Sunday, November 26, 2017

Loosies Of The Week, Nov. 20-26

Welcome to yet another Loosies Of The Week, a wrap-up of this weeks singles, throwaways, leaks, and any other loose tracks I find. A wide range of genres this week, with a well-rounded level of quality. There's sure to be something you enjoy. 

Colin Stetson - The Rain Like Curses

We needn't talk about the work Adult Swim has done this year spreading awareness to fantastic musicians. Colin Stetson is just another in the long line offering their services in the form of delectably-creative loosies. After the fairly lukewarm All This I Do For Glory earlier in the year, I did not expect much from 'The Rain Like Curses.' Boy was I wrong. The 10-minute monstrosity finds Stetson's wildly ambitious half constructing a magnificent structure that plods with such savage fervor that comparing it to his EP Those Who Didn't Run seems apt. For fans of Stetson's, dating back to his peak New History Warfare trilogy, the multireedist's full talents are on display here. 'The Rain Like Curses' is broken into three halves, the first of which follows a stampede of fast-paced, African percussive work. The middling portion will be most familiar to Stetson fans, as his hushed coo's find their way into the fray. Lastly, the final few minutes pounces once again, this time with a more unorthodox approach. There's a loose, almost primal grasp of structuring here, as Stetson just barely stops himself from going off the rails. Fantastic song.

Kelly Lee Owens - Spaces

She just doesn't quit. Electronic music's most promising new artist, Kelly Lee Owens, stunned many with her colorful and supremely-polished debut album earlier in the year. A few weeks back she conspicuously dropped 'More Than A Woman,' a cover of Aayliah's track of the same name, and a remix of her own cover. The madwoman. This week we've received 'Spaces,' a pleasant surprise that doubles as an announcement for the extended version of Kelly Lee Owens. 'Spaces' features an even brighter palate for Owens, one that was relatively absent from the plodding grey's of her debut. However, there's no denying 'Spaces' would've fit swimmingly on that album, an excellent addition that finds Owens singing heavenly over an unnatural tropical tone. Few in Electronica can attest to having crisper production than Owens, and that's on full display here. There's just so many textured layers. It's so melodic, so mystifying, so mesmerizing.

The National - Give It To Teddy

You know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel this week when a single from The National about a television show I've watched maybe five minutes of makes it onto the loosies. But alas, December is rolling around and music's virtually in recess. In one of the oddest pairing's I can imagine, The National, a deathly serious Indie Rock band, has made multiple cover versions of songs from the not-so serious animated comedy Bob's Burgers. From someone on the outside looking in, like myself, the humor or appeal comes in the fact that Matt Berninger's despondent vocals are talking about phones being chopped with cleaver and Teddy as a waffle, rather than his usual heavy-handed romanticism. Couple that with The National's gloomy, melodramatic production, one that on 'Give It To Teddy' barely incorporates anything more than a piano and string section, and the nonconformity on full display is quite an intriguing sight. A fun little diddy that fans of the show, I'm sure, would appreciate even more.

Steve Lacy - 98s

Okay, '98s' a bit of a curiosity. To put it simply, no one's sure if this is even a Steve Lacy song. You'll be wondering the same thing when you put it on. The artist known for working with The Internet and Kendrick Lamar, while dropping his promising demo earlier this year, dabbles heavily in Neo-Psychedelia and Soul. There's times when he ventures off, but not this much. If it is him, I'm impressed. Not because of the song's quality, that's suspect to say the least. But because many, including myself, are unsure of its origin. That's convincing. If it's not, then multiple streaming services have some investigating to do. It's tough to label '98s' apart from calling it Instrumental Hip-Hop. Names like RJD2, Blue Sky Black Death, and Aether seem capable of creating this atmospheric western. Steve Lacy? Most certainly not. Truth be told, '98s' doesn't have much sticking points to it other than the intrigue sitting behind its origin. That's why it's here. Will we ever get to the bottom of it?

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