I’ve been a fan of Future Islands since I first heard ’em a couple of years ago. This year, the synthpop trio from Baltimore released their third LP, On The Water, and it was an unexpected favorite of mine. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan and expected to like the album, but I didn’t expect to like it so much. On The Water is a damn good album, one of the year’s best. If you haven’t given Future Islands a chance yet, now is the time. My favorite track is definitely “The Great Fire”, which features some excellent guest vocals from Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, and might just be my favorite song of the year.
♪ Future Islands – The Great Fire (from On The Water)
I really like Telekinesis and was a big fan of their debut LP, Telekinesis!. So needless to say, I was really looking forward to their follow up this year. 12 Desperate Straight Lines is a lot of fun, full of catchy, indie pop songs that you can’t help but to nod your head and tap your feet too. At first listen, I was certain my favorite track was going to be “Car Crash”, and then I heard to “You Turn Clear In The Sun” and it was love at first listen.
♪ Telekinesis – You Turn Clear In The Sun (from 12 Desperate Straight Lines)
Mister Heavenly is Nicholas Thorburn (Islands), Ryan Kattner (Man Man), Joe Plummer (The Shins), and some guy named Michael Cera was the tour bassist. As far as i’m concerned, Mister Heavenly was the super group of 2011 and easily lived up to the hype surrounding the collaboration. The debut LP, Out of Love, was not only a great fix until Islands releases A Sleep & A Forgetting next year, it was an awesome record. The record has a sound that’s easiest described as 1950s doo-wop, with a pinch or two of early heavy metal, which “invokes some long-lost 1950s teen drama flick”. Now I have a soft spot for doo-wop and background vocals, so it’s a bit surprising I didn’t pick “Mister Heavenly” or “Your Girl”, but there’s something about the “unrestrained violence” of “Bronx Sniper” that makes it my favorite — I can’t help but blast the volume when this song comes on. (p.s. you have to check out the video below, definitely one of the stranger videos this year)
♪ Mister Heavenly – Bronx Sniper (from Out of Love)