Par­lophone LCD Soundsys­tem’s grand fi­nale per­for­mance in Madi­son Square Gar­den (April 2011) is the farewell that keeps on giv­ing. We’ve al­ready had the Shut Up and Play the Hits film about the band’s fi­nal shows. The lat­est doc­u­ment of their bow-out is this live al­bum, which some may see as su­per­flu­ous. But whether you get the five-record box set or the dig­i­tal ver­sion, you’ll find dance mu­sic’s most hon­est chron­i­clers of mod­ern life leav­ing the stage with a daz­zling, thump­ing yet strangely sad tour-de-force. If you were one of the faith­ful who gath­ered to wit­ness the band’s pass­ing, you’ll be amazed by how well the whole thing now sounds, thanks to some post-gig spit and pol­ish. No one could come close to the eu­pho­ria and bliss cre­ated by James Mur­phy and friends when they went wild on­stage. Next up: the re­union? lcd­sound sys­ Down­load: All My Friends, Dance Yr­self Clean, Daft Punk Is Play­ing at My House


Stock­holm Caro­line Records “It’s never too late for new be­gin­nings” is pre­sum­ably what 62-year-old Chrissie Hynde had in mind when she de­cided to re­lease her solo de­but. The Pre­tenders front­woman em­barks on a new chap­ter of her ca­reer with Björn Yt­tling (of Peter, Björn and John) at the helm. In truth, a more dar­ing pro­ducer might have made a zestier al­bum; too much of Stock­holm plays it safe with smooth midtempo pop-rock tunes that lack snarl and bite. You’re the One mixes it up with a re­fresh­ing change of pace and in­stru­men­ta­tion, while the sul­try vo­cal and skit­ter­ish con­tem­po­rary beat of House of Cards hints at what could have been if only the en­ve­lope had been pushed. This nice collection will sate Pre­tenders en­thu­si­asts, even if it doesn’t win Hynde any new fans. face­ Down­load: You’re the One, House of Cards


Stay Gold Sony Mu­sic Jo­hanna and Klara Söder­berg re­veal darker lay­ers on their third record, with lit­er­ate lyrics and an at­mos­phere of ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis. That these Swedes love Amer­i­can roots is ob­vi­ous on the ti­tle song’s full ripe sound; on Cedar Lane, with its melan­choly piano; and on a waltz that com­ple­ments the spindly and sub­tle A Long Time Ago. Their beau­ti­ful voices are mar­ried to con­trast – a gal­lop­ing headi­ness on Heaven Knows and a sense of anx­i­ety on My Sil­ver Lin­ing: “I don’t know if I am scared of dy­ing, but I am scared of liv­ing too fast, too slow.” The sib­lings breathe new life into coun­try and folk, with youth pro­vid­ing the en­ergy to take tragedy and make it seem like the first time. Wait­ress Song muses on es­cape as a way of tran­scend­ing a bro­ken heart, and Shat­tered & Hol­low re­veals their truest hand: “I’d rather be bro­ken than empty.” thi­s­is­firstaid­ Down­load: My Sil­ver Lin­ing, Shat­tered & Hol­low

Seven Di­als

Scot­land’s Roddy Frame (the one-time song­writ­ing ge­nius be­hind Aztec Cam­era) hasn’t been the quick­est out of the traps to re­lease a fol­low-up to his 2006 al­bum, Western Skies, but, crikey, the wait is worth it. Frame is the kind of song­writer who uses slow-burn­ing melody lines, so you’ll need to give this record at least three lis­tens (it’s a tad over 38 min­utes, so don’t fret) be­fore its true value makes it­self crys­tal clear. There’s also very lit­tle here that ref­er­ences the big cho­rus/ an­themic na­ture of his pre­vi­ous work with Aztec Cam­era, so those af­ter in­stant-fix hits are li­able to be dis­ap­pointed. So, you know, slow down a bit and take in the driz­zle of notes in From a Train, bask un­der the slen­der croon of English Gar­den, and qui­etly thrill to the the pop clas­si­cism of The Other Side. Come­back al­bum of the year? Quite likely. rod­ Down­load: From a Train, The Other Side, English Gar­den


Half the City Sin­gle Lock St Paul front­man Paul Janeway was orig­i­nally headed for a life in the church, which is per­haps why Half the City is down­right right­eous. Well, the pul­pit’s loss is soul mu­sic’s gain, as Janeway’s raw holler en­sures that this new-school, old-style soul al­bum from the Birm­ing­ham, Alabama band sounds so punchy and right. Many reto-soul acts rely too heav­ily on re­cyled bells and whis­tles, but St Paul & the Bro­ken Bones are ge­o­graph­i­cally, cre­atively and spir­i­tu­ally rooted in the real thing. Prod­ded into place by pro­ducer Ben Tan­ner from Alabama Shakes at Fame Stu­dios in Mus­cle Shoals, the grooves and riffs on both slow-burn­ers (Dixie Rothko) and stom­pers (Call Me) hum with fever­ish en­ergy and ex­cite­ment. Janeway, mean­while, roars and shouts from the rooftops in that fab­u­lous voice of his. The real deal. stpaulandthe­bro­ken­bones. com

Down­load: Dixie Rothko, Call Me


Anti Bro­ken Twin (aka Dan­ish singer­song­writer Ma­jke Voss Romme) hasn’t prop­erly crossed the rel­e­vant seas to have any level of pro­file, but May, her de­but, will surely put paid to any lack of knowl­edge about her. An air of dam­age, un­ease, re­gret and in­tro­spec­tion fil­ters through­out the songs, so if you’re search­ing for even a hint of chirpi­ness you will be sorely dis­ap­pointed. That said, songs as sad as these wouldn’t rise above their own weight un­less there were ac­com­pa­ny­ing melodies, and here Romme excels. Hemmed in by a blend of gen­tly ca­ressed strings, barely touched piano keys and aer­ated ar­range­ments, songs as per­sonal as The Aching, Glimpse of a Tree, Sun Has Gone, River Rain­ing, If Pi­lots Go to Heaven and No Dark­ness are as starkly, emo­tion­ally af­fect­ing as they are sim­ple and gor­geous. bro­ken­ Down­load: Glimpse of a Tree, Sun Has Gone, If Pi­lots Go to Heaven

The Long Good­bye

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