February 7, 2013

Sound Bites: James Blake, LUST FOR YOUTH and Shout Out Louds

James Blake's "Retrograde"

Probably one of the biggest foibles in AwkwardSound album review history has to be AS' assessment of James Blake's self-titled debut, in which the over-hype surrounding the English post-dub innovator did him in like bad Pitchfork snark circa 2003. In a world where Skrillex reigns supreme on the dubstep throne, I officially admit that Mr. Blake was certainly not the enemy here. Luckily, there's a shot at redemption from both sides, as Blake has just announced that his sophomore effort Overgrown will arrive just in time for his appearance at Coachella with an April 8th due date via Republic. "Retrograde" is its first listen, a cool trajectory of Blake's gospel groove and zooming electronic simplicity.

LUST FOR YOUTH's "Chasing the Light"

On February 12th, Sacred Bones will release a new 12" single from lo-fi synthetic post-punk duo LUST FOR YOUTH, which features masterminding producer Hannes Norrvide and Vår’s Loke Rahbek. Between remixes, represses and the eccentrically dark NYC-based Sacred Bones introducing their prior work originally put out in their native Sweden to American audiences, "Chasing the Light" is yet another gorgeously raw listen that details a small step away from gristled industrial neon and toward high beam goth pop.

Shout Out Louds' "Illusions"

...And on the complete opposite side of Sweden's pop spectrum are Stockholm's Shout Out Louds, a band who've been consistently great at crafting glossy indie pop over the span of a decade, with their fourth effort Optica due out February 27th through Merge. Its latest preview is "Illusions," an easy listen that glides like ice yet bubbles with a warm sense of romance fit to heat up all the Valentine's Day hearts out there. The chic quintet plan on making their way across the pond in early March to hit up both SXSW and NYC.

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