Thursday, June 14, 2012

Remember Fiona Apple? This And Other News

When last I posted, I painted a rather bleak portrait of the mainstream music scene as it stands today.

I insinuated that the youth of the world are vapid people that listen to strange, disposable sounds. That they possess the attention-span of a gerbil after having their brains warped their entire lives by the warm glow of modern technology.

This is true.

But that isn't to say that there isn't a lot of good music still being put out there.

I'd like to take this chance to re-affirm some faith in the current music industry by highlighting some upcoming releases that are very exciting.


Fiona Apple is best known for the controversial music video for her 1996 song "Criminal", from her debut album Tidal. 

Subsequent releases saw her evolve a unique style featuring her soulful, emotive voice alongside tasteful piano playing and arranging.

Her latest album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw, And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, features some bare arrangements that serve to highlight Fiona's voice and emotion.

It's a very powerful album and also very weird, both of which are good things in my book.

Her single, "Every Single Night" is beautiful and arresting while the music video is at once the coolest and strangest thing I've seen in a while.

Another promising project comes to us from Glen Hansard.

Formerly of The Frames and The Swell Season, Hansard marks his solo debut with the release of Rhythm and Repose. 

Sepia tones and suspenders mean folk gold and hipster cred.

It's a very folksy album with fairly restrained vocals that give way to some powerful moments such as on the song "High Hope". 

Hansard has melted our hearts before with his work in the film Once, and his other collaborations with former love interest Markéta Irglová.

Glen's distinctive Irish voice lends a certain tenderness to everything he sings and he's still playing that old guitar with the hole in it. Very folksy indeed.

Both albums will be released 6/19. In the meantime, you can stream them both over at NPR's First Listen.

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