Monthly Archives: March 2014

Murmuring in the plague age

Wild Beasts’ Present Tense is decidedly grown-up in its attitude to love and lust, and it’s also home to two of the band’s most foreboding, non-sexual compositions. Continue reading Murmuring in the plague age

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Eternal summers turn to fall

A friend’s sister has been in town, visiting from the Garden State. She brings with her the baggage of a gentler pre-campus life: sprinklers on lawns, the station wagon, and the sodium-glare of streetlights on wide tree-lined avenues. Nothing evokes endless estival evenings like Real Estate‘s second album, Days. But at a certain point, I had begun to wonder if Matthew Mondanile’s plangent, cyclical music would overwhelm the elegant simplicity of his childhood friend Martin Courtney’s lyrics, which are lifted wholesale from the imagery of dusky suburbia. Continue reading Eternal summers turn to fall

Rock of ages

A great clue to assist in the decoding of Beck’s Morning Phase lies in the packaging of his last proper full-length, Modern Guilt. Released in 2008 with an unbearably au courant title, its paranoia was more in tune with the America of the Cold War, and its cover was inescapably an homage to Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. Crisp Swiss typography and a shot-from-the-hip castoff photograph was an elegant visual counterpoint to the music within, produced by Danger Mouse and rich with rubbery synths and psych rock tropes. Continue reading Rock of ages