Author Archives: charlie

Foals’ Holy Fire

Foals are a five piece band froBLAH BLAH BLAH THIS ALBUM IS AMAZING (Photo courtesy of

If you missed it, Foals released “Inhaler” and “My Number” as appetizers to get the world salivating, but now the main course has arrived. Holy Fire is a meaty stew of exactly what the world has been starving for: more Foals. Their standard recipe includes searing guitar, raw drums and layered rhythms, but the overall flavor is certainly more intense and intentional than their previous albums.

It is not hard to understand what makes Holy Fire a milestone in Foals’ portfolio. For the first time, they have managed to make their mathy rhythms a vehicle for their messages rather than the focus of the songs. Singer Yannis Philippakis and drummer Jack Bevans both have origins in the heavily instrumental math rock group The Edmund Fitzgerald. The unpolished songs from The Edmund Fitzgerald are a pure example of the style that drives Foals.

Continue reading

Delphic’s Collections

Is the album art the best part? (Photo courtesy of

Delphic‘s new album Collections is set to drop on Jan. 28, just over three years since the release of Acolyte. Their debut album was full of exciting instrumentals and strong electronic songs which stood alone well, but fit nicely together. A lot can happen in three years.

Delphic have admitted that the title, Collections, is representative of the intentionally eclectic mix of songs, but none have the core elements that made them an exciting new band in 2010. Instead, they all have lethargic tempos, incessant vocals and no character. The mystery is not very deep; Delphic have said that hip hop and R&B have influenced them most recently. It would not be surprising if the album was entirely based on beats rejected by Clams Casino and played at half speed.

Continue reading

School of Seven Bells’ Put Your Sad Down EP

If I get an aggressive dog, I’ll name him Sad. (Photo courtesy of

School of Seven Bells should be taking a break. Didn’t they already release a great album in 2012? Yeah, they did. Apparently it wasn’t enough. The NYC duo will release Put Your Sad Down on November 13th. EPs are a great way to get music out quickly when a few songs sit well together, but SVIIB’s EP is something very different. Put Your Sad Down flaunts how Alejandra Deheza’s mysterious vocals can turn any arrangement of drum machines and synths into something genuinely intriguing.

Continue reading

The Shins’ “Port of Morrow”

Are you going to Morrow today? (Photo courtesy of

The Shins definitely ran the risk of finding their style dated and copied since their last album five years ago. Or since their indie hit album Chutes Too Narrow four years before that. Or even since their debut way back in 2001. It has been eleven years since Oh, Inverted World, but rather than adapting to survive, The Shins have built a style for themselves that has so far proved timeless. As they sing on their new album, Port of Morrow, “a creature of habit has no real protection,” but maybe they don’t need any. The new release is not breaking news for the frontier of musical originality, but it still sounds fantastic even in the landscape of music in 2012.

Continue reading

Korallreven at The Independent 3/18/12

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo: Ryan Mac

If you went to the bathroom, you could have missed half the set. If you had bad Indian food… well. Making their United States debut, Sweden’s  Korallreven arrived in a haze of shadows, but were gone in a flash–clocking in 35 minutes or music at The Independent in San Francisco before dashing out the door.

Before the Swedish cameo, opener Giraffage set the stage nicely for Korallreven with some slick DJ work involving beats and melodies usually too delicate for the average laptop button smasher. With an on-stage presence akin to Nosaj Thing but a audio style that recalls the work of Baths, San Francisco’s Charlie Yin foot tapped and head bobbbed for a crowd composed of friends and curious onlookers. Not soon after closing he joined the crowd to take in the main attraction.

Continue reading