Battles

Who has two thumbs and an itchy iTunes trigger finger? This guy! Yesterday was a remarkable day for album releases, and I invite you to join me as I celebrate my music buying binge. The first album I’d like to celebrate is Gloss Drop, the new offering from Battles. And instead of giving yet another review of the album with a sample song at the bottom, I want to show you what makes this band so incredible. For this, I call to the stand their breathtaking Take Away Show. Since 2006, La Blogothèque’s Take Away Shows have been showing a grittier, more unguarded side of some of the world’s greatest musicians. These shows feature off-the-cuff performances filmed in and around Paris, sometimes walking through a busy street, sometimes looking out a lonely apartment window. This episode, which features Battles’ song “Wall Street,” breaks the mold, with the math-rockers eschewing the series’ trademark portability and informality for the ornate beauty found in the Bertrand Salon of the Hotel de Ville, Paris’ city hall and mayor’s office. The setting is a surprisingly appropriate fit, as the songs that Battles construct are every bit as intricate – and in some ways, fragile – as the chamber music you might have heard throughout the centuries if you were one of the statues that line the room’s walls. Even if math rock isn’t your cup of tea, I urge you to watch this masterfully filmed and edited video and dissect what you hear, because the band’s brilliance lies in their ability to perform live the complicated parts that other groups would be forced to sample. The video is a feast for the eyes, ears and musical mind, and I can’t think of a better way to welcome their amazing album Gloss Drop into the world. Click here to learn more about the video, and here to download the album from iTunes.

Battles

Ice Cream

OK, so I stand corrected. My sister tells me that my bro-in-law Brian is the one who orchestrated the booking of David Vandervelde at their wedding. Credit is now where credit is due. Propers are properly assigned. But little did my big sister know that her corrective comment would give me the perfect excuse to talk about one of my favorite new songs, as it was bro-in-law Brian who told me about Battles. I fell in love with Battles by listening to their song “Atlas” over and over, letting the menacing drums and creepily cartoonish vocals slowly seep into my skin. That’s one thing I love about their debut album Mirrored – in a truly insidious way, it seems to get better each time I play it. Battles has a new album coming out called Gloss Drop, and they were kind enough to drop a single track ahead of the June 7 release to whet our appetites. It’s called “Ice Cream” and features a guest vocalist, but has at its heart the same rhythmic virtuosity that makes their music so amazing. Check it out below, and click here for the song’s frenetic, NSFWish video.