Today i’m pleased to bring you two favorites of mine that both happen to be from Baltimore, MD. First, the synthpop/post-wave band, Future Islands.
Future Islands have been hard at work since 2006, but 2010 saw the release of their debut full-length, In Evening Air. Known for their rapturous live shows, lead singer Sam Herring’s burly voice, their stripped-down sound, and with definite influences from the likes of Devo and New Order, Future Islands are a force to reckoned with.
In Evening Air
(to me at least) is an album that grows on you the more and more you listen and should really be played as a whole. But if you only have time for one track, here’s my personal favorite, Tin Man
This next pick is courtesy of the dream pop duo Beach House. The duo had a huge 2010. After releasing two critically acclaimed albums, they signed with Sub Pop records and released their latest, Teen Dream.
is a dynamic and intense album and definitely a top 10 favorite of the year. My favorite track from the album is Walk in the Park—
a track with slow, atmospheric rhythms and haunting lyrics, coupled with an explosive chorus. If you like what you hear below, I highly recommend checking out the rest of Teen Dream
, as well as the band’s earlier releases (Beach House
Today’s picks come from two bands that both released follow ups to fantastic debut albums. The first one comes to us from the American psychedelic rock band, MGMT.
MGMT burst onto the scene with one of 2007’s finest, Oracular Spectacular
. That album was huge and there was just about nothing wrong with it…except maybe that it was too good. Now MGMT had the incredibly difficult task of living up to everyone’s expectations with their sophomore effort.
Congratulations was released this last April and while it may not have the instant favorites and radio hits that Oracular Spectacular had, it is still a mighty fine record. You can tell when listening, that this album is a passion project and the boys made the album they wanted to make, not what they were expected to make. My favorite track is actually the first one I listened to—Flash Delirium. I’ll be completely honest, when I first listened to this I was somewhat disappointed. The track’s distinct clash of styles at first turned me off, but after much more listening, the song grew on me and it is now one of my favorite MGMT songs overall. It’s almost like 2 or 3 songs in one and the continuous buildup and eventual explosiveness of the track makes it impossible to not blast the song from your car stereo.
I was pleasantly surprised with this next band’s latest. Indie rock and NYC natives, Vampire Weekend, came out of nowhere with the 2008 release of their self-titled debut album. It’s not that I disliked that album, it just isn’t a favorite of mine. So needless to say, I wasn’t overly excited for the 2010 release of Contra
. However, after the band released Horchata
as a free download and as I started to hear more (thank you very much Hype Machine
), I really began to enjoy the album and it’s probably one of my favorite 2010 releases.
If I had to pick one favorite right now, it would definitely be Run
. The combination of syths, drum machines, and the swooning vocals of Ezra Koenig make for a fantastic track and one of my favorites of 2010 (the 2:39 mark is my favorite part, listen to it with good headphones and turn it up).