Leonard Cohen — Old Ideas
We can’t think of a better way to start the week than with a new Leonard Cohen album — the 77-year-old legend’s first studio album since 2004. Out January 31st, Old Ideas reminds us (at least on first listen) of Cohen’s late-’60s/early-’70s heyday, full of throaty, whispered confessions, quasi-religious utterances, and elevating female backing vocals. Stream it at NPR, and don’t miss Ann Powers’ accompanying essay, in which she points out, “[W]hat makes this album special is its sound, which steps back from the synthesizer-heavy arrangements dominant on Cohen’s other late-period work and explores a range of styles, from countrypolitan twang to gypsy jazz to Dylanesque blues.”
Chairlift — Something
Most people probably remember Brooklyn’s Chairlift from their 2008 iPod-commercial hit “Bruises.” But they’ve always been a much more interesting band than that distinction suggests. A gently psychedelic electro-pop project, Chairlift returns in 2012 pared down from a trio to a duo, the departure of Aaron Pfenning leaving vocalist Caroline Polachek to share multi-instrumentalist duties with drummer/bassist/keyboardist/producer Patrick Wimberly. Despite its minimalist line-up, Something sounds full and joyful, featuring many tracks that may well find their way onto your dance-party playlist. Listen to the album in full at KCRW — and do it today, because the stream will be down by the time the record hits shelves tomorrow.
Porcelain Raft — Strange Weekend
Looking to be transported to a world of strummy, echo-y oblivion this Monday? Then you’ll want to get to know the debut album by Mauro Remiddi’s Porcelain Raft. A rich, narcotic dose of European dream-pop, Strange Weekend may just be the perfect, romantic record to buy your one true love this Valentine’s Day. Stream it at Hype Machine.
Gonjasufi — MU.ZZ.LE
And now for something completely different: As our own Tom Hawking recently wrote, “Flying Lotus’s favorite yoga teacher is one of the more idiosyncratic and interesting figures in music today” — and Gonjasufi’s latest, the mini-album MU.ZZ.LE, doesn’t disappoint on the “idiosyncratic” or “interesting” front. If you’re the type who likes your trippy, introspective music beat-heavy and full of noise, then you’ll want to get a jump on this one. Hear it at The Fader.
Dodecahedron — Dodecahedron
But hey, maybe you’re not feeling dreamy or meditative this morning. Maybe you’d like to greet the new week with a full-on Dutch experimental black metal explosion. Hey, we’re not going to judge you. Dodecahedron’s debut is doing a great job keeping us awake this sleep-deprived Monday morning. Give yourself a caffeine-free jolt of evil at Metal Underground.