Seafaring Strangers "Private Yacht"
Consider Seafaring Strangers – Private Yacht, the new comp from Numero Group, the flipside to the Brown Acid compilation. When the ‘60s came crashing down on the free love set, music splintered into 2 distinct alternate universes. For the Brown Acid crew, it was the beginnings of metal music born of hippie jam sessions and drugs with a harder edge, the disillusioned leftovers. The other side of the disenfranchised coin is this Yacht Rock comp. Not everyone failed after the ‘60s, and some of the flower children grew up, got good jobs, and were living the good life. They need music to listen to as well, right? Sure they do. They also needed a shit-ton of Fender Rhodes. This is the easy living, breezy side of rock, as it was being born. There’s a ship coming in, and I think I can see James Taylor on it, and maybe even Boz Scaggs? Well, until they get here, check out the proto-yacht of Salty Miller on “One More Time.”
Soft Swells "Be Young"
Be Young (Bushwick Recordings), the new album from Tim Williams’ Soft Swells, is a cathartic collection of poptastic rock tunes. You know, dudes and guitars. This time around, Tim was reacting to “feeling locked into life choices we all clearly have the ability to change. So often the easier decision is to let hopelessness blanket you into submission, when in fact, the bottom is the best place to make a real change.” So what does that mean for the listener? It means that somewhere between the rebellious strains of Tom Petty, the stadium quirk of early Weezer, and the sheen of Soft Swells (what a trick! they sound like themselves!) we have Be Young. Why not be young yourself (it works!) and check out the first single, “Reins.”
Erasure "World Be Gone"
Few things are as comforting as knowing that Erasure are still a band, 17 studio albums in. Note to bands with aspirations of longevity: be from London, and maybe give synthpop a try? It’s a genre that lends itself to sticking around if you are good at what you do, and Erasure are the very best at it. Now’s the part of the blurb where I’m supposed to tell you what Erasure sound like. I mean… you totally know, right? Right? I don’t have to describe Erasure to you.. Have you spent at least one night in a club over the last 30 years? Then you’ve heard an Erasure tune, guaranteed. And you are about to hear one more. Check out the first single from World Be Gone (Mute), “Love You To The Sky.”
Land Of Talk "Life After Youth"
It has been 7 years since Land Of Talk released their last album, 2010’s Cloak and Cipher. What was planned as a break consisting of months turned into (as it so often does) years for bandleader Elizabeth Powell. A hard-drive full of demos crashed, post-tour fatigue, and taking care of her father after a stroke in 2013. It all added up to what could be described, at best, as a rough patch. While caring for her father, however, she turned to the therapeutic effects of classical and ambient music. So when she got back into the studio, she didn’t write the songs on guitar, but rather built synth loops to form songs around. Sure, this is no Eno-aping record (though you will find contributions from Roxy Music bassist Sal Maida, as well as Sharon Van Etten), but rather rock tunes that exist somewhere between waking and dreaming. Hazy, therapeutic tunes that helped Elizabeth through her hardest times are here to help you do the same. Check out “Heartcore.”