Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The View from the Riverbank: New Albums Spring 2013

Phoenix released a track from their long-awaited new LP Bankrupt! coming the week April 22. "Entertainment" stays true to the poppy of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, complete with nostalgic lyrics and the lengthy pre-choruses that make the dancefloor all jump together on cue. I must say, the talk of a more experimental album that floated around the internet when the Verseilles band only posted months of the French Republican Calendar had me a little anxious - selfishly so, perhaps, because Prom Sawyer's been a sucker for the dancy Phoenix since Monolith Festival in 2009 (shun not random fans' concert videos shot on handheld cameras - they, too, form part of the human record).

I figure a new release so long in the making provides a great opportunity to showcase some other Spring releases. There are two in particular that I'm itching to hear as much as Phoenix. The most recent album from the New Orleans duo Generationals possibly grew on me more than any album ever. They're back with Spinoza, perhaps a musal invocation in its own right, and like Phoenix's new track, it hardly strays from their popular sound. Look for their latest release on April 2.

"Doesn't matter, doesn't matter, doesn't matter..."

Also coming in hot, we have the recently-renamed Portland outfit Strfkr (Starfucker) releasing this very week. I very much enjoyed the move toward sentimentality and more layered synth lines that we heard in Reptilians (2011). You can tell on "Sazed" that they're keeping that up, and more, on Miracle Mile. The bassline in "Malmo" makes Prom Sawyer giddy.

Now, the Pitchfork review rather slammed Miracle Mile as a cookie-cutter semi-concept album, perhaps condemned to the dorm-party circuit. Perhaps Prom Sawyer doesn't disagree. But I do travel the dorm-party circuit widely, and happily drink up any new album that can emulate my late-naughties taste.

Generationals and Starfucker share the label Polyvinyl Records - perhaps the most accessible website, for one of the most beloved labels in indie music.