This Week in Live Music: Keith Urban, Head and the Heart, Bear in Heaven, & More
Put on your dancin' emojis, it's time to get down.
If we’ve reached peak synth rock, blame bands like Bear in Heaven that have the genre down to a science. Or at least so it seems. The band’s 2012 album I Love You, It’s Cool manages such precision and manufactures such forthright momentum you’d think it were produced at CERN. The band’s latest album Time Is Over One Day Old has been criticized for, as Consequence of Sound put it, “really bad at giving their listeners any insight into who they are and what they stand for.” A valid critique, but there’s a beauty in emotional distance from one’s own art, and count us among those impressed by technical consistency and know-how. Cynics in the crowd would be well advised to check out 2010 album Beast Rest Forth Mouth, which introduced the band to the easy-to-please-and-then-displease blogosphere and critics.
Seattle’s The Head and the Heart weren’t always this introspectively somber. Hardcore fans know that earlier albums painted a much rosier existentialist picture, but the occasionally treacherous life on the road literally changed their tune. Band member Josiah Johnson recently explained to the Phoenix New Times: "The second (record), we recorded it right after being on the road for three years, and we were feeling really tight as a band and really close as a band and knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses really well. But we were a little worn down from the road and having some growing pains."
Our obsession with Purity Ring knows no bounds. The Canadian electro duo originally stole our hearts with the wondrous opium-dreampop album Shrines...but that was 2010. Vocalist Megan James and partner-in-crime Corin Roddick have toured the album extensively and now James appears to be making a second career in the DJ Set cottage industry. If you’re wondering where to find their latest creations, Purity Rings DJ sets are your best recourse.
England producer Jon Gooch has been adding shots of espresso to EDM for a decade now. Not just in his ADHD house blends, but also in his brilliant visual productions. A former graphic designer, Gooch has gone on record saying he writes songs with visuals in mind, which makes sense for anyone who’s come into contact with either.
From the "Things You Never Thought You’d Hear Keith Urban Site As an Influence" files, we bring you this quote from Urban’s 2013 USA Today interview, in which he explains how his latest album Fuse came together: "Every time I would hear something on the radio, maybe just a rhythm that I loved, I would Shazam it. I would be imagining playing my six-string banjo or singing or playing my guitar along with this thing. I wondered what would happen if I could – pun intended — fuse these things together? What sort of song would come of that?” Technology has conquered its final frontier — country music.
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