New York based musician Ryan Lott aka Son Lux has quietly been making some of the most forward-thinking electronic/post-rock music around since 2008. The young musician has taken on his music with a real entrepreneurial spirit, with his songs taking the most unique twists, and exploring all expanses of the musical universe. Despite being highly imaginative, Son Lux’s music has left me a little cold in its abstractness until this year with his third release Lanterns.
It’s been a surprisingly busy fall in terms of new music releases, and with a three-man crew, we have been unable to cover all the notable releases this fall. So in order to make up ground, I figure I would highlight five of my favorite tracks from this fall. So without further ado, here are some of my fall recommendations.
Love’s Crushing Diamond
It is often said “familiarity breeds contempt”. This phrase is most often directed towards people, but it also carries a lot of weight in regard to listening habits with music. With a few exceptions, if a band that does the same thing over and over with every album, they will often lose my ear. Or, if a band comes along and does something similar to what is trending at the time, that familiar trend will cause me to be dismissive of a copycat upstart.
Almost everything on Mutual Benefit’s debut, Love’s Crushing Diamond, is familiar to me. The voice of the primary vocalist, Jordan Lee, is so reminiscent of The Antler’s Peter Silberman, that upon first listen I had to make sure Mutual Benefit wasn’t a side project of Silberman’s. The string arrangements range from extremely delicate in the vein of Damien Rice to containing more punch like those used by Lost in the Trees. There are even some hints of Sufjan Stevens in the collaborative vocals and overall song structures.
Love’s Crushing Diamond is about as familiar as it gets. But there is such a warmth and genuine nature to the album, it would be almost impossible not to love. Mutual Benefit has managed to make an album where I feel like I have heard every song before, but also feel lucky to revisit each and every one. Its the type of familiarity akin to seeing some of your best friends from a previous stage of your life that you haven’t seen in years, and proceeding to pick up right where you left off. It is very fulfilling.
We all love us some Edgar Wright (and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for that matter), so with the opening of The World’s End this weekend, we thought it appropriate to dig up the top ten apocalyptic songs. A few words about The World’s End first though. I am endlessly excited to see this movie, but it just has the worst title ever. The title is not bad in and of itself. It is descriptive. It is succinct. But unfortunately it is too similar to another apocalyptic comedy from earlier this summer (This Is The End) as well as a Pirates of the Caribbean poopcicle (At World’s End). This obviously won’t effect the quality of the movie, but its a pet peeve of mine from a differentiation standpoint.
Now that all that is out of the way, enjoy these top ten tracks for the end of times.
10. Prince – “1999″
Remember in 1982 when 1999 was in the distant future and probably the end of the world? Me neither, I wasn’t born yet. Coming in as the most danceable song on this list, “1999″ is a classic depiction of a party for the end of the world.
This past weekend, my wife and I went to the 6th biennial Festival of Faith & Music in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and it proved to be one of the more interesting conference/festivals I’ve ever attended. Culture criticism often has an adversarial relationship with faith and faith often has an adversarial relationship with pop culture, so it was cool to be somewhere where the two were openly discussed together and how better each can be incorporated into each other. So here are five choice cuts relating to the Festival of Faith & Music.