After 15 years of making the most dreamy, ethereal music to ever grace the ears of the common masses, it looks like Sigur Rós are finally bringing some of their nightmare into the equation. Jónsi and his Icelandic cohorts have always made music that casts the listener into an internal and existential journey. When you take down all your walls and let their music consume you, it’s like being absorbed in the breath of the divine – a slow passage between rising and descent where the common laws of emotional response break down. It’s much like that first experience with some new drug where you’re not sure whether you’re laughing or you’re crying – rather you’re just responding to the convergence of all potential human response. Yet as much of a ride as their music will take you on, especially in a live setting, it has rarely been frightening. But with today’s release of their new track “Brennisteinn,” it seems like the fellas have finally realized there was a part of the human experience that they were neglecting to include.
Regardless of this video, which seems to be depicting some sort of human sacrifice during a solar eclipse and is reminiscent of something that Tool or Nine Inch Nails would have produced in the 90′s, this music itself is somewhat terrifying. The ethereal drift is still there, but it’s punctuated by insidious rupture. At times the melody is completely abandoned for static implosion, and there’s a very literal sense of what potential apocalyptic booms may ring of. There’s a touch of My Bloody Valentine quiver, and there’s a degree of forewarning much akin to God Speed! You Black Emperor, but there’s still no doubt that this is Sigur Rós, and to imagine how this new sound will fit into the live setting is a massive conjecture. I’ve personally witnessed complete emotional breakdowns at their concerts before, and adding this sensual flux into the equation will only make the ride all the more complex. There’s no doubt of its’ massive epic-ness.
The band announced today that their new album, Kveikur, will be released on June 17th. Could this be a sign of a new prolific age for the band? Previously there had never been anything shorter than a 3 year gap between albums, and now this dark warrior rises merely a year after their last masterpiece. Let’s hope so, as any new music from this band only makes the puzzle seem clearer.
Well, I’m about 14 listens into the new My Bloody Valentine album, and I can already feel it restructuring my genetic make-up. I’ve always adored Loveless, and as crazy as it seems to me that I may actually enjoy this record even more, I can’t deny it. Listening to mbv is like watching water rush down an empty riverbed – it works its way into every crack and fully consumes everything, creating a new unified entity with the previously dry ground beneath it. This is the first album I’ve ever tried to turn my Bose computer speakers all the way up for, and they totally had not a lick of balls to get to the point I needed. I need to drown in this shit – that’s the intention of the music, and not letting it fully wash over you is a complete disgrace and disregard to its power. You can read my full review of the album HERE at State of Mind, and here’s the last paragraph of it.
…Somehow, thank god, Bilinda Butcher’s vocals are still as ethereal and illusive as ever. After all this time, I still have no clue what one word of the lyrics she sings on Loveless is, and 22 years from now I’ll still have no clue what any of the words on mbv are. But complaining about that is like complaining about not properly knowing what hue of indigo lies within glacial ice — some things in life just are entities solely unto themselves. I could go on and on… how perfectly imperfect the guitar tone is in “Who Sees You”… how “New You” is the most eerily beautiful anything of the past decade… how the drums on “In Another Way” sound like a syncopated stampede of rabid yak… how “Wonder 2″ is most assuredly the sound of Neptune’s rings… To simply delineate the enormity of this music into something so trivial as “shoegazing” is like classifying your life with a haircut. mbv is not only a testament to the potential triumphs of great bands lost along the way, but an ode to the authenticity of rebirth in general….
So as every music geek on the planet falls deeper and deeper into the marvelous new My Bloody Valentine album, I’ve heard several comments from people saying they haven’t heard anything like it in 20 years. Well, that’s not exactly true people. Sure, nobody can touch MBV at being MBV, but the shoegaze genre of electric drone that they spawned has given way to some pretty fucking good bands over the years. In fact, the release of their new album reminded me about this record that landed on my desk lat year from San Francisco’s Echodrone. What initially caught my eye about this record, Bon Voyage, was the fact that it showed up in my mailbox one day with none of the postage stamped on it. Meaning one of two things – either it went through the entire postal system with nobody ever marking it official, or these guys just crept by my home one day and dropped it off. Either way, I considered its mysterious landing an omen of its potential awesomeness – let alone the fact that it had two bucks worth of unused stamps on it – WooHoo!
So…Echodrone – think the washed out guitar of My Bloody Valentine, but with somewhat of an overall mellower, dreamier vibe, the kind of female vocals that make your brain feel all squishy, and the explosive bouts of energy that come around towards the end of some huge Sigur Ros tunes. In other words, it’s ethereal power rock at its finest. Now these guys are in no way trying to write a hit or anything resembling something that any normal radio station would ever go near – rather they’re making massive movements of atmospheric growth. This is the kind of shit that would go over great late night at a music festival when you and your friends are just settling into the tail end of your mushroom trip and smoking the largest joint of all time. They like to label themselves as dream pop, but they definitely fall heavier on the dream than the pop.
If this was 1999, you and all your best friends would already be knee-deep into this record. But this is the future, and a time when it’s increasingly hard to find outlets for people to explore your music with no pre-referential cues. Especially when the band has a name that could potentially be the title of some horrid dub-step DJ – I was actually quite weary before I first gave it a spin. But here’s your chance to be cool for once, and be the one who introduces the hip new druggy, dreamy band to all your friends who love druggy and dreamy shit. You can stream and buy the whole record HERE, as well as check out their new album of covers which includes a surprisingly killer take on Christopher Cross’ “Sailing.”
The sudden arrival this weekend of the first My Bloody Valentine album in 22 years caused music-heads the world over to unexpectedly shoot their loads all over the goddamn place. Most indie-kids had gotten so used to living with the half-chubbed boner that Loveless left them with in 1991, that they had become completely oblivious to the fact that they had spent the past two decades in constant half-aroused anticipation. When Kevin Shields decided that the unannounced arrival of his band’s new record would be the ideal drop, tens of thousands of folks worldwide had an inner sonic explosion akin only to the greatest prepubescent ejaculation of their childhood years.
But seriously, the release of m b v is a huge fucking deal. Imagine if after The Beatles released Rubber Soul in 1965, they waited til 1987 to release Revolver. That’s the equivalent gap between moments of magic we’re currently experiencing here. And yes, believe it or not, this new record totally lives up to it’s long-lost father. If this record had come out in 1993, it would have been met with just as much equal praise as it is today – a worthy successor to a breakthrough moment in rock’s history. Sure, there’s a touch more sense of melodic flow to the new album, but it still quintessential My Bloody Valentine – quivering echoes of electric squeeze, and the definitive calling cards of everything we like to call shoegaze. What’s most impressive though, is that despite the hundreds if not thousands of indie-rock bands that have tried to sound like MBV over the years, this is the only time there has ever been new music that is unmistakeably this same band. Despite every hip girl on the planet wanting to, nobody has ever sounded like Bilinda Butcher, and amazingly her voice sounds just as ethereal, and spookily heartwarming here as it did half a lifetime ago. Most importantly though, this band has possible one of the greatest legacies in rock history. And to have the confidence and skill to not fuck that up is one of the greatest accomplishments any band has ever pulled off. Think about how much you hung your head in shame when Jane’s Addiction started recording horrid new music. And think about how stoked you were when Pavement returned and played nothing but their old shit. So hats go way the fuck off to Shields and company here – good to have you all back.
It sucks to dis-hype any music by saying it sounds so particularly like anything else, but there’s no doubt that this 21 year old kid from England is the greatest champion of mid-90′s indie rock and shoegaze since My Bloody Valentine started a reunion tour. As I say in the interview – When I first heard Yuck’s debut LP last year, it wasn’t so much that is sounded like I was listening to Pavement as much as it felt like I was. Here’s a snippet but read the whole interview HERE at State of Mind.
Well, we wrote and recorded the music in… a timeframe. And I listen to music, well, I feel young with music. I think I was 17 when I started to really listen to records and discover labels. For me and Max, we still need to listen to, like, the most important bands — ones we’ve never heard before. So we go through massive phases with bands where we get really, really into something. And there are bands or artists that we always go back to, but sometimes when people ask that it’s quite confusing. Some bands Max likes a lot more than me, but I completely understand when people compare us to the 90s because I find that a lot of my favorite music comes from that time.