We’ve got an exciting project lined up for you today: the Austrian rock band Second Relation and their third album Eno. Peppered with the perks of pop music and the soul-satisfying rewards of art rock, Eno is a must-experience for progressive rock fans and music lovers in general. You know the drill; listen to the album yourself first, then join us in a track-by-track analysis of Eno and Second Relation’s fascinating attempt at musical portraiture. Afterwards, stick around for some brief theorizing on whether we, as people, have personal “themes”—simple narratives that the media we consume could easily, or not so easily, portray.
As a band, Radiohead has been known for a great many things… Well, as of today, let them be known as a certified Crash Chords feature! So go forth, and spread the word! And if you, perchance, harbor some opinions on this band, then you might enjoy our objective take on the band’s much-anticipated album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Join us for another roundtable “excavation” as we peel back the layers of this multi-faceted work. Afterwards, stick around for some thoughts on the role that imagery plays in music, i.e., pitting the “pure feelers” against the more optically sensitive listeners.
This week we wrestle with the latest project by Ben Folds, this time a solo work (as a follow-up to our much earlier review of the same artist, then with the re-formed Ben Folds Five). In his latest album, So There, the famed pianist is working in two new arenas: the chamber ensemble and the orchestra. Join us in an analysis of the first eight tracks, where he supplements his pop stylings with the incredible talents of yMusic—a New York-based ensemble known for their intensive composer collaborations—and then for the final three tracks, each one a movement from Ben Folds’ much-awaited piano concerto (recorded with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra). Afterwards, stick around for a recap of the vinyl resurgence, as discussed in CC: Autographs Ep. #28…. but this time with Jon!
To kick off “Season 4”, we look at a fairly big name from across the pond: Florence + The Machine. Joining our recent lineup of dynamic female singer/songwriters, Florence Welch (with her expansive melodies and enchanting lyrics) appears to bring it home once more with the vastly-titled How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. (Just how big and how beautiful remains to be seen.) So go ahead, join in the analysis, and field your opinions in the comment board! Afterwards, stick around for a hefty discussion on the fairness of lyrical criticism. Have you ever seen a gem of a lyric fly under the radar? Or an overrated lyric reach Pulitzer acclaim? We’ll be exploring the possibility of a double standard in the critical approaches to lyrical verse vs. standalone prose today on the Crash Chords Podcast!
What is Art Rock? Well, we won’t be answering that question today, but we will be examining the latest work by a band to whom the genre has often been attributed. Listen in and hear how TV on the Radio’s Seeds stacks up against the work that propelled them out of Brooklyn and into the public eye. Then, stick around for a discussion on the nature of “excusing” bands’ artistic choices. What are the challenges that artists face deeper in their careers?
Happy Thanksgiving from Crash Chords! (If today’s album & analysis should find its way into your extra-long weekend, we’ll be giving plenty of thanks indeed.) Ripe for the picking, we look at an album that debuted at #1 in the U.K. this September, the plaintive This Is All Yours by the English band Alt-J (or “∆”). Then, following the album, we briefly discuss the impact of varying an album’s style as opposed to its mood.
Never at a loss for notes, Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond is at it again, this time with a brazen tell-all album called This Is My Hand. Join us as we pick apart the nuances of this latest work in our weekly review. After this musical onslaught, we took some time to discuss the impact of “person” in an album. Whether invited to place oneself in someone else’s shoes, or to accept a foreign narrative, this simple literary choice guides our experience of the tale… but does it ever affect the intensity of the experience?
Time for one of our favorite things: another cosmic ballet between traditional composition and pop songwriting. This week we find it in the band Arc Iris, fronted by the highly animated vocalist, Jocie Adams (formerly of the Low Anthem). With the help of her poetic flair, their self-titled debut packs a wallop. Let’s hope we do it justice. Also stick around for an interesting discussion on musical identity and personality, and whether they’re at all linked with staying power.
Strap yourselves in for this week’s big review. It’s time for St. Vincent by St. Vincent! But don’t be fooled… it’s musical sainthood we’re speaking of. Armed with a pop-fusion edge and a chamber composer’s sensibilities, St. Vincent is actually the stage name of composer/singer-songwriter Annie Erin Clark. She’s certainly a saint to all her fans, as they might testify in reaction to her latest “miracle”, the release of her self-titled album. In response, we take some time after to field our own impressions on the otherwise prevailing boundaries between formal composition and pop songwriting—if any at all.
Hope the title isn’t too much for you, because you can expect no less from their music. The seasoned post-rock ensemble, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (a.k.a. the band of too many a.k.a.’s) has released their bold new LP, F*** Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything. You know the drill; now let’s dissect this behemoth! Then, for our topic, we wander into the fiery ring of copyrights vs. fair use. Don’t miss this great debate!