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.
Wednesday morning, the week is barely half in and already I really would like to start the weekend right now. On days like these, that seem to last forever, it is important to have the right music with me. To get me through the day and drag me into the night, a loong, dark night full of intense sleeping.
One the cool new bands I recently discovered is Electric Guest. The vid above is their newest release, which is from the album they'll be releasing later this year. It's upbeat & sunny and it's the kind of song you can sing all day long. Cuz it's just really good. Follow the link to their bandcamp-page aswell, there's a 2-track EP there from last May, which is really cool. These 2 songs are slower and show a different side of this band, but great tunes nonetheless.
With good music like this, I might just it make through the day. Wish me luck..
Not so long ago I was contacted about this band releasing a new EP. Australian band goodbyemotel is on a rise, with their music being included in some (Hollywood) tv-shows and movies. I listened to their new EP (which you can download for the cost of your emailaddress) for a few days now & it reminded me of that typical USA-rock I used to listen to when I was much younger. There are some catchy tunes, but the lyrics are pretty basic and the music doesn't surprise for a moment.
So why do I spend my Monday morning writing about this band? Because openingtrack Red Room is a really cool track and makes it totally worth to download this album. There's more energy buzzin' through & it makes me want to jump around the house (which made me spill my precious morning coffee) on a Monday morning. Not an often enjoyed sensation I can tell you. So looking for a killer track to get you going this week? Try this every morning and you'll wake up dancing in the shower.
A few days ago Warm Weather contacted me about their new single and now that I've been hearing it for a few days I can only tell you one thing: It F*cking Rocks! I reviewed their EP "dances" last June and was very charmed by the 5 tracks I heard back then, even calling it one of the best EPs of the year at that time. This new track is a step up though. They sound more alive, the harmonies are more in balance. It sounds a bit vague, but I really wanted to figure out for myself why I enjoy this one track so much, and why I enjoy it so much more than the EP I heard last year, and back then really liked.
No matter what I think of it though, this is a great new song & you should not even care what I type, you should really just enjoy this awesome new track (just like me..).
There's this huge list of artists in my IE-favourites that I really should pay attention to at some point. Every once in a while i open it and click on a few bands, to listen to it a few times and decide if I want to buy it, write about it, delete it, or keep it undecided for some more time. Dress Rehearsal made it onto the "write about it"-list with this fine track Morning Grey. It's part of a 2-track EP called "The Lazy River Road", and the other track is not bad, but not memorable either. Making this an ok release with one really good song on it. In November they also released a little 5-track acoustic cover EP, which is worth checking out.
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.
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.
I admit it. I'm still too much into the great music I've heard in 2011 to be really heading forward. Although I've discovered some great new artists over the last few days (all 2011-releases though) for now I still prefer to post some new tracks from those that have gathered my respect and love over the 12 months that are now the year behind us.
Somewhere near the end of that year I saw this video passing by of Small Houses doing a little solo show for halfwayhousemusic.com (click that link to see & download all 4 great songs). It is more proof of the subtle finger-picking that supports his sharp and somewhat raw voice. Which seems to be custom-made for the sweet songs Jeremy Quentin writes.
(I was gonna leave it with that, you could've found the rest of the songs on your own, but this version of Late July is painfully beautiful. I couldn't not include it..)
Among my favourite 5 EPs of 2011 was Conveyor's "Sun Ray EP". It was creative, a little different but it contained 4 great songs, with Milkman being one of those songs I could sing for days in a row all day @work. They're working on their debut album at this very moment and they were so kind to send me the 1st single they'll be releasing soon. It's a great track, that instantly sounds like Conveyor, mainly due to the easy-to-reckonize vocals. And just like the tracks on that 2011-EP it is highly contagious. It's a great start of any day, aswell as another cool preview of the album to come.
Btw, if you click here you can see the band do a live version of this song played in a kitchen(!). I prefer the album-version, but the vocals contain more emotions in the live-version (if that makes any sense..).
(please click on the title of this item to watch, as the autoplay-commercial drives me insane)
That's 2 times FOE in one night, can it get any better? Told you I'd start off the new year with some great stuff, so here's FOE performing 2 songs live & acoustic for DIY TV and she's doing a great job at it. Also pay some attention to the guy doing a bit of backing vocals while working that tambourine, he's hilariously numb. But FOE's voice & the easy way the songs work acoustic is what truly amazed me the 1st time I heard this. Great little set!
Welcome to 2012. I wanted to make this 1st post of the new year a little of a special one and FOE is the perfect artist for something special. I can't figure out what it is about her that gets my attention all the time, probably cuz she is so different from your average (rock-)girl. This new track, which is being released next week, is the last single before her debut album (finally) drops on January 16th. The track is really nice, but after the great things we've heard so far and the killer advent calender she created in December I find myself a little unsatisfied with this track. It's a bit too much Lady Gaga for my taste, it doesn't have that edge FOE overwhelmed me with on that epic "Hot New Trash"-ep. Still a nice song, maybe it'll grow on me & nonetheless I simply can not wait for that album to drop. Could be the 1st great album of 2012, if someone doesn't beat her to it.. Check the vid below, see and hear for yourself.
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!
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!