When this blog started several years ago Refused had already been defunct for over 10 years. In those early days I kept a list of bands I wanted to feature on these pages but there was no way I would have imagined I would get to write about the seminal Swedish legends.
17 years on from famously proclaiming “Refused is fucking dead” and subsequently earning a cult-like following Refused are fucking back. With this infamous breakup in mind eyebrows will be naturally raised at the motivation for this unexpected reunion but arguably in 2015 we need this is the band we need more than ever. The world has changed a lot, and not necessarily for the better, and who better to call out all the bullshit.
The album shows the guys still have it offering familiar breakbeats, sharp riffs and DennisLyxzén‘s inimitable vocal delivery. Perhaps the pace isn’t as intense as in the past, after all these guys are no longer the 4 teenagers that came together in the 90s. Still ‘Freedom‘ manages to bring you back to that era while still sounding relevant today.
Refused are on tour this summer with Faith No More.
After making waves with his output to date acclaimed Spanish arist, DJ, producer and composer Ed is Dead, AKA Edu Ostos, introduces his genre bending debut album ‘Change‘. The lead single “Praise“,feat. Odille, can best be described as eclectic and we mean that in a good way.
Edu himself describes his sound as “Queens of the Stone Age, Maceo Plex, The XX and Queen, getting drunk and making music” and it’s this refusal to play by the rulebook of any single genre that makes ‘Change‘ such an enjoyable experience. Featuring a selection of top collaborators this is one release you don’t want to miss.
Mac DeMarco‘s 3rd album reflects back on the ‘Salad Days‘ of his youth. This nostalgia for the past, combined with the experience that came from it, allows the bittersweet nature of being a slacker to be portrayed better than ever whilst also showing off his undeniable talent.
Having been 14 years without an album, D’Angelo was not rushing to get back into the industry unless he really had something to say. Recent developments in Ferguson incensed him to release the album early, with songs about the ingrained racism of a lot of Americas subconscious. Yet ‘Black Messiah‘ explores these tensions not simply by complaining about them but instead with a view to solving these problems through the pursuit of love and it is in this way that D’Angelo is truly prophetic.
Filled with the reverberated and mischievous doo-wop of ‘Wounded Rhymes‘ and the beautifully creative and shy debut ‘Youth Novels‘, ‘I Never Learn‘ is Lykke Li‘s most definitive statement to date. ‘No rest for the wicked’ is simply a perfect ballad.
Having recently become a father, Dan Snaith played a mix of genres to influence the future music tastes of his daughter. Little did he know that the records were also influencing ‘Our Love‘, with its soulful undertones and joyous lyrics, Caribou‘s album has brought IDM to the masses.
‘Down To Earth‘ goes in every direction you can ask it to go in, while still maintaining the same dreamlike playfulness that gives Flight Facilities its significance. Their first full length album finally encompass all of the beautiful singles they’ve released over the last 4 years (“Crave You,” “Claire de Lune“), as well as new tracks fans were waiting impatiently for. Highlights include “Sunshine” with infusions of funk from the likes of Reggie Watts, a healthy dose of 80s vibes on “Hold Me Down,” and the unexpected taste of hip hop on “Why Do You Feel” with a gentle rap line from Bishop Nehru. You definitely will want to take off with Flight Facilities.
It’s hard to believe this is Todd Terje‘s debut given how prolific he has become. ‘It’s Album Time’ combines a unique take on modern dance music, and most importantly, an infectious playfulness that makes this both an entirely unpredictable but joyous album.