October has been an exciting month for me as a music fan. Three artists I am wildly into released new material, and each of the albums lived up to my (unreasonably high) expectations. Without further ado, please listen to the following:
Beach House // Thank Your Lucky Stars
Beach House did the seemingly impossible this year; they released two equally incredible full-length albums within months of each other. “Thank Your Lucky Stars” follows their August release of “Depression Cherry,” and both have been met with rave reviews.
These albums were recorded in a single session back in 2014. Even so, these 9 new songs have a quality of their own. The lyrical content on TYLS is noticeably darker, and the organ—normally the star of the show for this band—takes a bit of a backseat to the guitars and synths. TYLS is a welcome encore to their earlier release, especially since Beach House has taken lengthy pauses between albums in the past. Fingers crossed for a third surprise before Christmas.
Best tracks: “Majorette,” “Elegy to the Void”
Deerhunter // Fading Frontier
Deerhunter’s sole songwriter and vocalist, Bradford Cox, was seriously injured in a car crash in December 2014. It was this “perspective-giving jolt,” as he called it, that inspired the sounds and themes on this new album—the seventh in the band’s catalog.
Bleak though this may seem, the album is a serene, easy listen, with a range of upbeat and more melancholy tunes. A short 36 minutes, “Fading Frontier” is edited to a tee, with no single second feeling wasted or unnecessary. It contains some of the best material the band has ever released, including the song “Breaker,” which I’ve had on repeat since my first listen.
Best tracks: “All the Same,” “Breaker”
Flying Lotus // You’re Dead! (Deluxe)
Okay, so I’m kind of cheating on this one. The original version of “You’re Dead!” came out last year, but this shiny-brand-new deluxe edition contains remastered versions of all the songs, plus a handful of instrumentals, so I’m telling you about it anyway.
Flying Lotus (Steven Ellison) blends the genres of hip hop, jazz and electronica, resulting in some of the most explorative and interesting sounds I’ve recently come across. “You’re Dead!” is made up of several short tracks that—when put together—sound like one giant thesis of a song. The album features several notable collaborators including Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat and Snoop Dogg. Even with 40 extra minutes tacked onto this deluxe edition, I still found myself wanting more when I got to the end.
Best tracks: “Never Catch Me,” “Coronus, the Terminator”