KAREN O

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - SIOB­HÁN KANE TONY CLAYTON-LEA BRIAN KEANE LAU­REN MURPHY

When Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O was 27 she “crushed a lot”. Un­sure if she would ever fall in love again, she be­gan to record a se­ries of songs (“the sound­track to what was an ever con­tin­u­ing love cru­sade”),and this, her first solo record, is an in­ti­mate ren­der­ing of that cru­sade. Her col­lab­o­ra­tive work has led up to this, par­tic­u­larly the del­i­cately beau­ti­ful The Moon Song, writ­ten with Spike Jonze for his film Her. Her 15 “crush songs” are ac­tu­ally more like lo-fi vignettes. Rapt’s creak­ing acous­tic gui­tar an­chors re­gret­ful thoughts, and Na­tive Korean Rock chan­nels a for­lorn 1960s girl group. Sun­set Sun is a full ex­plo­ration of the common theme, while Vis­its’ per­cus­sive slant serves to re­mind us of the ob­ses­sive na­ture of the deep­est crush. Crush Songs is a spare­sound­ing record; the vo­cals, at turns wist­ful and art­fully raw, keeps the lis­tener en­gaged. kareno­mu­sic.com Down­load: Rapt, Na­tive Korean Rock, Sun­set Sun

Cult Records

SLOWPLACELIKEHOME

Ro­mola Blues­tack Records Clearly a fan of the whoooosh and sweeeesh prin­ci­ples of elec­tronic mu­sic (much loved by the likes of Ul­rich Sch­nauss), Done­gal-based mu­si­cian and pro­ducer Keith Man­nion wears his in­flu­ences on his sleeve – but he knows ex­actly how and where to gen­tly push and shove his mu­sic. There is a strong sense that place is cru­cial to Man­nion. In­deed, Ro­mola Parts 1, 2 & 3, She Comes in Colour Stereo, Au­tumn’s Chil­dren and Per­fumed (with Life’s Im­per­fec­tions) might not sound as beau­ti­ful as they do if it weren’t for the fact that – as Man­nion re­veals on the ac­com­pa­ny­ing press re­lease – “each note is in­flu­enced by the scenic coun­try­side of the At­lantic North West coast of Ire­land”. Ap­ply­ing as­sured mea­sures of elec­tron­ica calm and rush and melodies, the band’s name is also per­fectly apt – there re­ally is no­place­like­home. slowplacelikehome.com Down­load: She Comes in Colour Stereo, Au­tumn’s Chil­dren, Ro­mola Parts 1, 2 & 3

El Pin­tor

It’s 12 years since

ear­marked In­ter­pol as über-cool am­bas­sadors of 21st-cen­tury post-punk. The New York­ers’ fifth al­bum (and first since bassist Car­los Den­gler’s frac­tious de­par­ture) is less about a band re­born than a semi-suc­cess­ful bat­tle with an on­go­ing cre­ative sta­sis. Singer/gui­tarist Paul Banks’s bass play­ing is no sub­sti­tute for Den­gler’s sound­defin­ing con­tri­bu­tion. In­stead, the chim­ing, riff-on-re­peat guitars from Banks and Daniel Kessler oc­ca­sion­ally suf­fo­cate the rhythm parts, so where songs pre­vi­ously soared, they now plod: My De­sire, Breaker 1 and Twice as High are frus­trat­ingly list­less. There are bright sparks. All the Rage Back Home and An­cient Ways en­thral us­ing ur­gent rep­e­ti­tion; Any­where oozes tightly coiled, edgy de­tach­ment; and high­light Tidal Wave boasts a Bond theme song force. A mixed bag, then, but not with­out some aus­pi­cious charms. in­ter­pol­nyc.com Down­load: An­cient Ways, Tidal Wave

ADAM CO­HEN

We Go Home Cook­ing Vinyl At 42, Adam Co­hen has no doubt come to terms with the fact that he will never shirk the shadow of his fa­ther (that’s Leonard, if you didn’t know). After a pe­riod of fronting rock band Low Mil­lions, record­ing only in French and quit­ting the mu­sic biz for a pe­riod, this fourth solo al­bum sees Co­hen in non­cha­lantly con­fi­dent form. With a style an­chored to acous­tic folk (So Much to Learn) that oc­ca­sion­ally drifts into soul and gospel thanks to the back­ing vo­cals on Love Is and Put Your Bags Down, Co­hen is mostly con­vinc­ing. The gen­tle de­fi­ance of Fall Apart is a high­light, although he veers into bland com­mer­cial sin­ga­long ter­ri­tory on the ti­tle track. Still, the over­all tone is of a song­writer per­cep­ti­bly en­joy­ing the low-key groove that he’s set­tled into. adam­co­hen.com

Down­load: Too Real, Fall Apart

Crush Songs

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