28-01-2012 // Album: F&M - Wish You Were Here|
Four days ago I expressed my love for "I Wish You Were Here", a beautiful song by F&M. I was a little worried how my love for that one song would be influenced if the rest of the album was not as good, but I had nothing to worry about. The rest of the 8-track album is very good. In all fairness, "I Wish You Were Here" is still my favourite track, but "Amsterdam" is also mesmerizing just like the other 6 songs are all beauties of their own.
F&M are married couple Rebecca and Ryan Anderson. And they take turns on the songs when it comes to the lead vocals, "Goodnight" is a Rebecca-track, "Amsterdam" a Ryan-track, if I can split the songs down that easily. It gives the whole album a bit of a strange order. As we switch from sweet, sensitive whispering songs to more roaring guitar-based songs and back. But all songs are strong and beautiful and showcases the talent of this couple. And I for sure am extremely happy to have heard the entire album as it has not let me down a bit. Get the whole album via their bandcamp, it's totally worth it!
25-01-2012 // EP: The Oh Hello's - The Oh Hello's|
This 4-track EP by The Oh Hello's (which is a pretty cool bandname) was released on December 1st and I've discovered it a few weeks after that. I've been hearing it for about 2,5 weeks now and it is truly great music. Opening song "Hello My Old Heart" starts of sweet, but builds up to become something amazing. It is the perfect introduction to this EP.
The 2nd track "Lay Me Down" is a good song, but a little loud after the intimate sweetness of the opener. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but it shakes you up aswell. The 4th track "Trees" is another great track, as this EP only has fine music on it, you can feel the passion burst out of your speakers as it finishes off beautifully. You can this EP for a "pay-what-you-want" price. Which is, off course, an absolute bargain.
20-01-2012 // EP: Warm Weather - Looking Through|
About 2 weeks ago Warm Weather's new single "A Promise" was introduced to us and I was pleasantly surprised by that track back then. Their previous ep 'dances' was cool, but did not stand out for some reason. It was a little too blank for me, if that makes any sense. "A Promise" was something else though. A beautiful, addictive track that kept on demanding airtime here @pluginbabynl. This week this LA-band has released the full ep and it's fantastic for every second of it. The songs stand out in the constantly changing playlist and I find myself listening to this 4-track ep more than once every day. Warm Weather released a nice ep last year, but they've released a GREAT ep this year. Makes me wonder what 2013 will be like with this band.. For now: get it for a "pay-what-you-what" price via their bandcamp.
19-01-2012 // Album: Young Fathers - TAPE ONE|
This was released a little over 2 months ago and i am truly bummed the f*ck out i didn't find it earlier, cuz this is a 20-minute mixtape by UK-hiphop collective Young Fathers that is simply addictive as hell! I had planned to just add all 8 tracks to this item and not type any lines along with it, as with most good music I strongly feel the urge to not waste your time by typing about it and just want you to listen to the music.
They have their fairly unique sound, but the rappin' style really reminds me of Q-Tip. In a total different music setting though, this is darker and has a certain rawness to it, there's also elements of reggae to found throughtout several tracks and that works surprisingly well. Making this an album with original beats, intelligent lyrics and 8 great tracks. Get it for free at their website & share it with everyone. This is great music!
13-01-2012 // Album: Follies - Sway|
Follies were on the blog back in 2010 with their Home Knit EP, and just a few days before 2012 would start they released their new album "Sway". It was kindly pointed out to me and now that the year has started I've granted myself some time to listen to all new things I received via mail and this is probably the best thing in there. Not because the rest of it is shitty, but because this is so extremely fine.
This band makes music that is a little different in the most positive version of different you can think of. It's folk somewhere in the basics, but they mess around your basic version of folk very nice. I've never been good in explaining what a band reminds me of or why I think something is truly awesome, cuz there's usually to many things coming to mind, but this album reminded me of Fleet Foxes & the Beatles at several moments during the only 20 minutes it takes. Not a bad score one might say. Neither is taking several spins per evening for the entire week since I listened to this for the 1st time last week Friday night. Second musical highlight of the (still very young) year? Definately! Download this album for free or spend just 4 dollars and receive your personal copy (i went for the 2nd option).
11-01-2012 // Album: queen electric - queen electric|
There's the December tradition of everyone blogger writing a personal list of favourite songs, albums, artists, shows, whatevers over the year that is coming to an end. But these traditions are only usefull if people read these lists off course, and that's what I've been doing these last weeks. I hear music I have missed while 2011 was happening and on some occasions that turns out to be a damn shame. I've already done some late 2011-shopping this week, and here's another great album I've clearly missed out on: queen electric by queen electric.
It's classic rock, but not just any classic rock. As queen electric just combines a whole range of styles into their own little unique style. There's a big 70s-influence, but in a good way. You can almost smell the 80s-sweat dripping from the oldschool glamrock, and yet this is very 2011, it has that harmonic vibe that was very hot last year (and probably still is). Check out the entire 7-track album and download for a nice "name-your-price" via their bandcamp.
06-01-2012 // Album: Bridie Jackson and The Arbour - Bitter Lullabies|
And there we have it. The 1st extremely beautiful album of 2012. Tipped by Matt Stalker & Fables I listened to "Bitter Lullabies" by Bridie Jackson and The Arbour somewhere around the beginning of this week and was immediately amazed by it's pure beauty. This is folk with some soul and blues mixed into it, and the fine way the voices are intwined in a few songs even made me think of gospel. Although I'm not that familair with that kind of music, I'm sure this is how it's meant to sound. The somewhat classical way of singing, combined with acoustic guitar, violin, cello, glockenspiel and more somewhat unusual instruments makes this a very specific record, probably not for everyone. But it's worth giving it a chance, because the songs are pure and every note played, is a note well placed.
There is no better way of truly falling for an album than spending an evening with it. Just sitting at the table, doing absolutely nothing but listening. Which is exactly what I've been doing several nights this week and I strongly encourage everyone to do the same.
05-01-2012 // Album: Jenny Berkel - Here On A Wire|
Released on October 1st of last year this is still part of my refusal to turn to the new year, but I'm getting closer, as I can honestly say that I had never heard of Jenny Berkel before 2012 had started. So we can actually consider this my 1st Newly Discovered Artist of 2012, a title not even close to being interesting for anyone, so let us focus on the music. Jenny has a great voice, plays a cool guitar (as you can see on the pic) and adds nice things to make her songs stand out. Violins on All is Undone, a little repetitive drum-roll on my favourite track on this 3-piece album-preview In the Hollow. And all throughout the 3 songs this singer-songwriter plays her guitar, sings her beautiful songs and reminds me of great things I've heard in the past. But in her own way. It may not be very original to say the least, but I can't stop listening to it. That's enough for me!
January 14th she is releasing the debut full length that these 3 songs are just a little preview of, I might just get back on this fine singer-songwriter later this month.
31-12-2011 // Album: 2011s Finest: Albums|
On the break of the New Year here's a list that'll warm your heart. My personal album favourites of the year 2011. Twenty in total, with a little story to express my love for the numbers 1-10. Please enjoy (although most people will read it next year, as I'm kinda late) and have a great 2012! With hopefully more great albums!
20. Lavalier - Lavalier
19. Josh Oliver - Troubles
18. Trotting Bear - Morning
17. James Hoffman - The Union
16. Jhameel - The Human Condition
15. Lou Canon - Lou Canon
14. The Willow & The Builder - The Willow & The Builder
13. Nils Frahm & Anne Muller - 7Fingers
12. Matt Stalker & Fables - The Man Who Said This Died Of Alchemy
11. Mother Mother - Eureka
10. Small Houses - North
A beautiful soft record for the dark hours of the night. Singer Jeremy Quentin has a fine voice that is made for whispering. The whole album is nicely made around him, with fine harmonies & great backing intrumentations. Which are never too wild, but it’s perfect in synch with the rest of this truly amazing record. Also great for staring across the water in a sunny day with a cold beer & nothing else on your mind. Perfect little sweet whispering folk-record as they are rarely made.
09. The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
Actually never even mentioned this album on the blog, despite typing over 400 items this year, I should be really ashamed of myself. The thing is, I never really was into The Decemberists and received this album as a gift from someone. It ended up on my iPad and all of a sudden I realized that it’s a great almost-asleep album. That may sound bad, but I actually fell asleep to this album for at least 4 months straight this year and still know all the lyrics to the last song on the album. This record does something special, probably because I’ve never really listened to it outside of my bedroom, but it definitely deserves a place on this list. Not only because I know the lyrics and it’s among the most played records on my iPad, but mainly because it is really a fantastic album. For sure gonna fall asleep to it later tonight.
08. Bryan John Appleby - Fire On The Vine
A bit of a late bloomer is this album as I really enjoyed it for a few days when I 1st ran into it, but then it slowly faded out in the huge stream of great music I was encoutering. But these last few weeks of re-listening all my albums to find the best I’ve heard I have renewed my love for it and that love grows everytime I hear it. And I’ve been hearing it A LOT this month. Bryan John Appleby has a great voice and writes beautifully crafted songs. The more powerfull tracks like “Boys” are as great as broken hearted lovesong “Honey Jars”. His voice does it all. Simply beautiful!
07. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Probably the hardest album to review in a few lines, because everyone has an opinion on it. Without a doubt Bon Iver has recorded one of the best albums of the year, yet I had a hard time letting it into my head and heart. After being hyped the f*ck out & getting 5-star-reviews all over the globe I just find it hard to listen to something that is basically a little off.. I never really got that “King of Limbs”-hype, Radiohead made another freakshow album & the whole world wanted to have their babies. But let’s focus on the album at hand here, cuz I was extremely sceptical but I have to admit that this is a phenomenal work of art. There is nothing new to be said about this album, everything has been said before, so I will just acknowledge what all the music bloggers/reviewers/fans all over the world have said before me: Great! F*cking! Album!
06. Real Estate - Days
This is an album everyone could love. It’s not the best album of the year, but it’s just impossible not to like this album. It’s 40 minutes of complete careless music, the sun is always shining in the universe of Real Estate. This is probably the perfect feel-good album of 2011 for every music lover out there, I just cannot not sing along to this and just when I feel a little sad the last track has started, I remember that it actually lasts for 7 brilliant minutes. It’s a common thing to end an album with a loooong track, trying to recap the previous songs, it’s not that common that this last track is actually very good and probably the best song on the entire album. An album that excists of highlights only!
05. The Antlers - Burst Apart
The only band/artist in this entire list I’ve seen live, I should be so ashamed, although not all bands visit my country (unfortunately). Burst Apart is one of those albums being mentioned in all the Best-of-2011 lists I see poppin’ out all over the web. And why shouldn’t it be, it is simply of an extreme high quality, from the 1st seconds of ‘I don’t want love’ to the instrumental closing minute of ‘Putting the dog to sleep’ (which should get a nominee for best title of a closing track). I was very curious if they were able to play these songs live as good as on the album and they were, it was a great performance! At least as good as the album, which is amazingly good. It was over before I know it, also just like the album, but luckily I can just start that one over again..
04. Feist - Metals
She has the best voice of the year, that she can use for sweet little whispering and strong powerfull screaming. And with this beautiful album she finally shows the world what she’s capable of. Metals is an album where she goes all out and then crawls back into a tiny corner of the world with just an acoustic guitar. But that voice is always with her & it sings the finest songs. Florence & the Machine eat your heart out, this is how you make an album in 2011. 12 songs of pure beauty, that’s Metals.
03. Jalin Roze - The Brilliance
There was not a lot of great hiphop in the year that has almost passed. Watch The Throne was not as good as we all hoped it would be, and also other big names didn’t surprise us with brilliant albums. But when the esthablished names disappoint it’s always good to look somewhere else. Shabazz Palaces & Kuhlamity released some nice things, but by far the best album comes from Jalin Roze. The Brilliance is a fresh hiphop-album that’ll keep you focussed on the great lyrics & fantastic beats from start to finish and you’ll be loving it. Jalin Roze has a great flow & is working on some new things, can’t wait to hear it, but untill then I’ll be listening to The Brilliance on a daily bases.
02. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Fleet Foxes did it again. After their beautiful 2008-debut they took their time, but once Helplessness Blues hit the shelves it was clear they met all expectations and more. Helplessness Blues sounds familiar, but is definitely a step forward from the debut album. The songs are more powerful and have more diversity within them, which also goes for the entire album. With ‘The Shrine/An Argument’ being the perfect 8-minute example here. But as it works with the best albums over 365 days, they have to be amazing from start to finish, Helplessness Blues does that without question, once this album starts, it’s one beautiful trip towards the unevitable ending. It’s (only) 50 minutes of pure bliss.
01. The Deloreans - American Craze
The best album of 2011. Although competition was tough and there were moments I thought other albums deserved this title, I always ended up putting this record on top. It’s the most original record I’ve heard this year, it is impossible to compare with anything else I’ve ever heard. ‘Buffalo’ is among the best songs of the year, monsterrocksong ‘Leviathan’ always wakes up the neighbourhood, because it’s best enjoyed LOUD, and the tender ‘Dear’ is a surprizingly sweet, yet perfectly suitable ending to this fantastic record. And these are just 3 of the 10 highlights this 10-track album contains. Not a single second is wasted when you’re listening to this album. Guaranteed!
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