Directed by Calmatic. Yes Lawd! is out now on Stones Throw.
His fourth album, City Music works as a counterpart to Morby’s acclaimed 2016 release Singing Saw, an autobiographical set that reflected the solitude and landscape in which it was recorded. Saw was imagined as “an old bookshelf with a young Bob and Joni staring back at me, blank and timeless. They live here, in this left side of my brain, smoking cigarettes and playing acoustic guitars while lying on an unmade bed.”
And now follows City Music, the yang to its yin, the heads to its tails. It is a collection crafted using the other side of its creator’s brain, the jumping off point perhaps best once again encapsulated by an image. “Here, Lou Reed and Patti Smith stare out at the listener,” explains Morby. “Stretched out on a living room floor they are somewhere in mid-70s Manhattan, also smoking cigarettes.” It finds Morby exploring similar themes of solitude, but this time framed by a window of an uptown apartment that looks down upon an international urban landscape “exposed like a giant bleeding wound.”
Earlier today, Kevin Morby shared his self-directed music video for the upcoming album’s second single Aboard My Train. It follows the previously-shared Come To Me Now.
“Doing what I do, people are constantly coming in and out of your life,” said Morby in a statement. “The moment you think you’ll never see someone again, they reappear and that’s what this song is about starting with my first best friend, Pablo, who lived on my street in Tulsa, and was my first memory of having a best friend.” As for the video itself, it seems extremely low-budget—which is kind of the point. “I wanted to make a video at home, something sort of lo-fi,” Morby explained. “I kind of missed the challenge of having to come up with something creative with little to no money.”
Peaking Lights’ fifth studio album, The Fifth State Of Consciousness, is a 12-track, double LP produced in the band’s Dreamfuzz studio over the course of the last two years.
Following 2014’s Cosmic Logic LP on Weird World, it marks both a departure from the new and a return to the old, with a whole new twist on the psychedelic dub-pop they’ve become revered for, a listening experience of otherworldly sounds. Through all its peaks and valleys, the larger arc of themes within “The Fifth State Of Consciousness” surround dreams, strength, a loss of innocence, and seeking an enlightened state of being after overcoming life’s trials and tribulations.
Musically, the album shifts through many states from beginning to end, resembling a car journey through foreign landscapes. A sense of wonderment flows with each track and with every listen, new sounds and eccentricities begin to surface. Bringing together their love of Psychedelic music, House, Electronic and Reggae, each song lives and breathes it’s own life but as an album, remains knitted together by Peaking Lights’ tight, conceptual writing.
The Fifth State Of Consciousness is out June 16 on Two Flower Records. Pre-order here.
Following the more acoustic-minded This Old Dog and My Old Man, Mac offers up another glimpse of the upcoming record with On The Level, showing once again that he’s at his best with the slower jams. It’s another contemplative number giving a further glimpse into his relationships with his kin. “This record has a lot to do with my family and my life right now and the way I’m feeling,” he says. “One of the main goals for this record was trying to make sure I retained some kind of realness. That’s the bottom line.”
The album was written and demoed just before DeMarco moved across country, from Queens to Los Angeles. It was then recorded in Los Angeles. “I demoed a full album, and as I was moving to the West Coast I thought I’d get to finishing it quickly,” said DeMarco in a press release. “But then I realized that moving to a new city, and starting a new life takes time. Usually I just write, record, and put it out; no problem. But this time, I wrote them and they sat. When that happens, you really get to know the songs. It was a different vibe.”
DeMarco says he took a different approach to writing and recording this album in other ways too. “The majority of this album is acoustic guitar, synthesizer, some drum machine, and one song is electric guitar. So this is a new thing for me,” he says in the press release. “This is my acoustic album, but it’s not really an acoustic album at all. That’s just what it feels like, mostly. I’m Italian, so I guess this is an Italian rock record.”
This Old Dog is the follow-up to DeMarco’s 2015 mini-album, Another One, and 2014’s full-length, Salad Days. Pre-order here.
Emerging Berlin-based experimental-pop artist LIA LIA drops her stellar debut track, OLYMP. Get into it.