Electric Feels: The Album Edition
We shake up our weekly electronic music recap up a little, this time covering five of the great electronic albums to arrive last week.
Usually, Electric Feels is a playlist-styled article where we cover the biggest and best electronic releases of the past week - whether they be albums, EPs, singles, remixes or tour announcements. However, this week we're shaking it up a little. For whatever reasons, there was a handful of really incredible electronic albums released in the past week, and while we wish we could cover them all individually, it's just something that's not going to happen. So voilà - here's an album edition of everyone's favourite electronic music recap, covering records by ODESZA, Mount Kimbie, Lunice and a few more that we managed to get our hands on in the past week. If you're still desperate for singles, just click on the Pilerats logo in the upper-left corner to head to our home page, or check out the latest by Kaytranda, Hundred Waters, What So Not, Peking Duk and Obseen & Dylan Cartwright.
ODESZA - A Moment Apart
There's no secret to our love for ODESZA, and their third album A Moment Apart has just solidified this love. Over a whopping 16 tracks, the Seattle duo sonically map their highs and lows as touring artists, enlisting names such as Regina Spektor, Leon Bridges, RY X, Mansionair and more for the occasion. While Summer's Gone and even In Return were chocked full of ODESZA's characteristically joyous and vibrant sounds, A Moment Apart has a slightly darker edge to it, something that the duo's Harrison Mills says came from gaining a more intimate perspective of the world and cultures through touring, and finding beauty in the darker moments of life. This subtle touch of darkness is particularly prevalent on tracks like their aching collaboration with Regina Spektor, Just A Moment - one of the album's most beautiful and intimate moments. Read about how that collaboration came about, the overarching themes of A Moment Apart and what they have planned for us on their forthcoming Australian tour in our interview with Harrison Mills HERE.
Mount Kimbie - Love What Survives
On their third album, English electronic duo Mount Kimbie are far more sophisticated and mature than some of their older stuff might've suggested. Across 11 tracks, the long-time pairing fully grasps and embrace their subtle, ambient-like sound, bringing together washed out synth and piano melodies, guest vocals from the likes of King Krule and James Blake, and soft, UK garage-esque percussion loops together to create what is potentially their strongest record yet. Released through Warp Records, the album slides between pace, with tracks including Delta and Audition feeling upbeat and show-ready in comparison to some of the more mellow tracks, like the interluding instrumental ballad Poison. However, despite the production versatility, what really shines on Love What Survives are the guest features. Whether it be King Krule's characteristically strained groove or the immediately recognisable vocal power of James Blake, each guest feature feels really in place and well-designed, something which producers often fail to achieve.
Anna Of The North - Lovers
Oslo's Anna Of The North is no stranger to this site, most recently sharing a dreamy album cut in Someone as well as featuring on 9/11 / Mr Lonely, one of the standout (and Frank Ocean featuring) singles from Tyler The Creator's new record Flower Boy. Lovers sees Anna Of The North go into album mode for the first time and although she's still relatively new to the scene, it's an incredibly mature and elegant release. While an artist with the current hype of Anna Of The North could've easily elected for an easy-selling, guest-star-packed debut, she instead chose to put her sensational vocal prowess on centre stage, allowing it to glide and soar above slick, perfectly-produced electro-pop productions created by New Zealand's own Brady Daniell-Smith - who forms the other half of the pairing. She's just wrapped up a quick Australian tour, but with the hype behind her and with her debut album now officially out in the world - it wouldn't surprise me to see her pop up at an Australian festival or two in 2018.
Lunice - CCCLX
With Hudson Mohawke, Lunice forms TNGHT - collaborators of Kanye West (Blood On The Leaves) and one of the pioneers of modern-day trap music. CCCLX is Lunice's debut solo album, and while some of the bassy sounds of TNGHT still ooze from his album, CCCLX sees Lunice really take on his own sound. Released through the taste-making electronic album Lucky Me, CCCLX is a record heavily built on hip-hop, whether it be rappers including CJ Flemings, Denzel Curry or Le1f hopping up for guest features or the generally stripped-back and simplistic vibe that much of the album's productions give off. However, it's not all hip-hop. Despite featuring Le1f, the SOPHIE-featuring Drop Down is a bubbly, forward-thinking club single that reeks of SOPHIE's clanging production style, and singles like CCCLX III (Costume), which features legendary producer Mike Dean, is a more tribal-like single that doesn't instantly beg for a hip-hop verse like some of the album's other instrumentals. It's a great debut album from one of electronic's most respected producers, and now that both Lunice and Hudson Mohawke have got their debut albums out the way, something tells me that we might be hearing from TNGHT again very, very soon.
Nosaj Thing - Parallels
Tying things together here is Nosaj Thing - an experimental, LA-based producer and Kendrick Lamar/Chance The Rapper/Kid Cudi collaborator who finishes us on a strong note with Parallels - his new album. The album builds on his artistic ambient flair, using clever sampling and intricate melodies to create tones and atmospheres unlike many other in the industry. Like Lunice's record before this, Parallels dives between different sounds, but each of the album's ten singles is shaded with Nosaj Thing's signature style and sound. How We Do - which features Kazu Makino - is a sprawling, left-field cut with tasteful and accessible vocals, while tracks like U G pulse with a nostalgic two-step edge. It's really quite a hard record to explain, to be honest. Nosaj Thing's productions aren't for everyone, but Parallels may potentially be his most varied album yet - meaning that while you might not be a fan of the ambient stuff, there's bound to be something in there for you.
Interested in what other albums we're vibing? Then follow us on INSTAGRAM, where every Friday we cover our favourite new albums from Australia and beyond.