21 August 2010

It takes an ocean not to break

While this may not be the most timely post, it does - admittedly - take quite some time to absorb and comprehend The National's latest effort, High Violet.

The album comes as the follow up to their 2007 critically-acclaimed record, Boxer. And although Boxer may have been a tough record to follow, there seemed to be no doubt or fear that High Violet would be anything less than stellar. Keeping true to form (and expectations) The National released to the public an album that is perfectly orchestrated, lyrically honest and distressed and haunting in the most beautiful way.

With many thematic parallels to Bon Iver's 2008 release, For Emma Forever Ago, the listener will experience 12 tracks of pained, baritone (a large contrast to Justin Vernon's soaring, soprano falsetto for Bon Iver) lead vocals, and a collaboration of instruments and background vocals that draw you into the exact places from where the band is coming. Whether that place be a martial discord, homesickness, anxiety or an understanding joy, the songs on High Violet unapologetically impresses those thoughts and visions upon anyone who takes on the challenge of really breaking into the record.

The first single from the album, Bloodbuzz Ohio, is a driving homage to the band's (original) home, Ohio. The video below is a perfect accompaniment to the song and a wonderful example of exactly how bands should not take things too seriously (or spend big bucks on music videos). Let me know your thoughts. I'd love to hear 'em.

Bloodbuzz Ohio by The National from Emilio Rodríguez on Vimeo.

13 August 2010

You Passed Me By

The newest Yeasayer video for their song, "Madder Red" and, while extremely odd, is engaging and gripping (in some unexplainable way).

The video stars Kristen Bell of Heros, Veronica Mars and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. And while the video is serious in it's content, I presume that it's meant to be taken with a grain of salt and hopefully a little bit of humor.