Apart from wonderful new albums from the National, LCD Soundsystem and Frog Eyes, I'm currently enthralled with Toronto-based electro-pop duo Crystal Castles' self-titled sophomore effort. I'm finding it far easier to digest than their debut. With songs like "Baptism," "Empathy" and "Suffocation," it's more melodic and far more listenable than its predecessor (which I didn't much care for). There's still plenty of vocal manipulation from Alice Glass ("Violent Dreams") and the occasional screetch of static ("Doe Deer"), but everything that first piqued my interest in Crystal Castles has been channelled through a poppier medium. "Celestia" is slice of shoe-gazey dreampop (think Ladytron crossed with Slowdive) that's even more successful in its execution than Bradford Cox's recent work with Atlas Sound. Grinding basslines, ecstatic synths and shoegazer tendencies? They've finally won me over.
Here are some other upcoming releases that I'm REALLY looking forward to:
Smashing Pumpkins - Teargarden by Kaleidescope Volume 1: Songs for a Sailor
Ha! Just kidding. Can you believe that album title? I can't help imagining Billy Corgan dressed up in a sailor suit. It'll be Corgan's first release with his new drummer, the 17-year-old replacement for Jimmy Chamberlin. And apparently it was released May 25. I don't think anyone noticed. Perhaps it was the unforgiveable album cover, which looks as though it was ripped out of a kid's colouring book.