On today's episode: new release roundup!
Neil Finn — Dizzy Heights (2014)
A very dreamy album in Neil's first work since Intriguer. And a darn nice little pop album to start off the year ('twas actually released on m'birthday, asamattafack). It's very well produced and sounds wonderful on this vinyl pressing (though the digital download did come with an extra song; and a good one, at that!). Dave Friddmann's lush production is a perfect match for Neil's take on modern pop-psych. Can definitely see this one growing on me a lot more. Wonderful to have him around. Key tracks: 'Flying in the Face of Love', the production mini-masterpiece 'Recluse' and the very Beatles-esque title track.
Jimi Goodwin — Odludek (2014)
Doves are on indefinite hiatus, so anything new from their camp is entirely welcome by me. I just wish it was better. About a third of it is up to meet my (admittedly very high) expectations. It's mostly just too all over the place. And I'm an admitted fan of mess albums, but this one tries to do too much with not very many memorable melodies. The first side is the main problem here with tuneless dance rock numbers like 'Live Like A River' and 'Man v Dingo' really dragging things down quickly and heftily. Side two is much more Doves-esque musically and is the easy winner here. Maybe the mess will become charming after a while, but right now, the more straight forward acoustic based stuff is where I'm at with it. Key tracks: the lush and beautiful 'Keep My Soul in Song', the folk rockin' 'Oh! Whiskey' and Doves-by-numbers tune 'Didsbury Girl.' Just wish it was more initially exciting.
Burial — Rival Dealer (2013)
Just now delving very deep in Burial's world. And what time to do that when a lot of people say he's released his best work yet. I will have to go back through the catalogue properly to get a full context, but the fact that its new to me —in both the sense that I'm unfamiliar with it and unfamiliar with where it came from— and it still breaks through and resonates with me very deeply says a lot about the emotional aspects of this music and its ability to convey moods through pure sound. The title track is the dark dancefloor filler that Burial has been doing for roughly the past decade. But then final two tracks take a complete turn away from the dancefloor and aim directly towards the listener's heart. 80's drumbreaks and dreamy washed out synth patches that haven't been used as anything other than a novelty on any record since 1987 dominate the rest of the EP. Splices of sampled audio encouraging "lost" people to find themselves is an effective and instantly resonating device that works wonders. Truly am sorry I waited on this one because it certainly deserved a spot on picks for last year. It's good. Oh man, is it good. Key tracks: 'Hiders' and the epic masterpiece 'Come Down to Us'