The February 2008 Leak Report
» Download On Guard or listen:
» Download Small Horror or listen:
Look musicians, it’s really not that hard to get on my good side. Take a cue from John Darnielle, singer/songwriter at the helm of folk-rock outfit the Mountain Goats. In 2002 he released an awesome CD named for and marginally concerning my hometown of Tallahassee, Fla., but he also joined and was allegedly kicked out of a Christian reggae group for trying to convince the members that H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos was a reworking of the Books of Moses. Which could partly be where the title of his forthcoming album, Heretic Pride (Feb. 19), comes from. Darnielle’s nerdy tenor and stripped-down instrumentation make songs like San Bernardino and New Zion plenty affable, despite his defiant status with the church.
» Download San Bernardino or listen:
» Download New Zion or listen:
For a few years there, whenever I found myself out at a halfway decent dance club, I would invariably hear a song or two that would make me wanna get my swerve on. While trying desperately to keep the beastly urges to fornicate at bay, I’d ask the DJ what I was hearing. The answer was usually Goldfrapp. Since forming in 1999, members Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory’s cachet among electronic music fans has only grown. That may change, however, with the release of their new album Seventh Tree (Feb. 26), which is a return to the more ambient acoustic sounds and complex arrangements of their first (and least successful) album, Felt Mountain, both of which are not exactly dance-friendly. But maybe their fans will find they need something to listen to while sitting down? Or maybe people who don’t even like dance music will discover Goldfrapp? Stranger things have happened.
» Download Little Bird or listen:
» Download Road to Somewhere or listen:
After their self-titled first album was prominently ranked at number 16 in Pitchfork’s top 50 of 2006, Baltimore’s Beach House suddenly found themselves at the fuzzy, feckless center of indie darling-dom. Fitting their name, the music is blousy, strangely comfortable, and in no hurry to be anywhere else. Singer Victoria Legrand’s sultry, heavily reverbed vocals are lazily compelling, buoyed by her wavelike organ lines and Alex Scally’s warm, structuring guitar parts. While their upcoming release Devotion (Feb. 26) has the same seemingly effortless drift that warranted their initial popularity, it also adds depth with a slightly darker sound, haunting a once-carefree vacation home.
» Download Heart of Chambers or listen:
» Download Some Things Last a Long Time or listen:
More inclined to sample obscure jazz than his contemporaries, and citing James Brown as a principal influence, rapper/producer extraordinaire Pete Rock’s beats customarily have a more loungey, dusky feel than the bulk of mainstream hip-hop, but his mark on the genre is indelible. The artists he’s worked with since he started mixing at 17 on New York’s WBLS radio show In Control With Marley Marl reads as a who’s-who of East Coast rap, and his new album, NY’s Finest (Feb. 26), features such illustrious names as MF Doom, Redman, Jim Jones. and about half of the Wu-Tang lineup. With rhymes referencing my favorite show about good po-lice (I’m’a bring the fire/the same one that knocked down the towers in The Wire) and pacifically chill beats, this might be the first great hip-hop album of ’08.
» Download We Roll (Feat. Jim Jones & Max B) or listen:
» Download ’Till I Retire or listen:
What can be said about Stephen Malkmus that hasn’t already been said? As frontman of the monumentally influential indie outfit Pavement, he practically invented the non-committal vocal delivery and garden-path lyrical meanderings that came to typify the genre. After Pavement went on hiatus in 1999, he formed the Jicks, whose fourth album, Real Emotional Trash (March 4)like most of their work togetheris more polished and has a strangely pleasant, prog/pop approach. Diehard fans, and they are legion, will absorb this record with relish.
» Download Hopscotch Willie or listen:
» Download Gardenia or listen: