This week we have some sad news and some good news. First, the sad news: last Tuesday French electronic music producer, DJ Mehdi of Ed Banger Records (the label that signed French electronic music duo Justice), died after a skylight in the roof of his Paris apartment collapsed during a birthday party he was hosting for a friend, plummeting him and 3 friends two stories below.
DJ Mehdi was most known for remixing songs by Miike Snow and Architecture in Helsinki, among others, as well as for his popular singles Lucky Boy, and I am Somebody (which was actually featured on an XM commercial). Check out this sweet video below.
The good news is, however, that indie rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah has finally produced a third album, Hysterical (after the title track). It’s officially on the shelves tomorrow, but NPR has done a “first listen” so you can check it out here. Their last album, Some Loud Thunder, was released in 2007 and failed to impress. I’ll be honest, I am a huge fan of their first, self-titled album, which came out in 2005, and was incredibly disappointed by their sophomore attempt. It replaced the happy, upbeat “get up and dance” feel of the first album with a more downbeat, minor-chords-heavy, and at times discordant sound. I found it difficult to sit through – though admittedly that might have been partly because of the extremely high expectations I had of their work.
Now on to their third album…four years later. NPR writer Bob Boilen claims this album marks a point in the CYHSY history – that the band has officially “grown up”. After listening through the album, I think he means their sound has developed into something smoother, polished, and more mainstream. If you ask me, this is not necessarily a good thing. What was so charming about CYHSY was their complete and utter lack of sophistication. We loved the pitchy wailing of singer Alec Ounsworth, and the dance-your-heart-out beats. The new CYHSY is not bad, they’re just different. But then, it has been 4 years since their last album, and Ounsworth has even released a solo album since then, Mo Beauty.
I suppose it’s hard to see one of your favorite bands evolve, but I’m mostly just glad they’re still together and producing music. Also planning to listen through their new album a few more times and see if it’ll grow on me.