Another week, and another slew of free and joyously legal music to listen to on the internet. This time, we take in new albums from Kate Bush, Moby (no, wait, it’s actually quite good), and Friendly Fires, as well as the new Chad VanGaalen record and a tardily streaming album from Manchester Orchestra. If you like free music –- and, let’s face it, who doesn’t? –- then this is a fine old way to start your Monday morning.
We must admit to not being particularly big Moby fans in the past –- the combination of militant animal rights rhetoric and dull dinner party music not being a particularly palatable one –- but his new record Destroyed is really rather good. He describes it on his website as “a soundtrack for empty cities at 2 am,” explaining that he doesn’t sleep well when he’s traveling, and that as a result the record “was primarily written late at night in cities when I felt like I was the only person awake (or alive).” The music certainly captures this atmosphere -– its more reserved moments sound vaguely like a futuristic take on Eno’s ambient work, at least until the vocals come in. The physical release will coincide with a book of Moby’s photos, which are also a pleasant surprise. Both the music and the photos are up for preview on his website now.
Unlike Moby, we’ve always been big fans of Kate Bush, and as such, we’ve been excited about the release of her new album Director’s Cut ever since it was announced last month. The album comprises reworkings and “revisitations” of songs from her albums The Sensual World and The Red Shoes. Specifically, all the vocals and drum tracks are new, and three songs have been completely re-recorded. Bush says on her Facebook page that she “think[s] of this as a new album.” Interestingly, much of the new work has gone into replacing the original digital recordings with tracks recorded to analog equipment –- you can hear the results via NPR.
Meanwhile, this week’s album preview at the Hype Machine is the new Friendly Fires record, Pala, which as far as we can tell is pretty much guaranteed to be the soundtrack to this summer – a pleasantly LCD Soundsystem/Rapture-esque slab of indie dance for your sun-bathed dancin’ pleasure. The album’s not out until 5/24, but it’s streaming all week right here.
And also, a couple to round up from the last few days. The new Chad VanGaalen album Diaper Island is out tomorrow, and it’s streaming in full via Paste. The album is another most excellent and self-contained lo-fi production from the Calgary-based singer/songwriter -– he wrote and produced the whole thing, and as ever, he’s also done all the artwork.
Then there’s Manchester Orchestra, who, as has been well documented, are neither from Manchester nor an orchestra. Their fourth studio album Simple Math is streaming via their SoundCloud page. Apparently, it was meant to be taken down a week ago, but it’s still there, so if you’re unsure about the idea of a concept album that tells a story “about a 23-year old who questions everything from marriage to love to religion to sex,” then listen here and make up your own mind.
And finally: tomorrow, apparently Lady Gaga is streaming her new album, via… Farmville. On Facebook. Honestly.