Ladies of song shining in May
It’s ladies night every night during the month of May. Several femme fatales have been assaulting the charts since May Day and there is no sign of them slowing down.
Jumping right in, Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard top 200, just edging Norah Jones’ new album “... Little Broken Hearts.” Santigold’s “Master of My Make-Believe” also charted high, debuting at No. 1 on the US Dance/Electronic Album chart.
Out this week are several big albums, all fronted by lovely ladies. Let’s start with indie duo Beach House.
Beach House sounds like an Instagram photo looks. Band members are vintage purveyors of analog dream pop in a digital world. On Beach House’s latest album “Bloom,” Victoria Legrand provides androgynous lead vocals (think Nico from the Velvet Underground) that play well with the band’s sound.
On “Myth,” my personal favorite and album standout, Legrand sings about drifting in and out of momentary bliss. She calls out to the listener “help me to make it” before everything good disappears again. It’s a beautiful but typical Beach House track.
If you are a Beach House fan then you’ll like “Bloom.” If you need something a little more lively then try Best Coast’s “The Only Place.” It’s really the perfect summer album. Songs mention “fun” and “sun” about a million times. Each song is a lo fi rock snippet of summer fun. It’s reverb drenched tube amp beach rock.
Led by Bethany Cosentino, Best Coast doesn’t waste a moment of time on “The Only Place.” Each song is about 2 1/2-minutes long so if you don’t like one, blink, and it’s over.
Of all the albums out this week, the most interesting comes from — I can’t believe I’m saying this — Garbage.
Riding high on the ‘90s nostalgia wave, Garbage will be happy, not if it rains, but if you remember that stupid girl, Shirley Manson. Doom glam lead singer and hair dye enthusiast, Manson penned 11 new tracks for “Not Your Kind of People,” Garbage’s first album in seven years.
Darkings, what Garbage calls its fans, will find a familiar sound on “Not Your Kind of People.” Garbage still has that industrial, crunchy guitar sound, and Manson still sings love songs to outlying freaks and pseudo Goths.
The album isn’t half bad and ‘90s children and fans of MTV’s “Daria” will find something here. Manson blows Legrand and Cosentino out of the water when it comes to rock star attitude and sheer ambition.
Speaking of which, did I mention Beth Dito yet? Lead singer of the Gossip and walking fashion nightmare, Dito is more extreme than Manson when it comes to pushing the boundaries of taste and tolerance.
Dito claims to be so punk that she doesn’t shave her armpits and doesn’t use deodorant. She shaves her eyebrows and cakes on makeup like an drunk kabuki performer. For a fun activity, try an image search on Dito. It’s really impossible to sum up her look, you really just need to see it.
On a side note, Dito can actually sing. Her powerful pipes will be on full display when “A Joyful Noise” comes out Tuesday, May 22.
Also out later this month is music from Kimbra, the girl from Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and piano songstress Regina Spektor.
Gentlemen, it’s your move. These ladies are giving you their all so do yourself a favor and try some new music on for size. This month it’s worth it.