influences for the Big Thief singer). Adrianne Lenker often uses repetition, like on the moving song Come where you can hear the rain outside. Sometimes, it’s space that she focuses on (My Angel). Each song is soft and intimate. The two long instrumental pieces (21 and 16 minutes) that make up the second part require more attention but prove to be totally in line with the songs on the first record. You’re left stunned by just how refined both albums are. A sublime work that will easily stand the test of time. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Verschenen op 9 oktober 2020 | Rhino - Warner Records

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
Addition by subtraction? A punk band selling out? Audio distortion as an artistic principal? The sound of a boom box cranked up? Where's Bob? The Replacements' Pleased to Meet Me continues to answer all these questions and more. In 1986, like a snake shedding its skin, the Minneapolis foursome parted ways with guitarist Bob Stinson, leaving a trio of his younger brother Tommy on bass, drummer Chris Mars and singer/guitarist Paul Westerberg. Westerberg's poppier, more intimate songs and growing ambitions for success immediately began to transform the band. For their fifth album the threesome ended up at Memphis' Ardent Studios in the capable hands of Jim Dickinson, the producer of Big Star's Third, the pianist heard on The Stones' "Wild Horses," and a collaborator with Bob Dylan and Ry Cooder. Described in the liner notes by friends as a "Southern mad scientist," Dickinson engaged in a psychodrama-mind meld with the band and the result was an album that both band and producer would forever after be known for. Because record labels have come to realize that extras are needed for reissues to succeed, two ideas predominate: demos to show how songs were shaped and unreleased concert material to show how the material matured when played live. First reissued with extra tracks in 2008, Rhino's new Pleased to Meet Me reissue is a deep dive into how the tunes evolved from early demos, through rough mixes, outtakes, alternates and tracks that appeared only as singles to a 2020 remaster of the original album. Of the 55 tracks in this reissue, 29 have never been released before. The early demos from Blackberry Way Studios in Minneapolis—which contain Bob Stinson's last recordings with the band—show that the material had structure and rudimentary arrangements before Memphis. The rough mixes of tunes like "Alex Chilton" by Ardent's John Hampton, have a clattery, spacious ambiance and show how much tightening had yet to be done. Of the rough mixes, "Can't Hardly Wait" is a tick slower than the issued take and Dickinson's rollicking piano part on raucous opener "IOU" is lifted up in the mix. An early digital recording which made extensive use of a Fairlight sampler, the sound of Pleased to Meet Me has always been aggressive and embellished, tarted up with touches like the broken glass in "Shooting Dirty Pool," the opening distortion of "Red Red Wine," and Chris and Tommy's opening laughter, their zombie Greek chorus and the mid tune sax growl in "I Don't Know." The oddball lounge jazz of "Nightclub Jitters" is appropriately atmospheric and cool while the "The Ledge," the album's chosen single has the requisite "big" sound which was then attractive to alternative radio and MTV. Visceral but melodic, tender but defiant, as fierce a rock record now as it was the day it was released, Pleased to Meet Me, still epitomizes what producer Dickinson calls in the liner notes, "recording the feeling in your soul while you're playing." © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Rock - Verschenen op 9 oktober 2020 | Epitaph

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
Lament finds Touché Amoré in an interesting position. As a post-hardcore band five albums and 10-plus years into their career—and with their 20s in the rearview mirror—they're firmly on the page of the Rock Career Calendar indicating it's time to "mature" and "branch out" and "maybe let's try something a little more accessible." Add to that the fact that their last album, 2016's Phase Four was both their most emotionally riveting (with lyrics and intensity inspired by vocalist Jeremy Bolm's mother’s death from cancer) and sonically intricate, and you have a band primed to downshift and glide into punk rock middle age. Touché Amoré, however, decided instead to hire nü-metal icon Ross Robinson to produce their latest album. Now, whether or not this was driven by some perverse nostalgia is unclear, but the results of Robinson's precise and clarified approach to production redound greatly to the band's benefit, clearly delineating it from their previous Brad Wood-produced efforts. Lament is a wiry and intense album, but also full of dynamic range (both sonic and emotional). Bolm is still explosively emotional throughout, but his diaristic approach is more inclusive and empathetic here, especially on tracks like "Exit Row" and "Feign." And while the crisp, dry midtempo romp of "Reminders" (featuring Julien Baker, who also appeared on Stage Four) sounds almost joyous, it's still quite a melancholy and angry song. The album's other guest slot is on "Limelight," featuring verses from Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra) and some steel guitar flourishes that could point the way to what an "adult" Touché Amoré would sound like. However, by the time "A Forecast" closes the album with its gentle piano/vocals opening that feels a bit self-abasing but blossoms into a melodramatic catharsis, you realize that the marginal evolution of Lament is exactly how a band like this moves into middle age: by playing to their strengths. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 2 oktober 2020 | Memory Music

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 22 september 2020 | Anti - Epitaph

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music
The world changes. Fleet Foxes doesn’t. Which isn’t such a bad thing, seeing as Robin Pecknold and his hairy band members have mastered their craft. With this fourth album, coming fifteen years into their career, the sound is still the same for the Seattle-based harmonies-obsessed neo-folk group. Pecknold carries on the legacy of Crosby Stills Nash & Young, the Byrds and the Beach Boys on this album. More than he ever has before. But his distinguishable voice - and the almost spiritual reverb that surrounds it - is now a recognized and rather unique hallmark of his era. To prove he’s not a dictator, he hands the mic over to the young and little-known 21-year-old Uwade Akhere on the opening track Wading In Waist-High Water for a delicate and delicious antipasti. Though what follows, for the next hour, is pure Robin Pecknold. It’s a symphony that combines a solid Brian Wilson production with subtle songs with David Crosby-esque harmonic overtones (from the If I Could Only Remember My Name era, his crazy solo album). Shore doesn't change a thing. It simply comforts Fleet Foxes’ fans... and their foes at that. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz