Sunday, July 8, 2012

Currents: Japandroids, Hot Chip, Ghost Loft

Japandroids: Celebration Rock
[Polyvinyl, 2012] 

In an interview with Japandroids on the making of their second album Celebration Rock, they said they imagined what their fans would be screaming and singing along to at their concerts in order to deliver the goods on their new songs. What a refreshing perspective! With this new LP it's clear Japandroids are having no problem being both a crowd-pleasing Rock band with a capital R and one with a powerful life-affirming message about youth and hope. The lesson I'm getting: Average Joes and Janes, whether they be in big cities or one-horse towns, can be epic individuals passionate about living life to the absolute fullest. That's how they want you to feel, and they deliver. Seriously, how can you not fucking love Japandroids?!?

Hot Chip: In Our Heads
[Domino, 2012]

Before a few weeks ago, I only knew Hot Chip through a few quirky electropop singles that entered one ear and flew out the other without much fanfare. But damn am I glad I tried this out. In Our Heads is not only a really fun album to listen to, but there's a musical and lyrical depth throughout it that other dance music doesn't even attempt. It seems to make sense that this is the band's fifth album, as it all sounds like a band that's experienced at the helm and good keeping things fresh. Maybe I've mellowed out since I first heard Hot Chip, or maybe In Our Heads is in fact their most colorful, deep, and best album yet. Whatever it is, I'm dancing now.

"Don't Deny Your Heart"

Ghost Loft: Blow EP
[unsigned, 2012] 

I have a fairly eclectic taste in music, but back when I just couldn't get enough fuzzy lo-fi like Wavves and Guided by Voices (sorry if my putting those two bands in the same sentence offends you), I don't think I could have seen myself falling head over heals for an artist like Ghost Loft. I'm sure I have the Weeknd to thank for this new direction. And that's because Ghost Loft is silky smooth, immaculately produced RnB-Pop that's dripping with cool. It's more easygoing than the Weeknd and less melodically challenging than other soulful electropop like James Blake, so in that sense I don't mind lyrics like "Baby let me love you now" and "I want to love you til I feel no pain". Nothing sounds fake when the music is this convincing.