Coco Hames "Coco Hames"
Coco Hames, of The Ettes fame, is here with here debut solo record. But this isn’t the same garage-pop that her band was known for. Sure, I could spend hours coming up with influences heard when listening to her lovely new self-titled album (Merge) or I could copy and paste this succinct sentence from the press for the album, a direct quote from Ms. Hames herself: “I grew up listening to ’60s pop like Dusty Springfield, but also classic country music, like Patsy Cline, and things that bridged both worlds, like Bobbie Gentry.” Thanks Coco! Check out the first single from the album, the jangly “When You Said Goodbye.”
Goldfrapp "Silver Eye"
Goldfrapp are back. Wait. That’s an understatement. Goldfrapp are blissfully, amazingly back. Silver Eye (Mute) is a joyous, future-leaning, otherworldly dose of electro-pop. As Alison Goldfrapp says in the press release for the album, “We’ve never liked repeating ourselves,” and that is an obviously true statement once you’ve heard the new album. A healthy dose of ‘90s electronica, Radiohead-esque shifts, modern EDM nods, and even hints at Thrill Jockey noise metal bands like Borders. But all these strange influences lead to an infinitely listenable dance-pop album that’s just as home in a club as it is at an art gallery opening. Check out “Anymore,” the first single from the album.
Hauschka "What If"
I think of Volker Bertelmann, aka Hauschka, as sort of a musician/mad scientist hybrid (the same super-awesome moniker could be given to lots of the amazing musicians on the Temporary Residence roster). Since 2004, he has made a name for himself as a composer of music for prepared pianos (the art of putting stuff in the piano so it sounds different, i.e. art erasers, pencils, metal hardware). While he still does this on his latest, What If (like I said, Temporary Residence), he takes it one step farther. This time he’s ALSO preparing player pianos, composing for them to play songs at a speed that wouldn’t be possible by human hands (I don’t care WHAT Lang Lang says, he can’t play this fast). The result is parts eerie and hauntingly beautiful, like a mixture of Aphex Twin’s recent acoustic work and the soundtrack composing of Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, which Hauschka sites as a heavy influence. Check out the nervous beauty of “Constant Growth Fails.”
If I say that Phantoms are like a bizarro Daft Punk, does that make sense? I don’t mean that they sound like the opposite of the helmeted duo, in fact they sound like the opposite of the opposite of them (i know, i’m needlessly confusing). Their self-titled debut is a shimmering, swirling, buzzing dose of late-night electronic music, and this duo borrow from the Daft Punk ethos of crafting songs into dance songs. But my bizarro line earlier was in reference to their visibility. Accessible to their many fans, their web presence is more like that of We Are Scientists or OK GO then most electronic artists in their 20s. But what really matters is the music. Look, there is no reason I should love two good looking young dudes making dance music as much as I love this album. I should want to delete it in a jealous rage. But I can’t. They have cast a spell over me. Fall prey to their charm with “Pulling Me In.”