So many things are demanding my ear time right now.
- Kanye’s The Life of Pablo finally went live on free streaming sites. Firstly, I can’t believe I waited this long to listen. I’m a resourceful enough fellow, I could’ve found alternate listening methods if need be, but I didn’t. I’d heard trickles here and there. No More Parties in LA and Real Friends dropped a while back and they sounded fine to middling without context. The alternate version of Wolves was fantastic, featuring a bunch of guest vocals. Now that the album is here for real I dig it. Lots. Kanye hasn’t been a great rapper for a while now, but asshole or not you can’t deny he has an immense skill at crafting a sound. Sourcing and cultivating talent then somehow make it all mesh with audio elements and artifacts many would never consider to utilise. Right from the start, Ultralight Beam is an incredible song. Such a full sound. It’s electronically enhanced gospel and a real force to take in. No, the album isn’t Dark Twisted Fantasy all over again, but there’s so much in it that deserves a thorough listen. I haven’t even fully grasped it yet.
- If TLOP wasn’t enough, M83 just dropped their first new album in five years. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming was a mammoth, stadium effort. Junk eschews the anthemic for a quirkier, more personal aesthetic. I’ve only listened once and I really want to devour it, but it’s clashing with everything else I want.
- Esperanza Spalding’s Emily’s D+Evolution is fantastic. Kind of like a less concept driven, funky and abstract Janelle Monáe. If that sounds at all appealing, I’m sure it’d grab you much more than I could sell it.
- I recently discovered Chris Gethard’s podcast Beautiful/Anonymous. He’s one of my favourite comedians, a sincere, honest storyteller and improviser. The podcast finds him taking calls from anonymous listeners and talking about whatever they want for up to an hour. He has a real knack for finding a deeper story in what he hears and driving straight for the heart of it. Callers are typically fans just wanting to talk to their idol, but he pulls out reactions they never would’ve expected. It’s a joy to listen to and his enthusiasm is infectious. Episode four in particular is a massive highlight.
- I still haven’t gotten a chance to hear Song Exploder. Every few weeks they’ll get an artist into the studio to discuss the ins and outs of one of their tracks. These are big artists who I’m sure have some pretty damn interesting things to say. Courtney Barnett, Chet Faker, Björk, The Magnetic Fields, Sylvan Esso, Tune-Yards, Blonde Redhead, YACHT. That’s some real talent right there and doesn’t it sounds pretty damn appealing to pick apart the intricacies of those songs you love so much? Just me?
As always, having my cup runneth over isn’t a Real Problem, but it’s making me yearn for more hours in a day. If only I wasn’t spending so much time listening to absurd Neil Cicierega mashup albums. Aren’t you at least a little curious to hear what Foo Fighters sound like smooshed together with beloved 90s act Rockapella?
If you’re not, I don’t know why you’re even interested in reading this site. That’s basically the audio equivalent of how I write.