EAR TO THE GROUND: My Bloody Valentine returns with new album (with video)This past weekend, My Bloody Valentine finally released their highly anticipated follow-up on their website, which subsequently crashed due to large amounts of traffic.
By: Tom Carbone, Grand Forks Herald
My Bloody Valentine — “m b v” (Feb. 2)
In 1991, four-piece rock group from Dublin, Ireland, My Bloody Valentine, released their second full-length album, “Loveless,” which quickly reached critical acclaim and maintained its status as an iconic example of the shoegaze genre forever. Shoegaze music uses heavy distortion, pitch-bending and reverb to create lush soundscapes, and it became a more popular genre after My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless.”
Shortly after releasing the album, which almost left their record label bankrupt, My Bloody Valentine disbanded and didn’t get back together until 2007, further fueling their status as cult classic shoegazers with an album that many consider to be one of the greatest of all time.
This past weekend, My Bloody Valentine finally released their highly anticipated follow-up on their website, which subsequently crashed due to large amounts of traffic. Later that night, everyone was able to download the songs and dive into a new batch of My Bloody Valentine recordings, the first in more than 20 years.
Frontman Kevin Shields has mentioned in the past that a lot of songs were recorded and shelved during the “Loveless” period, and it certainly sounds like many of the songs from “m b v” came from the “Loveless” sessions. You can expect to see this on a lot of year-end lists for best album.
• BEST TRACKS: “only tomorrow” and “new you”
My Bloody Valentine - "new you"
Curren$y — “New Jet City” (Feb. 3)
New Orleans-based hip-hop artist Curren$y is, without a doubt, one of the hardest working rappers in the music industry today. In the past two years, the 31-year-old, born Shante Franklin, has released two full-length albums, three EPs, contributed to two collaborative albums and released a handful of free mixtapes full of new material. He also started his own record label, Jet Life Recordings. Combine that with his seemingly endless world tours, and it seems like Curren$y never gets a break from the rap game — but he’s not complaining.
Curren$y’s latest project is a free mixtape entitled “New Jet City” and features the hazy beats and silky-smooth delivery that he’s been known for since emerging on the New Orleans scene more than 10 years ago. Curren$y enlists the help of some of his closest friends in the music industry for the project, including Jadakiss, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross and Atlanta new comer, Trinidad Jame$ for a collaborative track entitled “Purple Haze.” This project is a great example of what Curren$y raps about best — cars (specifically Chevrolets), girls, money and his herb of choice.
• BEST TRACKS: “Mary” and “Three 60” feat. Juicy J
Ducktails — “The Flower Lane” (Feb. 5)
Matt Mondanile, guitarist of New Jersey rock band Real Estate, returned to his side project (Ducktails) this year to release his new full-length album, “The Flower Lane.”
His latest work has improved significantly with a definite focus on cleaner sounds and more refined production. For their third effort, Ducktails includes catchy electric piano and guitar riffs, making the final product sound more like another Real Estate record and less like Ducktails’ first couple of albums. Swirling vocals and reverb-heavy guitar patterns are prevalent, and one line from the fifth track, “Planet Phrom,” sums up the mood of the whole album: “I’m moving in a haze all day and I’ve got a cloudy mind.”
• BEST TRACKS: “Planet Phrom” and “Academy Avenue”
Ducktails - "Planet Phrom"
Carbone is a copy editor at the Herald and can be reached at email@example.com or (701) 780-1249. His column runs the second Friday of every month. Read his blog at http://eartotheground.areavoices.com.