For The Record | Issue 21
I will begin with a confession, perhaps even a blooming one. I came up with the title of this column long before I sat down, tired and aching after a particularly gruelling and ultimately pointless economics tutorial, and wrote the piece. I often do that — dream up a title first, that is, not waste time listening to an un-ironic celebration of laissez-faire capitalism. I believe that titles are an essential part of any art, and are far too often misused. I understand that by brutally judging titles, and of course covers, I am potentially missing out on some wonderful, albeit poorly-branded, work. But a man’s got to stick to his morals, no matter how shallow they are.
Before I begin the article proper, I would like to sincerely apologise for my lack of actual music recommendations. While I certainly enjoy sitting in front of my laptop at four in the morning wired on over-the-counter speed and sickly sweet mochaccinos, rambling on about things that seem meaningful on an early morning high but fare much worse in the cruel light of day, I must acknowledge the fact that my columns have done little to improve or increase your musical library. That all ends now. It’s only 11:30 at night, and I haven’t had a No-Doz or a coffee since yesterday. Bring on the music.
Back to my love of appropriate titling… In the past few months, I’ve encountered two records that are so well-titled I almost want to write fan-mail. Almost. Beach House’s fourth studio album is called Bloom, and while I would hate to write something as cringe-worthy as “the Baltimore dream-pop duo have really bloomed over the course of their eight-year career”, I might be tempted to make a flower reference and conjure a Technicolour image of a poppy spreading its petals.
Bloom is moonlight music. It’s for midnight people and insomniacs, who need a burst of phosphorescent ecstasy even more then they need to sleep. To call Bloom beautiful would be like describing Monet’s “Water Lilies” as pretty: a gross, frankly insulting understatement.
Twin Shadow’s sophomore recording Confess is as brash as Bloom is subtle, but it couldn’t be better titled. The album is an intimate and self-reflective affair, yet at the same time an unabashed tribute to Eighties hedonism and exaggeration. Blast the album in your car while exceeding the speed limit. It don’t get no better than this.
For the record, both ‘Bloom’ and ‘Confess’ are among the top albums released this year and deserve your full attention. I plead that you experience them in full: start-to-finish, no skipping, no pausing. You’ll thank me later.