It’s been a little while since I’ve shared some new music I’ve been listening to, so I have lots of ear candy for you today! First and foremost, though, I have to acknowledge the recent passing of a musical legend, Lou Reed. He was a man unafraid to push boundaries and explore the darker side of life, and he left behind a legacy — both in his solo work and his work with the Velvet Underground — that will play on in our hearts and souls forever. His music carried with it a sense of urgency, of being a part of something rare and different and important. In honor of Lou, below is my favorite Velvet Underground album, Loaded, which includes the amazing “Sweet Jane,” irresistible “Cool It Down” and beautiful “Oh! Sweet Nuthin.”
After months of anticipation, the new Arcade Fire album Reflektor is finally here. We first got a taste of it with the title track, “Reflektor,” which was an early indicator that this album would have a different sound than what we’ve come to expect from the band. Listening to an Arcade Fire album for the first time is always like a discovery. It takes you on a journey, creating a very visual landscape that sprouts up around you, changing form with each song. For me, Neon Bible was a cross country journey, a road trip from familiarity to the new, a fresh start. The Suburbs was a nostalgic look back at the places that shape us, where our roots are still tied. From the few listens so far, Reflektor is an unfamiliar territory…a true exploration of the strange and unknown. So far I like “Here Comes The Night Time” and “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice).”
The new Head and the Heart album came out a couple of weeks ago and has been keeping my ears happy ever since. Their music always feels appropriate for this time of year — it’s like a steaming cup of coffee and a soft, warm blanket to wrap yourself in. It’s the type of music that grows on you, too, each listen allowing you to discover something new to love about it. I first fell in love with the single “Shake” and now I love “Another Story” and “Let’s Be Still” which gives Charity Rose Thielen’s beautiful voice a chance to really shine. Plus, I’m a sucker for harmonica.
This is one of those happy accidents I just happened to stumble upon on Pitchfork and can’t stop listening to ever since. Kevin Morby is the bass player from Woods, another band that I’m a big fan of. In the past month or so Morby has released a couple of tracks from his upcoming solo album, Harlem River, due November 26 — and both are gorgeous. They’re the perfect traveling tunes, with a an old-school vibe that brings to mind western landscapes and railroad tracks. The song below, “Slow Train,” is a gorgeous, introspective tale that tugs at my heart — and when Cate Le Bon joins in at the end it gives me chills.