Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

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While some pundits continue to add adjectives and adverbs to their pending “death of the album” pieces (they’re a bit like those property collapse pieces which economic commentators had on hand for the last decade), you’ll find no such predictions …

Mon, Apr 2, 2007, 08:56


While some pundits continue to add adjectives and adverbs to their pending “death of the album” pieces (they’re a bit like those property collapse pieces which economic commentators had on hand for the last decade), you’ll find no such predictions of doom, gloom and obsolescence round here.

My iPod may be chockablock this weather with great tunes from Polish electro freak Vincent Markowski to B-More bass-booty hopper Blaqstarr, but there’s still a place for perfectly formed, smartly finished albums, even if the music business cannot make the format stack up in cash chips any more.

Listen to the new Panda Bear album “Person Pitch” for instance and relish what Animal Collective drummer Noah Lennox has produced. No wonder comparisons are flying to Brian Wilson.

Thing is, I’ve had a couple of his tracks (“Comfy In Nautica” and an edit of “Bros”) for ages but it is only in the context of the full album that his hazy, dazed, euphoric pop makes complete sense. You need all 12 minutes and 42 seconds of “Good Girl/Carrots” to realise what you’re dealing with here.

Which is a fairly long-winded but tangent-ious way of introducing seven albums on the way which will make you go mmmm. Long players for long days, lets call this list. Of course, there are many many more, but these are the ones which come to mind on a Monday morning.

The National “Boxer” (released May 18)

Last seen this way in Zero Five with “Alligator”, The National’s new album already sounds bigger and bolder. Check their dinner party video on Blogotheque, download the the majestic “Fake Empire” and hear three more tunes from the album here.

Dry County “Unexpected Falls” (released May 4)

The Dublin band’s debut album is a dashing mix of tart electronica and lovelorn sketches from the more interesting side of the alternative ditch. Check their MySpace site for a couple of tunes

Feist “The Reminder” (released April 20)

Broken Social Scene member, Peaches playmate and Gonzales collaborator Feist follows up her gorgeous “Let It Die” album. The four tracks and remixes we’ve heard so far (especially her retake of Nina Simone’s “Sea Line Woman”) are lush. Get a headstart on everyone by checking these ones out.

MIA “Untitled” (released June)

Two years on from “Arular”, the Sri Lankan sonic youth has a new album ready to go. If you’ve seen the video to “Bird Flu” or heard what Diplo has done to her new “XR2” tune, you too will be relishing the arrival of this one.

Various “A Tribute to Joni Mitchell” (released April 20)

New music from Bjork, Sufjan Stevens, Prince, Emmylou Harris and Elvis Costello as they and a host of other luminaries re-imagine Joni Mitchell. We’re loving Bjork’s “Boho Dance” right now.

The Crimea “Secrets of the Witching Hour” (released May 13)

Dubliner Davey McManus (bro’ to BBC Radio One disco jockette Annie McManus) and The Crimea hit gold with their fantastic “Lottery Winners On Acid” tune a few years ago, but their new album is even better. Loaded with wry Springsteens (“Raining Planets” is a definite nod to the church of Bruce) and brilliant tunes based around south Dublin buses (“The 48a Waiting Steps”), this album is going to surprise a lot of people. Start with “Requiem Aeternum” and get ready to be wowed.

UPDATE The album will be available free from the band’s website from May 13 and will be released on CD on June 1.

Bonde Do Role “Bonde Do Role With Lazers” (released June 1)

Signed by Diplo to his Mad Decent label and then plucked by Laurence Bell for Domino over here (nice to see that all the cash the label is making on the back of the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand is going on cool bands – and wait till you hear the Von Südenfed record!), Bonde Do Role are three raving Brazilian baile funkateers with a great line in high velocity fun. Live, they rock (coming to Dublin’s Crawdaddy on May 30). On record, they have lazers.

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