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Showing posts from June, 2018

Week In Reverse 6/30/18

Spotify's playlist takeover thing with Drake is the funniest thing I saw all week (especially Drake on the cover of the "Ambient Chill" playlist), but it will also probably work, which is less funny

Drake - Scorpion (2018)
Why, Aubrey, why? Why did you go down this road? No one can really complain about the length since every solo album he's made since So Far Gone has been over an hour. But this time it's a conceptual double album! In theory, that could be interesting. In practice, it made me want to go to sleep. Drake has slowly morphed into a clone of himself ever since Views in 2016. Each respective album is more popular, but each one is more centralized in what everyone thinks Drake sounds like. At this point, it feels like he listened to Take Care and said "I want to make an album like that, but longer! And worse!" Both sides grow heavy with monotony after a few tracks and rarely even try to break it up. "God's Plan" and "Nice Fo…

New Music Friday 6/29/18

It's coming out late today, but I was literally kayaking so I have a valid excuse. Okay?


Drake - Scorpion (Young Money/Cash Money/Republic)

Oh boy is this a long one. It's a double-disc monument, with half "harder" rap material and half weepy R&B. Everything that anyone could possibly love or hate about Drake is on here. Features Jay Z, Ty Dolla $ign, and Michael Jackson (!).



Converge - Beautiful Ruin (Epitaph/Deathwish)

Surprise follow-up EP to last year's excellent The Dusk in Us. The four-track release was recorded during the same sessions.



Manchester Orchestra - The Black Mile Demos (Loma Vista)

See how Manchester Orchestra made their 2017 album, A Black Mile to the Surface, with this demo EP. Contains the demos for "The Gold" and what would become "The Parts" (titled "Each Part" here) among others. Watch a documentary on the record's making here.



Gorillaz - The Now Now (Parlophone)

The significantly less feature-heavy follo…

Calvin Heights Reveal Album Release Date

Photo by Joe Keyport Calvin Heights have finally given us what we want. After teasing fans with a stream of new music for the last six months, the Minneapolis experimental band have decided on a release date for their fourth LP, Talented Sun. The record comes out on August 10, 2018. It will include the previously released singles "Era Vernacular" and "What You Think Of Me/Seasons Change." Preorder the album here. Check out the track list and video for "Era Vernacular" below. Last year, Calvin Heights released Worst Calligraphy, one of Ear Coffee's favorite albums of the year.

Talented Sun 1. Man of Your Dreams 2. Clouds 3. Seasons Change 4. (Wasted Sun) 5. Cold as Your Flowers 6. Era Vernacular 7. When You Think of Me 8. (Keep the Light On) 9. Cacophony 10. (Reprise) 11. Talented Sun

Marah in the Mainsail Go Full Time

For many bands, taking a leap from a part-time hobby to a full-time venture can be terrifying. Unless you are a musical sensation the odds of a band or artist making millions or even tens of thousands of dollars is extremely rare. Instead, many "working" bands hope to make a comfortable living recording and playing music. To cover living expenses as well as the expenses that come with being a musician, many artists work side jobs. They work as servers, music teachers, baristas, house painters, or whatever job allows them the flexibility to moonlight with their band.

Over the weekend, Minneapolis folk rockers Marah in the Mainsail announced that they were taking the leap to become a full time creative force. In a statement on social media, the band said, "We are so honored, nervous and excited to announce we are going full time with Marah in the Mainsail." As a way to help offset the expenses the band has started a Patreon page. There band offers tiers where people…

Week In Reverse 6/23/18

This should really be a monthly column. That's probably what I wrote in the intro for the last column, since NOTHING HAS CHANGED.


Jordaan Mason - earth to ursa major (2018)

Wow, this album blew me away. I don't even remember how I found it (reddit, probably), but I am glad that I did. On the surface, it might seem like a fairly straightforward lo-fi Bandcamp album, sort of in the vein of early Car Seat Headrest. It amalgamates so many more elements beyond that to create an emotional ordeal rendered sonically. earth to ursa major takes the raw-hearted emotion of Have A Nice Lifeand mixes it with Sufjan-like instrumentation (there's a bassoon for God's sake). The lyrics provide an eloquent and crushing painting of living and loving under the umbrella of depression and suicide. I have rarely ever heard these emotions spelled out in such great detail and clarity. Mason's work here comes wrapped up in a package of vulnerability that demands to be opened. 10/10


The Carter…

New Music Friday 6/22/18

Summer just began, and Ear Coffee is here to make sure you start it off with the best new tunes!


Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth (Young Turks)
Your hipster friend's favorite jazz musician also happens to be actually one of the best. Washington's ambitious double-LP follow up to last year's Harmony of Difference EP focuses on duality; specifically, the duality of the world we see inwardly versus what we see outwardly. If that's too conceptual for you, there are tracks that are also inspired by the Street Fighter games and Bruce Lee films. Set aside 150 minutes and just listen to it. Singles include expansive tunes such as "The Space Travelers Lullaby."

Listen on Spotify here.
Listen on Apple Music here.

The Orb - No Sounds Are Out of Bounds (Cooking Vinyl)
This is almost certainly the most blissfully relaxed album being released today. Legendary electronica duo The Orb serve up another dose of chilled-out house with their fifteenth album. It features contr…

In Pursuit Of Something Interesting: Last Import's "Songs For Adam"

Finding Minnesota music that is both underground and palatable seems to be more difficult than it should be. Thankfully, when I found myself at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall watching a Battle of The Bands hosted by Go Radio, Last Import was just launching into their set. The surf punk/indie rock trio was my personal favorite of the bands that played that night, so when I listened to their debut EP, Songs For Adam, I was happy to hear it how similar it is to the band's live show.

Last Import works hard to mix sweet with angsty on Songs For Adam. This sound sits front and center during the song "Money." It opens with a typical surf rock guitar riff and drum beat that builds into a rowdy tune punctuated by the final line of the chorus - "Whatcha gonna do without the money, honey?" There is a sneer in the tone of guitarist/vocalist Emily Bjorke and bassist/vocalist Grace Baldwin's voices that drives home the meaning behind the song. "Money" has probably…

New Music Friday 6/15/18

It came out yesterday, but make sure to check out the new Syvers single!


Jay Rock - REDEMPTION (Top Dawg/Interscope)

California rapper and member of TDE drops his third commercial project. After releasing "King's Dead" with Kendrick Lamar, Future, and (technically) James Blake as part of the Black Panther soundtrack (possible banger of the year), Rock has followed up with several more hard-hitting tracks, such as "Win," "The Bloodiest," and "OSOM" featuring J. Cole and SiR. REDEMPTION will also feature SZA, Jeremih, Ty Dolla $ign, and Jay-Z. His last album was 2015's 90059.

Listen on Spotify here.
Listen on Apple Music here.


Chromeo - Head Over Heels (Big Beat/Atlantic)

The kings of horndog electro-funk are back to give the summer a healthy dose of slap bass. The four year drought was ended last year with the release of lead single "Juice," and it has only gotten funkier from there. The new record will have a wide range of guest…