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Popular Music

Best of New Music (March 2014 Edition)

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A periodic list of newly purchased CDs for our circulating collections.

Family AtlanticaFamily Atlantica: Eponymous (2013)

In case you didn't notice, NYPL has seriously enhanced the scope of its Latin American music recordings for check out as of late; and this here is undoubtedly one of them. Yet, the Family Atlantica pursues its latin music roots all the way across the Atlantic and incorporates many African musicians and musical elements as well. The result then, is a sort of study in Atlantic immigration patterns through music; one that highlights the ebb and flow of cultural influences as they move back and forth across the sea. It's quite incredible really, and it all sounds so perfectly organic! And that voice!!! (PREVIEW 1) Just, stunning. I would not have believed you could shove 500 years of trans-Atlantic musical history into one album, but Family Atlantica has done it. (PREVIEW 2)

Get ThereMinor Alps: Get There (2013)

There was a dream who went walking through the early morning fog. Stepping, she heard the soft crunch of the ground, remembered every step ever taken, then stood motionless as that step, too, became a memory. "Why must it be that way?" she thought. The past always grows, the future so vast; but the present can only be held in our minds for an instant, like the gossamer ghost of time! But, oh, the dream: it was of the earth, with its many stone faces, feigning indifference. (PREVIEW)

AfroBeat AirwaysAfro-Beat Airways 2: Return Flight to Ghana (1974-83)

A wonderfully infectious and diverse collection which showcases the multiple ingredients that make up the Afro-Beat gumbo: Jazz, High Life, Rock, African drumming, Jamaican Reggae, and of course American Funk and Soul. It all combines to make something way funkier than the mere sum of its parts. Ignore this collection at your own peril. (PREVIEW)

 

VirginsTim Hecker: Virgins (2013)

Sounds like Terry Riley gathered up all those boxy TVs thrown out a few years ago, dumped them all into a cosmic, slow-motion blender, layered on lush synths, feedback, a sense of longing for the unknown, and recorded it on a Galaxy 500 reel-to-reel tape machine; or maybe it was God herself, right before the Big Bang, thinking, "maybe I'll put some tunes on and get some stuff done." (PREVIEW)

 

The Crystal MethodThe Crystal Method: Eponymous (2014)

My problem with much of Dubstep is it gets so lost in its own technical prowess, it forgets to be danceable. And isn't that where it came out of? Electronic Dance Music? It's kind of like in Blade Runner when technology has advanced so far that they can build human-like robots, but nature itself has basically been killed off in the process. Uh, whoops. I mean, cool robots and stuff, but... hardly seems worth it. The Crystal Method, however, uses a mere light sprinkling of Dubstep elements without losing sight of what they are: a neon light-fueled, velvet-rope clubbin' electronic dance band with drops so epic you'll be like "what?" (PREVIEW)

Held in SplendorQuilt: Held In Splendor (2014)

Lilting, jangly indie-rockers that know how to craft solid, happy pop songs. It's fun! If you feel like brooding about negative stuff, best just move along. Nothin' to see here.

"Newborn forms are weightless like doves
Everything will regenerate as it was
All your heavy hearts are simply illusory
They will find an open shell in which to grow and set you free." -Quilt (PREVIEW)

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