Drake’s Take: New Releases 09.18.07

Drake’s been off at a company “retreat” for the last few days, so I’ll forgive him for overlooking new releases from Montreal’s Basia Bulat and Vancouver’s Bella. Well, that and the fact that they are only available as imports now. -ed.

You’ll have to forgive the tardiness (and sloppiness) this week. I’ve been on an offsite since this weekend discussing process (and drinking) and haven’t been on a computer or listening to new music. This week’s releases feature Broken Social Scene‘s Kevin Drew, Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore, Rogue Wave, Hard-Fi and Les Savy Fav. The last is the most intriguing, but it’s the first two that interest me right now, and they’re both highlighted by the guitar of Dinosaur Jr‘s J Mascis.

Playlist: New Releases 09.18.07

Album: Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew – Spirit If…

Kevin Drew - Spirit If...While the artist name here is a mouthful, it’s kind of necessary, speaking to the delicate balance achieved with Spirit If… between Kevin Drew solo and the full collective BSS. It started out as just playing between Drew and a couple BSS’ers, and then evolved into a solo project, and then finally retreating a bit to really being neither. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Just know that Drew dominates the album, but there are songs that he didn’t write or sing on the album (“Big Love” and “Bodhi Sappy Weekend,” for example,) that could really only be called BSS. It’s a beautiful album full of heartbreaking moments of sound and joy, and features some Drew’s heroes making cameos. On “Lucky Ones,” one of the albums many highlights, Scott Kannberg (Spiral Stairs of Pavement, Preston School of Industry) lends his indie rock guitar chops to what might just be my favorite BSS-related song. Then, later on the album, Kevin Drew channels Dinosaur Jr quite literally, with J Mascis both shredding guitar solos and lending his voice to the song. Other highlights include the fragile “tbtf (too beautiful to f*ck)” and “Safety Bricks.” It’s been an amazing year for BSSers (Feist, Emily Haines, Apostle of Hustle) and this only adds to their growing legend. I think it’s going to be hard to knock this out of my heavy rotation for a long time.

Free album stream from AOL

Album: Thurston – Trees Outside the Academy

Thurston - Trees Outside the AcademyThurston Moore has always been a favorite in our household, one of our dogs is even named after him. That he drops his last name for this release aligns him even closer to my dog, and the warm friendly sounds that Trees Outside the Academy contains is not far from petting the furry beast on my lap. Trees was recorded at J Mascis’ Bisquiteen studio with John Agnello, and has Mascis restrained guitar leads alongside violinist Samara Lubelski’s haunting counter-melodies. Trees is the logical extension to the (dare I say it) mature songwriting SY’s Rather Ripped, relying less on noise and more on traditional songwriting. Song highlights include “Honest James” (featuring Charalambides‘ Christina Carter singing duet,) and the extroverted “Fri/End”, but the track that needs to be heard is the hidden one at the end called “Thurston@13,” which is the 13-year old Moore experimenting with sounds in his bedroom. The mix of a curiosity for sound and a self-questioning thespian has apparently alway been there: “What you have heard is me wasting time again, asking myself deep inside, why the f*ck I am doing this?”

Free album stream from AOL

More going (or already in) the Sansa
Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends (Free album stream from AOL)
Hard-Fi – Once Upon A Time In The West (Free album stream from AOL)
Rogue Wave – Asleep At Heaven’s Gate (Free album stream from AOL)
LCD Soundsystem – A Bunch Of Stuff EP
Eddie Vedder – Into The Wild -Music For The Motion Picture (Free album stream from AOL)
The Chesterfield Kings – Psychedelic Sunrise
The Donnas – Bitchin’
Myracle Brah – Can You Hear the Myracle Brah?
Cindy Lee Berryhill – Beloved Stranger
Ben Lee – Ripe (Free album stream from AOL)
The Polyphonic Spree – Live From Austin, TX
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers – Swampblood
Motion City Soundtrack – Even If It Kills Me (Free album stream from AOL)
Mark Knopfler – Kill To Get Crimson
KT Tunstall – Drastic Fantastic (Free album stream from AOL)