Monday, December 06, 2010

newmusicmonday #72:: The Russian Futurists

CBC Session
image:: CBC Session, MySpace

Genrealt pop, space pop
MembersMatthew Adam Hart

CityToronto, ON, Canada
Upcoming Tour Dates & LabelNo dates scheduled
Upper Class Recordings

It's not as if Matthew Hart's The Russian Futurists are unknowns, as it's received some acclaim from the first release in 2000, but it's been 5 years since their last album. The band consists of Matthew Hart and others join him for live performances.

Last month's "The Weight's on the Wheels" [insound; emusic; first single "Hoeing Weeds Sowing Seeds" free download] is a bit of a shift in direction. The sound is lusher and fuller. Several tracks from the album are streamed on the CBCr3 link above. His minimalist style is still there, but surrounded by clever arrangements that create a melange of sounds that aren't muddy or disintegrate.

"Paul Simon" from 'Our Thickness' {2005} [as well as 'Me, Myself, and Rye: An Introduction to The Russian Futurists' {2006}] is a bit of pop confection that's been featured on Samsung phones. I like the video shot in Toronto with Matthew's nonchalant demeanor. In my mind, it's merging 70s sugar pop, backed with horns, and juxtaposed with his low key vocals.

"Let's Get Ready to Crumble" is the title track to the 2003 album of the same title, fuses his low-fi sound to an interpretation of 80s UK synthpop::

The new album, The Weight's on the Wheels, has more mergings of styles and influences with production help from Michael Musmanno {Outkast, Lilys, Arrested Development}. A deft ear can hear Matthew's hiphop background bubbling through. The Pitchfork review on the album is a bunch of words that typically really don't say much. Well, I do agree that Matthew's pushing his vocals up in the mix on this album, which might take a bit of getting used to. The KCRW blog does a better succinct job here. The 10 tracks are all streamed on CBCr3 {above} and I suggest checking them out—and keep it going to hear older tracks like "C'mon" with a nod to psychedelia with a twist.

I like where this album is going in a trajectory, with tight lyrics and a willingness to eschew obvious and pedestrian pop hooks—the hallmark of an obvious cash grab.

The duet with ex-Heavy Blinkers' vocalist Ruth Minnikin {left}, "One Night, One Kiss" is a great pop song. There's not much edge here, but that's not the point. It's crafted indie pop to satisfy cravings for sweets::

Twitterversion:: [blog+videos] #newmusicmonday featuring #Toronto's The Russian Futurists. New album out, 'The Weight's on the Wheels' @Prof_K

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