24 June 2009

Mirage on Dirty Projectors,The Sounds, and Jarvis Cocker

Keeping up with everything new coming is hard, and once in a while you happen to miss something that you should have included. My mission is to try to keep everyone up to speed on everything out there that we may have missed, as well as the shit I love. So from Sweden to the USA, here are three albums that you should investigate.

Dirty Projectors: “Bitte Orca”

Dirty Projectors has to be one of the most interesting bands that I have ever come across. More of a collective than a tradition band, they are led by David Longstreth and are out of Brooklyn. With an ever-rotating line-up, they do not have the same sound twice. From concept albums (like “The Getty Address” (5 April 2005), inspired by Don Henely) to collaborating with Bjork, Dirty Projectors have rejected any attempt of being a cliché pop or rock band in favor for crafting well thought out, ingenious songs that are thought provoking and addictive. The game and the bar have not changed for their latest album, “Bitte Orca” (9 June 2009). “Indie rock” does not really do them justice as a label; I would feel more comfortable with “experimental.”

“Two Doves” lacks a rhythm section, written around an acoustic guitar. It incorporates strings for more than just ambience; they add to the tranquility and warm the soul. But it is not all tranquility. This can be a disturbing album. It opens with “Cannibal Resource.” Yes, “Cannibal Resource.” Then there is the closing track, “Fluorescent Half-Dome,” which is somewhere between Kate Bush, a cappella, and jazz. What you find in between is a range of music, sounds, and arrangements that is rare in music these days, but will blow your mind away. Yet, there is never an attempt to make this “popish” or commercial play friendly. Instead, Dirty Projectors / David Longstreth is more content with creating music that is unique, high quality, and vibrant on its own term.

Track Listing:
1. Cannibal Resource
2. Temecula Sunrise
3. The Bride
4. Stillness Is the Move
5. Two Doves
6. Useful Chamber
7. No Intention
8. Remade Horizon
9. Fluorescent Half Dome

Keep up with Dirty Projectors at their homepage (at Western Vinyl) and MySpace.

The Sounds: “Crossing the Rubicon”

Out of Sweden, the Sounds (one of my favorite bands) have released their third album: “Crossing the Rubicon” (2 June 2009). Since I first heard the Sounds, I have been a fan of their brand of new wave, but they continue to grow and develop their sound. The lead single is “No One Sleeps when I’m Awake” and opens the album. Getting personal right away, the Maja Ivarsson sings, “The dreams I dream, the song I sing for you, they’re coming from my heart. Is my message getting through?” What makes the song interesting is that just like their older single “Painted by Numbers” (from “Dying to Say This to You” 15 March 2006), the song relies much more on the typical guitar pop-rock than new wave glitz.

True to their new wave influences, the sounds must have heard all of their Blondie, or at least that is the feeling I get when listening to “Beatbox.” Sung like “Rapture,” but sounds like “Heart of Glass,” this is the poppiest number on the album. One other highlight is “Dorchester Hotel.” Again, a song that rejects the new wave glitz in favor for a more conventional pop-rock sound, what really is beautiful in this song is the arpeggio during the verse. The song has a driving rhythm section and one can only imagine the mosh pit that will start up during a live performance.

Track Listing:
1. No One Sleeps When I’m Awake
2. 4 Songs & a Fight
3. My Lover
4. Dorchester Hotel
5. Beatbox
6. Underground
7. Crossing the Rubicon
8. Midnight Sun
9. Lost in Love
10. The Only Ones
11. Home Is Where the Heart Is
12. Goodnight Freddy
13. No One Sleeps When I’m Awake – Arnioki Sessions, iTunes Bonus Track

Keep up with the Sounds at their homepage or MySpace.

Here is their video for “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake” from their YouTube Channel: thsoundsmusic.

Jarvis Cocker: “Further Complications”

Though Pulp may be on hiatus, Jarvis Cocker is not. Working with Steve Albini (of Nirvana production fame), Cocker leaves behind the clichéd Britpop sound expected of him and releases music that is relevant, vibrant, and alive. He released his sophomore effort, “Further Complications” (18 May 2009 in the UK, 19 May 2009 in the USA), and if there was any fear that he was going to release more serious music with his new production collaboration, we are lucky that he has not lost his sense of humor.

The music is very straightforward, without much in terms of production glitz. It is Steve Albini producing. Where the music is driving and catchy, lacking a virtuoso quality, works to Cocker’s advantage: it allows you to savor Cocker’s humor all the more. Cocker is easily the funniest person music; just take a listen to Pulp’s “Different Class” (30 October 1995) with songs like “Common People,” “I Spy,” and “Sorted for E’s and Wizz.” This album is no different. In “Fuckingsong,” he croons “And every time you play it, I will perform the best I can; press repeat and there I am, and there I am, always glad to be your man.” But the most fucking amazing song is “Homewrecker.” Complete with a sax, this is a song that deserves to be a single and will get you off your ass and jumping around.

Track Listing:
1. Further Complications
2. Angela
3. Pichard
4. Leftovers
5. I Never Said I Was Deep
6. Homewrecker!
7. Hold Still
8. Fuckingsong
9. Caucasian Blues
10. Slush
11. You’re in My Eyes (Discosong)

Keep up with Jarvis Cocker at his homepage and MySpace.


  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN41MDONgOA&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fuser%2Fthesoundsmusic&feature=player_profilepage

    love the sounds, remember this song?

  2. Yes, I do. That was the best song off that album (In my opinion).