Today is the day everyone! Phantogram are back with new music after a year of making music and touring with Outkast’s Big Boi in their side-project Big Grams. Today the electro-pop duo released their third studio album appropriately named ‘Three’. As exciting as it is to get new music from one of our favorite bands, this album came from a sad place.
Earlier this year vocalist Sarah Barthel’s sister Becky passed away tragically and although band-mate Carter is not related to Barthel, having been friends for most of their life they both feel as though they’ve lost a sister. In interviews Sarah has said that this record “is about heartbreak” and that “the overall message is about how tragic life can be at times—how the world can bring you down… But you have to try to find the beauty in it sometimes.”. This brings to mind the theme of my favorite film ‘American Beauty’ which is that we want to be angry about the bad things that happen to us but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sidenote: I will take any chance I get to talk about American Beauty (sorry not sorry). Back to Phantogram…
Stop what you’re doing and stream the newest Glass Animals album “How to be a Human Being”! Seriously..put that down..click here!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!
Today Sufjan Stevens’ released his 7th studio album “Carrie & Lowell” which was inspired by the 2012 death of his mother (Carrie) and the family trips they took to Oregon in Stevens’ childhood. His stepfather is also included in the album’s title. Stevens’ mother was bipolar and schizophrenic and suffered from drug addiction and substance abuse. His stepfather Lowell is still such a big part of his life that he currently runs Sufjan’s label Asthematic Kitty. In an interview with Pitchfork Stevens’ explained his need for going back to his roots with Carrie & Lowell
“With this record, I needed to extract myself out of this environment of make-believe. It’s something that was necessary for me to do in the wake of my mother’s death—to pursue a sense of peace and serenity in spite of suffering. It’s not really trying to say anything new, or prove anything, or innovate. It feels artless, which is a good thing. This is not my art project; this is my life.”
After hearing the heartbreaking lyrics on Carrie & Lowell, the lyrics from previous album tracks such as “Romulus” (“Once when our mother called/ She had a voice of last year’s cough/ We passed around the phone/ Sharing a word about Oregon”) from his 2003 album Michigan, and “The Seer’s Tower” (“Oh, my mother, she betrayed us, but my father loved and bathed us,”) from his 2005 album Illinois, and many other tracks from earlier albums that touch on his relationship or lack there of, with his mother Carrie. In each song though, you’ll notice that he never speaks ill of her, and instead is always talking about a constant yearning to be close to her, felling her everywhere (“I love you more than the world can contain/ In its lonely and ramshackle head,”).
I am very excited to give this album a full listen beginning to end because if anyone can tell a captivating story, it’s Sufjan Stevens. And judging from the singles I have heard prior to this release are beautiful, tragic, and thought-provoking. It’s very special that we get invited into Stevens’ subconscious and are able to relive his somewhat dark childhood with him, I don’t know about you but I think Sufjan could use a few hugs :). Let’s all be supportive of his decision to bare his soul for his many fans by purchasing this album in either Vinyl, Digital, or Disc format. Then light some candles, grab a box of tissues and listen up. Enjoy!
Today Death Cab released their fourth single from their upcoming album Kintsugi [pre-order here] , due out March 31st on Atlantic Records. The track is called “Little Wanderer” and it’s a sweet yet sad account of being in love with someone who is far away. Benjamin Gibbard is such a great story teller. When I closed my eyes and listened to this song I could see the story play out on the inside of my eyelids. Poor Ben having trouble with network connections and opposite sleeping schedules trying to stay in touch with his “little wanderer” who is away on a grand adventure while he stays home, being quietly supportive, and waits for her “but someone’s gotta be the lighthouse and that someone’s gotta be me”. So many movies come to mind: Going the Distance, Like Crazy, and Boys & Girls. And in most of these movies there’s almost always resentment which isn’t so present in this song when he sings “you’re my little wanderer, won’t you wander back to me” and “standing tall on your horizon, guiding you home to me” who knew Death Cab could be so romantic?
With the closing line “when our eyes meet passed security, we embrace in the baggage claim, when we kiss in the baggage claim” I cant help but think of the iconic end scene of Garden State…
“Little Wanderer” is my second favorite thus far from the new album which I never thought I’d say after hearing “No Room in Frame” wand “Black Sun which are both incredible too. Now that I’ve rambled it’s time for YOU to listen to the track and see how you feel about it. Check it out below and I hope all my fellow music lovers out there have a great Monday!
Another track from the upcoming album “California Nights” out May 5th! Click here to pre-order.
sufjan released another track from his upcoming album “Carrie & Lowell”. Check it out…
That’s right people, Purity Ring released their newest album in 2 years, Another Eternity. First let’s stop and stare at the beauty that is this album cover….oooh ahh ok we’re done. Having only given it a quick once over so far I can say that I prefer their 2012 album ‘Shrines”. They still sound amazing but how could anyone ever top “Lofticries” (amiright)?? Check out the new album below and let me know what you think!