Now, Now is a band formed in Minnesota and based in Minneapolis. The band is composed of two high school marching band friends, Cacie Dalager and
Bradley Hale. After almost splitting up, they have radically changed their sound from brooding guitar ballads to jangly pop. Talent is talent and Cacie's vocal abilities and their combined musical prowess make this a must listen.
I mean, really, how could Kurt Vile's new badass album not make it into the Top 50. If you were lucky, you got to see him on tour this last week right here in OKC. You may remember his last album hitting the Top 50 back in 2015 in roughly the same place here. Not to sleight him, his music is definitely his own and this album remained on repeat more often than not. In particular, you will find two roughly 10 minute songs that make this album with 'Bassackwards' and the title track.
46. Eddie Berman - Surrounded By The Sound: Ten Covers By Eddie Berman
Eddie Berman is a brilliant guitar and piano player from South Los Angeles. I discovered him as a result of him and Laura Marling working together. This particular album sees him covering the likes of Radiohead, Paul Simon, Kurt Vile, Manu Chao, The Kinks and more. Normally I wouldn't include a covers record in this particular lineup, but his versions of these songs is so perfectly done, that you simply must listen. If you haven't listened to Eddie Berman before now, check out the album he came out with last year, Before The Bridge.
Lindsey Gordon literally just graduated high school in Baltimore earlier this year. She is the singer/songwriter/creator of Snail Mail. Her debut album got picked up by Matador and her introspective pop leaves you wondering how someone so young can have such depth and insight into the human condition. Look for big things in the future from this girl.
Wanderer is Chan Marshall's tenth album and her first one in six years. If you will recall, her previous album, Sun, garnered her a #6 spot in 2012, here. (Wow, I've been doing this awhile). This probably would've got a higher ranking, but it came out in October and I haven't got to spend as much time with it. However, what I have heard is her usual melancholy, yet powerful girl and a guitar sound that sends you right to your core.
Fantastic Negrito aka Xavier Dphrepaulezz, if you remember, won NPR's Tiny Desk Contest in 2015. He had played in various bands he led throughout the years, but also spent a large portion of his life as a club owner, gun runner, coke dealer and petty thief. A car accident left him badly mangled and he had given up music forever, until his son was born. He submitted his contest video at the behest of friends, tapping into a core Blues tradition from his youth.
We kick this cavalcade of music off with Los Angeles based band, Sure Sure. They are singer Chris Beachy, guitarist and singer Charlie Glick, drummer and percussionist Kevin Farzad, and producer and bassist Michael Coleman. Apparently, they have acquired much of their recent fame to the internet, which is fantastic for our current music climate. This band is all sunshiny, pop-driven beats being produced from their home turned studio.
It's that time of year again. Time to drop the Top 50 Albums of 2018. My music listening habits have definitely changed, as well as the way that I find new music. I think there was a lot of music dropped this year and bands that normally hit the Top 50 were left behind by a lot of the new things I found along the way. Hope you enjoy and here's to another year of killer tunes.
Here's the linkable list in case you missed any w/ a playlist for your perusal at the end. Follow the playlist over at Spotify. Follow the blog. Hope you enjoyed, glad to be back. Leave me a message in the comments and let me know your favorites of the year. More to follow.
I've been going to SXSW for a few years now. It has literally changed the way that I listen to music and go to shows. In the process of doing that, I started taking my children, because they have grown to love live music. Right before sending my daughter to college, I took just her this last year and we saw some really great bands, including this one. After moving to college, I saw that they were playing one of the nights in Chicago and got tickets for us. However, because I have seen so many bands, I forgot that we had seen them in Austin and I told her to listen to them so she could see how amazing they were. She quickly corrected her dad by telling him that she had been listening to them non-stop since we saw them in Austin, pinning down the exact place of the show. It was at that point that I knew I was getting old. Big Thief came out with their debut album just a little over a year ago and then quickly produced Capacity this year. It can be so insanely intimate one moment and then go into this an incredible guitar feedback riff or driving bass line. Adrianne Lenker takes words and turns them into a magical waterfall of complexity and suffering. The timing, guitar-work, vocals, all of it are just perfect. Seeing them in Chicago in the round made me love them even more, I don't think I've ever seen a more intimate, raw show.
I grew up listening to the sounds of the '70s. Fleetwood Mac, Heart, The Carpenters, Paul Simon and the like heavily influenced my early music listening. In my 20's, I 'rediscovered' many of these bands, diving in with an almost cultish obsession. It's no wonder that I love the music of Tennis, headed by the duo of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore. They have conceived this album aboard their sailboat, Swift Ranger in the ocean between San Diego and the Sea of Cortez. This album screams of sunshine and lazy, open waters and washes over you with the waves of love and heartache.
The next three albums in this lineup all contended for Number One. I listened to each of them an obscene amount. This new album from dance god, James Murphy, after a self-imposed sequester from the music world has been the answer to all those who missed LCD. I think it was just putting the headphones on a long trans-Atlantic flight and listening to the album over and over. There is something cathartic about his music and this album soothes all those wounds from his absence. There is a lot of 80's New Wave vibe to this album and while that may be the case with much of their music, this shrine to David Byrne and David Bowie seems worth noting.
It's been five years since Shields and Ed Droste, Dan Rossen and the boys are back with their fifth album. I have always been enthralled with the unique compositions of Grizzly Bear. The wandering time signatures, the twisting melodies, the dark foreboding all create a musical landscape that pulls me in time and time again. Ed Droste said you had to listen to the album at least five times to get into it and I concur. Dive in and don't look back.
Josh Tillman's altar ego, Father John Misty, former drummer of Fleet Foxes, has produced yet another great album. Self-immolating and at the same time barbed towards our current political climate. A diatribe on the human condition and his religious upbringing, Pure Comedy reaches down deep and creates a conversation with Tillman's relationship to all of us. He created a short film to accompany the album below.
Speaking of returns, it's great to have a new album from this young woman. Six years since Metals, her fifth album finds Feist with a rock and roll sensibility. Guitars ring out and leave behind the quiet, soft Leslie Feist in days past. Starting out with the heaviness of the title track, this album weaves through a much more thought out album with punchy melodics and a much, more raw vocal style. Her Broken Social Scene buds step in on Any Party to help out, of course.
Thanks for stopping by. I listen to entirely too much music and love sharing music almost as much as I love listening to it. The purpose of this blog is to do just that and bring you along the journey with me.