CIMS Indie Fresh
The sixth album from Animal Collective founding member Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) Buoys, was co-produced and co-mixed by collaborator Rusty Santos in Lennox’s adopted home of Lisbon, Portugal. The album features Lennox’s bright, sincere voice along with his beatific approach to melodic structure and vocal phrasing, with miles of space surrounding it, a guitar and a few textured samples fleshing out the dubby sparseness and undercurrent of speaker-limit-pushing sub-bass low-end. Animated by their ongoing interest in contemporary music production techniques, it retains a deep layer of experimentation coursing through its hyper-modern production – a hallmark of Panda Bear releases that will feel intimately familiar to fans of Lennox’s decade-plus body of work.
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Entertainment One has announced the release of “Sharp Objects (Music from the HBO Limited Series),” the soundtrack and musical companion to the groundbreaking summer mini-series crime drama starring Amy Adams as Camille Preaker, a troubled reporter returning home to an equally troubled assignment. Like the smash limited series and companion soundtrack for HBO’s “Big Little Lies” the “Sharp Objects” series benefited greatly from the vision of director Jean-Marc Vallée and the Emmy Award-winning music supervision of Susan Jacobs, all drawn from the original Gillian Flynn novel of the same name.
“Is this real life?” sings Methyl Ethel’s Jake Webb on ‘Real Tight,’ the self-proclaimed “surrealist love song” from his new album Triage. Over a propulsive rhythm and angular yet euphoric guitars, the song folds in on itself as Jake acts out the blurred edges of his dreams in vivid hues. “For as long as I’ve made music I’ve also poured myself into the songs. But in pieces, fragments. Like in dreams.” Methyl Ethel has always been an expression of the subconscious. Born in the heat of the Australian summer, the early recordings were built from the ground up in various bedrooms and friends’ studios; the same spaces Jake returned to for Triage, the third album in a triptych he started with Oh Inhuman Spectacle (2015) and continued with Everything Is Forgotten (2017), which was named Best Independent Album by AIR, the Australian Independent Record Labels Association.
Meg Duffy grew up in a small town in Upstate New York and they cut their teeth as a session guitarist and touring member of Kevin Morby’s band. The Hand Habits project emerged after Meg moved to Los Angeles; it started as a private songwriting outlet but soon evolved into a fully-fledged band with Meg at the helm. Hand Habits’ debut album, Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void), was released by Woodsist Records in 2017. The LP was entirely self-produced and recorded in Meg’s home during spare moments when they weren’t touring. Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) is a lush, homespun collection of folk songs that found Meg in an exploratory state as an artist moving out on their own for the first time. Two years later, Hand Habits has returned with their sophomore album, placeholder, due out on Saddle Creek. To make this album, Meg chose to work in a studio and bring in collaborators, entrusting them with what had previously been a very personal creative process. Over the course of 12 tracks, Meg emerges with new confidence as both a bandleader and singer. This album is as tender and immediate as anything Meg’s ever written, but it’s also intensely focused and refined, the work of a meticulous musician ready to share their singular vision with the world. In 2018, as the wildfires raged in Southern California when Meg wrote the bulk of placeholder; the anxiety that came with living in L.A. during that time exposes itself throughout these songs. The flames that fuel placeholder occasionally billow out, but most often these songs are warm and comforting -- a space listeners can return to again and again when the outside world starts to overwhelm. Meg describes these songs as their most direct to date, crafted with clear intention, and unlike Wildly Humble (Idle Before The Void), placeholder doesn’t meander. As a lyricist, Meg is drawn to the in-between, and the songs on this new album primarily confront the ways in which certain experiences can serve as a stepping stone on the road to self-discovery. placeholder opens with the title track which on its surface is about a break-up. “Oh but I was just a placeholder/ A lesson to be learned,” a scorned Meg sings over a lush bed of twangy guitars. The blame quickly shifts, though, as Meg begins to take on partial responsibility for the partnership’s collapse: “Oh but now you are just a placeholder/ Blinded by desire/ Oh now you’re just a placeholder for someone wasting time.” Nothing in Meg’s world is as simple as black and white, right or wrong. An openness to nuance drives revelation in these songs. Instrumentally, placeholder can be situated alongside some of Meg’s folk-adjacent contemporaries like Angel Olsen or Big Thief, and the guitar work on this album proves that Meg continues to be one of the finest young musicians working today. placeholder is another entry in the Hand Habits songbook, but it’s also a valuable testament of our time. While placeholder inspires a sense of ease, simple questions rarely beget easy answers and Meg honors the indescribable joy and profound sorrow that comes with figuring things out, one step at a time.
PJ MASKS LIVE is back with an all new super-heroic, live musical show, now available for the first time on CD: PJ MASKS TIME TO BE A HERO features the heroic trio from your favorite series: The PJ MASKS! Watch Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, as they try to save the day from the sneaky villains - Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl! Fluttering Feathers! Leaping Lizards! What a CAT-tastrophe!