Drake’s Take: New Releases 04.19.11

Drake‘s back! (And so am I.) -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 04.19.11

I won’t go pretending last week’s releases weren’t missed, especially a batch that included the latest from Panda Bear, TV On the Radio, The Feelies, Low, Jonny, Vivian Girls and Sonny & the Sunsets. Both vacation and laptop woes limited computer time, so it was necessary. But really, even with a shallower collection of releases, this week’s might be better remembered, if only for the amazing sophomore release from Canadian shift-key killer tUnE-yArDs.

Playlist: New Releases 04.19.11

tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l

Aside from the slight annoyance of shift-key reliance in the band name, Merrill Garbus’ project tUnE-yArDs is a wonder to behold. Her 2009 debut was just her performing an intimate lo-fi collection bursting with ideas, so moving to a professional studio with supporting musicians (including the bass stylings of Nate Brenner) could’ve easily lost some of the magic. Instead the spark in those recordings is fully realized with w h o k i l l, a brilliant anti-pop pop masterpiece that mixes R&B, folk, jazz, afro hop and funk for an addictive concoction. The first thing that should be said about Garbus is that she has the most amazing voice, and what makes it an even more valuable instrument is her choice to use it in both conventional and unconventional ways. From the dense sampled layering of “Bizness” to the beautiful lullaby crooning of “Wooly Wolly Gong,” every inch of her vocal range is explored — and not for exploration’s sake. It’s an exhilarating release that both demands and seduces second listens. Required listening.

Live from SXSW (NPR)
Download: “Bizness” [mp3]

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
O’ Death – Outside / “Bugs” [mp3]
Malajube – La Caverne
Title Tracks – In Blank / “All Tricks” [mp3]
I’m From Barcelona – Forever Today / Free AOL Album Stream
Del the Funky Homosapian – Golden Era / Free AOL Album Stream
DJ Quik – Raven in the Grave
Dengue Fever – Cannibal Courtship / Free AOL Album Stream
Les Nubians – NĂ¼ Revolution
The Unthanks – Last / “Queen of Hearts” [mp3]
Duff McKagan’s Loaded – The Taking
The High Llamas – Talahomi Way / “Fly Baby Fly” [mp3]
The Watson Twins – Night Covers / Free AOL Album Stream
Glee Cast – Glee: The Music: Presents the Warblers EP

Superchunk – Here’s Where the Strings Come In
Lovage – Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady To