Crystal Castles, The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, and Slam Dunk all released indie projects this week.
The aptly titled III is indeed the third studio offering from Canadian electronic music duo Crystal Castles. It was entirely produced by Ethan Kath and features the duo tackling the topic of oppression. The twosome explored new sounds with the project and even babbled in analogue with help from Kath. The result is a more approachable product. Those put off by the band's sound on their first two albums will find something closer to socially acceptable norms on the new one. Although the music will make you move, Crystal Castles latest offering maintains their dreary undertones.
The Weeknd abandoned the indie world earlier this year after signing with Universal Republic. But the Canadian singer promises to hold firm to his roots. He is releasing Trilogy—a compilation of his 2011 mixtapes House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence—in an effort to attract new fans and convince old ones to continue with him on his journey. The music is raw and unforgiving. It's a ride on the dark side—nothing is held back and every corner is explored. Try out "Wicked Games" and "The Morning" for a better understanding.
Reigning singer of the indie world, Lana Del Rey released her third EP, Paradise, following 2008's Kill Kill and 2011's Lana Del Rey. The eight-track project features her take on The Clovers "Blue Velvet," which she recorded for an H&M ad campaign, and the very controversial "Cola." Like everything Del Rey touches—fans and critics will either love it or hate it.
Slam Dunk released their sophomore effort, Welcome To Miami, this week. Colin Stewart—who has worked with Black Mountain, Ladyhawke, and Cave Singers—produced the project. It shouldn't be the first indie album that a new listener takes on, but it comes in with a purpose and achieves its goal. The end result is fun, carefree, punk-inspired rock. Don't expect to have any energy left after giving this record a spin.