What We’re Listening To – July 30, 2009

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Every week five Disc Makers employees will talk about an album they’ve been listening to. We’d also love to hear what you’re listening to, so leave a comment with your album pick for the week!

The Black Angels Passover (2006)

The Black AngelsThe first release from this Texas band is loud, powerful, and consistent from start to finish. Each song brings you into a hypnotic, drone state with repetitive rhythms and intense vocals washed in reverb. The overall sound is reminiscent of The Doors, Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, and Led Zeppelin. Many of the lyrics are political in nature, including the anti-war tracks “Young Men Dead” and “The First Vietnamese War.” The album is beautiful in its simplicity & passion.

–Jered, Customer Service Supervisor

Curumin Japanpopshow (2008)

CuruminI stumbled upon Curumin one night while browsing MySpace music. After some research I found out that the virtuoso from Sao Paulo was discovered by some members of the hip hop group Blackalicious while on tour in Brazil. Curumin’s latest release skillfully blends some of my favorite sonic elements from hip hop, jazz, samba, and roots vibe to create a sonic soup tasty enough for the beach or the city streets. He sings primarily in Portuguese, which is a beautiful language suited to musical adaptation with its smooth cadence and abrupt, punctual cuts. To put it simply, I love this album and I hope you check it out.

–Jesse, Marketing Coordinator

David Vandervelde Waiting for Sunrise (2008)

David VanderveldeI’ve been digging this one on and off for a few weeks. This, Vandervelde’s 2nd full-length, blends 70’s chilled out AM pop and sun-drenched psych with lush but understated instrumentation, and sounds like what would happen if Marc Bolan, Tom Petty, and Gram Parsons started a band in David Crosby’s basement. On Waiting For Sunrise David has done well to craft a unique voice that rewards repeat listens (I highly recommend his first record too, The Moonstation House Band). Before putting this gem together, Vandervelde spent time living and working at Jay Bennett’s (formerly of Wilco) Pieholden Studios. They co-wrote a song on the album.

–Kevin, Art Director

Mastodon Crack The Skye (2009)

MastodonMastodon is the metal band who’s taken over my life in 2009. Ever since being introduced to their intense 2006 epic Blood Mountain, I’ve been longing to hear new material. I’m glad to say I was not disappointed. Since its release in March, Crack the Skye has not left my CD changer and is arguably their best and most experimental album yet. The band has turned the volume down a few notches, but they also have evolved to produce their most emotional and focused work to date. Crack the Skye stands as a psychedelic musical journey beyond the stars and back into your own damaged soul. If you’re not afraid of your heavy music taking a few risky twists and turns, Crack the Skye is an out-of-body experience worth taking.

–Mike, Customer Service Representative

Winterpills The Light Divides (2007)

WinterpillsThe Light Divides is the second album from Northampton Massachusetts’ Winterpills, and in my opinion the strongest of the three. (Not that there’s anything wrong with the others!) My first exposure to them came from a Magnet magazine CD sampler, in the form of the haunting “Pills for Sara” from their eponymous debut CD, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

It’s hard to describe the sounds that emanate from this CD; starkly beautiful songs coupled with intimate, personal lyrics, and complimentary male lead/female harmony vocal arrangements overlying a very “organic” arrangement and production. It is this vast palette of contrasting textures that appeals to me most; the gentle mixture of loud and quiet, the interplay of male and female vocals, electric riffs spinning around gentle acoustic fingerpicking, soft keyboard textures, and an overall tone that warms the soul as it chills you to the bone.

Highlights of this album include the opening track “Lay Your Heartbreak” and “Broken Arm,” but this is a solid album from start to finish (something that cannot be said for far too many albums these days). I highly recommended this album to fans of alt-country (whatever that is), chamber pop, and the vast “indie” field. Winterpills would make a great addition to a Copeland/Pernice Brothers bill, with Neko Case opening the show.

–Brian, Electronic Prepress Manager

One thought on “What We’re Listening To – July 30, 2009

  1. Nice choices peeps. It’s good to see Brian’s explanation is longer than mine. I was afraid I would be retaining the title of Mr. Long Winded. Whew!

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