Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now
Great new records chosen by Chris Cantalini, founder and editor of Gorilla vs. Bear.
Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Chris Cantalini, founder and editor of Texas-based music blog Gorilla vs. Bear, and owner of the record label Forest Family.
1. Peaking Lights, 936
Married couple Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes hail from Madison, Wisconson, but their hazy, dubbed-out psychedelia evokes the laid-back breeziness of much warmer climes. Think King Tubby meets Young Marble Giants and you're on the right track. Their immersive and sensual new album, 936, is one of the best releases of 2011 so far, and I suspect it will end up soundtracking many a balmy evening come summertime.
Listen: "Tiger Eyes"
2. Shabazz Palaces, Black Up
Shabazz Palaces is the new project from Ishmael Butler of '90s hip-hop legends Digable Planets, whose criminally underrated swan song, Blowout Comb, remains one of my favorite rap records of all time. His new crew's debut LP, Black Up, drops next month on Sub Pop, and it's an adventurous, occasionally disorienting record that pairs mindblowingly futuristic beats with Butler's inimitable voice and forward-thinking lyrics. It sounds like nothing else happening in hip-hop (or any other genre, for that matter).
Listen: "An echo from the hosts that profess infinitum"
3. Panda Bear, Tomboy
Noah Lennox of Animal Collective released one of the most beloved albums of the last few years in 2007's Person Pitch, and he returns here with a considerably more challenging follow-up, the darker and denser Tomboy. Those who haven't been obsessively following the man's bootleg live recordings over the last couple of years may be initially taken aback by the more somber, droning, almost church-like vibes, but repeat listens reveal a record that is every bit as hypnotic and life-affirming as his previous masterpiece.
Listen: "Last Night at the Jetty"
4. Grimes, Geidi Primes
Montreal's Claire Boucher — a.k.a. Grimes — is one of the true originals in today's pop landscape, her sound an unclassifiable blend of ethereal '80s pop, warped bedroom disco, R&B, and wonky dubstep that sounds like it was beamed in from outer space. Boucher wields these wildly divergent styles to create an always compelling, often eerily thrilling listen, and you can download the whole record for free from her label, Arbutus.
Listen: "Venus in Fleurs"
5. Burial, Street Halo
Enigmatic London dubstep luminary Will Bevan has been mostly silent (save for a couple of collaborations with Four Tet and Thom Yorke) since he released his transcendent Untrue LP back in 2007. So it was a huge deal in some circles when he dropped this EP without warning a few weeks back. Despite unrealistic expectations, the new material does not disappoint, as Bevan has subtly evolved without straying too far from what made Untrue so undeniably great. The clear standout here is the pulsing, haunted lament, "Stolen Dog."
Listen: "Stolen Dog"