Drake’s Take: New Releases 10.12.10

It’s another indie-tastic week and Drake runs down the latest from Bumpershine fave Sufjan Stevens and Scottish twee pop pioneers Belle & Sebastian.

PS Though “Adz” is no “Illinoise”, I’m leaning towards genius. -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 10.12.10

Was stuck on the turnpike this week and almost scrapped this week’s new releases due to time crunch, but how to do you let the latest from Sufjan Stevens slide by without comment? Belle & Sebastian are back as well, along with new releases from Antony & the Johnsons, Die Antwoord, The Moondoggies, Badly Drawn Boy, Salteens, Off! (featuring members of Black Flag/Red Kross/Rocket From the Crypt), Holy Sons, Franz Nicolay (ex-mustache for The Hold Steady), Wilco’s Nels Cline, The Fresh & Onlys, Great Lakes, Star Fucker, Idlewild… more!

Playlist: New Releases 10.12.10

Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of AdzFor someone who foretold the death of the album, Sufjan Stevens sure seems determined to keep the longplayer alive. The Age of Adz is kind of a concept album, built upon the work of freak painter Royal Robertson, it’s immediately a complicated affair given the juxtaposition between Robertson’s colorful art and the artist’s woman-hating insanity. To get into Robertson’s space, Stevens drops the trusty banjo and builds songs almost with a glitch foundation, not unlike his wacky second release Enjoy Your Rabbit (2002). This good Christian even tosses out a few ‘f’ word in the frantic “I Want to Be Well,” so dedicated he is to his concept. The whole of the album is all so very exhilarating and, in turn, exhausting in it’s stylistic swings and ambition. The 26 minute closing number “Impossible Soul” is much like the album as a whole, in that it packs so many musical ideas that you come away mightily impressed and in need of a breather. Needless to say, it will demand repeat listenings before revealing itself to be the fruit of a mad genius… or just maddening.

Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Belle and Sebastian - Write About LoveStuart Murdoch recently tried (and mostly failed) to pay homage to girl groups on his God Help the Girl project, and Write About Love appears to be the immediate beneficiary of lessons learned from that experience. While Murdoch isn’t necessarily taking a backseat here, there’s certainly more emphasis on female vocals on Write About Love than on any past release, including high profile guest turns from actress Carey Mulligan (the title track) and the multi-platinum Norah Jones (“Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John”). And he’s also employed a subtle bit of Motown feel to the recordings (again, an element left over from God Help the Girl). As such, the songs are tight and come through bright and clean, getting away a bitfrom the Glasgow twee they helped popularize.

Free AOL album stream [mp3]

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Antony & the Johnsons – Swanlights / Free AOL Album Stream
Die Antwoord – $O$
The Moondoggies – Tidelands / Free AOL Album Stream / “It’s a Shame, It’s a Pity” [mp3]
Badly Drawn Boy – It’s What I’m Thinking: Photographing Snowflakes / Free AOL Album Stream
Salteens Grey Eyes / “If Your Love Has Gone, Where Do We Go From Here” [mp3]
Off! – First EP / Free AOL Album Stream
Holy Sons – Survivalist Tales! / “Slow Days” [mp3]
Franz Nicolay – Luck and Courage / “This is not a Pipe” [mp3]
Old 97s – The Grand Theatre Volume One
The Fresh & Onlys – Play it Strange / “Waterfall” [mp3]
Great Lakes – Ways of Escape / “Summer Fruit” [mp3]
Nels Cline – Dirty Baby / Free AOL Album Stream
Suuns – Zeroes QC / “Arena” [mp3]
Starfucker – Julius 7″ / “Julius” [mp3
Idlewild – Post Electric Blues / “Younger Than America” [mp3]
Hot Panda – How Come I’m Dead / Free AOL Album Stream
Kelley Stoltz – To Dreamers / “I Don’t Get That” [mp3]
Callers – Life of Love / Free AOL Album Stream / “Heartbeat” [mp3]
Hauschka – Foreign Landscapes
Panico – Kick / Free AOL Album Stream
Cloud Nothings – Turning On / “Hey Cool Kids” [mp3]
Indigo Girls – Sunny Day
Simian Mobile Disco – Sunny Day

Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs
Syd Barrett – Barrett
Syd Barrett – Opel
Carissa’s Wierd – Ugly But Honest / “Fluorescent Lights” [mp3]
Carissa’s Wierd – You Should Be At Home Here / “Sofisticated Fuck Princess Please Leave Me Alone” [mp3]
Carissa’s Wierd – Songs About Leaving / “A Loose Hair Falls Into a Glass of Water Without Ice” [mp3]
Duran Duran – Notorious / Free AOL Album Stream
Duran Duran – Big Thing / Free AOL Album Stream