August is a well-known dry month as far as music releases are concerned. It’s not as barren as the absolute wasteland that is the sequence of December and January, but it’s enough to cut the year in a distinct bimodal curve. The lushest month is usually March, by a significant margin, but most other months also receive their fair share of decent music. That’s not to say, however, that absolutely nothing comes out in the month of August. In fact, quite a few gems grew out of this desert, which, in a way, makes them ever so slightly more special. Let me talk to you about one such gold nugget, as well as one from the past, and something I’m looking forward to from the future.
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This prize has to go to New York’s Big Heart Machine, a progressive jazz big band for which the words lack. I tried to make it justice on my own website, but I doubt I was able to encapsulate all the beauty and phenomenal intricacies that lie within this astounding self-titled debut. Let me make it short and clear: Big Heart Machine is superior. Superior to most other things you might have listened to during that month, or ever! Not only are the compositions lush, complex, and scholarly, they are so without sounding cold or theoretical, but rather colourful and evocative. The 33-minute suite “Tamalpais” is a stellar example of this. Hopefully I have convinced you of giving a few minutes of your time to scoping out this awesome album!
Old, but Gold
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Innerty‘s debut, and only, album to date, Tabula rasa, is one that went by forever stealthily for many of us. I only came across it because I knew of the bassist’s solo project, and Austin mentioned to me that he also was in a band (this one)! Well, this release, albeit being over 5 years old, still stands strong when compared to more modern similar artists. The progressive, technical death metal mixed with jazz and post-hardcore of Innerty is eccentric and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but they deliver some truly jaw-dropping riffs, songs, and awe-striking moments all throughout the 50 minutes of the album. Really recommended!
The Crystal Ball
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I’m probably not the first or only one to be excited by the news of the new album by neo-progressive post-rock band Sanguine Hum. The sequel to their double album Now We Have Light—titled Now We Have Power, and being a single album release—is certain to be either extraordinarily rewarding or disappointing. On the one hand, Now We Have Light is still one of my favourite albums ever, and I don’t see why Sanguine Hum would change the formula or be the victim of a sudden and inexplicable decline in quality, but, on the other hand, the first album might have created unfulfillable expectations in me (and you!), and the prospect of an untouched formula can also leave an impression of stagnation where the novelty factor wears off. However, I am optimistic and hope that Now We Have Power will be a successful heir to its predecessor. The album comes out on October 12.