Of Montreal - Lousy With Sylvianbriar Polyvinyl Records
Two decades and twelve albums later, Kevin Barnes has decided to throwback to Of Montreal’s earlier albums. Lousy With Sylvianbriar is the 12th album from Barnes and his collective crew of musicians. He steps back from the synth soaked sounds of previous albums Paralytic Stalks and Hissing Fauna to deliver a genuinely good rock-folk album.
From the band that gave us “Wrath Pinned to the Mist and Other Games” (google it), “Fugitive Air” opens the album and right away you know you are in for a change. Barnes always had a bit of a David Bowie twang but he is bringing the Ziggy Stardust meets Gram Parsons for a strange alt country rock sound that is present throughout the album.
“Obsidian Currents” is Barnes in full fledged Bowie voice and it’s as sultry and entrancing as you would imagine. The Bob Dylan influences on “Belle Glade Missionaries” may be a little too spot on it can come off as a bit trite but after a few listens you can appreciate the attempt to grasp that mid ‘60s Dylan vibe in a modern way. “Amphibian Days,” plays along with the back to basics motif of the album. Complete with steel guitar and Flying Burrito Brother-like harmonies.
The album ends as brash as it began with “Imbecile Rages.” I think Barnes wants to nail it into his fan base that he can reinvent himself with each album but still keep the Of Montreal indie rock sound consistent. After all it is the man’s 12th album. I think he deserves to produce whatever he wants and thankfully it turned out to be one of his better pieces of work.
wasting my time perusing reddit
DAYS ARE GONE
When a band of siblings comes on the radar you can’t help but be captivated or find them to be a bit tawdry. But HAIM has come out on the better side of things. The three sisters, Este, Danielle and Alana, play into pop mentality without looking back. They know their demographic. Pure Indie pop and it’s amazing.
They have feminine yet masculine voices that make each track just flow well. No bitchiness…if you get my drift. There is no sense of over-privileged LA girls at all…which is what I automatically would have thought about the band because of their LA music pedigree.
I am in love with Danielle’s voice on “The Wire” because it lacks that high pitched femininity…reminds me of what I sound of when I sing minus the whole dying cat reverb. I dig it to the maaaxx.
“The Wire” is my jam. I don’t care if it rips off the drum from The Eagles “Heartache Tonight.” In the words to The Dude, “I HATE THE FUCKING EAGLES”, fuck them more that they are quasi now related to the Kardashian Klan. You bitches know what I am talking about. I just love the opening line, “You know I’m bad at communication…” Such a monster jam they don’t even know it. Smart girls should play this as their anthem if they unsure of the next move in a relationship. Pink Wine Anthem for sure!!
The rest of the album is pretty much as if 1980s Prince backup singers decided to band together and make music…it’s wonderful. Well switching big hairspray hair for grunge chic and rock and roll leather. it’s a beautiful thing.
Ernest Greene aka Washed Out has let us into his fantasy world. “Paracosm,” Greene’s second full-length album opens with “Entrance,” and straight into sounds of a fairytale forest morning where you don’t know if the day will either be great or grisly until the harp chimes in and takes you away to “It All Feels Right.” The title explains itself. It gives off a positive attitude that is mimicked the entire album – optimistic outlook behind dreamy backbeats.
"Weightless" is a hazy induced track that doesn’t get lost in itself but acts as the perfect introduction to the middle act of the album. “All I Know” is the type of song you will hear in a summertime montage set against beach romps and bonfires. “Great Escape” has hints of Motown soul buried below a daydream trance spearheaded by Greene’s serene voice.
The title track “Paracosm” is six plus minutes of explanation as to whatever fantasy world Greene has built in his mind. Synth filled dream like…you get the picture. “Falling Back” is charming in that quirky kind of way. The most pop like track of the album. Almost can pass for a Cure song but not dark enough, almost teeters towards a U2 kind of vibe…not that there is anything wrong with that.
The album ends with the appropriately titled “All Over Now.” Bookending the serene forest fantasy that was introduced in the start…waking up from your perfect day with an ounce of dread knowing that tomorrow won’t be as perfect.
It is a step up from chillwave…not as chill (or as sexy) as his previous record,“Within and Without” More structured dream synths than total spaced out sonic sounds. Greene is still the posterboy for the chillwave genre but now with more substance.