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Kevin McCaul's weekly spins plus music, radio and media thoughts.
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Kicked some ass at folkfest. Drove away crowds like no bodies business.

Finally, take a listen to Saintseneca’s long time coming Dark Arc via NPR Music. Their ANTI- debut is out April 1st. It’s a stomping seance, alive in the haunted spaces of your memories. Here’s my review of their Boston show from earlier this year.

Count the celebs came out to support Pono…


The War on Drugs' third album is evocative and pleasant if you let it float by. But its hooks sink in deep.

Stream Lost in a Dream from NPR Music’s First Listen

Coming off the heels of 2012’s triumphant Slave Ambient, The War On Drugs are back with their blockbuster follow up Lost in A Dream. Stream it now on NPR Music.

Even as one my most hotly anticipated release’s of 2014, it’s actually more blockbuster-ific than I expected. Lost in A Dream adheres to a “bigger is better” formula. From “Under The Pressure” to “Disappointment,” the first five anthems run over thirty minutes. Maybe it’s just unfiltered and as long as it needs to be, still, as spectacular and rousing as it is, it’s a lot to digest. The War On Drugs’ ambient tendencies have been unshackled, in this dream their music seems without limitation.

Last week, Stereogum worked to own the album’s story by issuing a whopping, thick feature on Adam Grundaciel and The War On Drugs. Despite it’s, perhaps purposefully, superfluous writing, it’s a must read if you’re into the band. Still, Ryan Leas is on point when ruminating about Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, the LP’s nearly endless recording and editing sessions, and the album’s run time.

This at once makes Lost In The Dream a more naturalistic and a more idiosyncratic listening experience. The ethereal and the human, forms abstract and concrete, are collapsed together into singular pieces. Rather than another album built around memories seeping in between tracks, Lost In The Dream is a record composed of songs that echo themselves.

Admittedly, I’m still working on my opinion of this new one. It took living with Kurt Vile’s Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze for it to finally connect with me. I think I’m waiting for my heart to heart with this LP, but it is unmistakably big and beautifully rendered vision.

The War On Drugs

Lost In A Dream is out March 18th on Secretly Canadian.

Usually every morning I read my Twitter feed in bed, bleary eyed and still half asleep. So it seemed a little surreal when I scrolled onto the details of Hamilton Leithauser’s solo album. The Walkmen lead singer releasing a Frank Sinatra inspired, orchestral colored, Rostam Batmanglij collaborated album?

Well I’m awake now, and I guess this thing is real. “Alexandra” from new album Black Hours is not as Sinatra as its video, but it definitely represents a poppier approach for Leithauser. It’s positively fit for radio play. Speaking of which, since The Walkmen rocked NON-COMMvention in 2012, I think Triple A radio is hankering for some Leithauser to spin. This could be it.

Stereogum has the release date and tracklist.