Aurora – ‘All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend’
It’s a long awaited debut which hits us this week. With her sweet 18 years and demonish lyrics mixed with electronic pop sounds, Norwegian singer AURORA conquers the world – step by step. Her next one will be for sure her first album, a massive journey through the mysterious, wicked mind of a girl who’s looking outside the box. Who sees the world from a different perspective. A more natural, basic , wild perspective – back to the roots where human and animal where one with nature.
AURORA‘s songs are hymns for all living creatures. Empowering, dark, brilliantly metaphoric and strong. Listeners will find well-known pieces like Running With The Wolves or the hypnotic Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) next to new highlights: I Went To Far, Home or Under The Water. The sound doesn’t change too much, a perfectly smooth production and a heavy, tragic atmosphere. Everything an album of deeper pop music needs to be taken more seriously. AURORA knows how to tell good stories. And she is ready to share them with us. (Kai Hermann)
Mmoths – ‘Luneworks’
Label: Because Music / OYAE
Although Irish producer Jack Colleran aka MMOTHS has been around for a few years now it’s quite surprising that Luneworks is his first ever studio album. He released impressive EP’s, single tracks, remixed bands like VILLAGERS and INTERPOL and has been one of the key figures of the short-living chillwave movement (whatever that meant anyway). Maybe, it was a wise choice for Colleran to wait a few years for his first full-length as that allows us to witness the sound of MMOTHS from a new perspective and detached from all the hype. And it also allowed the crafted producer to free himself from any pressure. Luneworks is the result of an intense one-month-long recording session in Los Angeles where Colleran locked himself away in the guest room of a friend, only armed with his laptop.
Although the new LP still got the ethereal spirit of MMOTHS‘ previous releases it still adds a certain noisy and edgy note to the musical microcosm of the young man. Right from the opening track You it is clear that Colleran allowed his music a shoegaze-like ‘white noise’-factor that is clearly inspired by MY BLOODY VALENTINE‘s recordings. He also refuses to use featured vocal guest on the new release, making Luneworks all about the music itself. A few Thom Yorke-like vocal samples might extend a song like Para Polaris but they simply work as another instrument in the recipe. From gentle electronic beats (Eva) to tender piano play (Ohm) and big layers of synthesizers (Body Studies) – there’s a lot to discover on Luneworks. It’s a fully immersive head-trip that seems to combine chaos and beauty at its best possible ways. It might take you a while to get it but diving deeply into this sound is true fun, trust me. (Norman Fleischer)
L’Aupaire – ‘Flowers’
Label: Virgin / Universal
Sometimes it’s a good thing to pack up your things and leave your old life behind. Moving from one place to another, travelling and returning to that place called home – the feeling of being in motion – is what carries the music of L’AUPAIRE. The thought of movement seems to vibrate in the music, restless and calm all at once. Exploring the world has shaped the visions of German-born musician and singer Robert Laupert, from moving to Budapest to his recent trip to the US, playing the infamous SXSW for budding new bands and continuing his song-writing in the LA area. No matter where the journey goes, it enables thinking and creating something true to the heart, reflecting romantic relations and friendships, new beginnings and breaking points. Most of all it’s a reminder to always remember the good times – to cherish what once was and what is yet to come.
It’s about time the debut album of L’AUPAIRE is released. After playing countless shows and festivals, concert goers will recall most of the 12 songs on Flowers, some of which were pre-released on EPs. Though there are no huge surprises when it comes to the song selection, the record is all the more substantial and well thought through from start to finish. Clapping and acoustic guitars bring in a lightheartedness that reminds of the sound of folk bands such as THE LUMINEERS. Flowers, the eponymous song that gave its title to the album, is a sweet love song and a secret bedroom dance hymn. The River will truly get stuck inside your head for days. Robert Laupert knows how to fill happy-sounding tunes with meaning, making feel-good music about heart-wrenching topics. His bluegrassy voice is somewhere in between PASSENGER and the coolness of TOM WAITS. Though his scratchy and lingering voice does not need comparison. It’s unique enough as it is. He is very much doing his own thing and it’s the best choice he could have ever made. (Nora Hiller)
Jeff Buckley – ‘You and I’
Label: Columbia Records
Neither is it a new phenomenon, nor is it all that surprising anymore: Deaths of pop stars fuel the industry of post mortem releases. And as such, they’re always somewhere in the continuum of adding something substantial to the late great’s catalogue, a simple and well-deserved worshipping and plain, ruthless body-stripping. In the case of JEFF BUCKLEY, the decision is often not that easily made. With his sudden and tragic passing in 1997, the world lost one of its most outstanding voices and a songwriter only at the beginning of developing his full crafts. Thus, You and I is foremost a remnant of a developing voice. A haunting whisper of what could have been.
Collecting a bunch of demos recorded in 1993, You and I presents BUCKLEY at a point at which he was still mostly known for his cover versions. Therefore, the versions of DYLAN’s Just like a Woman, THE SMITHS The Boy With The Thorn In His Side and I Know It’s Over as well as LED ZEPPELINs Night Flight and songbook classics like Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying serve as somewhat like a playground on which BUCKLEY develops his own voice. The early version of Grace, the later title track of BUCKLEY’s debut and only full-length, exemplifies that search in a way that sends shivers down your spine. So do the little monologues of BUCKLEY in between songs, f.e. for the previously unreleased Dream Of You And I. All in all, You and I adds up to a rather intimate but surprisingly insightful cut that once more testifies the amount of talent BUCKLEY inherited and developed. But it also makes his early passing even more painful. (Henning Grabow)
Brian Fallon – ‘Painkillers’
Label: Universal Music
Everyone need painkillers, BRIAN FALLON used them to go beyond THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM‘s indefinite hiatus – announced in July 2015 – and to start his solo career. Fallon began to collect songs written by his own before the release of Get Hurt (2014), since then he’s been working on songwriting and planning a solo album. He realized it thanks to producer Butch Walker and his side-project MOLLY AND THE ZOMBIES. There’s no better way to descrive Brian’s solo debut than with this picture: Fallon twitted a photo with the comment: ‘People ask, ‘so what does your new record sound like?’ And I just send this photo.’ The photo shows a big U.S. flag.
What we can find on Painkillers are solid songs, dressed in the familiar tradional Amercian folk/rock costume. Everything starts with drums, bass and acoustic guitar: A Wonderful Life and Smoke have a strong connection to Springsteeen’s epic mood, Steve McQueen is a lullaby that feels like it got lost in Nevada with images of horses, heroes and dreams. Honey Magnolia is the other big ballad on the record but the majority of Painkillers‘ songs are strong acoustic-rock strong tunes, sometimes sounding a bit like an angry version of the TURIN BRAKES but more than any other thing it sill remains ‘The Bos’s who flutters here and there and guides BRIAN FALLON on his journey through Americana music tradition, full of riffs, spirituality, rivers and landscapes. Those who do not love the genre will hardly arrive at the end of the album and this is a flaw of Painkillers but those who like visit the U.S. without leaving their couch only need to push play and start the trip. (Fernando Rennis)