*thao with the get down stay down – know better learn faster
make no mistake: this is an album about heartbreak. thao nguyen‘s own heartbreak. even though you’re set up for this material to come off as whiney, she somehow manages to avoid this by sending it out with punchy and dancey tunes. a great album to put on as soon as you’re ready to stop crying about your own broken heart.
neal morgan – to the breathing world
after years of playing drums and singing background vocals for joanna newsom, it was time for neal morgan to bust out on his own. and on his own is exactly it – just him and his drums layering over themselves to create something entertaining and totally dynamic.
xx – xx
this is the one record this year that i am a bit worried i may literally wear out. it’s fun and romantic and creates a cool, sexy, almost dark atmosphere. it’s a perfect example of the excitement of anticipation – every time you think a song’s going to break out into something huge and deserving of a fist pump, they sit you back down and tell you to hold your horses, they have more ways to whisper something salacious in your ear.
*girls – album
the life story of christopher owen, one half of girls, is so insane that the first time i heard it i thought it was a farce (it involves cults, prostitution and a stint as a gutter punk). you can feel this in the rawness of his voice, but these aren’t songs about his tumultuous childhood, these are just songs about girls. fun, surf rocky, songs about girls. what better subject to fill an album with?!? after ponies.
* these records were purchased at an awesome shop in madison wi, b-sides. they have a great selection and are really nice about making recommendations.
royksopp – melody am
royksopp currently have a new album on the way but their first is a great one for a re-listen, or even a first go. and with the unavoidable buzz and bustle heading into a new year this makes a great soundtrack to just take. a. break.
the strokes – is this it
when this album came out it made new york city a rock star again and amazingly it still sounds fresh. this cover was actually never printed in the us because the band didn’t want buyers to be put off by the bum. luckily, their songs are way more rock ‘n’ roll than that move.
portishead – portishead
they only have three studio albums to their name and yet they’ve left an indelible mark on music and even defined and created their own genre of trip hop. seriously – there’s one other band that you’d put in the trip hop bucket and i can’t be bothered to name them. every member is now working with and influencing artists that are creating a lot of the best music around. anyway, so what i was saying is this album is perfection and i want to hug it.
beth gibbons and the rustin’ man – out of season
guess what. i love portishead. their singer beth gibbons doesn’t escape the love fest with this solo album, though it has a completely different tone; dark and a little brooding, if it was a scent it would be like old libraries and snow.
and now, take a listen to some songs from these albums!