Myth’s A Hit
Bloom’s got a great teen track
by Aidan Morgan
Teenagers, sleep easy. Your latest sweeping indie anthem has arrived. "Myth", the opening track from Beach House's fourth studio album, is all reverb guitar and hook and grand chorus, a dreamy dirge designed to put hormone-addled listeners into an ecstatic trance. That means you, kids.
Mind you, this is Beach House we're talking about, not Coldplay. Singer Victoria Legrand is never going to come out pounding her fist in the air and singing to the ancient gods of rock in the sky. "Myth" holds back even as it delivers, which makes it kind of irresistible.
After such a great opener, the rest of the album initially seems a bit pale. It takes several listens for Bloom's quieter pleasures to settle in. I've found that each session with the album brings out a different track for me, but the other consistent standout is "Wishes", a song that feels like it was written to be played at the funerals of Disney cartoon characters. And then there's that haunting mandolin-like bridge in "On The Sea" that reminds me of The Smiths at their best.
Bloom , like so many albums these days, has already soaked into the great common carpet of the Internet. Ignore the leaked version and go for the real thing (and not just because Beach House has to eat). The sped-up, shortened, low-quality versions of leaked tracks won't give you that wistful Beach House sensibility. And with a band like Beach House, sensibility is half the package. Wait for May 15, when Bloom officially lands. Or drops. Or hits stores.
As you were.
Jack White is a restless creative soul, channeling his energies into groups like the Raconteurs, the Dead Weather and, of course, the White Stripes, that unlikeliest of garage-rock acts that reached the masses when their 2003 single "Seven Nation Army" hit big. So it's strange that the first album under his own name feels so minor. It reminds me of Get Behind Me Satan, a Stripes record that felt transitional.
On Blunderbuss, White sees what a low-key sound will get him. Plainly-stated emotions result in some great songs like "Love Interruption", a track that's tangled in contradictions but still feels direct. He also indulges in some minor stylistic experiments on tunes like "Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy", which would fit right in with Cat Stevens' Harold and Maude songs. Nothing here feels so personal that it needed to come from a White solo record and nothing here screams "this is the next stage of his career".
I doubt White needs any validation for doing what he wants, though. /James Brotheridge
I was in Saskatoon the morning of April 21, but headed home after brunch, meaning I managed to miss not one but two performances that day by Toronto's Eamon McGrath. I spent some time kicking myself for that. Fortunately he'll be playing the Exchange on May 6, giving Reginans a chance to avoid kicking themselves and hear material from his newest release, Young Canadians.
McGrath's a deft and experienced songwriter, and this album reflects that, serving up well-crafted odes to the tumult of youth and the spirit of Canadiana. It's a plaintive album as a result, made all the more so by his rye-soaked voice. What sets Young Canadians apart from other folk/punk efforts, though, is all the noise - it's smeared with Sonic Youth-calibre guitar meltdowns that threaten to swallow the record whole. But rather than distract, these peals of noise give the songs a unique backbone and enough texture to warrant repeated listens. /Mason Pitzel
P.S. I Love You
Paper Bag Records
Re-title this record Paul Saulnier, What Is Even Your Deal. Because seriously, what is it? The P.S. I Love You sound - chiming post-punk hooks reminiscent of a fuzzed-out Cure - gets better on Death Dreams, sounding more deliberate and atmospheric while still providing plenty of opportunities for Saulnier to deliver his brand of second-coming-of-J.-Mascis guitar acrobatics (I swear to God, that's tapping on the first song).
But the off-brand Spencer Krug/Alec Ounsworth/John Dwyer vocal tics have got to stop. I listened to "Future Dontcare," man. I know you can sing and write killer melodies. Stop yipping!
Caterwauling aside, Death Dreams is a solid chunk of guitar pop that manages to be indebted both to Echo & The Bunnymen and Steve Vai without sounding incongruous. Oh, and it has a song titled "Saskatoon." If I'm parsing the yelps right, it's about misdirected romance and it's super catchy. So you probably should check it out. /John Cameron