Last updated on April 22, 2022
- “Backbone (LIVE at Breiðarmerkurjökull)” – Kaleo. Trying to navigate the post-pandemic world is tricky for us all. For bands like KALEO, the Icelandic rockers who toured the globe for two years opening for the Rolling Stones before the world stopped moving, returning to their homeland may be the best way to reignite their last release Surface Sounds, produced by Dave Cobb and J Julius Son, while attempting to embark back out on the road.
Filmed in an ice cave on Breiðarmerkurjökul, the location’s majestic landscape is a return to simpler times. “Backbone” vibrates with urgency and hope for us all. Sonically raw, songwriter and lead vocalist J Julius Son taps into authenticity that resonates through the notes. Rarely do songs like these come together in a vacuum: Rubin Pollock (guitar, vocals), Daniel Kristjánsson Davíð (bass), and Antonsson (percussion) help the music transcend time and space. – Lisa Whealy
2. “Fall” – Tapani Rinne & Juha Mäki-Patola. The breathy, elegant, almost reverent ambient/jazz here is deeply felt and perfectly turned. This is one way to expertly calm a room.
3. “Roots” – DJ Karaba. Punchy, groovy, and svelte, this electronic cut manages to keep the energy going and calm things down at the same time.
4. “DDHR Single Edit” – Language Lab (Sco). Glitchy, gnarly techno sounds meet smooth pads, acoustic guitar, and found-sound spoken word for a trippy, mesmerizing experience.
5. “An Opening” – MAYSUN. Whirring, stuttering, and dense, this CUTS-like electro-sonic landscape is a solid block of icy, fascinating synths.
6. “Saudade” – Pearz. Flute-based jazz with tropicalia, Space Age Bachelor Pad, and ’70s soundtrack vibes liberally applied. Very fun.
7. “Afternoon Map” – Nelson Esposito Quintana. Expansive, genre-bending music here that ingests flamenco, prog, post-rock, and jazz (and more, I’m sure). One for the adventurous among us!
8. “At Smith Creek” – Fog Chaser. I love a good gentle meditation on nature, and Fog Chaser’s sixth piece is exactly that. Fans of the Album Leaf will love this one so much.
9. “Haul Away Joe” – Shane Parish. A deconstructed/reconstructed version of a sea shanty, filtered through solo electric guitar experimentation. I love a good concept, and this concept pays off in spades.
10. “Shroud of Silence” – VATSWAV. Thick, dark, unapologetically electronic work that lands the listener in a vaguely dystopian/science fiction/TRON-esque realm.
11. “Giants” – Anzola. Downtempo work that flirts with hip-hop, trip-hop and ambient before settling into a space between them all.