The Pattern Forms – Peel Away The Ivy

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

rich electro synth pop

Moods

A perfect Autumn record: breathy personal lyrics about sentimental subjects with lush instrumentation. An accessible entry into the wonderful @GhostBoxRecords

Thoughts

a straightforward and enjoyable record that accomplishes multiple things: scratches that synth pop itch, crafted and serious songs that aren't too weighty. It's a record about memory which I believe is the MO of ghost box, a subject of personal fascination and my favorite subject for art to explore.

While I like it, something holds it back from greatness. Too soft maybe? It's captures the comforting 'glow' of reflection but I prefer the jagged truth in my art.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/The-Pattern-Forms-Peel-Away-The-Ivy/release/9224044

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=marweWtJ3Pk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpfc45aWR_k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsejwPQpF7I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vafOQ7-x3gM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_8rUEGd0-Q

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The Pattern Forms – Peel Away The Ivy

Description: Album Review of The Pattern Forms – Peel Away The Ivy


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

depressing rock with a focus on atmosphere

Moods

A mediocre album for Radiohead fans only

Thoughts

If this weren't a Radiohead record I don't know how I'd feel. I like it overall but I've also given it more listens because I'm a fan of theirs.

There's interesting things happening, the band has become very good at creating an overall vibe, but the songs themselves feel a bit rough. Maybe that's the point: a lot of this is wonderful live and can be fleshed out further into some really engaging live sets. The incorporation of strings reminds me of a smoother version of Beck's string heavy stuff and super furry animals catalog from the 2000's; it's as if Radiohead returns to that period of alt-rock instead of pressing ahead with their own explorations. Maybe they're just getting old, Yorke is pretty lyrical here and I think got divorced right after this came out (might explain the gloom).

Songwriting improves as the album progresses (skip the first three tracks entirely) but this remains a mediocre spot in their catalog.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Radiohead-A-Moon-Shaped-Pool/release/8581632

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI2oS2hoL0k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTAU7lLDZYU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti6qhk3tX2s

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Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Description: Album Review of Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Anna Meredith – Varmints

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Experimental electro which dabbles in a variety of styles and compositional approaches.

Moods

Creative, is there a Julliard for electro? Anna Meredith should probably be the dean

Thoughts

There's an unpolished approach here that appeals to me; things aren't perfect. It's got a punk-like intensity as art that demands attention. A lot of musicians seem to be confirming to this mood-muzak style and Varmints fights that.

Compositionally rooted in prog rock and classical moments, I struggle with how to describe this. That's a good thing as its succeeds in its ambitions.

Need to look further into her catalog.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Anna-Meredith-Varmints/release/8205358

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vajhs2wBeCU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMLXiNfxdI8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4F2_cWk8cY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_MO6fL6D7M

Spotify


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Anna Meredith – Varmints

Description: Album Review of Anna Meredith – Varmints


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Superpitcher – So Far So Super

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

German minimal house

Moods

a retrospective of superpitchers career

Thoughts

hard to concisely categorize how a career spanning document sounds but it's definitely German minimal house, certain darkness' with a bit of spoken word whimsy. I wasn't crazy about the first half or so. Some OK moments. Lots of lyrics but none of it particularly good.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Superpitcher-So-Far-So-Super/release/8395925

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faHxF-bD-N8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM5coZk_lkE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9n7QLJvWZg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPtyyMkxMRM

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Superpitcher – So Far So Super

Description: Album Review of Superpitcher – So Far So Super


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Bullion – Loop The Loop

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Billed as leftfield, it reminds me of quasi-electro folk acts like panda bear

Moods

Coastal electro

Thoughts

has a reverb beach boys / panda bear thing going on – not quite organic but welcome lines like quick bongo loops on tracks like self catering.

Good stuff.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Bullion-Loop-The-Loop/release/8185731

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTdpjoUNkdM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJfIjTUdhvM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Nc5ZsZzMVI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3eyXhdLhGs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWB6OPR6Xko

Spotify


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Bullion – Loop The Loop

Description: Album Review of Bullion – Loop The Loop


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

Modern pop rap

Moods

Gospel rap

Thoughts

I like tracks and parts but overall too churchy for me. Production is good and Chance has a good verse on one track but not enough.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/BJ-The-Chicago-Kid-In-My-Mind/release/8813748

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEh7dnVxV84

Spotify


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BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind

Description: Album Review of BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Szun Waves – At Sacred Walls

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

post rock jazz

Moods

Stoned

Thoughts

Jazz I guess but reminds me a lot of post rock in it's slow building songs. Rhythms, electronics and sax textures gradually break down as the album wears on. Like Abbott is a member which explains the solid electronics. Really like the meditative hum on the title track.

Appeals with it's stoner vibe. Drumlines are off time and it noodles a bit. If you approach this as a post rock ambient record it's solid, jazz not so much.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Szun-Waves-At-Sacred-Walls/release/8891765

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze2RBJWVS4E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJw3pXxzgsk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThoLIEgfCPc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTvYn5EgoaU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9enveKtvOL8

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Szun Waves – At Sacred Walls

Description: Album Review of Szun Waves – At Sacred Walls


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

iZem – Hafa

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Danceable global chilled out pop

Moods

A refreshing sun shower

Thoughts

Evidently this is the project of an electro producer though it doesn't feel like an electro record. The lead-off track is a jazzy pop thing I enjoy, not sure what language she's singing but it fits with the basic sax to set the exotic tone. 'Quiver' works with a detached feeling like Drake's music or certain portishead. The spacey 'kulala' is another standout, a swelling keys line and ping pong balls swirl around a peaceful vocal line.

This sits right on the border of the worldly music craze that's taken over pop production but iZem is on the interesting side, exploring the sound with organic instrumentation. It's as if this is an afro focused record that's been influenced by Drake, not vice versa. Vocalists aren't very distinct but I enjoy them, at least the language is varied. He's at his best with vocalists, not always an easy thing to do as a producer.

Meditative, transporting, fresh and enjoyable; recommended.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/iZem-Hafa-/release/9230946

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZrmeKnof44

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5v41wqHZYc

Spotify


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iZem – Hafa

Description: Album Review of iZem – Hafa


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Nite Jewel – Liquid Cool

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

synth pop with a fragility

Moods

Kissing the screen

Thoughts

I'm not sure why I decided to revisit this after a few years (twin peaks and a track appearing on playlist maybe reignited an interest?). I like it more and find it's aging well. Songwriting is generally straightforward but memorable.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Nite-Jewel-Liquid-Cool/release/8642522

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uISk3sXmSeg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGlPrQ7FwE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl6iyzO0nxE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXLGNsc6PUE

Spotify


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Nite Jewel – Liquid Cool

Description: Album Review of Nite Jewel – Liquid Cool


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Jim James – Eternally Even

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

Dark indie rock, folk

Moods

Chilly breath of death

Thoughts

First time I heard this I was driving upstate late on a Friday night in winter. The empty roads, cold dry winter landscape outside with closed shops providing the only break in landscape seemed a fitting scene for this soundtrack.

I like his style: ethereal, nocturnal and dusky natural singing voice doused in reverb. I found the straightforward pop songwriting a bit boring as an album however.

The ‘we ain't getting any younger’ refrain has stuck with me, something particularly effective about it.

I plan to revisit this and more of his catalog in the future.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Jim-James-Eternally-Even/release/9290528

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u67Tf0lbgzY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-5JUqv8LcY

Spotify


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Jim James – Eternally Even

Description: Album Review of Jim James – Eternally Even


Rating: 2 out of 5