maybe you have it, too. that pile of albums, waiting for a quiet moment when you can listen to them properly, lyrics and all. no skipping to your favourite tracks. well, how about now. it’s summer in stockholm. most of your friends are out of town. it’s too warm to go outside. even the local library is closed. and while we’re catching up, here are three albums you wouldn’t want to miss. you can take them on a holiday or to your windowsill.
unplug | cloud cult
live painting at gigs, planting trees to absorb the their co2 output and green merchandise. these are some of the exciting things that cloud cult from minneapolis are doing. and then there is their 19-year history of experimental music that effortlessly, wittily and lovingly tackles anything in heaven and earth.
in april, they released an acoustic album with seventeen songs from their previous records. unplug is a live performance complete with banter and mistakes. if you haven’t listened to cloud cult before, this album may sweep your clean off your feet. if you have listened to them before, oh, you are in for a treat. they are acing it. these acoustic versions are both vulnerable and festive. the voices, keys and strings reveberating like summer air just before it gets heavy with rain. the stories include favourite words that are hard to spell, lines such as “an old man in the clouds or a happy little alien, whoever it is i need to thank her” and socialising with shadows.
cloud cult are finally making their european debut on 1st august, at the folk holidays festival in the czech republic. if you can go see them there, you’re a lucky monkey.
folie á deux | adventure of
dennis tkačuk and patric julian from västerås released their second adventure of album in september 2013. replacing religious with fantastic elements, it is more playful than the first, insha’allah. in fact, folie á deux sounds like they are having a mad hatter tea party over there, on the other side of the headphones. with feathers instead of hats.
the title translates as ‘madness shared by two’ but when the first slightly menacing beats of the intro break into a run through the woods with an invisible choir, you’ve long joined the two electro-samba-pop dreamers. they say they are trying to capture small fragments of everyday life and grow them into something. which they do jolly well. flowers on graves and jazz kites in the sky. whistling and oh oh ohs. and if that’s not enough, look at the wonderful video for “fool’s gold”.
these boys live on a sofa, have no-face over from the spirit world, drive fake cars and paint their faces with ice cream. the song keeps coming back to the line “we can’t seem to get a grip on this life” but does not sound disappointed in the least. and why would you be? when you can jig to this album of cheerfully infectuous madness instead.
learning | perfume genius
this genius who lives in seattle and, according to his facebook page, is interested in knitting weeds and braiding squids (♥) had escaped me for four long years. unacceptable. but, also, lovely because i don’t need to wait. mike hadreas’s third album too bright will be released on 22nd september and is being plugged as some sort of bold rage, which, frankly, sounds spectacular (looks it, too). and september means just enough time to catch up.
the first album, learning, mike hadreas surprised himself by writing after moving back in with his mum. it was released in 2010 and floors you. splintered lo-fi piano songs, few but fierce words and melodies with hooks. the title track has one of the best uses of „blah“ in a song. ever. “you won’t be here” twists your ankle and “write to your brother” brings a smile to my face that i have difficulty explaining. there is blunt darkness, not gloom. there is mouthwash, guinea pig hair, a teacher who listens to joy division and a thank you like a lighthouse in the linear notes. and here’s a reason why you should continue right away with the second album put your back n 2 it:
and, while you’re at it, go on, have a look at the official video, as well. go on. ah, go on.