This is it people. The final countdown. The last days of summer are upon us, so don’t waste them busying yourself with nonsense that you’ll have the whole school year to fret about. If you want to go camping, do it now. If you want to veg out, no time like the present. Whatever your perfect vision of the end of summer is, tune into 1190 this week and we’ll try to ease the pain with some delightful additions to rotation this week.
Superchunk has been around the block a couple of times, and their new album on Merge (their 10th in 14 years) sees the band reminding us what made them great in the first place — without being restricted by the past. The wonderfully titled I Hate Music is full of the power pop that the North Carolina group built its name on, and in typical fashion it hides slightly darker undercurrents with soaring choruses and cheerful harmonies. I Hate Music is a great entry point for curious fans and a solid addition to their discography.
For the supremely laid back, Julianna Barwick has returned with another wonderful collection of ambient pieces out on Dead Oceans entitled Nepenthe. Like her previous releases, Nepenthe combines Barwick’s gorgeously looped voice and delicate piano melodies into a swelling, heavenly wall of sound that recalls the more vocal side of Brian Eno’s ambient work. Nepenthe is the most fully formed of any of Barwick’s releases and includes perhaps the first appearance of discernible vocals from the Brooklyn native, but lyrics or not, the music on Nepenthe is too soothing to get tangled up in things as silly as “words.”
Lastly, Julia Holter has returned with another marvelous collection of songs that blend disparate sounds together in moving and unsettling ways. Loud City Song features perhaps the most crisp production yet for Holter, her haunting voice piercing through waves of buried synthesizers and robotic drum machines. The question of what sounds are real and which are synthetic plays out subtly, giving the listener time to absorb how hypnotic Holter’s songwriting style is. Loud City Song is another terrific release from the L.A. artist, and a good indication that she’ll have even more to say in the coming years.
Other additions include:
* I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, Diarrhea Planet.
* To The Happy Few, Medicine.
* Ski Mask, Islands.
— Sam Goldner is the music director at Radio 1190