Memory Tapes – Player Piano
Label: Carpark (2011)
Genres: Chillwave, Indie Pop
Sounds Like: Strange Holiday, Neon Indian, Memory Casette (Other project)
Review by TG Keas, KXUA Music Director
Dayve Hawk has made something of a name for himself over the past few years. His last release under the Memory Tapes handle, 2009’s Seek Magic, received a “best new music” from Pitchfork. Instead of treading water, the Memory Tapes name has only continued to rework and perfect its sound. His newest album has an odd mood about it. There’s something quietly gleeful in the tracks that can turn to mourning at the drop of a hat. Even the sunnier pieces have a certain ethereal haze that haunts the mind after the sound dies down. Despite the otherworldliness, it is quite accessible. Those looking for head escape from the July heat can do much worse than Player Piano.
Gillian Welch – The Harrow and the Harvest
Label: Acony Records (2011)
Genre: Folk, Bluegrass, Americana
Sounds Like: Lucinda Williams, Neko Case, Townes Van Zandt
Review by Ginny Garber
Nearly a decade after their 2003 release, Soul Journey, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings bring us another collaboration of dark, vivid folk songs. Subtle and controlled, the stories of the album hold far more feeling than what lies on the surface. Each listen exposes another facet of the moody undertones of Welch/Rawlings’ harmonies.
The Jack Furlong Quartet – And That Happened
Review by Zeek Martin
The way Jack Furlong describes his retro-infused contemporary tunes it is not difficult to follow his reasoning. “Taking a jazz field trip to your childhood” pretty much nails the feeling any long-term jazz fan will have upon a solid listen to his newest endeavor, “And That Happened”. Mixing contemporary and old-school stylings, Furlong and his band bring together a seriously solid listen that has a truly unique feel that hints of the future while calling forth the greats of the past.
Various Artists – Red Hot + Rio 2
Label: E One (2011)
Genres: Brazilian, International
Review by Stephanie Sullivan
Kick back with an icy drink and be prepared to shake your hips with Red Hot + Rio 2, a double disk album consisting of the best 33 world music tracks that I have heard all year! Moody and uplifting, this compilation featuring collaborations between Brazilian and international musicians is the perfect soundtrack for your Summer 2011. To top off the good vibes that radiate from the music, the Red Hot Organization, an international not-for-profit, uses the funds raised from the album for AIDS and HIV awareness and relief. Red Hot + Rio 2 is a great way to explore new music from celebrated artists while supporting a worthy cause.
Infantree – Wouldwork
Review by Tyler Eck
With wholesome lyrics that move mountains of emotion, this group out of Los Angeles does so with four part harmony. Each member of the band sings on nearly every track. After an exclusive interview with KXUA at Wakarusa in 2011, we found out each member takes part in the writing process as well. Four part harmony in Infantree’s vocals are not the only unique sounds as classical guitar melodies appear out of the background and rush into a heartfelt solo as the quiet Alex Vojdani plucks away. Although Alex takes the nod for the classical guitar licks, the members switch instruments and roles like a well rehearsed sketch comedy group. Their sound is similar to Mumford and Sons or My Morning Jacket, albeit more rock-influenced than M&S and less psychedelic than MMJ.