Listening Stations – June 2011

These are a few of the more than 50 titles featured in our listening stations this month.

Battles – Gloss Drop
It is true that Gloss Drop is a bewitching, entrancing album that defies both categorization and easy analysis. Just as Mirrored was a massive leap on from the early EPs that first got them noticed, this is truly another seismic shift, propelling them once more into uncharted territory. It is a sheer sense of fun, unpredictability and inventiveness that sets Battles apart from every other contemporary group. Stanier sums this up succinctly: “I don’t think challenging, new music has to be super serious all the time. That’s really boring to me and pushing boundaries should not be boring.”

Death Cab For Cutie – Codes and Keys
Death Cab For Cutie will release their hugely anticipated new album, Codes and Keys, on May 31st. The multiple Grammy Award nominated band will herald the album’s release with a series of eagerly awaited live shows in and around their native Pacific Northwest. The album breaks away, though not completely, from the guitar-driven style of the band known so well to fans, making use of piano and electronically centered songs that will undoubtedly meet their expectations.

The Cars – Move Like This
After a string of platinum albums and Top 40 singles made them one of the most popular American rock ‘n’ roll bands of the late ‘70s thru mid-‘80s, The Cars are back in action with their very first studio album in 24 years! Featuring original band members Ric Ocasek, David Robinson, Elliot Easton & Greg Hawkes, Move Like This recalls the alt-rock minimalistic sound The Cars are so well known for, yet at the same time, maintains significant relevance to the music of today.

Flogging Molly – Speed Of Darkness
Speed of Darkness, the follow-up to 2008’s Float, is Celtic punk ensemble Flogging Molly’s fifth and arguably most important album. Produced by Ryan Hewitt (RHCP, The Avett Brothers) the album was written in Detroit, MI, and takes a hard-nosed look at the economic collapse in the US along with the causes and direct effect it has had on everyday people. The Motor City serves as the album’s muse and a painful example of what has gone wrong. While Speed Of Darkness attacks much of the greed and ignorance responsible for where we are, the album also delivers a message of hope, humanity, and resilience of mankind.

Tyler The Creator – Goblin
“The last thing you’d say about the prolific young rap collective Odd Future is that they’re boring…you know what else? They’re really good. Especially their ringleader called Tyler The Creator. And you know what else? It’s awesome to see them play live.” – NPR
“Over the past few months Tyler and Odd Future have been speeding from the margins of the Internet toward the center of forward-thinking music circles thanks to a barrage of self-released albums, mayhem-inducing live performances and an ability — at this point, it’s verging on desire — to instantly polarize listeners.” – New York Times