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Workshop Hi-Fi for August

posted by Matt Pierce on August 04, 2015

Let's have a look at what's been playing in the workshop lately. Besides heavy rotation of the latest and amazing (and free!) Wilco album, I did manage to discover a few other new albums that you might find interesting. 

Let's start with most serious and work our way up. Other Lives is a band I discovered after their second release, Tamer Animals. This band drips with big sounds, cinematic arrangements and a richness that was made for headphone naps. Seeing them live a couple years ago was amazing, and the songs translated perfectly within a great sounding venue. This record extends the band's depth and precision and seems to command your attention. It's not a light listen, almost too substantial for background fill – more suited for you to block off some time and really dedicate to it. Best for an end of your workday decompression. Pour a drink, get in that lounge chair and enjoy.

Next album is Vestiges & Claws by José Gonázlez. This is his first release in over seven years... Has it really been that long?! Some reviews seem disappointed that with such amount of time between records, maybe we should expect a reinvention or greater evolution. This record is a great next record, it's not leaps different, and that's what I like. That's apparently what José likes. No bold experiments here, we get the same distinctive guitar work and bright rhythms we want from him. It's like a friend you haven't seen in years and instead of whining about 'where've you been', just enjoy your time together and catch up. There's greater introspection and maturity, but 

Third selection this month is from a long-standing favorite band, Calexico. Edge of the Sun starts out bright and upbeat and rolls into something really fun and seemingly optimistic. When you read the lyrics, it's not that cheerful - "What do you see when you have nothing to feel? What do you feel when you're all alone?"

However, the delivery is so inspiring and earnest that you'll think about that glass is actually half-full. This release definitely shows growth and excitement with what's happening here.