To say that this semester has been kicking my ass would be an understatement. Despite this lull in blog activity, exciting plans and collaborations have been brewing “behind the scenes”, so once finals are over, late December and January will reveal some lovely new projects.
In the meantime, I’ve taken to using instagram to document my life. More or less:
Saw Lydia at Cafe du Nord! Haven’t seen them since 2010
Joined in on @eliseblaha “Mile a Day” challenge…
But I’m getting out there, enjoying nature…
The Early November “In Currents” Signed Vinyl Photobook: Great album, stunning book
Despite the appropriate shoes, I’m walking instead of running…
Even ominous rain clouds look nice!
I can’t believe it’s already going to be December!
I’ve featured Lydia before, but instead of something from their current album, Paint it Golden, this time it’s an older track from Illuminate (2008), which is one of my absolute favorite albums of all time.
“One More Day” is painfully acute in its poignancy. It’s dark, marvelous and intricately composed. As always, Leighton Antelman’s delivery is earnest and the interplay between this and the softness of Mindy White’s vocals creates a haunting contrast. I’m also in love with the guitars on this song, from the distortion on the electric that runs throughout to the solo in the bridge (around 2:15), and the placement of the latter following an elegant piano solo kills me.
I chose a live version partially out of nostalgia, but some of the musical subtleties get lost (along with a few seconds in the beginning. :\ hrm), so here’s a clean version as well! :D
Among its many strengths, Illuminate is cohesively seamless without feeling like a contrived concept album. In a sequence that I could equate to the Holy Trinity of the whole album, “One More Day” follows “Stay Awake” and “All I See,” two songs that are softer in both sound and sentiment, so when this song shows up it’s almost alarming, audacious even.
Illuminate is available online at both Amazon and iTunes, but I urge you to pick up the physical album because, as you can see from the above, Becky Filip’s art is exquisitely gorgeous. (Psst. She’s having a sale on her art until the 10th! I got a couple of prints last year, and they are well worth the money. They also make great holiday gifts!)
Lydia is also going out on tour around Australia at the start of next year; check out the dates here.
Also, yes, my birthday is tomorrow so [bad] pun intended– but it doesn’t change the fact that this song is magnificent.
My first audio encounter with Lydia was live. I remember that right after they played the first song of their set, I turned to my friend and basically admitted that I had fallen in love with their sound– intricate, ambient, alternative rock, with elaborate guitars, elegant keys, killer drums, and poignant lyrics. That was 2008, and their second album Illuminate had just been released. Three years, a couple of lineup changes, another album (Assailants), and a thought-to-be-permanent-breakup later, they have returned with a new album, Paint it Golden, set to release in two days.
“Dragging Your Feet in the Mud” is the first single from Paint it Golden and the video is a prime example of what Lydia’s music tends to feel like– there’s a wandering atmosphere that gets built and an emotional and frenetic nostalgia that runs within it. Additionally, the cinematography is just absolutely gorgeous.
As the video states, “Dragging Your Feet In the Mud” is already on iTunes and Paint it Golden will be released this Tuesday, October 4th; pre-orders for both the physical CD version and the vinyl are currently available at the official Lydia store. I may or may not have purchased both… okay, I did, but considering that Matt Malpass is producing this, the complexity and layers to those songs will sound amazing.
Also, tomorrow night at 7PM PST, Lydia will livestream a performance; as I’m missing out on their upcoming tour, this will be wonderfully torturous.
For the longest time, I’ve always associated summer with music, having spent so much time at concerts and just doing nothing but soaking in the sounds, and this summer is gearing up to be absolutely musically fantastic.
The newest album release of Ace Enders / I Can Make A Mess LIke Nobody’s Business, Gold Rush (available via bandcamp), seems to just epitomize the season. On my tumblr I likened it to being the epitome of a really contemplative, yet sunny day, followed by a wonderful get-together with the best of friends that goes on until the early morning.
Ace is currently doing a ‘Pay What You Can’ tour, wherein the price of a show is exactly that, and unfortunately it doesn’t reach the west coast, so anyone in those areas, go and have fun for me?
Not only is it innovative in concept, but the performances themselves should also be interesting because Ace is playing everything! Proof of its possibility:
Now, Gold Rush is already out, but I’m also anticipating the debut album by The Cinema, the side project from Leighton Antelman, of Lydia, and Matt Malpass, producer of many marvelous albums.
While Gold Rush fits into the sun of the summer, The Cinema most certainly feels like it’ll slyly paint up the night. The Cinema definitely diverges from the genre Antelman and Malpass have worked in, but in the best possible way.
Watch The Cinema introduce themselves and get a taste of their music:
As of today, they’ve released two songs “Kill It” (listen via youtube, but also for sale at AmazonMP3) and “The Wolf” (listen via Buzznet) and you just wanna move. “The Wolf”- goodness, equally charming and cunning and I am in love. I cannot wait for the whole album to hit.