Circa Survive / Blue Sky Noise / Atlantic Records
There’s noise and then there’s beauty. The third offering from the Philadelphia experimental outfit is the latter. Blue Sky Noise begs ears to believe they’ve never listened to past works and delivers a disc that’s as calm as summer clouds, but more raw and emotional than a high school break-up. None of the 12 tracks appear to be as noticeably abstract as the Circa Survive most have come to know, but the hints littered in each unconventional riff and poetic outcry by singer Anthony Green create an eccentric portrait that’s intriguing as the record’s artwork.
The Atlantic Records stamp led skeptics to believe the band’s trademark sound would be peeled off, but it evidently isn’t the case. Initiated with a progressive pace, the release’s first seven numbers are similar to an appetizing rush of blood to the head. Although the album’s dip into mortality is disguised a bit towards the end, Circa Survive’s chemistry maintains a leash on your attention with untamed percussion bits, ruthless bass lines and lyrics that are simple yet catchy in an unholy way. Cloaked in originality, Blue Sky Noise is a record you think you should put down, but can’t because it’s unmistakable creativity and appeal smacks you in the face every time you’re not tuned in.
Download: “Imaginary Enemy”, “Dyed In The Wool”
Kate Nash / My Best Friend Is You / Fiction
The British songstress has always been a quirky damsel in distress and although a few backstabbers doomed her to fail, Kate Nash’s My Best Friend Is You is more than a respectable follow-up. Fiery yet charming, the record inhales a bit more pop but exhales a variety of genres provoking sing-alongs, toe-tapping jamborees and the ocassional shimmy. Though it seems as if she’s fallen down a rabbit hole full of dreamy songwriting, Nash shoots back with Karen O-esque vocals on “I Just Want You More” and unwrapped spoken angst during the intro of “Mansion Song”. What separates the musician from her U.K. counterparts is her comprehensive ability to take plain yet bold lyrics, smother it in pop and burst it open, revealing addictive melodies. Yes, she’s different, but her obvious talent is worth becoming familiar with.
Download: “Paris”, “Pickpocket”