Top Albums and Songs of 2013

Without further adieu, here’s my top ten favorite albums of this year (in order), and then my favorite songs of the year (in no particular order).

Top Albums of 2013:

1. Jason Isbell – Southeastern

The story goes like this: Former Drive-By Trucker who regularly outshines his peers with his contributions leaves the band amidst a variety of personal issues. Spends the next few years cutting good-not-great solo records. Finally sobers up and puts out this collection of crystalline beauties that are not just a stone-cold classic this year, but in ANY year.

Check out: “Cover Me Up”, “Flying Over Water”, “Relatively Easy”

2. HAIM – Days Are Gone

Hearing “The Wire” for the first time was one of those fulcrum listens. Either it was going to be the best thing HAIM ever did, or it was just a taste of what the band was capable of.

Luckily, it was the latter – the sisters beat the hype and wrote a record of sun-kissed classics. Make no mistake, this is pure pop appropriated for an indie audience. You know that’s true. “I know, I know, I know, I know” that too.

Check out: “The Wire”, “Falling”, “Running If You Call My Name”

3. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels

El-P and Killer Mike took the hip-hop world by storm last year with their solo releases – El’s “Cancer For Cure” and Killer Mike’s “R.A.P. Music” (which El-P produced in its entirety). Both guested on each other’s records. Both also landed on many year-end lists.

So what to do for a victory lap? Join forces, obviously. The eponymous debut from Run the Jewels was released for free on the internet this June. What could have been phoned in with the cut-and-paste feel of a mixtape is instead a tight collection of straight-up bangers with monster beats. El-P and Killer Mike seamlessly flow into each other’s rhymes with bravado. No – scratch that. Gusto.

Check out: “Run the Jewels”, “36” Chain”, “Sea Legs”

4. The National – Trouble Will Find Me

The National – at least from “Alligator” and forward, have brilliantly constructed top to bottom classic records that give the air that they were furniture, they’d be refined from the most skilled of woodworkers. Every sound is considered before the final product. Allegedly, on an earlier release, they recorded the same drum sound an exhaustive number of times until it ‘sounded right’.

If anything, “Trouble Will Find Me” is a surprise. It’s the sound of a band loosening the reigns for the first time. The songs feel more organic. They have a sense of space that’s not part of any of the earlier releases. If there’s any knock on it, is that it sort of feels like a band in transition. What you get here is a band pushing the boundaries out just a little more. It’s exhilarating for them, and it’s exhilarating for the listener. But you can’t help but think what they’ll do next time.

Check out: “I Should Live In Salt”, “Sea Of Love”, “I Need My Girl”

5. John Moreland – In The Throes

Admittedly, this is a late addition to this year’s list, but a well-deserved one. Oklahoma-based Moreland delivers a thirty-eight minute gut punch. It’s intimate. It’s vulnerable. It’s big-hearted. It’s an album full of simply great songs delivered simply. No bullshit.

Check out: “I Need You To Tell Me Who I Am”, “Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore”, “Break My Heart Sweetly”

6. Kanye West – Yeezus

At this point, even giving a brief rundown of Kanye’s album-by-album trajectory is pointless. His public persona and his role of an artist are now so diametrically opposed that the thought he’s actually a working musician is an afterthought. Everyone has an opinion about Kanye West. He has many about himself. The amount of noise between the artist and the public is overwhelming, from fans to non-fans. That’s the best thing that ever happened to him – it freed him to do whatever he wants in the studio.

So, he does.

For as spontaneous as some of his other career moves seem, “Yeezus” is quite the opposite. It’s a carefully crafted, reductionist masterwork, laying waste the grandeur of much of his previous work. The beats are brutal, guest spots as brilliant as they are puzzling (Justin Vernon and Chief Keef on the same track?), and the message unfettered: he’s taking no prisoners.

We’re far past the point where a Kanye West album is a showcase of peerless production and top-notch talent. It’s art for art’s sake. He might even agree with that. Everyone else might too, if they stopped talking and listened for a change.

Check out: “On Sight”, “I Can’t Hold My Liquor”, “Bound 2”

7. Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle

The sense of insularity and delicate nature of Laura Marling’s fourth album leaves me fighting myself to compare it to the great early records of Joni Mitchell. Obviously by typing that sentence, I’ve failed. Perhaps the best way to put it is to suggest “Once I Was An Eagle” is its spiritual cousin. The four-song opening suite is startling and effortless, delivered with the maturity of a person far beyond her 23 years. From there it ebbs and flows, (“Master Hunter” is a definite highlight) one beautiful melody and texture after another. It’s an album best experienced in one sitting. You’ll know that as soon as it begins.

Check out: “Take The Night Off”, “I Was An Eagle”, “Master Hunter”

8. Deafheaven – Sunbather

We live in the time of the egregious usage of the word ‘epic’. Here’s an album worthy of the phrase. On “Sunbather” walls of whatever-brand-of-metal you call it and sweeping melodic passages combined with bridge effortlessly with vocalist George Clarke’s screams to create a whole that is like nothing else I’ve ever heard. I may not understand a damn word he’s saying, but the sheer ferocity of his vocals seize your attention. It’s metal for non-metalheads – beauty in a genre where you expect something ugly.

Check out: “Dream House”, “Irresistable”, “Vertigo”

9. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

In the summer of 2008 I watched Vampire Weekend perform selections from their debut album to a crowd of thousands at Pitchfork Music Festival. Then, they were a relatively unseasoned live act, a fine listen, but not quite capable of that knockout punch of the others that played the stage the same day. My feelings of their debut album and it’s follow up were similar to this – songs that were okay for the moment, but didn’t hold a whole lot of resonance. I figured they’d be fun to bring up for a laugh a few years down the road or to recapture that moment when we were just a little bit younger and thought we were a little bit hipper.

Instead, they grew up with us. “Modern Vampires of the City” is a headfirst plunge into uncharted territory. It’s a series of calculated risks for a group that treaded dangerous waters as a very (popular) one trick pony. Here, the band deals with heavier themes such as life and death. Look no further than the pitch-shifting prowess of “Diane Young” (Get it?) for example. The differences are also textural – the wispy “Step” and soothing synths of “Everlasting Arms” are obvious departures. The big takeaway though – there’s plenty of nuance here when none was ever really expected.

Check out: “Unbelievers”, “Step”, “Everlasting Arms”

10. Disclosure – Settle

The debut by English brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence kind of passed me by on first listen. I didn’t think much of it and shuffled it away pretty quickly.

Then I heard “Latch”, a perfect piece of elastic electro-pop. It turns out that’s just the gateway into the many gifts that this record holds. Jessie Ware drops in for the robot slink of “Confess To Me”, and “F For You” competes with London Grammar on “Help Me Lose My Mind” for the second best hook on the album. I’m going to stop now – play this album and get ready to dance.

Check out: “Latch”, “F For You”, “Confess To Me”

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Top Songs of 2013:

HAIM – “The Wire”
Drake – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
Disclosure – “Latch (feat. Sam Smith)”
Superchunk – “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo”
The National – “I Should Live In Salt”
Jason Isbell – “Cover Me Up”
Run the Jewels – “Run The Jewels”
CHVRCHES – “Gun”
John Moreland – “Break My Heart Sweetly”
Laura Marling – “Take The Night Off/I Was An Eagle/You Know/Breathe” (Opening suite)
Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”
Zedd – “Clarity (feat. Foxes)”
Jai Paul – “Crush” (Jennifer Paige cover)
Kanye West – “On Sight”
Vampire Weekend – “Diane Young”
HAIM – “Forever”
Jason Isbell – “Relatively Easy”
Deafheaven – “Dream House”
Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”
Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”
Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail”
The Replacements – “I’m Not Sayin” (Gordon Lightfoot cover)
The National – “Sea of Love”
CHVRCHES – “Recover”
Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”
HAIM – “Don’t Save Me”
Neko Case – “Man”
Paul McCartney – “New”
CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Jason Isbell – “Flying Over Water”
The Dismemberment Plan – “Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer”

Pearl and the Beard: The obviate media Interview

Unless you’ve been privy to their touring in the past few years, primarily over the east coast, midwest, and at this year’s South By Southwest, chances are you haven’t heard of Pearl and the Beard. Comprised of percussionist Jocelyn Mackenzie, cellist Emily Hope Price and guitarist Jeremy Styles, the trio has made an impact with a string of great releases, including this year’s Killing The Darlings. It’s hard to truly define their sound, but their killer melodies and perfect three-part harmonies pack more of an emotional punch than bands twice their size. Jeremy took the time out of his schedule to chat with obviate before a string of New York City shows next week.

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YouTube has some early videos like a version of ‘Twice Today’ from March 2008 as well as some from Pete’s Candy Store that show just you and Jocelyn performing. How and when did the band begin, and when did Emily join?

I met Jocelyn at Pete’s Candy Store as she was there for happy hour and I was there for the open mic. We began working together, quickly wrote songs, and recorded 4 of them. About 4 months later we were at Sidewalk Cafe promoting a show we had soon and saw Emily and fell in love. We asked her to join, and she said yes, and we solidified our lineup.

Are you all classically trained musicians? If not, how did you come to playing your particular instruments?

Only Emily is classically trained. I took guitar lessons, but then just did self teaching, and just watch what other guitarists do. We tricked Jocelyn into playing her instruments, and she’s a good sport for learning them and mastering them so quickly.

Pearl and the Beard don’t really sound like anyone else. What artists influence your sound? Did those influences factor in when recording the new album?

I think we’d all say different things have influenced us, and have changed over the years. I know for me personally I am influenced by the things that are literally around me. Weird noises, or songs I sort of think I hear coming from cars, the shower, or whatever band I am seeing live.

As more people catch wind of what you’re doing, there are more faces at each show. How are you handling that? Is there a particular audience you’d like to cultivate?

Literally everyone is welcome. I’ve often tried to figure out our demographic, and guess who is at a show to see us, and I can’t, and I definitely prefer it that way. We want everyone to feel welcome and loved at a show, because at the end of the day, everyone deserves to feel like they belong somewhere and are loved.

You guys recorded for Daytrotter last July. It’s been almost a year and no sign of a release. What’s going on with that?

What IS going on with that? I have no idea. I recently saw that they put up Best Coast’s session, and that had been recorded over a year and a half ago, so who knows? Those guys record like 4 or 5 bands a day, so they have some backlog I’m sure. I’d write to them and ask for the session before those songs are too old.

The Black Vessel EP is a very interesting piece of Pearl and the Beard history. In a way, it’s sort of a mini “White Album”. There’s the group track, and then a solo track by each of the three members. Was this deliberate? Above all, it seems like a really creative way to peel back the layers.

Thanks. We wanted to release something in between albums, and didn’t want to put album songs on it. Since we are always writing, some songs work for the group and others don’t. We decided just to release something from each of us, since we’re all fans of each other.

Franz Nicolay was a co-producer on your latest record. How familiar were you with his work before you recorded? What was it like having him in the studio?

Working with Franz was great as was working with Dan Brennan, our other producer. We’d been familiar with both folks’ work naturally over the years, as each person is a musician. Working with them in the studio was awesome. Both were focused, and really supportive and gently pushed us to get better performances as well as offer new ideas to songs.

“Hot Volcano” is definitely a standout on Killing The Darlings. It’s always ripped live, but there’s something different about the recording and what you played at the album release show, so it begs the question: Where’s the kazoo solo?

We like to do it different each time we play it live. Kazoo doesn’t seem to translate as well over recorded material, and I think half of its charm is seeing it be played. We like to make it a little special treat for folks who come out to the shows. Just a little something different. Even each kazoo solo is different.

There’s a certain stigma of what a band is supposed to sound with relatively spartan instrumentation, and then you guys get on stage and have such an enormous sound. Is this something you’re aware of? Does the size or location of each show influence how you build your setlist or do you usually go through a particular set from city to city?

I don’t think any of us know how enormous of a sound we have. We are aware of the space we are playing each night and try to be respectful of each venue, so we don’t turn up to 11 in a room the size of an acorn. Every show is different. We vary on which songs we play and how many quiet versus loud songs, we think are appropriate.

Do you have any pre- or post- show rituals?

Usually before a show we like to connect with each other and give ourselves a hug, just to let each other know we are here for the other no matter who is out that, and for that emotional support. After, we usually just talk to people, pack up, and sleep.

What are your day jobs outside of the band?

Jocelyn is a freelance knitter, I bartend and do production work, and Emily is a full time cellist.

Finally, what are your favorite places to go in New York?

To bed?

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To learn more about Pearl and the Beard, find out tour dates and to hear and purchase their records, visit their website.

Pearl and the Beard perform ‘Reverend’ from their Subway Sessions appearance.

Interview by Brendan Hilliard

‘The King of Limbs’ is a stretch

Few rock and roll bands these days elicit a global response to their every move. Sure, the world has progenitors like Lady Gaga, but there’s not a collective that captures our imagination these days. Except for one. Radiohead.

Through the years, they’ve gone from alt-rock afterthoughts to oh-no-maybe-not’s and evolved into unparalleled innovators of their craft. Whether it’s the man-machine tumble of OK Computer, or the heartbreaking disconnect of Kid A, Radiohead has made records that stand not only as critical achievements, but as unmatched classics.

Since then? They’ve stopped. It can be argued that they haven’t made anything nearly as impressive in over a decade. Amnesiac, released in the summer of 2001 is more or less a sister record to its predecessor, with songs recorded in the same sessions. It’s spotty at best. 2003’s Hail to the Thief was a return to guitar rock, but meandered and has left a small imprint. Four years later, there was “In Rainbows,” released with a week’s notice through a “pay what you want” system that shocked a fractured music industry. While the songwriting is strong, it suffered from flat production and lazy sequencing.

Radiohead’s albums are drenched in ambiguity and have always been geared by subtlety. They are not a group that cares much about hooks or riffs these days, as they did with 1995’s The Bends. Instead, they live in the abstract: grooves and textures. Friday’s release of The King of Limbs drives that home. Unfortunately, it’s colorless.

The album’s opener, “Bloom,” begins with a distant piano loop that melts into a series of blips and drum hits. Thom Yorke’s recognizable croon follows, but the song doesn’t seem to DO much. There’s a desire to hear this it build and crescendo, but the song refuses, staying firmly in the middle. And this is the problem with so much of the album’s material. It plays too much to the center and not enough to the extremes that Radiohead has excelled at. “Morning Mr. Magpie and “Feral” suffer from this same fate. “Little by Little” apes their OK Computer-era sound, but it sounds awkward, nestled in a collection of dour material.

Of course, there’s things to like with each of their releases. “Lotus Flower” is a slinky lead single powered by a gorgeous Yorke falsetto. “Codex,” a haunting piano ballad, is treated with care. The vocals are to the front, atmospheric loops sprinkled throughout, with a tasteful horn and string accompaniment to usher it forward. It concludes as a great addition to their catalog.

Still, Radiohead sounds bored. While it’s fair to assume that a band of their caliber has reached the point in its career where they’ve done everything they could have imagined musically, they must now face the challenge of keeping it interesting. Both for themselves and their listeners. This may very well be Radiohead reaching middle age. It may be painful, but they’ve got the drive to continue. It’s just now time for them to step outside of the realm of possibility and capture listeners imaginations once more.

Zeroing in on Heads Up Display

We’re not so far away from the time where technology didn’t dictate every second of every day life. Listening to Heads Up Display’s eponymous album, it’s a reminder of when the world was just a little less complicated.

This record bleeds familiarity in the squall of the guitars, wholehearted vocals and a post-punk rhythm section.  Which is not an insult to the Brooklyn-based trio, their impressive synthesis of the sloppy guitar rock that permeated the 90’s, with a punk
urgency layered with vocal stylings by singer/guitarist Joshua Davis Dillard that would make the crustiest Sunny Day Real Estate fan perk up.

The rhythm section of bassist Steve Pellegrino and drummer Kevin Colden get a nice showcase on “2020 Hindsight”. They’re a remarkably tight duo throughout the record, and on this track, the slow-burn quality fits the band perfectly. They maintain this energy perfectly throughout the song without predictably breaking into a loud
verse – chorus – verse structure.

The album’s best moment comes with the penultimate track, the grungy and reckless “No, It’s Not What You Think”. Frantic harmonics punctuate the opening seconds before it breaks into short, violent bursts. It’s got the same urgency and emotional insecurity of Pinkerton-era Weezer, complete with an atmospheric breakdown mid-song.

In an era that evolves quicker than we can document, it’s pretty special that homespun albums like these still exist. Heads Up Display’s ‘no-frills’ approach is refreshing, showing nothing beats strong hooks and killer riffs. Wearing your influences on your sleeve just might be cool again.

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Visit the website for Heads Up Display here.

Top 10 Albums of 2010

I stuck strictly to albums and omitted late additions (things I started to listen to after other lists came out). Therefore, Pearl and the Beard’s Black Vessel EP and other 2010 discs did not qualify.

10. River City Extension – And The Unmistakable Man

I’m tentative at putting this at the ten slot. This New Jersey based band has all the promise of the greats from the state of their origin, (Springsteen, et al) and so does their expansive debut. At the same time, they’re tip-toeing the line of obscurity. What I do know is this: From the anthemic “Something Salty, Something Sweet” to the morning after dizziness of “I Still Own A Bible” followed by the furious “Too Tired To Drink” show that this group has a ton of great ideas. Now all they need is focus.

9. J Roddy Walston and the Business – J Roddy Walston and the Business

Imagine Jerry Lee Lewis on speed, kicking out the piano bench, then taking a sledgehammer to the piano. That’s pretty much J Roddy Walston and the Business in a nutshell. These are jams designed to make you sweat. “Don’t Break the Needle” is a monster opener, “Full Growing Man” with it’s “Woo-oohs” and “Ahh-ahhs” is a glam rock mess-terpiece and “Brave Man’s Death” with it’s unforgettable chorus: “I don’t wanna die a brave man’s death/spitting gasoline/burning my teeth, getting salt on the fields on my past/and the sun’ll come down with a milky white flash/I’ll get my brave man’s death at last”. Sounds exactly like what you’ll want to listen to when the ship’s going down.

8. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

I understand the reverence that many have for Arcade Fire. I’ve seen them live. It’s a moving experience. But on record, I don’t really feel it. Simply, they are a very good band that makes strong records. Have they done anything truly great? Yes. Funeral. Their second record, Neon Bible was several shades of grey and their offering this year kind of meets the middle ground between the two. There are things to love here, of course: the slow-motion run of “Half Light II (No Celebration)” the nascent punk energy of “Month of May,” and of course, the record’s crown jewel, “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”. Timeless. While this record does sprawl, as two of the songs suggest, in some strange way, really works.

7. Franz Nicolay – Luck and Courage

Franz Nicolay’s songs are a gift. They reveal themselves over time. The album had little impact at first, but with repeated listens, it literally bloomed in my ears. What’s great about Nicolay’s songs is that they have this unforgettable emotional undercurrent that leaves a lump in your throat (see “Felix and Adelita” and “This Is Not A Pipe”). Then there’s moments like “My Criminal Uncle” that practically beg an “It’s Oh So Quiet” by Bjork-style video treatment.

6. Robyn – Body Talk/Body Talk Pt. 1/Body Talk Pt. 2

It’s hard to pick from Robyn’s 2010 output, mainly because there’s so much strong material. So, I’ll settle for bits from all of her releases. What’s so remarkable about Robyn’s Body Talk series is that there are bangers that other artists would kill to have once in their career. Here, she has almost a dozen. The classic throb and hook of “Dancing On My Own,” the infinite summer of “Hang With Me” and the distressed-future by way of nineties throwback “Time Machine”. That’s just three of them, folks.

5. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

No hip-hop artist has commanded the attention of his listeners like Kanye West. In essence, he’s peerless. There are artists that will dazzle you with their wordplay (Lil Wayne) or their production expertise (The-Dream), but neither can marry both of those concepts together quite like Kanye. With West, every album is an event. If you listen from The College Dropout, the stylistic leaps he’s made are Beatlesque. Fantasy is fully realized – nine minute epics that hinge on one piano note, star-studded guest verses (Nicki Minaj’s verse-of-the-decade nominee on “Monster”) and staggering reworkings of indie-folkie Bon Iver tracks. It’s all here in one giant stew. Everyone else, go back to your corners. Kanye’s got this round.

4. Glossary – Feral Fire

The little record that could. At it’s core, Feral Fire is a straight up alt-country record with a power-pop kick to the balls. “Lonely Is A Town” is a spitfire opener, with the sandpaper and silk vocals of husband and wife duo Joey and Kelly Kneiser punctuated by a guitar solo that would make Cheap Trick proud. These moments are abundant throughout, but be careful, the gentle “Hope and Peril”, sung by member (and sometimes Lucero slide player) Todd Beane – will stop you dead in your tracks.

3. The Hold Steady – Heaven Is Whenever

A sentimental number three, and likely here because I played the hell out of this summer. In a year where they lost Franz Nicolay and gained two auxiliary members, The Hold Steady got their bearings and managed to release an incongruent disc that just barely eclipses 2008’s Stay Positive. Gone are the trademark piano dramatics, and in place are a healthy dose of extra guitars. It’s not perfect, considering the seismic lineup change, this record feels very transitional. The band’s last two records seems like they’re yielding diminishing returns, but don’t count them out quite yet. Songs like the shimmering opener “The Sweet Part of the City” and late-era Replacements of “Our Whole Lives,” will do for now.

2. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor

Consider The Monitor as a call-to-arms more than a record. Titus Andronicus’s 2008 debut, The Airing of Grievances was an accomplishment in itself, but no one could have expected the mammoth they unleashed this year. Chock full of guitar heroics (pretty much ALL of “A More Perfect Union”) sing-along phrases – ‘The enemy is everywhere!’ ‘You’ll always be a loser!’ and a hell of a lot of bravado, it’s nothing short of perfect. What blows my mind is that the median age of this band is twenty-five, and they’ve already put their blood, sweat, tears and beers into a record so fully-realized. What’s next? There aren’t enough words. Gushing is the only thing that does The Monitor justice.

1. The National – High Violet

The one and two slots on this list are essentially interchangeable. But at the last minute High Violet eked out the top slot. For myself, 2010 was the year of The National. While I had heavily anticipated this record, I wasn’t prepared for the stranglehold I’d be put in by it. Way darker than I expected, I felt drawn to the little things – the unforgettable splash of drums in “Bloodbuzz Ohio”, the altitude change of the opening chords of “Lemonworld,” and the delightfully icky chorus of “Conversation 16”: “I was afraid I’d eat your brains ’cause I’m evil.” It doesn’t get better than that.

Most importantly it’s the soundtrack to my New York experience. It was with me on my move here in July and hasn’t left me since. Put this one on and stroll through the streets of Manhattan at night. Listen to it while taking the L into Brooklyn and get off at Bedford Avenue before walking through McCarren Park. With High Violet, everything sparkles just a little bit more.

Up “All Night” with Houses

Imagine losing your job without any idea of what to do next. Well, other than looking for another job. There’s also that romantic idea of moving somewhere tropical, living off the grid and enjoying what’s around you. It’s fun, but not something that’s easy to do with bills and responsibilities in the way. Not for Houses. They just took off.

It’s an admirable, albeit unsustainable idea. I’ve always dreamed of doing what they did, but never had the guts to see it through. It seemed on the whim, and one enormous leap of faith. Not much later, they were working and living in Papaikou, Hawaii, learning the basics of sustainable living.

More often than not, this lifestyle does not work out for most people. But Houses are not most people. After finally running out of cash several months later, they returned to Chicago, but not empty handed.. With them, they had a gorgeous snapshot of their time on the island, All Night, their debut on Lefse, due next month.

Rarely do I hear a record so elemental and effortless. Its title track is the sound of those first few moments of waking up on a spring morning while rays of sunshine bleed through the blinds.  Other moments are dewey eyed and bleary, like taking a long nap in the grass. Perhaps the freshness of these moments is best exemplified with “Endless Spring,” a glistening pearl where frontman Dexter Tortoriello’s vocals mesh beautifully with the sounds alongside them. The same goes for the harmonies provided by Houses’ other half, Megan Messina. This is consistent throughout: never once on the disc do their vocals feel put-upon. They’re just as organic as the field recordings they made in Hawaii.

These moments are bountiful on All Night. There’s “Soak It Up,” sounding devastatingly like a late Arthur Russell composition, “Wash,” with its deliberate rhythm would make David Byrne proud, and of course, the sweeping, resplendent surge of “Sleeping” and “Sun Fills”.

With that final fade, we’re back to the beginning again, if you see it that way. I don’t. It lacks a beginning and end point. It just simply exists. It was always there, just captured and put to tape at the right moment. That’s doesn’t happen too often in music, and when it does, like All Night, it’s something incredible.

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Houses – Endless Spring (mp3)

Houses – Soak It Up (mp3)

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