Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now
Great new records chosen by Jeff Klingman of The L Magazine.
Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Jeff Klingman, music critic for The L Magazine in Brooklyn, currently planning the magazine's 3rd annual Northside Festival, which will take over many venues across Williamsburg and Greenpoint June 16th to the 19th.
1. Iceage, The New Brigade
The fiercest punk debut of the last few years comes from the basements of Copenhagen, Denmark, made by Iceage, a quartet of high-schoolers whose baby-Bieber-faces often emerge from gigs speckled with blood. The pogo-inducing twenty-four minutes of The New Brigade sound a bit like Joy Division's early Warsaw demos played at double time by kids too young to be as abjectly hopeless as that. Full of sharp edges and surprising melody, it's a record destined to break hearts and possibly a couple arms.
Listen: "Broken Bone"
2. The Fresh & Onlys, Secret Walls
Seven songs shorter, but only six minutes shorter than The New Brigade, is Secret Walls, the latest EP from prolific San Francisco band The Fresh & Onlys. Their Bay Area garage-rock scene has recently eclipsed Williamsburg for density of dependable lo-fi kicks, but this deflated mini-set of songs sounds more N.Y. than S.F.; Secret Walls finds The F&Os gently moping in a manner befitting Sacred Bones Records, the stately Brooklyn goth label that's putting this one out.
Listen: "Secret Walls"
3. The Walker Brothers, Nite Flights
In its decadent melancholy, Scott Walker's late-'60s crooning was an influence on David Bowie's star-making glam act. That influence boomeranged back a decade later with 1978's Nite Flights, a more-deranged peer to the austere art records Bowie was making holed up with Eno in Berlin. The last, commercially unloved release by the Walker Brothers, it's split democratically into sections, each written by one of the three band members. There's no reason to move past Scott's first pitch-black third, pervaded with motorik basslines, art-fuck freak-out guitars, slanted vocal melody, and disquieting, abstract dread.
4. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Dazzle Ships
As seen through the refracting lens of recent trends like chillwave, '80s pop seems like a warm, enveloping, hazy thing. At their experimental peak in 1983, with John Hughes-soundtracking cheese still ahead of them, OMD sounded like the exact opposite. Dazzle Ships is minimal but still overwhelmingly romantic, crisp and exact yet still faraway.
Listen: "The Romance of the Telescope"
5. EMA, Past Life Martyred Saints
Erika M. Anderson was already beloved on the fringes of underground as singer for the spare, drugged-out art-folk duo Gowns. The material on her first solo album, Past Life Martyred Saints, is both more immediate and more adventurous, incorporating Patti Smith-ish speak-singing, bits of sour country twang, and odd, full-sounding flourishes that give the record sort of a grotesque lushness. The damaged intimacy of her music has brought some comparisons to Cat Power's early material, but Anderson never shrinks into the shadows like Chan Marshall once did. This is a star turn, no hedging.
Listen: "The Grey Ship"