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Monday, November 6th, 2017
Music Reviews

Bill Murray, St. Vincent and More... Beachcomber’s Record Roundup

Musicians: Send your CDs, vinyl and/or cassettes to Beachcomber, P.O. Box 5707, Destin, FL 32540 5707. Email MP3s and streaming links to chris@beachcomberdestin.com.


Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile

Lotta Sea Lice

Matador

Lotta Sea Lice, a new collaborative record from Barnett and Vile, is ultimately an album about storytelling from two incredible musical storytellers, as the two friends let their distinctive styles of rock mingle. Barnett and Vile cover each other’s songs, create new conversational duets, and have their own moments throughout the record, allowing their playful friendship and creative symbiosis to shine. Lotta Sea Lice feels like an experiment and meditation on the creative process of being a musician, the anxieties it brings, and the comfort of having an intercontinental friend to share in those feelings.

- Jane Morgan


The Church

man woman life death infinity

Unorthodox Recordings

It’s often been said Steve Kilbey, The Church’s outspoken lead singer, begrudges the band’s ‘80s hit single “Under the Milky Way.” As the story goes, he fears the song’s universal popularity and longevity overshadows the band’s capabilities. But for many of us, that song is why we continue to follow the band down through the years. For the most part, The Church doesn’t disappoint, even decades later, and their new album is no exception. Though sounding a bit more gravelly-voiced and almost folksy here and there, this is a really good—maybe even great—album, thanks to tracks like “Undersea,” “Dark Waltz” and more. And though the band was once classified as alt or experimental rock, their sound has diffused into the mainstream, offering plenty of appeal for a variety of rockers, poppers and genre-benders.

- Joni Williams


Avishai Cohen

1970

Sony Masterworks

On 1970, bassist Cohen plays both acoustic and electric bass, and sings. His personnel here back him up on vocals, cello, oud, bass guitar, keyboards and drums. Rather than just covers of ‘70s tunes, the song list conveys the style and subject matter of the time—romance, blues, spiritual quests, and social consciousness. That sometimes exceedingly earnest decade’s music is leavened here by funk, Middle Eastern soul, and Cohen’s own consummate musicianship. He’s got a great set of pipes, too—strong, sincere, poetic but mature. Artistically, Cohen remains one of the most interesting guys out there.

- Bruce Collier


Hello Crescendo

Degenerator

Independent

Packed with experimentation, this Pensacola indie project dances with atmospheric melodies and fluttering tempos. Hello Crescendo doesn’t belong to a single genre, instead bubbling with adventure, seeing how far they can push the boundaries of their songs. And it turns out they’re prepared to take any listener who is daring enough to give them a spin on a pretty wild, memorable journey.

- Nikki Hedrick


Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends

New Worlds

Decca Gold

As I age and watch my daughter growing up, I’m inclined more and more to the educational and heartwarming in music. New Worlds plays fully to my niche. It’s a concert/ performance by actor Bill Murray, cellist Jan Vogler, with Vanessa Perez on piano and Mira and on violin. Murray’s readings from Walt Whitman, Hemingway and Twain are set against a background of European and American music (Saint-Saens, Bach, Gershwin Piazzola, and Henry Mancini, among others). This kind of show can be either a tiresome ego trip, or charming and engaging. Happily, Murray can achieve low-frequency appeal without any apparent effort.

- Bruce Collier


MyBrothaVan

Big Fish, Lil Pond

EaglesFly Records

Full of spunky, energetic tracks, the newest album from local hip-hopper MyBrothaVan might be a bit too explicit for some folks, but it’s perfect for club mixes. With all the songs coming under the three-minute mark, he aims for a high-energy overload, throwing a wide range of beat styles at the wall and seeing what feels good and best serves the songs.

- Nikki Hedrick


Ohxalá

Dona Cuica

Independent

I’ll admit it—I’m not that big on electronic dance music. That isn’t meant to be offensive any more than me saying I don’t like cold weather. Not everything clicks with everyone. Why am I saying this in a review? Because that’s what makes this album special—it clicks. Ohxalá mixes traditional Latin instruments and sounds from nature using dance tempos for something downright magical. It’s modern as much as it is about tradition, a beautiful fusion of two worlds through music.

- Nikki Hedrick


St. Vincent

Masseduction

Loma Vista

St. Vincent is back with her fifth studio album, and it is her most layered work to date. Annie Clark stays true to her brand of writing cutting emotional songs, but here she is heightening these ideas, coupling intensely personal lyrics with booming, glossy pop-forward beats. The songs are about loneliness and the nostalgia, pain, and sometimes hollowness it brings. Instead of romanticizing these feelings by turning them into perfect pop songs, Clark uses a pop mentality to highlight juxtapositions and break things down. Masseduction is a thrilling, heartbreaking joyride.

- Jane Morgan


Lucienne Renaudin Vary

The Voice of the Trumpet

Warner Classics

Trumpeter Lucienne Renaudin Vary is only 18 years old, a lively and beautiful young Frenchwoman with a string of concert appearances and artistic awards already on her resume. On The Voice of the Trumpet, she makes her recording debut, pairing with the Orchestre National de Lille. The list of 16 tracks includes pieces by Handel, Offenbach, Rossini, Faure and Tchaikovsky, along with modern composers like Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Harold Arlen. Vary reportedly gets rather animated when she plays (report true—see YouTube) She neatly covers this genre-stretching program, taking advantage of its variety to showcase her chops and tone.

- Bruce Collier