Kate Bush — 50 Words for Snow
We heard some of Kate Bush’s new album earlier this month via her website, and now, happily, the rest of 50 Words for Snow is streaming all week via NPR. It’s a fine piece of work — it perhaps lacks the air of wild sonic innovation that characterized Bush’s ’80s work, although that energy has been tempered into a sedate, stately beauty. The title’s an apt one, too, with the production and the songs capturing a muted, wintry atmosphere, somehow evoking the way the sounds outside change when the first snow falls. Listen here.
Saul Williams — Volcanic Sunlight
We’ve long been fans of Saul Williams — his tongue-twistingly literate lyricism and his fierce intelligence are both rare qualities in hip-hop these days. In fact, it’s uncertain whether you could really call his music hip-hop at all — it’s a blend of spoken word and a wide range of musical influences that’s more reminiscent of Gil Scott-Heron than any of today’s artists. As such, we were pretty excited to hear Volcanic Sunlight, his new album and the belated follow-up to his standout 2007 Trent Reznor collaboration The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust! The thing is, though, we heard it back in May, when it came out in Europe. Why the album’s only just now getting a US release we’re not entirely sure, but anyway, it’s worth hearing — it doesn’t quite have the driving energy of some of Williams’ earlier work, but it’s still a cut above 99 percent of the dross out there. Listen here.
Canyons — Keep Your Dreams
Canyons have long been one of Australia’s better kept secrets, but that may be about to change with the release of their debut album Keep Your Dreams. If you know the duo for anything, it’s probably their remixes of Tame Impala’s work — particularly their killer remix of “Half Full Glass of Wine” — and their own productions tread a similarly DFA-esque dance/rock path. Like their countrymen Midnight Juggernauts, their music is also heavily Euro-influenced, a connection made explicit by the French-language vocals on “Under a Blue Sky.” Anyway, click here and see what you think.
Tegan and Sara — Get Along</em>
And finally, a couple of live albums to finish up. The first is from professionally edgy™ Canadian twins Tegan and Sara, whose new album Get Along captures two nights they played at Warehouse Studios in Vancouver earlier this year. The shows were basically tiny — there were only 75 people there — and the recording certainly captures the sense of intimacy, sounding like the Quins are sitting and playing in your lounge room. Listen here.
Slash — Made in Stoke
Erstwhile Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, meanwhile, is releasing an album commemorating a show he played in the English city of Stoke-on-Trent earlier this year. The guitarist has apparently been trying to play there for years — he spent his early years in the city (hence the record title) before moving to LA at the age of five — and finally realized his ambition in July this year. The resultant show is just as big on guitar pyrotechnics as you might expect, and also features a decent smattering of Guns N’ Roses classics — if such things are your cup of tea, then click here to get your fill.
If you’re quick, Thee Oh Sees’ new album Carrion Crawler is streaming via Radio K all day today. Have a listen here.
Bonus bonus link:
It’s only one track, but still, you really should click here right now to hear the first taste of the 40th anniversary remaster of Can’s indescribably amazing Tago Mago. Go on. You can thank us later.