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Thursday, November 23, 2017 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
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Destroyer
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Your Blues
Merge
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All fake-English-accent and theatrical sneer, Daniel Bejar's voice is a hard thing to get over; his self-described "over-the-top, totally anthemic, voice-of-a-generation David Bowie-styled delivery" is not the kind of crooning you regularly cop in that musical world some idiot named "indie-rock." Yet getting over it — Bejar's voice — is a necessary step in appreciating his increasingly impressive discographical Destroyer lineage, which keeps getting more glittering by the LP, with Your Blues the sixth such salvo in an ongoing artistic assault that's lasted eight years thus far. The voice-of-a-generationisms probably reached their peak on the glamorama action of 1999's Thief, three records into this whole Destroyer thing, it being the first time Bejar really went balls-out for broke with a full band and big-ass orchestrations and all. That's not to say that the high-wire heights of 2001's Streethawk: A Seduction didn't find him thin-white-duking his way through florid flourishes of baroque instrumentage and Bejar's beloved airplane-hangar reverb, but by then such vocal stylin' was less about implied anthemicism and more about what his singing was actually singing. Whilst you have to get over Bejar's voice — its tone, its mode of delivery, its deference and reverence to past pop-cultural times — to really be able to start seeing Destroyer's artistry for what it is, it's still Bejar's voice — its intonations, its lyrical phrasing, its vicious words — that remains at the core of Destroyer's artistry. Your Blues presents Bejar's singing in possibly the most "straight" setting it's been afforded since back in his four-trackin' salad days, the stripped-down synth symphonies seen here seeming like a rebellion against the last Destroyer disc, 2002's This Night. That album can seem like both the best and worst Destroyer disc at once, the operatic epic a mess of tangled-up guitars whose free-ranging sprawl of stadium-sized gestures almost seems an attempt to mate the glam strut of T-Rex with the outsider folk of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Ditching any trace of electric guitars, Your Blues occasionally sets a song to a soft acoustic strum, but more often assembles songs solely on synths, with any intermittent beat-keeping coming from shaken hand percussion. Whilst Bejar's songs are blessed with mucho rhythm and melody, you should still be made aware that there's no real beat, no real bass, and little that sounds organic. Yet there's still something quite regal and symphonic about it all, the synthesized strings and horns and piano stirring up a romanticism that goes with Bejar's fancy-pants lyricism. And there are moments when Bejar and his current cohorts (as of this disc: David Carswell and John Collins) nail the most amazing keytone, as in the album's two standout tracks, "Notorious Lightning" and "Mad Foxes," both built from ersatz tones into tunes of erected artifice, such grandiose stature glittering with the shiniest of synthetic sound.


by Anthony Carew




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