Moving past this feeling.
My heart belongs permanently to The National – the band has completely taken over my life. (Though sometimes I do try to make time for others… but you do not have to tell them this.)
Turn On the Bright Lights
20 August 2002
It is hard to ignore the pain and melancholia that comes with the slow march of sadness that is “NYC” – the third song in Interpol’s debut studio album with lyrics that gave the album its name. In fact, it is not at all possible to ignore any of the songs in Turn On the Bright Lights – it has such immense staying power, no one would dare dispute claims from various parties declaring it as one of the strongest albums of the past decade, having cemented its place in many best-of lists.
The aural explosions produced out of repetitive guitar lines, when combined with the mesmerising vocals of frontman Paul Banks, paints a dark brilliance that is completely out of this world. Honestly, there is no one bad track on the album: the relentless pounding in “PDA” is affecting without giving you a throbbing headache, and the bittersweet “Hands Away” effortlessly sweeps you off your feet despite the sudden change in tempo midway through the album; but my favourite track is the outstanding “Obstacle 2”, which turns on the atmosphere and gets me headbanging to it every single time (/friends don’t waste wine/).
The band’s subsequent albums Our Love to Admire and Antics (part of my, ahem, Interpol music education) are suitably moody and brooding, but I always find myself returning to Turn On the Bright Lights – it is most definitely a first love that is not easy to forget.
The New York band is set to release their self-titled album in September 2010.
29 June 2010
You must have been so heartbroken to hear of that dreaded news. Do you still wonder if he is still alone out there, drifting endlessly in space?
But I think it is amazing how Wolf Parade band member, Dan Boeckner, chose to share your grief by writing such a heartwrenching piece. “Yulia” easily became the best song in the band’s latest release Expo 86, and quite possibly the best Wolf Parade song, ever. We are all very proud of him.
(Oh, what? The album? Taking the easy way out: if you like Wolf Parade’s previous efforts, you will have no problems with Expo 86.)
3 August 2010
It kicks off with the all-important title track, so what gives? Should not first tracks be neutral and given a chance to shine on their own, a la The National’s fabulous “Fake Empire” (from 2007’s Boxer) or Grizzly Bear’s rousing “Southern Point” (from 2009’s Veckatimest)?
But “The Suburbs” is arguably the best track off Arcade Fire’s highly-anticipated third album – it channels a raw abundance of passion and energy, seemingly released with a celebratory, resounding pop courtesy of a bottle of champagne, after the band’s three-year absence. It pretty much sets the pace for the rest of the tracks in this hour-long album.
The band may be on the expansive, bringing in sounds reminiscent to that of The Dears, Broken Social Scene, and god forbid – 80’s Swedish pop sensation, ABBA. The tunes are, as always, unleashed in full grandeur, though this time without being too over-the-top (case in point: the overwhelming Neon Bible – okay now, no need to throw tomatoes at me!), and thus come across as being more easily accessible with its ability to be digested in bit-sized chunks.
Made for the everyday man (“Modern Man”), the listless (“Wasted Hours”), and the restless (“We Used to Wait”), The Suburbs is not at all difficult to get into.
(Hello, Richard Reed Parry! Nice seeing you here again after your brief stints with The National. Say hi to Sufjan Stevens for me too.)
Upcoming releases for 2010:
Belle and Sebastian. Coldplay. Deerhunter. Fleet Foxes. Franz Ferdinand. Interpol. Jimmy Eat World. Ra Ra Riot. See Metacritic’s release calendar here.