There has been a surprisingly large amount of divine material being pumped out by the music industry lately (
let’s just go ahead and eliminate the fact that Carly Rae Jepsen’s album just came out and that she’s on the iTunes frontpage.) In my opinion, I think there’s been a myriad of amazing new music because there has been so much negativity circulating in our society right now; it’s only reasonable that artists will create stronger projects with a thud-thud-thud heartbeat.
1. Look To The Sky is ex Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha’s new solo record. His first single ‘To Who Knows Where’ also makes for a lovely music video, which is in homage to Nicolas Roeg’s film Man Who Fell To Earth; starring none other than our Lord and savior Bowie. It’s really good, guys. It’s an album I can listen to all the way through (and that says a lot because I have ADD that could disarm a nation). I’ve been falling asleep to it at night because I find it really soothing. Aside from the single, my favorites are ‘Gemini’, ‘Waves’, and ‘Dark Star’. It’s like 6 dollars on iTunes so you should buy it because that’s not asking a lot to support a talented artist.
2. Coexist is the second LP from blow-up sensation The xx. I just listened to it for the first time today and actually I haven’t even completed the go-through, but I am seriously fawning over the album already. ‘Fiction’ is one of the best songs I have heard in years and I am also loving ‘Reunion’ which is so dreamy and achingly beautiful. The whole thing is so magical. ‘Missing’ gets into every pore, wow.
3. I have to say that Cat Power’s new entirely self-produced record Sun has been really important for me right now and its release was fateful timing. I’ve been working on overcoming depressive patterns and listening to her lyrics has projected a self-help mantra. Also the album’s title has been exactly that; the sun emerging from behind the clouds; it’s notably self-empowering and encouraging (without being frivolous or flowery). ‘Cherokee’, ‘Ruin’ and ‘Human Being’ (feat. Iggy Pop; lucky bitch! ha) are my favorites and I can and have played them on repeat all day. It’s definitely an unusual direction for her; the production is heavy in electronics and I was surprised by it at first, but it totally works.
4. Twin Shadow was my probably my favorite discovery last year. Also I got to meet George Lewis Jr. at a BLK DNM event and take his photograph for Purple Diary, so that was pretty awesome. I played out the album Forget so much, I basically had each note memorized. Now he’s released Confess which is also flawless and has a stronger, multi-faceted production value. Someone wrote that it has a “lost 80′s quality” so naturally I am drawn to it. I can’t even describe the album in a song-by-song analyzation because the whole thing is one big animal in itself, but I can say ‘Five Seconds’, ‘Beg for the Night’ and ‘Be Mine Tonight’ stand out to me.
Paper sculptor Kirsten Hassenfeld forms intricately designed polygons that resemble brilliantly cut gemstones. Hasenfeld began working with paper in 1999 and has produced several serial installations over the last decade that address the subject of luxury. Wealth and monetary success is often defined by a bounty of jewels and other expensive crystals. As such, Hassenfeld touches on her own pipe dreams of such prosperity through ordinary materials. They are so beautiful and I want to be surrounded by these like a green room of hanging plants.