Holly Herndon’s A.I. Baby Sings
Welcome to the new music review where we connect you with some of the best new music from around the world. Read on, click through to our Spotify playlist and enjoy it all on 2SER!
Big Thief – UFOF
Holly Herndon – Proto
LA Mood – Breakfast at Sassy’s
Lucy Roleff – Left Open in a Room
Pottery – No.1 EP
Prudence – Euphoria
Radiator Hospital – Music For Daydreaming
The National – I Am Easy to Find
Various Artists – Sad About the Times
At the centre of Holly Herndon‘s new album ‘PROTO’ is Spawn, an A.I. that she developed with the help of her partner Mat Dryhurst, and web developer/coder Jules LaPlace. This type of conceptual work and combining academia with music isn’t completely alien to Herndon, who is a recent Stanford postgraduate in composition. Herndon’s previous records dealt with surveillance technology, and on her latest, this exploration in the relationship between humanity and artificial intelligence continues. Working with a human vocal ensemble, Herndon trained Spawn through call and response sessions, and the finished result is a tactile and remarkably human album.
In contrast, ‘Sad About the Times’ is a compilation that focuses on a pre-Google, pre-Shazam, pre-A.I era and explores music from North American FM radio in the 70s. It’s curated by punk’s go to masterer, and Total Control / Eddy Current Suppression Ring member Mikey Young, moving through folk, soft rock and psych. A blissful set of songs harking back to less complicated time and giving light to songs that might otherwise be found on a dusty thrift shop LP.
And The National are back with their most ambitious and longest running album in ‘I Am Easy to Find’. For a while now, frontman Matt Berninger has made a point about The National being more than just 5 dudes, in reference to how collaborative this project has become, and on their latest it reaches that pinnacle. Firstly, there’s a swag of female vocalists not only guesting, but often guiding the direction of these songs. And then there’s filmmaker Mike Mills who created a 25 minute short film that accompanied the album’s release, but has also been credited by the band as a device to help finish and bring the record together.
Plus new singles from RVG, Christelle Bafole, Jake Xerxes Fussell, The Stitch, and Sarah Beth Nelson.