musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Island Def Jam

The Airborne Toxic Event: Such Hot Blood ~ Out Tuesday!

Such Hot Blood

(Island Def Jam)
Produced by Jacquire King

Release Date: Tuesday, April 30

 


There are so many ghosts. Whether it’s the lingering scent of a departed lover or the voices of departed family members, the feeling of loss is profound, and dealing with loss over and over again can disfigure you. But despite that, there is also strength to be gathered from all those memories and the ceaseless voices. Since The Airborne Toxic Event’s first album in 2008, loss has been a central theme. It’s been a yin and yang of heartbreak and hope, mournful melancholy and ecstatic release, untempered passion and raw emotions. What has changed is that now the band has a richer, more varied palette at their disposal with which to tell their stories. There has been a progression from their debut to All At Once to this new album in terms of the narrator’s viewpoint. It began with the immediate gut reaction to pain and hurt, told from within. The second time around, it was an assessment from the road, with the miles of separation lending objectivity to the storytelling. That’s even more pronounced now, as the view pulls out wider. It’s the sort of perspective that comes naturally with the passage of time.

The band took a bit of a risk here with Such Hot Blood. With its deeply personal narrative and chock full of sentimental, romantic ballads, it’s not going to be what everyone wants to hear. This is not an album you can dance to, unless perhaps it’s a dramatic waltz. On All At Once, they wanted to show the world what they could do, and prove that they weren’t fixed to any one genre. For this third album, there was less pressure to “prove themselves,” leaving them free to explore where each individual song took them.

This beautiful album requires complete immersion with a good pair of headphones to realize how closely bound the song arrangements are with Mikel’s introspective mini novellas. Anna, Daren, Noah and Steven each add their trademark flourishes—a pinch of piano notes here, a dash of viola melody there, a vibrant guitar burst, a percolating bass, a dramatic drum roll… There are also cameo appearances of everything else imaginable, from horns to mandolin, glockenspiel to a touch of tambourine, synthesizer to string section, and even a wistful bit of whistling. Barely a measure goes by that the instrumentation doesn’t change—something goes away, something else dances in. Melodies ebb and flow throughout each song in a complex weave, with poetic lines and repeated phrases that cast light on key issues, the repetitions themselves a metaphor for getting “stuck” in repeating life patterns. What results is a rich soundtrack that tells the story in Greek chorus fashion.

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The Secret’s Out Now (but you’ll have to wait for the full album)

Ok, that was pretty corny, but inevitable. The Airborne Toxic Event release their teaser EP called The Secret today (3/11), just ahead of their third full-length studio album, Such Hot Blood, which might be out April 16 (no formal date from Island Def Jam). The album was recorded at the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville with producer Jacquire King (Of Monsters and Men, Tom Waits, Modest Mouse, Buddy Guy, Cold War Kids, Dawes).


Timeless by The Airborne Toxic Event

I will be reviewing the new album, so stay tuned. But for now… The Secret, locked inside feverish memories, with a sense of urgency and the madness of a remembered love; you can’t hide, and everyone knows everything anyway… Timeless, the enduring soul, visitations from spirit; a close bond that transcends time, ageless, ancient, celebratory, defiant… The Storm, a wistful longing, the yearning not to be alone… Safe, lost in one’s thoughts, in a half-forgotten dream; the past is relived in the telling of a story, with words repeated like a chanted meditation. These songs feel more than ever like a sleepwalk into the pages of a novel, into the author’s memories with a small, focused light left on to guide you. This is poetic folk music infused with a pounding heartbeat and the dramatic flourish they’ve become known for.

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The Airborne Toxic Event’s New Single “Changing” & more on the way!

“The song was originally called “Something You Own.” It’s a song about conflict and resolution, resisting and accepting Change.” Read more…

The new album: All at Once (Island Def Jam), to be released on April 25th in Europe and April 26th in North America.

The tour: February residencies and shows in Europe – see full schedule. Additional dates to be announced February 15 on their official site – and I’ll post them here as well.

It’s all about learning to welcome change. Not just adapt, but a full embrace of the process of life and natural changes in our own lives, and in the lives of those we care about. Change is an integral part of living, but we are frightened by it. We cling to emotionally draining relationships and continue to play out time-worn destructive patterns and tape-loop responses. We hesitate to leave dead-end jobs, preferring to stay in our comfortable prisons. It takes an amazing amount of bravery to leave one’s comfort zone for the vast expanse of the unknown. To venture out on that unfamiliar road with a neutral mind, without preconceptions. With a child’s curiosity, let’s see what the rest of this year holds…

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