Only three months into 2015 and I’ve already been completely spoiled by brand new music from some of my favourite artists. I didn’t take much from being a teenager (except that I would very much like never to do that again) but I did start to discover music that has followed me into my twenties and I will be listening to for years, and then forcing it upon my children one day.
If you know me at all you will know that the National are my favourite band, unfortunately no new music from them yet as I’m sure they will be taking time off from their huge Trouble Will Find Me tour. I was lucky enough to be at their final date in London back in November and it was the most magical experience. Loving a band for years, watching them take off and finally getting to see them at their biggest ever show is a dream. (Also probably the reason I justified spending £25 on a limited edition poster at the merch stand.)
Alas, I will be enjoying a brand new album from another of my favourites at the end of the month- Death Cab for Cutie. For some reason it feels like it’s been a long time since we’ve had anything new from them, but they only released an album four years ago; Codes and Keys. I think I never really enjoyed that album as much as I had previous albums- there was definitely something missing from it and in a way I’m glad because I’ve only heard four songs from the EP but Kintsugi is already so much better. It’s both classic DCFC, but it’s also evolved and feels different from what I’m used to hearing from Ben Gibbard and co. In an interview with Rolling Stone, bassist Nick Harmer explains the meaning behind the album name Kintsugi: “It’s a Japanese style of art where they take fractured, broken ceramics and put them back together with very obvious, real gold. It’s making the repair of an object a visual part of its history. That resonated with us as a philosophy, and it connected to a lot of what we were going through, both professionally and personally.” I feel like there couldn’t be a more perfect title. This is the first album they’ve done since their guitarist Chris Walla left the band but there definitely isn’t anything missing from this EP so far- Death Cab still give me the feeling of wanting to just go and drive out somewhere. I am itching to hear the rest of the album, which is released on the 31st March.
I go to Sweden next with a new EP from Kristian Matsson, better known as The Tallest Man on Earth. It is impossible not to love this man and his beautiful voice. I remember when a friend of mine showed me a video of him from the Secret Garden Video series and I fell in love. I just listened to the single Sagres, from his upcoming album Dark Bird is Home which is out on May 12th– and I really like it. There is a bigger sound going on than some of his earlier stuff, where it was very much a voice and a guitar or a piano, but I don’t feel like it takes away from the grit and emotion in his voice. Watch the Secret Garden video below.
I’m also aware of a new Sufjan Stevens album which I am yet to listen to, I think my state of mind at the moment is more suited to new Modest Mouse- Strangers to Ourselves. I have only properly listened to Lampshades on Fire so far; I really need to give the rest of the album a go. So I really better get listening.