I just got done yapping about all the music that’s come out so far in 2014 that I dig, and that 2014 hasn’t really been as spectacular as 2013 or 2012 for that matter new music-wise. Well I may have to eat those words. If I do, I’d prefer steak fries, coleslaw, and a diet coke to go with those words.
Two of my favorite bands have released new songs this week. Spoon shared “R.I.P.” off their forthcoming album They Want My Soul and Bear In Heaven gave us “Time Between” off their follow-up to 2012s I Love You, It’s Cool called Time Is Over One Day Old. After listening to both of these songs several times over the last 24 hours I can firmly say that I’m officially giddy with excitement for both of these albums. You should be, too.
Spoon have been a favorite of mine since 2004 when I bought both their albums Kill The Moonlight and Girls Can Tell on a whim at midnight after seeing them on Austin City Limits. I’ve never regretted that purchase(though I did regret eating that microwave popcorn afterwards.) The last album they put out was 2010s Transference. While a lot of folks seemed indifferent to it I rather loved Transference(both the album and the psychological phenomenon.) I bought the Got Nuffin 12″ single in the summer of 2009 and couldn’t wait for the album. While it wasn’t as warm as something like Gimme Fiction or Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga or as slickly innovative as say something like Kill The Moonlight, I felt it was still a hell of an album. Britt has stayed busy with The Divine Fits(if you haven’t heard their album, you should), and Jim Eno has been busy producing some great records at his Public Hi Fi recording studio in Austin, TX, but when I heard they were in the studio I was psyched for some new Spoon. “R.I.P”, or “Rent I Pay” is a welcomed chunk of gritty, Stones-y rock and Daniels sounds as wounded and soulful as ever. The Austin indie rock Gods have enlisted the help of Dave Fridmann to help produce this album and by the sound of Jim Eno’s drums I’d say he’s working some of his magic on Spoon. I cannot wait to hear this record. The preorder for the vinyl is supposed to come up this week. I’m on it.
I’m not sure how I came to own Bear In Heaven’s Beast Rest Forth Mouth. I think I saw an ad for the record back in early 2010 and downloaded it on a whim. It was the best “whim” I could imagine as I ended up loving these Brooklyn synth mongers immediately. They blended perfectly the cold, distant blue-ish glow of analog synthesizers and the warm, tribal, bombast of acoustic drums to create a darkly rich sound. Imagine Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and Bauhaus being contorted into a band from Brooklyn and you might have an idea where they’re coming from. A year later I bought this excellent album on delicious red vinyl(with blue sleeve) and never looked back. In 2012 they released the more uptempo I Love You, It’s Cool and my love and admiration remained steadfast. The album seemed to lose a bit of the darkness and in its place was more of a dance vibe, but still there remained this cold distance and neo-futuristic, chromed-out pulse. Now, with Time Is Over One Day Old Bear In Heaven sound like they’ve returned to more of that pounding, tribal feel from Beast Rest Forth Mouth, though with some of that dance-y flair. Despite their sort-of progressive sound, singer Jon Philpot always adds an emotional center to the songs. He makes the analog synth drones and tribal beats relatable. Human. “Time Between” is the welcome return of one of my favorite bands.
Okay, so all the naysayers out there complaining it’s been a slow year for new music you can now officially stop naysaying. There’s plenty of amazing music already released this year, and more on its way. Here’s two of them right here. If you still don’t believe me, it’s okay. I love you, it’s cool.