YACHT – Shangri-La album review

YACHT hits you hard with their fifth album, Shangri-La, a frantic, compelling concept album. Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans tell the tale of a dysfunctional work at the edge of Zion in transformation hyper-sophisticated disco utopia. An Elysium complete with insight about cosmic transmission, the vitality and true love in all of us – reminiscent of template influences from the Talking Heads and their label bosses, once LCD Soundsystem. The sonic rousing result is a fitting naively enthusiastic furor of neon splashed synths, rubber-like bass and poppy vocals. Shangri-La conjures up images of similar themes of YACHT’s 2009 See Mystery Lights – tales of apocalypse and questions about the afterlife.

Shangri-La’s opener “Utopia” gets the album off to a barreling nirvana start with a hyper-speed punk-funk jam, which becomes the cynosure attributable to the brainwash repetition of the title.

YACHT do not put it lightly when they sing about the apocalyptic implosion of the earth in “Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)” – “The earth, the earth, the earth is on fire/ we don’t have no daughter/ let the motherfucker burn”. A reworded version of Rock Master Scott’s “The Roof Is On Fire” exhausted chorus. The compelling dance-party track is a “post-apocalyptic fight song, a cautionary tale, a science-fiction story for our particular eco-socio-political landscape.”

Tracks like the flawless elated, collective musical liberation “Paradise Engineering” and the ambitious “I Walked Alone”, are embedded in science-fiction snapshots of a perishing society staggering towards excellence. Shangri-La comes close to being excessively sentimental as with the sequential lyrical design of “One Step”.

Shangri-La explores the disco-pop dance utopia and dystopia worlds and takes you on a journey of moody mini-epics and exhaustingly exciting but never as outlandish as you might expect, all the way until the melodious piano euphonious finale “Shangri-La”. Whether of not this paradise appeals to everyone there’s no doubt that YACHT will take you on a mystical enigma adventure of chimerical melodic panoramas, burdened with hypnotizing beats and sparkle soaked synthesizers that leave us on the dance floor in the face of apocalypse.

Jill Scott – The Light of the Sun album review

The ever popular Jill Scott’s musical style can be best summed up in two words: soulful and honest. She’s managed to become a household name off the strength of three critically acclaimed albums (Words and Sounds vol.’s 1,2, and 3). She won the hearts of fans and critics alike with realism (“Gettin’ in the Way”), romanticism (“A Long Walk”), and even optimism (“Golden”). After several Grammy nominations, a NY Times best-selling book, and well received performances in film, her star power is undeniable. Now, Philly’s own neo-soul sensation returns with her latest album The Light of the Sun.

Jill’s new album offers her diehard fans much of what they have come to expect from her. The Light of the Sun, like her previous albums, is full of mellowed out soulfulness. The Queen of smooth grooves doesn’t disappoint with cuts like “Making You Wait”, “Missing You”, and “When I Wake Up”. Jill’s songs play out like pages from her diary. The album reflects the emotional state of a woman whose been loved and rejected as well. Both the good (“So In Love”) and the bad (“All Cried Out”) aspects of relationships are included on The Light of the Sun. You come to appreciate how willing she is to share some of her most vulnerable moments. Ms. Scott’s music feels so real because it is.

While The Light of the Sun does warm the soul, it’s not exactly Jill’s best work. There are a few missteps on the album. The song “Shame”, while upbeat and fun in nature, is a track you may find yourself skipping. Then there is “So Gone” featuring rapper Paul Wall. Jill Scott and Paul Wall? It’s as much of a mismatch as it sounds. The song is actually good until Paul Wall’s elementary lyrics corrupt it. It’s like eating a delicious sandwich and finding a long, curly hair in the last bite. Those minor incidents aside, Jill Scott has managed to create a solid effort. Whether or not it will garner more Grammy nominations remains to be seen. But, fans of her previous albums should be satisfied with The Light of the Sun. Jill is strong, beautiful, sensitive, intelligent, and passionate all at once. What a woman.

Bowery Beasts – Heavy You EP album review

Playing to your soft spot for slow-building love incantations as much as they are your inner-need for screaming guitar blasts, Bowery Beasts announce themselves boldly with their debut EP, Heavy You (released July 5 on Black Creem Records). In doing so, the Beasts make their voice known quickly, revealing a seasoned edge that ranges from fluid and unassuming to gritty and unapologetic.

Attributing a solid portion of their foundation to the past—particularly to some ‘80s hair bands, as well as to well-known punk and glam rock icons—the L.A.-based duo proves they can rock it just like some of their forebears once did, but that they’re no re-creation act that imitates its inspirations.

On the more rugged side of things, “White Diamond Babe” invokes the spirits of late-‘70s British punk stalwarts, with an array of grating guitar thrashes from Jordan Wiggins and resounding vocals fueled with intent. Marion Belle, who handles vocal duties, however, doesn’t merely stoke the fire on the five selections found on Heavy You. Displaying his versatile range, he also speaks through it in more hushed and patient tones, especially on the two strongest tracks, “Rock n Roll Queen” and “Amulet.”

The relaxing “Rock n Roll Queen,” which comes off as an ode to Southern California and its slow-moving ways, features buttery notes from Belle that carefully interweave an acoustic and piano jingle, creating an undoubtedly calming effect. Here and elsewhere on the EP, it doesn’t take much of a stretch to detect some Bowie influences, but the song remains original on the whole.

“Amulet” is the Beasts’ stab at a rock ballad. In a similar grain to “November Rain” and “Here I Go Again on My Own,” it quickly sends the signal that something major and dramatic is soon to come about. Though shorter and slightly toned down compared to some of the classic ballad megaliths, “Amulet” still fires away and brings about that desired sense of momentousness, doing so with sustained vocals and guitars squealing away their parts to draw out the grandiose notion.

For those who still have that thirst for straight ahead rockers that never hold back and keep things fresh and interesting, Heavy You should be a good place to start giving your ears what they seek.

They Might Be Giants? Join Us (Idlewild/Rounder; July 19, 2011)?

They Might Be Giants? Join Us (Idlewild/Rounder; July 19, 2011)?

Watch: “Tubthumping” (Chumbawumba Cover)
LIVE at AV Club “Undercover” Session!

Brooklyn Originals’ NEW Rock Album Drops July 19

“They make defiantly uncool look and sound unbelievably cool…”?
– Village Voice?

TMBG “combine a Dadaist sensibility with smart hooks.”?
– The New Yorker? ?

They Might Be Giants new album, Join Us, is the recording that their fans have been waiting 20 years for! Impossibly catchy, sometimes strange and always original the album is a stunning return to form. On Join Us we find the Brooklyn originals have returned to rock and to their singular sensibility that made them an instant phenomenon in the world of alternative rock. Join Us is an electrifying mix of clever, maddeningly catchy songwriting and studio mastery. The album was created in the brand new private studio of their long-time collaborator Patrick Dillett (David Byrne, Mary J. Blige, Tegan and Sara, Doveman). Join Us will be released in all digital and physical outlets July 19, 2011 through Idlewild/Rounder Records.? ?

They Might Be Giants stopped by the AV Club headquarters in Chicago to perform a cover of Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping”. The full band & a crowd of AV Club staff members, invited by the band to join in on the chorus, packed into the small round room where the sessions are taped. Watch the party song comes to life with They Might Be Giant’s Chumbawumba “Tubthumping” cover at AV Club’s “Undercover” session above.

They Might Be Giants have kicked off a video contest judged by John Hodgeman for their single “Can’t Keep Johnny Down”. For more information about the contest and prizes go to TMBG.com or watch the intro video made by the band. Download the “Can’t Keep Johnny Down” MP3 HERE.

Notorious for their energized live show, They Might Be Giants will launch an international tour this Fall, hitting 6 countries and over 50 US cities. Be sure to catch TMBG live in your city!

They Might Be Giants Tour Dates
7/15: London, UK @ Koko
7/16: Southwold, UK @ Latitude Festival
7/28: Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
7/29: Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Waterfront w/Eugene Mirman FREE CONCERT
7/30: Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony (CD release party)
9/8: New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place
9/9: Great Barrington, MA @ Mahaiwe Theatre
9/10: Concord, NH @ Capitol Center for the Arts
9/11: Norwich, VT @ Open Air Theatre
9/13: Ithaca, NY @ State Theatre
9/14: Pittsburgh, PA @ Byham Theatre
9/15: Rochester, NY @ Harro Ballroom
9/16: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
9/17: Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
9/18: Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection
9/20: Cincinnati, OH @ Southgate House
9/22: Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
9/23: Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
9/24: St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
9/25: Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
9/27: Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom
9/28: Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
9/29: Richmond, VA @ The National
9/30: Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
10/1: Boston, MA @ Berklee Performance Center,
(2 shows, 6:30pm & 9pm)
10/28: Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theatre
10/29: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/30: Iowa City, IA @ Englert Theatre
11/1: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
11/2: Kansas City, MO @ Beaumont Club
11/3: Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theatre
11/4: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
11/5 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
11/6: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
11/8: Vancouver, BC @ Venue
11/9: Seattle, WA@ Showbox SoDo
11/10: Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
11/11: Arcata, CA @ Van Duzer Theatre
11/12: San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore – on sale 6/26
11/13: San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore – on sale 6/26
11/16: Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
11/17: San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
11/25: Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den @ Mohegan Sun Casino
11/26: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

hue: Starting Fires

hue: Starting Fires
“What were you thinking, starting fires? Were you just trying, to reach the stars?”

People start fires for a number of reasons. Sometimes for warmth, sometimes to be seen and very often, especially during this time of the year, to get a party started.

It is for all these reasons that Starting Fires, the second full-length from melodically-grandiose pop rockers hue, will soon garner lots of attention. Not only does their honest take on songwriting produce lyrics for all walks of life, but their crisp, joyous sound has the ability to turn heads and make a statement. Gather around everyone: Starting Fires is going to be the record that launches the career of hue and will get the Canadian music scene talking.

The five-piece act hail from Toronto via London, Ontario, though there is a striking quality to Starting Fires that represents the country they call home. Produced by Youtube phenomenon Mike Tompkins, there is also a diversity throughout Starting Fires. The opening rush of the piano-driven ‘You Will Be’ highlights the band’s atmospheric side, and ‘Colours You Would’ shows off the band’s ability to pen a comfortable, toe-tapping number. With the range of sounds available on Starting Fires, it’s no surprise that hue plans to perform extensively to promote the record.

Fires always have the ability to spread quickly, and likewise, there is no track on the record that doesn’t deserve to be shared amongst friends, family and eager music lovers. ‘Follow,’ a soon-to-be pop-rock classic hints at a maturity and confidence within the band’s voice that is sure to find its way to radio soon enough. ‘Rooftops,’ while still displaying a mature touch, is a groovy track that will be sure to get listeners through tough times while the rallying call of ‘The Bump,’ the album’s closer will leave listeners wanting more. Piano and keys are an important part of hue’s classic, radio-friendly vibe; it’s hard to believe that this record is only the band’s second. Surely, there is able warmth on Starting Fires, more than enough to spread around.

“Idealism and enthusiasm carry the day on song after uplifting song.” – London Free Press (top 10 album of 2007 for their sophomore release)

Having supported such Canada indie rock mainstays as We Are Wolves, The Wooden Sky, Two Hours Traffic, Said The Whale, Hollerado, Lights, and Mother Mother throughout their careers, it’s clear hue have been studying up on what makes not only a solid recording band but a formidable live act as well. Teaming up with Tompkins who also worked on Shad K’s Juno winning album allowed the band to expand their sound, both in content and instrumentation. Midway through the recording of hue’s album, Timbaland hired Tompkins to work on his latest project while he is the second most subscribed Canadian on Youtube with over 40 million views and second only to Justin Beiber.

There are many reasons to start a fire, and there are just as many to hear hue’s Starting Fires. Bold, uncompromising and eager to spread its wings, like many an eternal flame, hue will not be fading away anytime soon.

For music and more info please visit: http://www.hearhue.com

Live dates here:
July 20th – Toronto, ON – The Piston *CD release show*
July 22nd – London, ON – Call The Office w/USS and Michou
July 28th – Hamilton, ON – The Casbah
July 30th – Kingston, ON – The Merchant Tap House
August 5th – Burlington, ON – Red Rooster Café w/See Spot Run
August 19th – Sarnia, ON – Paddy Flaherty’s

PS I Love You set to release Figure It Out and confirm fall tour dates

Kingston’s PS I Love You set to release Figure It Out and confirm fall tour of North America.

Toronto — PS I Love You are excited to announce the release of Figure It Out (A Collection of Singles and EPs by PS I Love You). The eleven-track collection will be released on August 30th and includes ‘Leftovers’, their recent single with pal Diamond Rings, and covers of Madonna and Rush. The band will be heading out on an extensive tour of North America in the fall (dates below). PS I Love You will complete the follow-up to the critically adored Meet Me At The Muster Station after returning to Kingston in November.

2011 has been a whirlwind year for PS I Love You. After releasing their debut last fall the band have toured North America and Europe extensively. The have wowed audiences at SXSW, The Great Escape, M for Montreal, NXNE and Canadian Music Fest. The have also performed on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Q with Jian Ghomeshi and cut sessions for KEXP, Daytrotter and XM Radio. Recently, Meet Me At The Muster Station was included on the Polaris Music Prize long list.

Paper Bag Records is one of North America’s finest independent record labels. Based in Toronto, Paper Bag Records has cultivated an exciting and diverse roster which includes both domestic and international talent. Recently, the label became the Canadian home for acclaimed electronic act Austra and the enthralling Rural Alberta Advantage, and the North American label for alt-folk stars Elliott BROOD and Cuff The Duke. In its eighth year of existence, Paper Bag Records is currently working with an exciting active roster of PS I Love You, Young Galaxy, Born Ruffians, The Acorn, Winter Gloves, Woodhands, CFCF, Sally Shapiro and Under Byen. Paper Bag Records has four albums featured on the long list for 2011’s Polaris Music Prize.

‘Figure It Out (A Collection of Singles and EPs by PS I Love You)’ Tracklisting:
Subtle And Majestic
Facelove (early version)
Scattered (early version)
Notes and Stuff
Leftovers (+ Diamond Rings)
Mystery Shirt
Where’s The Party

PS I Love You Tour Dates:
THU 7/07 – Ottawa ON – Ottawa Blues Festival
WED 7/13 – Hamilton ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
THU 7/14 – Madison WI – U of Wisc Madison Memorial Terrace
FRI 7/15 – Chicago IL – Schubas Tavern (Pitchfork Fest Afterparty)
SAT 7/30 – Montreal QC – Osheaga
SAT 8/06 – Kingston ON – Wolfe Island Festival
SAT 9/03 Seattle WA – Bumbershoot Festival
MON 9/05 Pullman WA – Bell Tower
WED 9/07 Victoria BC – Lucky Bar
THU 9/08 Vancouver BC – Electric Owl
FRI 9/09 Portland OR – Backspace
SAT 9/10 San Francisco CA – Hemlock
MON 9/12 Santa Barbara CA – Muddy Waters
TUE 9/13 San Diego CA – Casbah
THU 9/15 Los Angeles CA – Echo
SAT 9/17 Boise ID – Neurolux
TUE 9/20 Nelson BC – Hume
WED 9/21 Edmonton AB – Pawn Shop
THU 9/22 Calgary AB – SAIT
FRI 9/23 Saskatoon SK – Jale
SAT 9/24 Winnipeg MB – Royal Albert
SUN 9/25 Minneapolis MN – 7th Street
MON 9/26 Iowa City IA – Gabes Oasis
TUE 9/27 Chicago IL – Schubas
SAT 10/01 Toronto ON – Great Hall
MON 10/03 Hamilton ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
TUE 10/04 London ON – Call The Office
WED 10/05 Ottawa ON – Mavericks
THU 10/06 Montreal QC – Il Motore
FRI 10/07 New York City NY – Mercury Lounge
SAT 10/08 Boston MA – Great Scott
MON 10/10 Washington DC – DC9 / Red Palace
TUE 10/11 Charlotte NC – Snug Harbour
WED 10/12 Atlanta GA – 529
THU 10/13 Orlando FL – Backbooth
FRI 10/14 Pensacola FL – DeLuna Festival
SAT 10/15 Birmingham AL – Bottletree
MON 10/17 Durham NC – Motorco (small room)
TUE 10/18 Philadelphia PA – KFN
THU 10/20 Brooklyn NY – CMJ
SAT 10/22 Halifax NS – Seahorse Tavern
SAT 10/29 Kingston ON – Grad Club

Cut Copy Announce Tour w/ Washed Out & Midnight Magic, Toro Y Moi Remix

“Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution” Single

Announce Final Cut Copy Zonoscope Tour Dates w/ Washed Out & Midnight Magic!

“Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution” (Toro Y Moi remix)

Cut Copy will release the next single from Zonoscope. “Blink And You’ll Miss a Revolution.” The single release will be complete with remixes from Toro Y Moi, Chicken Lips, Das Moth & Kenji Takimi, Tornado Wallace and Henning Furst. All the mixes will be available digitally on August 9 in the USA, and the 12” will follow shortly after.

You can check out the “Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution” (Toro Y Moi Remix)

Melbourne’s finest have been extremely busy this year, hopping from continent to continent in their marathon quest to spread Zonoscope across the planet. Sadly, the Zonoscope journey is nearly at it’s end. Cut Copy has announced the final UK and US headline show dates on this record. The band will be joined by Washed Out and Midnight Magic on most dates. If you are not able to catch the band live, be sure to check out some great footage from their recent triumphant live performance in Buenos Aires.

Tickets for most of these shows will go on sale this Friday or Saturday, with presales starting tomorrow, 7/6, on cutcopy.net. Check out the site for exclusive bundles and info on a new limited-edition 7”. There will also be a mega-bundle that will benefit Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund. Sweet Relief assists career musicians facing financial hardship due to illness and disability, and is a cause that Cut Copy strongly believe in.

Cut Copy US/UK Tour Dates
* = w/ Washed Out
# = w/Midnight Magic

7/5: Richmond, VA @ The National
7/6: Baltimore, MD @ Ramshead Live
7/7: Mariaville, NY @ Camp Bisco
7/8: Quebec City, QC @ Quebec City Summer Festival
7/9: Detroit, MI @ Royal Oak Music Hall
7/11: Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar
7/14: Hultsfred, Sweden @ Hultsfred Frestival
7/15: Ferropolis, Germany @ The Melt Festival
7/17: Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Festival
7/20: Reykjavik, Iceland @ Nasa Club
7/22: Benidorm, Spain @ The Low Cost Festival
7/23: San Sebastian, Spain @ International Jazz Festival
7/31: Woodford, Australia @ Splendour in the Grass
8/11: Brooklyn, NY @ Celebrate Brooklyn, Prospect Park Band Shell
8/12: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
8/13: Orange County, California @ The Pacific Festival / Oak Canyon Park
9/9: Isle of White, UK @ BESTIVAL
9/13: Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre # *
9/14: Portland, ME @ The State Theater # *
9/15: Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom# *
9/17: Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
9/19: Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue # *
9/22: Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall # *
9/23: Urbana, IL @ The Canopy Club, Pygmalion Music Festival # *
9/24: Cincinatti, OH @ Midpoint Music Festival *
9/26: Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel # *
9/27: Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat’s Cradle # *
9/28: Athens, GA @ Georgia Theater # *
9/30: Miami, FL @ Grand Central # *
10/1: Orlando, FL @ Firestone Live # *
10/3: Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom # *
10/4: Denver, CO @ Ogden Theater # *
10/7: Vancouver B.C. @ The Vogue# *
10/9: Portland, OR @ Wonder # *
10/16: Pensacola, Florida @ Deluna Fest BUY TICKETS
10/19: Porto Alegre, Brazil @ Bar Opiniao
10/21: Sao Paulo, Brazil @ HSBC Brazil
10/22: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil @ Circo Voador
10/27: London, UK @ Roundhouse

Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest album review

Gillian Welch is back with new album after 8 year hiatus.

Bluegrass fans can now breathe a sigh of relief. Gillian Welch is finally back with a new album, The Harrow & The Harvest, after an eight year long hiatus. After experiencing a seemingly unshakable case of writer’s block and frustration with the material produced, Welch and her musical partner, guitarist David Rawlings, managed to release a stunning album that was worth the wait.

In contrast to her previous album, Soul Journey, which added electric guitar and drums, with The Harrow & The Harvest Welch takes it back to basics with her trademark simple arrangements of vocals, acoustic guitar, and banjo. The album starts off with a few darker numbers that reflect the tension that went into producing it. The heartbroken “The Way It Will Be” tells the story of the difficult choice between one lover and another, with Welch begging, “Throw me a rope, on the rolling tide.”

The album picks up towards the end. On “Hard Times,” Welch seems to get a boost of positivity, singing “Hard times ain’t gonna rule my mind no more.” “Silver Dagger” continues the upbeat trend, with a tune reminiscent of the classic “You Are My Sunshine.” Welch is at her best, though, on bittersweet numbers like “Dark Turn Of Mind.” Rather than establish a set mood, Welch meanders back and forth between the dark and the light, embodying both the girl “as bright as the morning” and one “blessed with a dark turn of mind.”

Welch and Rawlings’ partnership could make a lovely arrangement practically out of thin air, and although the album’s Appalachian-themed songs like “Tennessee” and “Down Along The Dixie Line” are undeniably beautiful, the subject matter of these doesn’t resonate as much as the more personal songs. Welch has the perfect voice to handle music from the heart of the south, but her L.A. upbringing just doesn’t match these songs’ Appalachian subject matter.

Regardless, these few bumps in the road don’t detract from what is mostly a smooth ride. After eight long and frustration-filled years, Welch and Rawlings have produced an album to be proud of.

Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital album review

This marital match-made in grunge rock heaven: Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry together make up Handsome Furs. Their latest release, Sound Kapital, delivers a set of tracks that differs from whats been known by the fans – adoring the trade mark howls of the lead vocal, layered with grungy guitar strums. This album definitely demonstrates a new course in their talents. Replacing their set of strings with a full dose of synths and electronic keyboards and incorporating a much darker, industrial, electro-pop, more so thats been seen in their past works.

“Damage” ricks and rocks in a haunting chrous echo suggesting that things are breaking down further with time. The dark, destructive air continues to hang over the next track “Bury me standing” and holds till a slight shift in “Memories of the Future” where lyrics are about looking forward to whats to come, “I throw my hands to the sky/ I left my memories go…”.

The rest of the album follows with the message of whats gotten them so riled up – suppression, a bit political, the strip of our able-bodied first amendment, right to speech (See “Serve the people” and “What about us”).

Sound Kapital shows progress and distinction, helping to define the Handsome Furs with husband, Boeckner’s often comparable band, Wolf Parade. Handsome Fur fans may not be thrilled, but for those willing to give this rebellion riling, heavy-duty construction of pop a shot, these tracks are well worth the time, given their message and complexity.

Matt Nathanson – Modern Love album review

Brewing new beginnings: Matt Nathanson, “Modern Love”

Following a successful, career-defining release with “Some Mad Hope”(2007), San Francisco-based Matt Nathanson is back with new confidence and his ninth album “Modern Love”. “Modern Love,” produced and co-created by long time creative partner Mark Weinberg, is a blend of pop, rock, poetry, and honesty, exploring the synthetic, the organic, life, and love. It is an exploration of compliment and contrast, from musings in Australia (“Love Comes Tumbling Down”), to the technology and traditions of Japan (Room at the End of the World), and for Matt, it’s the album that finally “feels natural.” Chronicling the various stages of love while exploring his own creative process, Nathanson integrates the joy of the new, and the nostalgia of longing, as he addresses questions of love and relationship in an age of technology. Lyrical, vulnerable, joyful, and honest, “Modern Love” was recorded in a garage in Los Angeles, and would fare well as a tasty pool-side companion this summer.

Taking creative cues from artists like Def Leopard, U2, Tears for Fears, and INXS, while straddling adult contemporary and folk, Nathanson and Weinber create a fun, feel-good collection of pop-rock with singable melodies, catchy riffs, and Nathanson’s engaging vocals. The album is relatable from start to finish with it’s palatable lyrics and harmonies, and despite the full instrumentation, there is a simple honesty that comes from a songwriter armed with a voice and a guitar. From the smile-inducing “Faster,” to the delicate nostaligia of “Kiss Quick,” the rock and roll of “Queen of (K)nots,” and the sensual “Run,” “Modern Love” puts Nathanson at home as a songwriter, as he combines his traditional compositional methods with new ventures, ideas and collaborations.

If you are into singer/songwriters, romance, summer, sweet vocal melodies, and tunes for the heart, you can catch Matt on tour this summer with Maroon 5 and Train, or check him out online and grab a copy of “Modern Love” at www.mattnathanson.com.

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