“Things start off so naked,” writes Trevor Powers of his psychedelic, lo-fi bedroom project Youth Lagoon in an email when asked what instrument his songs begin on. “Either guitar or piano. Both create this skeleton that longs for flesh.
[Updated] I hadn't planned to do a year-end best-of list for a host of reasons. I'm not a list person, and that's not how I think. I know people, sites and magazines that do Top 50 lists, and I couldn't imagine how or why you'd try do decide if Album A is number 42 and Album B is number 43. I'm also not sure what the use is of year-end lists.
Empress Hotel broke my heart. When I saw on their band bio that the New Orleans-based rock band listed Sparks as an influence, I was flabbergasted. Sparks have always been the sort of band that divides people including Sparks fans. Diehards swear by Propaganda, Kimono My House and Indiscreet and give up on anything after those highly eccenctric art-glam albums. I stayed with them through the Giorgio Moroder-produced No.
You can hear soul and classic rock in Empress Hotel, but you can also hear art rock and indie as well, as "Holly" demonstrates. It's the first release from the band's upcoming album Heavy Halo, and it's due out September 11 on Park the Van Records.