Joss Stone – LP1
UK singer Joss Stone was in the news for pretty scary reasons recently — two men were arrested outside her house earlier this month after apparently hatching a plot to kidnap and murder her. Happily, there’s also good news to report — she has a new album out tomorrow, and it’s streaming in full via Paste’s website right now. We haven’t always been fans of Stone’s work in the past, but there’s no denying that she possesses a fantastic voice, and it’s used to good effect on LP1. Although the album hasn’t exactly had rave reviews, it’s not terrible, and if you’re a fan of throaty neo-soul, it’s probably worth at least having a listen. You can do so here if you’re so inclined.
Pnau — Soft Universe
Australian electronic duo (and friends of Elton John) Pnau have a new album due out this week, and it’s streaming in full via Australian website The Vine. The album’s a definite left turn for the duo — they’re best known at home and abroad for the slap-happy club hit “Wild Strawberries,” but such sounds have been largely replaced on Soft Universe by a more reflective and downbeat mood. The sounds remain fairly banging, but the lyrics catalog heartbreak and alienation. If you’re interested, have a listen here.
Richard Bucker — Our Blood
NPR describe Richard Buckner as “a rising outlaw-country sleeper in the tradition of Townes Van Zandt.” Any comparisons to the man who in our humble opinion wrote some of the greatest country songs ever are high praise indeed, but Buckner’s fourth album Our Blood certainly goes some way toward justifying them. His voice is smoother and more polished than Van Zandt’s ever was, but it still manages to convey weariness and melancholy throughout. Our Blood is streaming at NPR — click here to listen.
Popul Vuh — Revisited and Reinterpreted 1970-1999
Popol Vuh are a name that’ll be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in the crazy psychedelic sounds that came out of Germany during the 1970s. The band formed in Munich in 1970 and made a couple of albums of pretty amazing avant garde proto-electronica before main man Florian Fricke abandoned psychedelia for strange, mystical devotional songs. Fricke died in 1999, and the group disbanded, but there’s a new double LP out next week of various remixes and reinterpretations of their music called Revisited and Reinterpreted 1970-1999 — it’s streaming in full at AOL, and makes for fascinating listening. You can hear it here.
Underworld — Diamond Jigsaw
And finally, also at AOL, there’s a new Underworld release streaming in its entirety — sadly for fans, it’s not a whole new album, but still, it makes for interesting enough listening. Diamond Jigsaw is billed as a remix EP, but it’s really just what would in the past have been called, y’know, a “single” — it’s the original track, which is a club-friendly thumper, and four remixes by various producers of note. The most interesting is by Moguai, the German producer who shouldn’t be mixed up with the Scottish post-rock crew of (almost) the same name. Underworld completists can listen to the remixes here.