Music I’ve Been Listening To (26/06)

I want to start posting to this blog more often, so that’s what I intend to do. So far I’ve posted nothing but reviews, and these reviews do take me a while to put together, meaning it limits me to two or three posts a week, which I’d like to improve on. I like to write longer reviews, and because I often focus on one release at a time a lot of the other music I listen to goes unmentioned; there are releases I’d like to write about but I often can’t find the time to do so. I don’t feel any great pressure to write and post, and neither do I feel like I have to go out of my way to find stuff to write about – I listen to enough music to ensure that’s never really a problem. I figured I’d start posting something similar to this once a week maybe, just to talk about music I listen to away from my keyboard, and maybe people might find it interesting. That way I’m giving some exposure to more than two ‘main’ releases a week as well as the shorter write-ups I do for the ‘Music Submissions’ posts. Posts like this one won’t eat up hours of my time like my normal content, meaning I can easily dedicate half an hour or so to putting something along these lines together regularly – I think that sounds alright. Anyway…

Noah Gundersen – Ledges I’ve been a fan of Noah Gundersen for a few years now, but I only got around to picking up his debut LP last week, ordering the vinyl from Amazon. It’s up there with my favourite singer / songwriter records of the year, a sublime and heartfelt album the likes of which come around rarely. The guy gets very little recognition over here in the UK, and it’s a shame, because Ledges is incredible. I’d recommend listening to Boathouse and Separator, both are stunning in different ways. Read a positive review here if you need convincing.

The Posture – I Wish I Had EP It’s only been out for a few days, but I Wish I Had has already left its mark on me. Falling somewhere between rock and emo it’s a roller-coaster, erupting into pained life with opener Old Flame (My First Time Leaving) and storming along from here, through filler Kelly Park and the darker, haunting Rockefeller to delicate acoustic closer Patience. It’s brilliant, and very few EP’s this year have immersed me the way that I Wish I Had has this week alone. The band are soon touring with the likes of Have Mercy and Pentimento, and the powerful crescendos they conjure up draw comparisons to the former; it’s the same sort of passion and energy that defined my favourite record of last year – Have Mercy’s The Earth Pushed Back. The five tracks here are similar, especially in terms of quality, with the deeper vocals the most notable difference. Stream I Wish I Had below and lose yourself in it.

Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) – What It Takes To Move Forwards After last weeks announcement that Empire! Empire! have a new LP due August via Count Your Lucky Stars and Topshelf Records I felt an overwhelming urge to revisit their last full-length, and was once again enthralled by it. As far as I’m concerned What It Takes To Move Forwards is one of the finest emo records of the last half-decade, incredibly emotional and effecting. Upon first discovering it I spent night after night just drifting to it; nothing else seemed to matter in comparison. What It Takes To Move Forwards is a spacious, gorgeous epic, and I only wish the vinyl version of it wasn’t so expensive, because I’d love to own it in that format. Potential repress to coincide with the release of You Will Eventually Be Forgotten? Here’s hoping.

Feed The Rhino – The Sorrow And The Sound I was initially planning on reviewing this, but never got around to it. It’s probably for the best, because there’s only so many ways I could say that Feed The Rhino are one of the best hardcore bands in British music. More melodic and accomplished than their debut, The Sorrow And The Sound was a firm step forwards, and the band pulled it off brilliantly despite a few weaker songs.

Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this album, and I’ve been listening to it a lot in the hopes of working it out – no luck. At times I found it incredibly boring, and at others I found it truly stunning, more adventurous than her debut but still just as unique. Grant’s dulcet tones lend themselves well to some gorgeous soundscapes, and although it runs the risk of occasionally floating away it’s a calming, albeit perplexing record.

Black Monolith – Passenger With Deafheaven bringing black metal back into focus in a sense last year Passenger is the closest I’ve got to another Sunbather in 2014. I don’t listen to much of the genre, but I’ve been listening to Black Monolith and their intense, crushing approach to music frequently over the past few weeks. Passenger was produced by Jack Shirley, who’s worked with Deafheaven in the past, and Black Monolith’s style is much more aggressive, and their debut record is ferocious. If you’ve yet to hear it I’d highly recommend it – it’s insane.

The Gaslight Anthem – Mae / National Anthem Rarely a day goes by where I don’t listen to at least one song by The Gaslight Anthem, but I’ve found myself favoring these two in particular this week. They followed each other and closed the bands last record Handwritten, and if they happened to be the last songs they ever laid to record I wouldn’t have a single complaint, although I’d miss the band dearly. Arguably two of the most mature songs Brian Fallon has written, both showcase his songwriting skills at their peak, and they’re two stunning pieces of music. Mae fills me with a nostalgic sense of euphoria, whilst National Anthem is more reserved, spinning a fine story which is compelling and well crafted. I actually find Handwritten to be the bands most ‘forgettable’ record, but it ends with two indisputable gems.

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