Jul 19, 2007

Jagjaguwar Is Good, Very Good; And It Is About To Get A Whole Lot Better

Jagjaguwar, just the very mention of the name makes me feel that great music is just around the corner. Well, on the left is the artwork for the new album "Random Spirit Lover" by Sunset Rubdown, set to be released on October 9. I have to admit that is doesn't look particularly attractive, but of course it is a given that the music will be from another universe so perhaps it doesn't matter. Anyway there is plenty else to get excited by. On August 7 the magnificent new album from Okkervil River, "The Stage Names" will be released. But there is more, two more great albums were released in June, see below.

Minus Story are from America's Midwest, Missouri to be exact. They fill in all the cracks that appear between musical genres. They make music that is very hard to pin down, but it stirs the heart and the mind. Vastly under appreciated, "My Ion Truss" (an anagram of the band's name) represents the band's fourth full length release. Just like the others this one is a total pleasure, delving into sweet melodies, evocative sound scapes and moments of pure tenderness. Recorded in Chicago by John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky) they manage to surprise on so many levels. Jordan Geiger's voice is undoubtedly the centrepiece though. Light and ethereal, it always succeeds in conveying a great deal of emotion. I think this could be the band's best work yet, although they always teeter on the edge between beauty and shambles, their charm always shines through. Stand out tracks include "Aaron", "Stitch Me Up" "Parachute" and "Battle Of Our Lives". If you crave music that is original and exciting you won't go wrong here.
MP3: Stitch Me Up

If you like Black Mountain then you should definitely look into the debut self titled album from Lightning Dust. For this band is Amber Webber and Joshua Wells from the afore mentioned Vancouver collective. And I have to say it is quite an auspicious debut. The sound is fairly similar, slow build ups, beautiful guitar progressions. But the sound is more sparse, more spacious. Space that allows Amber Webber's glorious voice to float across the arrangements. She in fact handles nearly all the vocal duties and she is excellent through out. Especially on the gorgeous and evocative "When You Go" and "Castles And Caves". This is quite sumptuous music that creates an atmosphere of controlled beauty.
MP3: Listened On

Now you might think this was a paid announcement for Jagjaguwar. Far from it, I only write about music that touches and moves me, and this label does it better then anyone else out there. Actually it got me to thinking, which labels do I feel consistently bring out great music that is innovative and exciting. Here is my top ten. Which labels do you feel safe buying from, knowing that they generally produce good music. Or doesn't it matter.

1-Jagjaguwar
2-Merge
3-Sub Pop
4-Matador
5-Secretly Canadian
6-Barsuk
7-Temporary Residence
8-Constellation
9-Arts and Crafts
10-Polyvinyl

4 Comments:

  • At July 19, 2007 , Blogger James said...

    Agreed - Jagjaguwar is pretty freakin' rad. I have to say though - the new Okkervil is leaving me a bit cold. I've only listened a few times but it just doesn't seem to be in the same ballpark as BSB. The first 2 songs are clutch though - great stuff. Thanks for the link the other day.

     
  • At July 20, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Absolutely Kosher!!

     
  • At July 23, 2007 , Anonymous alex said...

    anticon, sub pop, Jagjaguwar are my top three

     
  • At July 24, 2007 , Anonymous Bill said...

    Love the label list - great idea and great list... I cannot wait for the new Sunset Rubdown. Is it too much to say it's already my #1 favorite album of the year even though I haven't even seen a track list yet?

    Oh, and the new Okkervil record is awesome. But you knew that already.

     

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