Boomkat Records newsletter

I urge you to remember this name: Masha Qrella. I found out about Germany's Qrella via a Boomkat Records newsletter that profiled Unsolved Remained, her second and latest album. She's supported Sonic Youth and Calexico, but remains relatively unknown. I know this will change if this excellent album is given more exposure.

Unsolved Remained absorbs in subtle and clever ways. It's mostly acoustic, but electronic wisps and details add intoxicating textures. Particularly beguiling, "I Can't Tell" lifts off with a swooning, sliding guitar, but is given depth with clicks, scratches and pops. Then unexpected fuzzed guitars muscle in and push the track into darker terrains. Surprises like this are offered throughout, never letting the album sink into mundane, routine pop.

Qrella's voice, breathy and sultry, is a beautiful instrument deserving the attention it gets on the album, but the songwriting lets the music breath. Credit must be given to collaborators Rechenzentrum, Henrik Johansson, and ISO 68 for creating perfectly produced songs.

This just happens

Every now and then Rajeev, allows me to do a "shorts" post and this just happens to be one of those times. While I can never live up to the high standard he has set, I'll do my best:

Stream the new Morrissey live album, Who Put the "M" in Manchester, via Morrisseymusic.com. You'll need Quicktime to hear it. If you don't already have Quicktime, what are you doing on the Internet? You can also watch a live video of "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" from the Who Put the "M" DVD.

The White Stripes have finished recording their next album, says NME. No word on the release date, but the article suggests the album will be out in time for the Glastonbury Festival, which is held June 24-26.

Yancey Strickler writes about A Frames in the Seattle Weekly. Conveniently for this post, today Pitchfork reviewed A Frames' debut album, Black Forest, and gave it a 7.0 outta 10. Thanks PFM for giving me more to say here.

Glorious Noise go to an Interpol concert and almost fall asleep. I exaggerate a bit, but they did get bored. Bored enough to start analyzing Paul Banks's lyrics and that's never a good thing. I've completely signed off on Interpol, unless the next album is really impressive.

PopMatters reviews Menomena and Pit er Pat's recent performance in Champaign, Illinois.