LADYGUNN REVIEWS: MAY ALBUM RELEASES
A quick preview of five album releases in May 2013 that you need to hear!
reviews by / LOGAN BRENDT
On their debut, It’s Fate, Los Angeles-based Touché have generated their own brand of pop where quirks are skillfully explored. Sharing the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist roles, bandmates Alex Lilly and Bram Inscore instantly hook the listener with the exemplary opening track “I’m a Man Not a Machine”. Along with interesting percussive overdubs, the guitar work is reminiscent of Robert Smith’s as part of The Glove. The ambient intro on “Everything He Wants” leads into a groovy soundclash of syncopated hi-hat dominance, while the slowed down “Big Fan” shines as its sensuality has an Everything But The Girl quality. Most importantly, there’s unmistakable chemistry between Lilly and Inscore within the lyrical dialogue on “Lock and Key” and the vocal blend on “Snow White” which assists in creating the most bizarre song on the album. Enigmatic and captivating, It’s Fate is one of the most memorable debuts of the year.
LITTLE BOOTS / NOCTURNES
release date: May 7, 2013
English electropop singer-songwriter Little Boots casts a spell with her sophomore album Nocturnes. Exhibiting a sweet voice and passion, she stirs up quintessential dance anthems like “Broken Record” which easily brings to mind an obvious comparison to Kylie Minogue. However, she does bring her own individual style and energy to the album which is an ideal soundtrack to a night out, going from club to club and bonding with your girls. “Beat Beat” emphasizes a carefree spirit that’ll “keep on dancing to the beat of your heart”, whereas heartache is conveyed on “Confusion”, yet brightened with an encasement of sparkly rhythms. Sounds continue to illuminate on tracks like “Crescendo” and “Satellites” which aren’t as buoyant but still equally as compelling. Little Boots is one of this generation’s luminaries among the rising dance acts.
FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS / MORE THAN JUST A DREAM
release date: May 7, 2013
Following their triumphant debut, the aptly titled sophomore album, More Than Just A Dream, by Fitz and the Tantrums is everything you could ever want in a pop record. The tremendously catchy opening track, “Out of My League”, is a flawless example of their approach to songwriting which perfectly blends organic instruments and electronic soundscapes while still retaining a soulful vibe. It’s also acknowledged that vocalist and songwriter Michael Fitzpatrick has a voice that’s comparable to Daryl Hall, something that’s almost initially indistinguishable on a song like “Break the Walls” and “Spark”. And when this is combined with the soul of co-singer Noelle Scaggs, the chemistry is sublime. Attractive vocal interplay on “Last Raindrop” along with sleazy bass motifs and a perfectly constructed bridge section converge on another well crafted song. Fitz and the Tantrums are a band that completely understand pop without overanalysis, eliciting feelings of nostalgia and creating instant classics.
MS MR / SECONDHAND RAPTURE
release date: May 14, 2013
Quickly rising to popularity, MS MR prove that they have a lot more to offer than just a couple of singles on their debut, Secondhand Rapture. The New York-based duo consisting of vocalist Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenow, mix the fervor of Florence and The Machine and the relaxed energy that’s similar to Poliça. From the opening track, “Hurricane”, that captivates through its reverberated trip-hop beats to the seductive and smooth closing track “This Isn’t Control” with its purposeful stammer, there is a soulful tint to Plapinger’s vocals which adds to the band’s dramatic flair. Continuing to impress, the cinematic “Bones” closely resembles what could be a James Bond theme song with its magnificently large orchestral and electronic feel. It’s only natural that some of the biggest media outlets are backing MS MR as the next big thing.
A Is for Alpine is the self-explanatory titled debut by Australian indie pop band Alpine. At the center of their style are hushed and definitive grooves and beats led by the saccharine and spritely dual vocals of frontwomen Phoebe Baker and Lou James. The breezy tempo that’s featured on songs like “Gasoline”, is what immediately draws the listener in. And like the rest of the album, their sound is, for example, the perfect backdrop for a summer drive down California’s Pacific Coast Highway. The attractive “Hands” and “In The Wild” radiate with claps and strums. Like a mixture of Goldfrapp without the disco and Stereolab without as many oddities, Alpine’s strongest point is the fluidity between their substantially melodious tracklist.