Are You Alone (2015)
There’s a disparity inherent within Majical Cloudz’s latest LP, Are You Alone (2015), an oxymoronic atmosphere evoking a sense of happy sadness that is pervasive throughout the entirety of the album.
As a follow-up to Impersonator (2013), while the latter provided a haunting aesthetic further pronounced by their signature minimalist production, Are You Alone created a slight shift in tone—although not too dissimilar from their previous efforts. The Montreal duo’s haunting, isolating production has been replaced with that of bittersweet instrumentation further complimented by singer Devon Welsh, with his to the point, confrontational lyricisms.
Opening with “Disappeared,” the LP starts off with a morose intimacy. It progresses like a hollowed reverie and sways, lulling back and forth like a lullaby as Welsh sings, “Those that forever disappear/ All I want is for you to talk to me the way you used to do.” The song itself is enticing, soothing, and yet at the same time eerie–a tease of what’s to come.
The pacing, cadence, and tempo of each consecutive song within Are You Alone remains largely the same, although the sameness doesn’t mean that the album is dull and monotonous. This choice of simplicity makes each transition seamless, and engaging: nothing boisterous, nothing complicated.
What makes Majical Cloudz so intriguing is their straightforwardness, and their use of minimalism. The album coos, “This is what it is, and this is how it will be.” There is a sadness that shows within the album, encapsulated especially in the song “Heavy,” a lamentation of breakups and the need for recognition of self-identity as Welsh croons in the chorus, “You gotta learn to love me / Cause I am what I am./ I am.” In a time when music has to “pop” and entice the listener with extraneous, loud production, Majical Cloudz’s understated earnestness stands out amongst the many and is very much needed. Are You Alone is hazy, dreamlike, and while slow, there is a fluidity and it works.
Bring Me the Horizon
That’s the Spirit (2015)
Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited
Former metalcore/deathcore group, Bring Me the Horizon, continue their sonic evolution with the July 23 release of their latest album That’s the Spirit.
These lads from Sheffield, England have not stopped maturing as artists since the release of their first album Count Your Blessings (2006). To compare, That’s the Spirit is a total departure from their original material. Instead of using the some times generic down tuned instruments, the band has welcomed a more pop/alt inspired set of values. This progression has helped them achieve one of the most successful style changes in recent history. skincare Boasting serious single power from “True Friends” and “Happy Song”, the real value in this album comes from the moments in between. Songs like “Doomed” and “What You Need” introduce the listener to a much more accessible and enjoyable version of BMTH.
The track “Throne” effectively demonstrates the bands efficient use of synth and various other pop elements. Each instrument, sample, and lyric, is carefully used to deliver the song in a way that impresses long time fans, and draws in new ones.
If truly unique sound and progressive song writing is what you seek in a new album, then That’s the Spirit surly has the potential to satisfy your every want and need. By refusing to be characterized, Bring Me the Horizon has managed to reinvigorate their fan base, and create a truly memorable album.
The Winter Transition
Gathered by all editors
Nagoya It Looks Sad, Kaiju (2015)
Heavy Majical Cloudz, Are You Alone (2015)
Pass the Vibes Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment, Surf (2015)
Bloodhound Foxing, The Albatross (2014)
Love In High Places Kimbra, The Golden Echo (2014)
Yearning DJ Drez, Jahta Beat: The Lotus Memoires (2012)
To Zion Trevor Hall, KALA (2015)
Iron Woodkid, The Golden Age (2013)
Use Me Up Lake Street Dive, Bad Self Portraits (2014)
Prairie Girl Rah Rah, The Poet’s Dead (2012)
Flightless Bird, American Mouth – Iron & Wine, The Shepherd’s Dog (2007)
Psychic Chasms Neon Indian, Psychic Chasms (2009)
Dusk’s Dawning (Yaima Remix) Subaqueous, ReCreate (2015)
Emmylou First Aid Kit, The Lion’s Roar (2012)
Ends of the Earth Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams (2012)