Album Covers of the Year 2014 Interviews

In contrast to modern patterns in music consumption comes our annual Album Covers of the Year feature, where, instead of forgetting album artwork even exists, we hyperextend ourselves to assert that it is an artform that is vitally connected to the spirit of the music. This feature, which is divided at times into thematic elements and at times into artistic medium, incorporates interviews with not only musicians, but also artists involved throughout the artistic process. We pride this list in being diverse and multi-faceted, as well as philosophically exploratory. See all of our entries from previous years or get started by choosing a category below. Happy travels through the artistic universe we’ve crafted for you.

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SVN SNS RCRDS (#35) Mixtape Download & Stream (French Record Label)

SVN SNS RCRDS stands for Seven Sons Records; we’re a small independent music label from Paris, France, founded in 2010 by David Gamelin and myself, Alex Poveda. A couple years ago, Thibault Signourel, Editor for the French webzine Hartzine, joined us in the adventure. Originally the label was just supposed to be a free space for us to release our own projects, but of course, things took a different turn quite rapidly when we started getting demos from all over the place. Since the beginning, we’ve focused exclusively on vinyl and tape releases in limited editions; digital distribution isn’t really our thing, and the CD, as a format, is absolute shit.

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Film – Eclipse Album Review (Inner Ear Records)

The presence of a certain amount of retro sensibility on Film’s Eclipse is indisputable, in fact embraced, but its initially high level of surface visibility only draws attention from the sum of their process for so long. The Vangelis synths and throwback science fiction effects (appropriately, there is a song here called “Star Wars”) are just one of the knives in Film’s drawer. Eclipse‘s foundation is built just as much out of modern cloth, especially when it comes to their beats.

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Top Albums of the Year 2014: Staff Picks

With wide-reaching arms and hungry ears, each of our writers has compiled his or her top albums of the year, for you to peruse our eclectic, atypical, and only occasionally overlapping tastes. You’d be well-served to check out every single record here. Vivian Hua – dance, indie, pop, psychedelic, electronic Troy Micheau – metal, electronic, experimental, ambient Jason Simpson – pop, soul, electronic, ambient Ian King – electronic, ambient, instrumental, pop Peter Woodburn – ambient, metal, garage, indie Judy Nelson – dance, electronic, indie, pop, hip-hop

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Dream Police – Hypnotized & Cult of Youth – Final Days Comparative Album Reviews (Sacred Bones)

Every record is an island. An artist’s statements shouldn’t always be judged on trends, the label they’re on, or what other people are doing. Perhaps they shouldn’t even be judged against that artist’s own work. It’s all too common in the current state of music journalism or criticism to hear, “This isn’t as good as their old stuff,” or as whatever the landmark release is in that genre. Just look at how every shoegaze record has been measured again My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. Still, when a label releases two records on the same day, it’s hard not to read into it, or at least wonder if there’s some grand vision at work. Especially when that label is Sacred Bones, who

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My Brightest Diamond & Goapele Live Show Reviews: Twin Nights of Powerful Females at Doug Fir Lounge

This week, I found myself at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge three days in a near row. While it is perhaps my second must frequented venue after Holocene, rarely do I have the chance to go so many times in one week, and to observe such varying acts. Hence, in celebration of today’s full moon in Gemini — just like our Intuitive Navigation event tomorrow eve at Holocene — I shall endeavor a twin review of two notable female acts: Bay Area R&B singer Goapele and indie rock veteran My Brightest Diamond, both of whom put on great shows, but in vastly different ways and to vastly differing crowds. The full moon represents the femininity and intuition, and today’s Full Moon

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