Elias Krantz: Lifelines
As the end of the year approaches, there’s still plenty of good music left for you (and I) to discover. Here are three relatively new releases from artists that aren’t afraid to feel a little adventurous, resulting in some terrific albums I bet you haven’t heard yet. The first is from Swedish artist Elias Krantz. I don’t remember exactly how I discovered this one, but once I dove in … whoa boy! The album is two side-filling tracks, but within each, there are myriad musical adventures spanning genre and mood. The opening few minutes is as ecstatic a sound as you’ll find, layers of sonic happiness, and while the music shifts as it goes on, from ambient minimalism to whatever the opposite of that is, that mood will stick with you. I really love this one.
LITE is an (mostly) instrumental band from Japan that plays what you might want to call “math rock” which makes their newest album, Cubic, appropriately titled. If, like me, you’re into complicated instrumental music, time-shifting, rhythm-defying compositions with a post-rock/jammy twist, then Cubic is definitely for you (think: Japanese El Ten Eleven or similar). And frankly, even if you aren’t into that (or haven’t realized it yet), this is groovy at times and emotionally stirring at others, half for your brain, half for your body. Give it a shot!
Savoy Motel: Savoy Motel
Finally, closer to home – especially if your home is close to Nashville – I present to you Savoy Motel. At first blush they kind of strike you as a typical rock band out of Nashville, albeit a very good one. But as their self-titled, full-length debut draws you in, there are many adventures to be had. Straight, old school, occasionally-countrified glam-groove-rock gets filtered and distorted through an almost prog-rock lens, with one section somersaulting to another in surprising ways, which makes for some super-interesting and engaging and fun as all heck. Savoy Motel strikes me as a greatness just waiting to be discovered and if you haven’t heard this one yet, well, don’t let me stand in your way. Get on the bus before it hits the road.