If, like me, your knowledge of New Zealand cinema is limited to Peter Jackson and Taika Waititi, then Housebound will both delight and surprise you. I went into Housebound with zero knowledge of the plot, but you should know that it’s essentially a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a red herring. Just when you think you’ve figured out what kind of movie it’s going to be, it turns into something else. Rather than being confusing, it makes the movie that much more fun to watch.
The Primitives have the distinction of creating—arguably—one of the top ten greatest “one hit wonder” singles of all time with their perfect ‘90s pop gem “Crash.” They’re back with Spin-O-Rama, their first album of entirely original material in 22 years. Fans of their brand of sunshine-infused, jangly guitar Power Pop will be thrilled with this new release.
Spin-O-Rama picks up the band’s sound precisely where they left off in all the right ways, combined with a Byrds-like and ‘60s garage band-tinged influence, along with hints of the Monkees. There is nothing here that quite hits the heights of their delightful earworm “Crash,” but the undeniably catchy single and title track “Spin-O-Rama” as well as shimmering upbeat tracks like “Lose the Reason” and “Petals” make up a solid album from start to finish. It should make old fans deliriously happy and create a large contingent of rabid converts.
Spin-O-Rama was released October 14 via Elefant Records.
By Tyler Hodg
In music, collaboration can often bring out the best in songwriters.The first offering from 3RDEYEGIRL features none other than Prince, who at this point is basically an honorary member of the band (4THEYEGIRLBOY?). Stylistically different than Art Official Age—Prince’s album featuring 3RDEYEGIRL which was released on the same day—Plectrumelectrum is a fairly straightforward rock album, with a few surprises sprinkled in. Ever wondered what Prince would sound with a hard rock band? Here’s your answer!
How does writing an album on piano differ from writing an album with a guitar? For an answer, listen to indie/neo-folk singer Jen Wood’s new album, Wilderness. While her previous releases had been written on guitar, Wilderness is piano based and as a result, even at its quietest and most intimate, has a massive, almost filmic quality. The songs are deep and moving and meaningful, chronicling the last several years of her life.
Dutch singer-songwriter Angela Moyra’s stateside debut album is bound to the ocean. A charming, sweet, throwback record, Fickle Island is full of tropical vibes and lyrical imagery, and the accompanying laid back rhythms. It’s a sometimes-delightful debut.
When the first Madeleine Peyroux album was released, I was managing a corporate store and gave her non-offensive easy jazz debut a lot of play. I remember thinking, “she’s got a nice voice, even if it is Billie Holiday’s.” She had the chops, but lacked emotional conviction. Since it was her debut I thought perhaps she would find her own artistic voice on her sophomore release.
Although horror is often considered a masculine domain, there are many female horror fans who can quickly disprove that stereotype. One is photographer Ashlea Wessel, who is currently working on her short film debut, Ink. As a huge fan of monster movies, Ashlea always wanted to make her own movie; such cinematic ideals have frequently seeped into her photographs over the years.
By Ben van D
If Frozen were a greasepaint opera, a Brechtian musical set in a hinterland abyss, and directed by Robert Wilson, it would bear a passable resemblance to TAIGA. “Let It Go” would fit in surprisingly well with the themes of self-reinvention and severance from the tethers of the past running through Zola Jesus’s (Nika Danilova) latest offering. Even the winter woodland setting from which the album draws its name is a parallel. None of these are to TAIGA‘s detriment, however. This is markedly a pop album, more so by far than any of Danilova’s offerings to date, and any passing likeness to Disney’s ubiquitous pop monster hit is a feather in its cap.
You live in a man’s world, I live in my own world.
I tell you I don’t want you anymore.
—Lowell, “I Love You Money”
Imagine if there were a female singer/songwriter/musician who’s a Britney Spears-loving feminist, a former stripper who self-identifies as bisexual, and who has synasthesia. And imagine that her music is poppy and provocative and that she sings like both an angel and a banshee. That person is real and her name is Lowell.
Lowell first came to my attention earlier this year with her dynamic and delightful EP I Killed Sara V. (review). Its first track, “Cloud 69,” is a unique slice of sugary, sexy pop and like nothing else I’ve heard. We Loved Her Dearly contains that EP’s five tracks plus seven more and it’s going to blow your mind and break your heart.
There is no one quite like Lucinda Williams: her voice, her particularly Southern identity, her phrasing, her stunning writing. A true American iconoclast, she has been recording for over four decades, and shows no signs of compromising her integrity or sense of self. On her new album, Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone, released on her own independent label, Highway 20 Records, Williams speaks for the poor, the rejected, and the disenfranchised while asking for compassion. Of the 20 songs on the album, she wrote 18 of them, and her very particular voice could not be clearer.