#MusicMonday, Vol. 69: Beach House, Eight and a Half, Greg Laswell + more

What the CL Music Team is jamming Monday to rocket launch the work week.

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Shae - Emma Tricca, Minor White (2010)
I've been playing Emma Tricca's Minor White a lot lately. This neo-folk album blends gentle, finger-picked guitar, organ, glockenspiel and Tricca' warm soprano, which is less shrill than Joan Baez's and less affectedly strange than Josephine Foster's, but reminiscent of both. Minor White, with its soft drumlessness, would be the perfect album for those cold, grey, drizzly days we don't see very often here in Florida, but it also works well on a sleepy Monday morning.

Leilani - Gorillaz feat. Andre 3000 & James Murphy, "Do Ya Thing" (2012)
Converse initiated this latest Gorillaz collab in conjunction with the release of four exclusive Gorillaz-inspired Chuck Taylors, and it also serves as the next installment in the American shoe company's "3 Artists. 1 Song" project. There's a 4-1/2 minute radio edit and an extended 13-minute version, and I've been jamming both all morning to get pumped for the week ahead. LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy sing-talks snottily over the bumpin' electro-funky beats, the hook delivered in a soulful croon (by Stu Pot?), and Outkast rapper/singer Andre 3000 throwing in his word acrobatics and quirk-absurd rhymes to make you giggle a little ("That Juicy Fruit, that splooshy sploosh / Generation X on bloopty bloop / Get duked gotta get duked the duke / Everybody hit floor we through the roof"). The longer version gets all tripped out and noisy, and Andre 3000 talks alot more shit. I suggest checking out both. Video below (short version) directed by Jamie Hewlett; click here to find out more about the project.

Taylor - Greg Laswell, Landline (2012)
There's very little I enjoy more than the feeling of discovering obsessively good music. Greg Laswell's new album is just what I've been needing lately: a cohesive collection of not-too-outrageous electro pop rock. Hummable harmonies skirt around complex time signatures, and Laswell's lyrics expertly transition from venomous and self-condemning to hopeful and tender in the same three minutes. Duets with Sara Bareilles, Sia, Ingrid Michaelson, and Elizabeth Ziman were a big draw, too. Highlights include: "Come Back Down," "Back To You," and "New Year's Eve." Favorite lyric: "And as for what it takes to make it through another holiday, for the rest of your New Year's Eves I'm free...."

Deborah - Eight and a Half, Eight and a Half (2012)
My obsession with all things Canada just keeps getting more and more, well, obsessive. This week I've been fixated on the debut album from Eight and a Half; a love-child two of my long-time favorite northern neighbors, Broken Social Scene and The Stills. For the most part, it's some dreamy, synth-based stuff, all tied together with a much stronger electronic/ambient influence than either of their previous bands. There's plenty of variation in the tracks though; the first single, "Scissors," is full of wistful melancholy, "Go Ego," and "Two Points" are true electro-pop, and "Took a Train to India" has definite Brit-pop overtones.

The track I've got on repeat is wistfully lovely "The Turn Around," likely because it reminds me most of The Stills. Gorgeous, eh?

Eight and a Half - The Turn Around by Arts & Crafts

Shanna - Cat Stevens, "Bitter Blue"
I was raised on Cat Stevens and every now and then turn back to the artist currently known as Yusaf Islam now for comfort when life gets topsy turvy...

What the CL Music Team is listening to on this fine Monday to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.

Scott - Beach House, Bloom (out tomorrow, May 15, via Sub Pop)
Dreamy and subtly dark, the second Beach House longplayer from veteran Seattle kool-kid label Sub Pop finds this duo mixing it up only slightly, and adding a few new textural wrinkles without mucking up their deceptively simple sound. Conceived as a front-to-back listening experience, Bloom meanders through a varied emotional spectrum that recalls much heavier-handed acts like Jesus & Mary Chain and Cocteau Twins without ever sacrificing Beach House's airy, infectious, somehow always vaguely French-sounding aural personality. Put it on as background music, and you'll feel everything else start to fade from focus as the intriguing collection of synthy sounds draws you in.

Gabe - Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, Rufus and Chaka Khan (1975)
Bona-fide soul/funk classic from one of the genre's very best bands. Sultry, sexy forceful vocals by the inimitable Chaka Khan are the focal point of this fine album but the band holds their own in backing Chaka. The perfect jolt of slick soul to get me through this sluggish Monday morning.

About The Authors

Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
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