Sub Teal, Sub Teal (Self-released)
The first offering from Amsterdam-based artist Sub Teal (a.k.a. Britt O’Neal) is haunting, charming, forlorn, uplifting—almost as if she’s channeled the soundtrack and seasons of nature. While many ambient albums can be eccentric sleepers, Sub Teal provokes intelligent thoughtfulness and introspection. It’s also calming enough for meditation or a wind-down to end the day. Sub Teal is one of those albums that has the ability to affect you on multiple levels and can be interpreted however you’d like, but best when listened to straight through the 13 tracks for a harmonic full-album experience. Download a free copy at SubTealMusic.Bandcamp.com. ★★★★☆
Thee-o and Erin Powers, Inspiration (System Recordings)
Starting off sexy, Inspiration seduces the listener with breathy vocals and musical nuances reminiscent of Sade via “On Your Side,” and “Siren’s Call.” L.A.-based DJ/producer Thee-o and vocalist Erin Powers have again teamed up, but this time for their first full-length offering. Things heat up with neo-soul flavor, though the album makes a small lyrical misstep in the middle with “Adrift” and “Rain (Acid Rain Remix).” They reel it back in with some funky house on “Dream” and keep the sensuous vibe going for the duration of the 11 tracks. ★★★☆☆
Revolvr & Lea Luna, Machine EP (Dim Mak Records)
Machine begins pretty, then gets gritty. While the title track on this three-song EP does have some familiar synth build and drop patterns, the added layers of dirty, bass-y electro keep it from becoming just another forgettable formulaic production. “By Your Side” dips into dubstep, but with a more melodic appeal. Lea Luna’s dark vocals are a welcome change from the nasal, Chipmunk-sounding singers of late and make bass-music far more digestible for nonfans. DJ/producer Revolvr and Luna add fidget duo Defunct! to the mix on “Dirty Secret” to round out with a jackin, sassy offering. ★★★★☆
What albums are on Deanna’s radar …
JAN. 29: Mike Patton fanatics, take note! Your leader is back for another Tomahawk offering when Oddfellows drops. FEB. 5: Though I still haven’t forgiven the Eels for their contribution to the Shrek soundtrack, I’ll still give their 10th studio album, Wonderful, Glorious, a spin. FEB. 18: As the only man who’s named a song after me (OK, technically not—and the “Deanna” he’s singing to is probably a bit creeped out he’s after her soul), I’ve gotta support Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds when they release Push the Sky Away.