Tag Archives: all songs considered

(31) Days of Good: 12.11.12

Falling in love with new music is one life’s simple pleasures and 2012 was a fantastic year of discovery for me.  I’ve already featured a few of my new favorites this year, including Bright Moments, HAERTS, Porcelain Raft, and Vacationer (just to name a few), and today i’d like to highlight a few more.  But first I need to give credit where credit is due.  If it weren’t for the following music outlets, my music repertoire would be far less exciting.  Big thanks to All Songs Considered, Big Hassle, EARMILKGirlie ActionHead Underwater, A Heart Is A Spade, The Hype Machine Radio Show, Largehearted BoyKCRWNialler 9No Fear Of PopThe Noise Pop Podcast, Oh So Fresh! MusicPaste Magazine, Pigeons & PlanesPlanetary Group, PORTALS, Treble in Trouble, Winnie Cooper, yvynyl, and the one and only, Ethel Sale.  Now without further ado, please enjoy a small sample of my favorite discoveries of 2012.

 

CHVRCHES are a Scottish electro pop band based in Glasgow.  The trio has been generating quite a bit of buzz on the blogosphere and I expect a big 2013 for them.

CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share [single]
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Desert Stars is a 5-piece band from Brooklyn.  Built on the creative output, and impressive lead vocals, of Janelle Best, the band dispatches a very dreamy/shoegaze/lo-fi sound.  The band just finished recording it’s debut with a Spring release expected.

Desert Stars – Boys I Like [from Boys I Like/Farewell Decade]
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Drop Electric is an experimental rock band based in Washington D.C. and NYC.  As All Songs Considered puts it, “a ‘Sigur Ros-ian’ band with an epic sound.

Drop Electric – Empire Trashed [from Drop Electric Sampler Platter]
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Goldroom is Los Angeles-based producer Josh Legg.  “Fifteen” is the perfect Summer song — great production, soothing synths, and dreamy vocals, courtesy of Australian singer Chela.

Goldroom – Fifteen (feat. Chela) [single]
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London producer Sam Howard, aka Halls, released his debut album Ark this year.  “White Chalk” is quite possibly be the most beautiful song of 2012.  Definitely a favorite of mine, easily in my top 10 tracks of the year.  I’ve listened to “What Chalk” more than any other track this couple of months.  The production, along with the vocals and classical piano chords, are superb.  I especially love what Howard writes in the liner notes of Ark — “I hope you find a source of positivity from within the themes of isolation and death found on the album.”

Halls – White Chalk [from Ark]
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“The Minneapolis trio Now, Now has mastered the art of magnification: It takes small moments and invests them with larger meaning.” – NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

Now, Now – School Friends [from Threads]
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Pacific Air is an indie pop band, consisting of brothers brothers Ryan and Taylor Lawhon.  After changing their name from KO KO, the duo released their debut EP LONG LIVE KOKO this last Fall.  Leadoff track “Float” is one of the most infectious and catchy dream pop tracks of 2012.

Pacific Air – Float [from LONG LIVE KOKO EP]
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Patrick Watson is a Canadian singer-songwriter who’s been making music for over a decade.  This is one of those discoveries I wish would’ve happened years ago.

Patrick Watson – Into Giants [from Adventures In Your Own Backyard]
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“Over the last few years, I’ve realized that my experiences are not singular. I’m writing for people, not just me.” – Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) via A Heart Is A Spade

Perfume Genius – Hood [from Put Your Back N 2 It]
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“Simple in structure and free of flash, it’s the style that has us craving more. They blend a punkish retro vibe with a head-nodding new energy and a pop sensibility.” – Pigeons & Planes

Shadows On Stars – Now You’re Mine [from Shadows On Stars]
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Power-pop garage rock from Passion Pit’s Ayad Al Adhamy.  I live 3 miles from the beach and I go maybe once a year, which makes this song fitting.

Team Spirit – Fuck The Beach [from Team Spirit EP]
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“‘Mtn Tune’ is the ideal summer anthem. Complimentary vocals, dancy synths and a guitar/drum combination that reminds one of The Neighbourhood — this song has it all. Be it on a beach or in your back yard, let Trails and Ways guide your dance in the sun, and inhale the blissful existence of summer.” – EARMILK

Trails and Ways – Mtn Tune [single]
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Like most American’s this holiday season, I want to buy a diamond ring from Zales because of retro-esque pop ballad.

Various Cruelties – If It Wasn’t for You [from Various Cruelties]
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(31) Days of Good: 12.6.12

2012 had more than a handful of impressive debut full-lengths, including Alabama Shakes’ Boys & Girls, Porcelain Raft’s Strange Weekend, and Jack White’s Blunderbuss.  The tracks below don’t even begin to scratch the surface of debuts this year, but these are a few of my favorites.

 

The buzz band of 2011 did not disappoint.  If you have yet to give this record a chance, you’re only hurting yourself.  It’s more than just “Southern rock”.  It’s rock and soul at it’s best, due in large part to Brittany Howard’s incredible voice.

Alabama Shakes – Heavy Chevy [from Boys & Girls]
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Chilean indie-pop at it’s best.  I have no idea what they are singing about, but I love it.  This particular track sounds like M83 in Spanish.

Astro – Panda [from Astro]
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Bright Moments is the brain child of multi-instrumentalist Kelly Pratt (best known for his work with Beirut and Arcade Fire).  Natives is a very uplifting record (i’ve heard it described as “sunny-pop”).  Whenever I listen, I feel like going on adventures.  With tracks like “Tourists”, “Travelers”, and “Drifters”, maybe adventures is exactly what Pratt had in mind.

Bright Moments – Travelers [from Natives]
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Critics shat all over Clock Opera’s debut full-length, but I enjoyed it immensely.  Was it perfect?  No, but how many perfect albums are there?  Ways To Forget has a handful of fantastic tracks, including “Let Go The Lifeboats”, “11th Hour”, “Belongings”, “Move To The Mountain”, and best of all, the lead-off track “Once And For All”.

Clock Opera – Once And For All [from Ways To Forget]
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Exitmusic’s (Brooklyn husband-wife duo Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino) Passage was one of my top 10 albums of 2012.  An amazing and emotionally charged record that I seem to enjoy more with every listen.  If Beach House were to team up with Sigur Rós, I imagine it would sound like this.

Exitmusic – White Noise [from Passage]
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J. Tillman (former drummer for Fleet Foxes) released his debut solo album as Father John Misty this year.  I’m still a bit surprised with how much I like Fear Fun.  I’m generally not a fan of freak-folk/jam-band music, but there’s something about Father John Misty’s sound that I like.  I should also add that this was one of my highlights at this year’s Outside Lands.  One of the best set’s I caught and it was totally on accident.

Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings [from Fear Fun]
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Jack White is one of God’s gifts to rock music.  Easily one of the most prolific rock musicians of my generation.  Now, after music slutting it up in so many great bands over the years, White released his first solo record this year, Blunderbuss.  If you’re not hooked on this record after you listen to “Sixteen Saltines”, there’s something wrong with you.  Robin Hilton (NPR: All Songs Considered) puts it best — “White writes better about youth and the teen years, the school years, better than anybody.”  Mr. White totally blew me away at this year’s Outside Lands.  If you get the chance, you MUST see him live.

Jack White – Sixteen Saltines [from Blunderbuss] [stream]
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The Lumineers debut is folk-rock at it’s best — gritty, raw, and heartfelt.  I’m very interested to see what’s next for this Denver trio.

The Lumineers – Stubborn Love [from The Lumineers]
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Porcelain Raft is the brain child of Italian born Mauro Remiddi.  Over the last couple of years, Remiddi has teased us with some impressive EPs and singles and toured extensively, with the likes of The Antlers, Youth Lagoon, and M83.  His debut LP, Strange Weekend, is one of my favorites.  Definitely in my top 10 of the year.  With so many great tracks to pull from, i’ll make it easy on myself and go with the first track I ever heard.

Porcelain Raft – Drifting In And Out [from Strange Weekend]
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Purity Ring is an indie-electronic duo from Canada.  I’ve heard them compared to The Knife, which is a bit of a stretch in my opinion.  If I were to compare them to anybody, you could find some production similarities with Crystal Castles.  With that said, they have a really cool, very synth heavy, sound that they’ve made their own.

Purity Ring – Fineshrine [from Shrines]
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Tanlines are an electronic, indie-pop duo from Brooklyn.  Mixed Emotions was a strong debut and an undeniably fun record.  Bummed I missed them out Outside Lands this year.

Tanlines – All Of Me [from Mixed Emotions]
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When I listen to the experimental and up-beat sounds on Vacationer’s debut album, Gone, I go on adventures in my memories.  I can’t help but picture myself as a carefree kid at the lake every summer, crushing on girls i’ll never see again.  Gone is childhood memories and chill-wave music wrapped into one and I love it.

Vacationer – Be With You [from Gone]
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