Absolutely Love & Adore:
Fleet Foxes (self titled) – Layered haunting harmonies. Voices ringing out like bells. An updated CSNY with less twang, more melancholy. Particularly love “He Doesn’t Know Why”, “Oliver James” and “Your Protector”. But you may want to start with “White Winter Hymnal” which is probably their biggest hit so far. LOVE!
Sea Wolf “Get to the River Before It Runs Too Low” (EP) – This came out before their full album you may remember me raving about, but I didn’t get the EP until I saw them live. I already had two songs off it, but I’m so glad I got it because “Sea Monuments” is just lovely. Yay Sea Wolf!
Joseph Arthur “Vagabond Skies” (EP) – Third of the four EPs he’s putting out this year. Plus a full album due September 30! Happy for me because I just can’t get enough of this dude’s music. My favorite off this EP is the first song “Slow Me Down”, but really I like the WHOLE THING. 🙂
The Fratellis “Here We Stand” – These guys are just pure infectious fun, I don’t know see how it would possible to not enjoy their music. They just make me want to stand up and dance!! Michelle doesn’t like this album as much as their first, but it pushes all the right buttons for me. My faves are “Baby Doll” and “Shameless” which gives me a total John Lennon vibe.
Favorite Singles (not on any of the above albums):
- “Landlocked Blues” (live from Pantages Theater) Conor Oberst
- “Backwards Walk” Frightened Rabbit
- “Josephine St” I Love Math
- “My Only Offer” Mates of State
- “When I Get to the Border” She & Him
- “No One Else Like You” Joey Ryan
- “Hologram” Katie Herzig (awesome lyrics!)
- “You, Me & The Bourgeoisie” The Submarines (from this album)
- “Bang My Drum” Danielia Cotton
- “Beyond the Pale” Scott Kempner (total old school feel)
- “Saint C3cili4” Sunlight in Architecture
- “Alright, Okay” Ryan Auffenberg
- “The Ground That We Stand On” Hawksley Workman
Other Albums I Liked:
- Lil Wayne “The Carter III” – Most hyped rap album of the year? It’s got some of the same issues all rap albums have (sooo many songs, soooo many guests), but there’s a lot more singing, R&B style harmonies, etc., than on other comparable albums. I love “Mrs. Officer”, also “Mr. Carter” and “Comfortable.”
- The Audreys “When the Flood Comes” – I randomly bought an album by the Audreys when Mariko and I went to Oz (2006?) based on the cool photo on the cover. Fortunately turned out I really really liked it! I don’t like this album as much, it’s a bit less inviting. But it’s just as pretty… Like. Certainly. But don’t love.
- Port O’Brien “All We Could Do Was Sing” – You know when you rush off and buy a full album based on the strength of one awesome song? And then you get the album and it’s just not what you expected because that awesome song is not really the real style of what they do? And then you do like the album but you never get into it THAT much? Yeah, this is that album. That song? “I Woke Up Today” (brilliant!). Other songs I also enjoy are “Stuck on a Boat” and “Fisherman’s Son”.
Not really for me / but maybe for you!:
Shearwater “Rook” – So I thought I would love this. It’s somewhat in the vein of Sea Wolf or Fleet Foxes, that layered choral-feelin’ music people are doing these days, somewhere between folk and pop. The difference really here is the vocals which are quite…hmmmm. I guess I’d say a bit “operatic”, along the lines of Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley. Which is fine, just not my favorite style. But the real reason I have a rough time with this album is it’s just soooo sooooo sad. (Yo, I get my sadness on the inside, ha ha ha. But really.) I really like “Leviathan, Bound” (pretty! chiming!), “Century Eyes” (more upbeat) and “The Hunter’s Star (pretty!), but honesty listening to this just makes me get all quiet and lonely and curl up in a corner and bang my head against the wall. So I’m kinda avoiding it actually.
Jakob Dylan “Seeing Things” – Another album that while lyrically/musically has things to recommend it….but it makes me so sad I just can’t listen to it. Super slow and dirge-like and I don’t think that’s his strength as a musician. I am a bigger fan of the Wallflowers than most people I know, but I don’t love this. And the lyrics to “Will It Grow”, I’m sorry, are just over the top.
James Hunter “The Hard Way” – I really liked his previous album. I actually really like think this is a good album too…but turns out I don’t have much interest in listening to it. As with Duffy that I talked about last month, this just isn’t a style of music I often find myself reaching for.
Shamefully have either not listened to at all, or not all the way through, or so few times that I can’t legitimately offer an opinion: