I have to admit that I’ve been in a bit of a music listening rut. It’s been a long time since a new CD has really captured me. (Florence + the Machine was probably the last one)
But in the last couple weeks, two albums have been on constant rotation – both in iTunes and in my mind…
(1) St Vincent. I’ve been hearing about her for a long time, but my friend Izzy finally pushed me over the edge and said “Aaron, you HAVE to buy her new album!”. I downloaded Strange Mercy immediately and proceeded to have my mind blown. This album is strange and beautiful and aggressive and quirky and profoundly original. (It should come as no surprise that she was a part of Polyphonic Spree – who I love – and Sufjan Steven’s touring band.)
The highlight of the album for me is “Cheerleader”, which you can watch her perform at The Met Museum HERE. The menacing bass growling underneath the soaring melody of the chorus kills me every time.
(2) Gungor. In spite of being consumed with St Vincent, a friend of mine released an album last week that is equally brilliant. Maybe more so. Sincerely. Gungor’s new album “Ghosts Upon the Earth” is phenomenal.
While they began as a worship band, and remain vaguely in that camp, this new album pushes the boundaries of what “worship music” can be. Thank God. Far from 10 happy songs about heaven, “Ghosts” takes us on a cinematic journey from the creation of the universe to the end of the Story. In fact, calling it “worship music” is misleading. It’s more accurate to call it “spiritual music that is actually good music.” The album is dark and mournful at moments (in a Damian Rice sort of way), bright and upward and infectious (like the best of Jonsi), heavy and fuzzed out (as if Muse decided to sing about something beside space aliens)…all tied together with great melodies and ever-morphing time signatures. Here is how Gungor describes it…
Any St Vincent or Gungor fans out there? (It’s definitely a strange pairing of artists…)
What music is blowing your mind these days?