Put on your speedos and roll, yes, roll down your windows. Today we’re surfing through some retrowave, a genre that’s all about those bygone times… but who’s kidding who: those times are the 1980s. With a debut album called Atlas, FM-84 (the mostly one-man project of Col Bennett) introduces vocalists Josh Dally, Ollie Wride, and Clive Farrington to help him with his first LP. The idea certainly caught our attention, as did its striking album cover, but ultimately, does it pass the album test? We’ll hash out a few discussions along those lines while for our topic we wrestle with the question of whether nostalgia is a prerequisite for just about everything we enjoy in some fashion.
Ready to rummage through Junk by M83?? We certainly are. The veteran French electronic music band, fronted by Anthony Gonzalez, has been quite up-front about some intentions surrounding its seventh studio LP Junk, leading us to some fairly heated debates. In our topic, for instance, at [1:49:40], we launch into a debate on the evolution of aesthetic values. Does time, in fact, validate? Weigh in!
Many thanks to José (Nokjaw) for today’s fan-pick, The Great Pretenders by Mini Mansions! The fans of two other bands will also be pleased as the Mini Mansions ensemble was forged out of the hiatus of Queens of the Stone Age (bringing over bassist Michael Shuman), while today’s album, The Great Pretenders, has seen the addition of Alex Turner (from Arctic Monkeys). Influences aside, let’s see how this latest project compares! Finally, stick around for a discussion on the importance of ‘challenging music’—that is, music that confronts us head-on and forces us to do a little more work than we’d like to. What are the benefits of a challenging work, and how to quantify it?
Today we revisit a group that we skirted past (way back in CCP Ep. #36) called Walk Off The Earth. In that episode, we discussed a smattering of topics: the origins of the band, their history of covering pop hits, and their then-new EP, R.E.V.O. Well this time we’re correcting the books by looking at their full album, Sing It All Away, to see what it has to say. Afterwards, stick around for a discussion on titles, names, designations — literally, whatever you want to call it. How do song titles (or lack thereof) form preconceptions about the works they characterize?
Anxious Kids Make Good People (AKMGP): the acronym, the axiom, and the “-nym” are all coined by today’s guest, Devin Jackson Mullen, who writes & performs under the namesake. Straight from his career in sound design and the release of his latest EP, Radio Fire Flies, Devin joins our team to unveil the 2012 album Nocturne by Wild Nothing (the brainchild of Virginia-based artist Jack Tatum.) After Devin helps us break apart the album, we go on to break apart Devin! Figuratively, that is. For those who can’t wait, Devin’s interview begins at 1:25:37. For his three groovy surprises however, you’ll have to hunt.
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.
And then the orchestra met the synthesizer… and it was good. Today we feature a special fan-chosen album for our weekly analysis, courtesy of Heather S. (@wildflowerfever). The album is called In Conflict, by the composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, Owen Pallett. Then we take some time to discuss the particulars of an upper echelon rating system. Why are things harder to rate the closer they come to true exceptionalism?
Today we find out what happens when Indi Power Pop goes electronic! However you choose to categorize them, the four-piece rock band OK Go is clearly dabbling into new areas with their latest album, Hungry Ghosts. Early in Crash Chords history, Matt had the priviledge of conducting an interview with OK Go’s drummer, Dan Konopka, while also reviewing their previous release, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. For their new album however, we administer the unadulterated CCP treatment, so hop on board and share your own opinions! Following that, we shift to a more lighthearted topic: quite simply, the nature of “rocking out!” Can this primal urge ever mingle freely with the stoic world of critical analysis?
Let the chatter begin! The Living Statue Galatea has agreed to break her stone encasement of silence for the likes of Crash Chords, and of course, for her album of choice: Singles by Future Islands. The album title is a pun that combines the accessible music format with those bereft of that special someone. Join our analysis for the details and come be a part of Galatea’s motionless journey through NYC’s street performing scene. Follow her blog at The Statue Speaks!
Checking in on one of the mellowest pop rock bands of the last decade, we simmer down to discuss Coldplay’s latest LP, Ghost Stories. Afterwards, join us in a discussion on unconventional vocalists! More often than not, inflection and artistic flare will win over classical training. But in the world of rock, where a singer’s humanity is paramount, how much can an artist get away with? When does novelty fail in the face of effort?