The Weeklys | May 7th
Vinyl Revival's picks for this week of listening.
Keeping it fresh, every week.
∙ Childish Gambino – ‘This Is America’
‘This Is America’ is Childish Gambino’s (Donald Glover) first release since the funkadelic odyssey of Awaken, My Love. And it’s a massive departure in dynamic.
Re-grounded in his hip-hop roots, ‘This is America’ and its accompanying video are lurid shots at the treatment of black America and the US’s gun violence epidemic. “This is America / Don’t catch you slippin’ up / Look how I’m livin’ now / Police be trippin’ now.” It’s direct in its delivery, emotionally charged, and highly confronting.
But listening to the track alone is only one half of the story. It’s Glover’s accompanying video clip that truly anchors down the sentiments within ‘This is American’, accentuating it’s darkest tones. Despite the seriousness of its content, ‘This is America’ is a fantastic track and a welcome return from one of the most dynamic entertainers of the 21st century.
∙ Beach House – ‘Black Car’
‘Black Car’ is another big tick for the new Beach House album, 7, due this coming Friday.
It’s the fourth single from the Baltimore duo’s seventh record, following ‘Lemon Glow’, ‘Dive’ and ‘Dark Spring’.
The dream-pop band – consisting of Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand – never put a foot wrong, and ‘Black Car’ is no exception. The song begins mysteriously with a probing xylophone riff that continues to haunt the song throughout its duration. As with most Beach House tracks, ‘Black Car’ progressively builds, adding layers of synths and percussion until the song reaches its boiling point.
Legrand’s spooky vocal performance increases the mystique of ‘Black Car’, as she sings “I skipped a rock and it fell to the bottom.” Hmm…
DJ Koze – ‘Moving in a Liquid (feat. Eddie Fummler)’
In the last five years, German producer Stefan Kozadalla, better known as DJ Koze, has garnered huge attention, largely thanks to his sophomore record Amygdala, DJ mixes and remix compilations. With Koze’s third studio album Knock Knock, he’s set to become a lot more popular.
Lead singles from the album in ‘Seeing Aliens’, ‘Illumination (feat. Roisin Murphy) and ‘Pick Up’ suggested the record would be something special, and it’s exactly that. Over 16 tracks, ‘Moving in a Liquid’ rises as a definite highlight, other than the aforementioned singles.
The aptly-titled ‘Moving in a Liquid’ features the liquidy-modified vocals of Eddie Fummler, but the track best represents everything great about Knock Knock. Hypnotic, disco-infused techno beats with strange, dissonant noise breaks that keep the song from tedium.
∙ Daniel Blumberg – ‘Madder’
‘Madder’ is the latest release from Daniel Blumberg’s debut solo album, Minus. The album dropped last Friday to rather polarising reviews, the general consensus being either a work of pure genius or a muddled, confused misstep. Whatever the case, there’s little doubt Minus is a challenging aural foray into the avant-garde and ‘Madder’ its magnum opus.
At just over twelve-and-a-half minutes, ‘Madder’ is challenging to say the least. It’s a beautiful mess of disjointed instrumentation, fragmentation and abrasive textures atop a simple two-chord piano structure that acts as a heartbeat for the track, anchoring the listener amidst the chaos of its more experimental ideas. And it works! Blumberg’s vocals are an engaging contradiction, both fragile and self-assured at the same time. His composition is perfect. His delivery succinct. It’s an incredible track from an equally incredible debut album.
Minus, now available to listen on all the major streaming providers, will release on vinyl LP this Friday, the 11th of May. Numbers are limited so contact us on (03) 9419 5070 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for all pre-orders and enquiries.
∙ Arctic Monkey’s – Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino – Album Drop this Friday
Destined to be one of the biggest releases for 2018, the Arctic Monkey’s sixth full-length studio album Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino is due for release this Friday, the 11th of May. Forgoing singles releases before the album’s official launch, a great deal of mystery surrounds this latest edition to the Monkey’s catalogue. For those of you who can’t wait another four days there’s a YouTube clip of the boys playing ‘Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino’ live at The Observatory North Park in San Diego, CA.