City Vibes

 |  May 27, 2011

Artist: Bill Callahan

Album: Apocalypse

It’s not every month that you get two of planet Earth’s best singer-songwriters releasing LPs. But this is the month for pure indulgence in their works of genius. Callahan has been performing since the Cretaceous period, yet he remains one of the finest contemporary musicians. A deep baritone voice, a penchant for sardonic religious references and an ability to shackle the listener into a tryst of hazy introspection are Callahan’s qualities. Best washed down with a healthy glass of single malt, Apocalypse will be one of 2011’s most endurable releases.

Artist: Cass McCombs

Album: Wit’s End

This album is pure rainy Sunday-morning. Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs has compiled a selection of moody and melancholic ballads with just enough soul and a sprinkling of funk to prevent one sinking into a Trainspotting-esque cold turkey. Instead, Wit’s End manages to maintain a sufficient level of edginess to engage the listener in a treatise of balladonier, just don’t dim the lights. Opening track ‘County Line’ is a deliciously sombre memento of failed romance, whilst ‘Memory’s Stain’ is a sunken-cheeked ode to getting sloshed, expressed via the sultriest clarinet you will hear this year. A must-have for all you high-fivers out there.

Artist: TV on the Radio

Album: Nine Types of Light

On 2008’s ‘Dear Science’, TV on the Radio treated us to one of the finest alt rock, funk and disco LPs of recent years. That album still features regularly in my playlists and so I was salivating with excitement at the prospect their new offering. It doesn’t disappoint. Nine Types of Light certainly encapsulates a different vibe to its forebear, but the hallmarks that maketh this fine band are still as bold and evident as ever. Check out the banging hedonism of ‘Caffeinated Consciousness’ or the restrained deliverance of ‘Second Song’ and you will be hooked. Although Nine Types of Light doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights of Dear Science, this is an album to be savoured and enjoyed, over and over again.