Chairlift's Something is the sophomore album from this synth pop duo, Caroline Polacheck (singer/keyboardist) and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wimberly. They worked with producer Dan Carey who has strengthened the pop vision Lilly Allen and La Roux. A single, "Amanaemonesia," heralded the new release last summer with its catchy vibe and quirky vocals (see video below). At first listen, the other songs do not disappoint -- from the lead off sonic blasts of "Sidewalk Safari" to the slow simmer of the closer, "Guilty As Charged." It's a collection to revisit many times just to take in the many levels of contemporary music making.
In comparison, Nada Surf is the consummate veteran band. "The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy" ranks number seven in their two-decade old career. The trio has remained easily accessible in the best possible way, with a sound of hope beyond hope. Singer/guitarist Matthew Caws' velvety vocals drift over the group's laid back approach to music, with Daniel Lorca on bass/vocals and Ira Elliot on drums/vocals. Their single, "When We Were Young," is featured on my Winter 2012 Playlist (available as a free download on the band's website), a wistful look at nostalgia. The opener here is the title track, a romping song that asks "where did we go wrong?" The band continues on a familiar road on solid ground which should delight their many fans.
Listen to each preview until January 24th, when the music will be available for purchase, from links on KCRW's website here.