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QUICK SPINS: M83, The Stepkids

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 26, 2011 4:40PM

In which we take a quick look at a few recent or upcoming musical releases.

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

2011_10_m83_huwd.jpg M83's Anthony Gonzalez specializes in building big, shimmering mountains of sound that tug at you relentlessly until you find yourself teleported back to your teenage bedroom underneath a Tiger Beat Duran Duran poster.

On his latest double-disc Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, Gonzalez opens his arms wide to embrace wide eyed sentimentality. His dextrous mixture of '80s pop with shoegaze shimmer and whispered vocals that soar off into plaintive cries that could either be joyous whoops or lamenting refrains; it doesn't really matter which.

Gonzalez has never been shy about mining the past, and over the album's 22 tracks he digs deep and pulls out layer after layer of gooey reminiscence. It's like cotton candy built on sunshine and tears. And we can't get enough of it.

M83 plays two shows at Lincoln Hall on November 17 and both are sold out.


The Stepkids
The Stepkids

2011_10_stepkids_st.jpg On The Stepkids' self-titled debut LP specializes on taking things right back to the '60s with a mixture of soul-funk grooves, psychedelic song structures and aesthetic sensibilities along with a healthy handling of a jazz freakout flourish hear and there. We saw the band open for The Horrors a few weeks ago and we were completely caught off-guard as this unknown trio completely blew the headliners off the stage. So when we finally threw this CD in we admit we found its contents to be a little too polite after the live powerhouse we had just experienced. The songs were all the same, but the group decided to give them a vintage treatment in the studio, giving the proceedings a hue and tint that pleases but isn't as arresting or bottom heavy as we would have hoped.

That said, the album is a masterful stitching together of constantly shifting genres into one single masterful magical cape of sound. You want to get really high and get your freak on, the kind that's related to flying a particular flag and not the more modern version that includes plenty of bumping and grinding? Then this album is aimed directly at your sweet spot. Do you dig your music with heart and soul and a sexy sweetness that slyly beckons you to come just a little closer? Again, this disc will keep you all smiles.

In fact, do this. Pick up the studio album for hazy afternoons and late nights. Then head over and download an EP of live material performed by the band at the Stone's Throw showcase at FADER's Converse Rubber Tracks party at this year's CMJ and blast that little gem when you're tearing down the highway or you're ready to turn a modest gathering into a full-fledged party.

DOWNLOAD: The Stepkids - The Stepkids Live At Rubber Tracks