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  • Top 13 Albums of 2013

    21 Jan 2014, 17:10 by JaimeChiens

    Here is my 2013 – in music - boiled down into one arbitrary blog post. For nostalgia when I’m 30 – to remind myself I used to be pretty hip/’in the know’ – to keep with tradition – all of the above.

    Let’s start with the bad so we can get it out of the way? Gogol Bordello and Franz Ferdinand are two of my favorite artists… ever. Check the charts – they’re up there. But both of their 2013 releases were pretty lackluster. There are a couple songs on Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions that I enjoyed – but like the title, it ends up being mostly filler.

    Now to the golden 13! That’s right – I’m getting older, more picky, no more top 25. Try harder guys…

    1.Arctic Monkeys – AM
    There’s no denying this record belongs in my #1 spot – despite how little I have cared for these guys in the past. It’s great lyrics, catchy beats, great production, and it’s dynamic from start to finish. Mr. Turner & Mr. Helders have really grown up; there’s no way a record of this magnitude could have come any sooner in their career.

    2.Warm Soda – Someone for You
    Sugary indie-pop that is even better live. Matthew Melton was born to lead. Also, this is another record that made it to the prime spots because I’ve listened to it from start to finish, countless times throughout the year.

    3.Mikal Cronin – MC II
    I think MCII is 10x better than his s/t debut. What you might deem “hipster” music - I wouldn’t blame you. He sings about fleeting youth and nostalgia and I’m a sucker. It sounds good too. And comforting. Like your grandmother’s den, filled with sunshine and fresh madeleines and tea.

    4.Valleys – Are You Going to Stand There and Talk Weird All Night
    This is one of those albums I kind of ignored upon release, then decided to check out randomly, then fell in love with after first listen, and now hate everyone who doesn’t appreciate how good this is – especially for a debut! Montreal always has the best music. I can’t even put my finger on what makes this so good – each track is so different and just hits the right spots. I also love the snarky title / I would totally say that.

    5.Deafheaven – Sunbather
    2013 has been a year where I’ve let metal into my life. In part due to a certain acquaintance, in part due to this album. I’ve always loved post-rock. It has this sweeping beauty to it but unlike a Jeff Buckley song – it comes in crashes instead of whispers. Majestic as fuck, per se? Now add metal to it. Genius. Honestly Deafheaven’s earlier stuff – not that impressed, but they really hit it out of the ballpark with this release. And who doesn’t love the beachy coral-pink sunset cover – it’s like a big fuck you/gotcha to what you’ve come to expect.

    6.Chvrches – The Bones of What We Believe
    I’ve had mixed feelings about these guys. I loved “Recover” from the first listen, months before the actual album came out – but I didn’t really get the hype surrounding previous singles. After a few forced listens in the office from coworkers who apparently suffer from binge-listening – I came around. There are way too many tracks on here that I enjoy for me to not acknowledge them. Will I pay $50 to see them at Terminal 5 – fuck no but I will be revisiting this release well into 2014.

    7.Pissed Jeans – Honeys
    Apparently this is the album I have listened to most this past year – color me a little surprised because I mostly like Pissed Jeans for their live shows. In any case, this album is a lot of fun. Beer-spilling, yelling, angry at everything, fun. I read that the guys in the band all have full-time jobs, so no one in the band depends on the music for their livelihood – which could be misconstrued to mean they have no reason to give it their all – but in actuality gives them a lot more freedom.

    8.Primitive Hearts – High and Tight
    I like these guys for the same reason I like Warm Soda. It’s upbeat, lo-fi, indie-pop. Garage pop? Fuzzy line between those two, but it’s always fun to hear and the album literally flies by. These guys are on FDH Records which is the first label I can really say I trust with any release.

    9.Cyanide Pills – Still Bored
    Re: Warm Soda & Primitive Hearts, fun, tongue-in-cheek, power pop. Not as sugary sweet as Warm Soda, in fact it’s a little bit reminiscent of Ramones stuff. They also have a song titled, “Can’t Get it Up” – which I find amusing, and obviously starred on Spotify.

    10.Arcade Fire – Reflektor
    Not including this on my top 10 would be lying by omission. I would hardly consider myself a fan of Arcade Fire but they do make solid albums. And they do put on a good show. And I fully understand why they can easily fill stadiums. That being sad, “Porno,” “Normal Person,” and “Reflektor” are the standout tracks.

    11.Diarrhea Planet – I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
    This is a band I wrote off because of how stupid the name is. My bad, but come on. I ended up seeing them live before having heard the record, and I enjoyed their set more than the band I originally went to see. So reluctantly, I have come around. I’m already planning on seeing them a second time, and have looped several of their tracks. “Lite Dream” and “Field of Dreams” are my favorites, but I wouldn’t mind hearing the whole thing at any given time.

    12.Savages – Silence Yourself
    These guys have intrigued me since last year but I never went to see them at CMJ and Husbands quickly lost its novelty. I’m still on the fence between really loving their conviction and almost theatricality (absolutely admirable) but I also can’t shake the feeling of kitsch that comes along with it. They were great when I caught the end of their set in Iceland but it all seemed very, rehearsed. Which is disappointing since the thing I like most about them is that everything out of Jehnny Beth’s mouth sounds like it’s meant solely for you, and delivered with begging eyes and urgency – once you lose that, it loses the appeal.

    13.The Lovely Bad Things – The Late Great Whatever
    This is the band I went to see when I decided I liked Diarrhea Planet more. They’re fun, and it’s a good record, same vein as the other power-pop bands I listed, the only difference is this one has female vocals.

    Turf War – Years of Living Dangerously and FIDLAR – FIDLAR are two more albums I thoroughly enjoyed (and would have placed in the top 10) but I associate them more with 2012, despite official release dates for physical copies.

    And for a list of songs that almost made me include the albums on my top list but then I realized I was just playing this one track from each release:
    Son Lux – “Lost it to Trying”
    Chelsea Wolfe – “The Warden”, “Lone”
    Beyonce – “XO”, “Jealous”
    Twin Shadow – “Old Love/New Love”
    Skaters – “I Wanna Dance (But I don’t know how)”
    The National – “Don’t Swallow the Cap”
    Minks – ‘Painted Indian”, “Hold Me Now”
    Rhye – “The Fall”, “3 Days”
    Tough Age – “We’re Both to Blame”
    Twin Peaks – “Fast Eddie”
    Drake – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
    Haim – “The Wire”
    Weekend – “Mirror”, “Adelaide”
    Kvelertak – “Kvelertak”
  • top list for 2013

    31 Dec 2013, 16:18 by ericsadaddy

    TOP TEN OF TWOTHOUSANDTHIRTEEN

    Hi everyone. I know I say it every year, but damn 2013 flew by. It’s a little hard to look back on the year because it started on a really high high. Then some sad things happened and needless to say, I am happy to see 2013 go. Reminiscing is something I always do this time of year and I didn’t want to skip writing this list again because I enjoy doing it.

    Also, don't feel too bad for me. I had some really great memories and experiences this year, including an internship at an amazing organization. I got to travel to Chicago and Minnesota, as well as meet some great people who will have lasting impacts on my life. On top of that, I became an uncle very late last year and have loved watching my niece grow.

    As always, music takes me back to specific memories and that has had a lot to do with the ranking of these albums. There were some great releases this year but I’m going to keep this list short. So here it goes.

    ****DISCLAIMER REGARDING BEYONCE****

    I felt like Beyonce's decision to release a secret album at the very end of the year was her way of saying screw you to top release lists and I have decided to respect her decision. Also, some of the songs are amazing but I just haven't listened enough yet to consider it a top 10 album of the entire year.

    Top Tracks of 2013:

    1. Arcade Fire – Afterlife
    2. Farewell Milwaukee – Let Me Sleep Tonight
    3. Sky Ferreira – You’re Not the One
    4. Empire of the Sun – Alive (my summer 2013/falling in love anthem)
    5. Charli XCX – What I Like


    Best Music Videos of 2013:

    1. Arcade Fire – Afterlife


    2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Sacrilege


    3. Beach House – Wishes


    4. Digits - Say Goodbye


    5. Atoms for Peace – Ingenue



    Biggest Flops of 2013:

    1. Phoenix - Bankrupt!
    2. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Self-Titled (I give up on defending them. Up From Below was a great album, but that's been about it)
    3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito =x


    Honorable Mentions of 2013:

    1. Cold War Kids - Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
    2. Work Drugs - Delta
    3. The Naked and Famous - In Rolling Waves



    Top Albums of 2013:

    10. Someone Still Loves You Yoris Beltson - Fly By Wire
    I don't follow this band religiously. Every so often I'll check to see if they have a new release out. I stumbled upon this album and was hooked by the end of the first song. The album reminds of me the past month or two, a time that I have dedicated to allowing myself to feel however I feel and not beat myself up about it. Thanks SSLYYB for the support.

    9. Chris Garneau - Winter Games
    Let me just start off by saying this album is not the Chris Garneau I am used to hearing. It took me a while to accept that the old sound will probably never be back. Once I did, I was really able to embrace this album. I mean, what's not to love about this man? He's cute, has killer pipes, and makes dreamy music that I listen to late at night when I'm sad. I suspect this release will get more play once we enter the dead of winter.

    8. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe
    CHVRCHES reminds me of my roommate. He first introduced me to them. This album just plays well from start to finish. I don't have any specific memories attached to the album but it was really solid so I felt that I had to include it.

    7. STRFKR – Mirace Mile
    Yeah, they probably don't have the best reputation (especially with a name like that). But this album was SO fun and takes me back to riding my bicycle all day or going on extended runs. I miss the early spring. Those were certainly the best days of 2013. SIGH

    6. Arctic Monkeys – A.M.
    This is probably their best release in my opinion. I find the mood of the album to be really dark, which has helped me through my recent rough patches. His voice is so sexy. Am I the only one to think that? I doubt it.

    5. Born Ruffians – Birthmarks
    Holy crap this band is a lot of fun. I was honestly shocked by how much this album was in rotation this year. Listening to it while compiling this list definitely took me back to late spring/early summer. Ah, those were the days. Thanks for the memories Born Ruffians. Keep up the good work. I have yet to be disappointed by any of your releases.

    4. Lorde – Pure Heroine
    This girl really blew me out of the water. Yes, Royals was super played out (even though you’d be lying if you said you didn’t LOVE it before that happened). I listen to this album at least twice a week from start to finish. My only beef is that it’s just ten tracks. I hope all of this attention doesn’t mess with her style and that her future releases are just as brilliant.

    3. Arcade Fire – Reflektor
    This album was so highly anticipated that I think I kind of ruined it for myself. Don’t get me wrong…the album is amazing. It just took a few listens to grow on me. I will say that I doubt that this will be my favorite release by them. With that being said, Afterlife is hands down my favorite song they have ever made. The video is also phenomenal. Seriously, I could spend 15 minutes talking about Afterlife and how much it means to me. This album sounds both classic Arcade Fire and a new direction. I love that about them. I am looking forward to seeing them in concert in 2014, even if it means having to go to Barclay’s.

    2. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
    The latest album by this band proves just how great they are. Sometimes I feel like their songs all sound the same…and then I listen and realize how not true that is. There are some great standout tracks on this album. It reminds me of late summer and has been getting more attention now that the winter is here. It has proven especially helpful when I want to sit in bed and sulk in my sadness..but that's The National for ya.

    1. The Head and the Heart – Let’s Be Still
    I have been looking forward to this album for a VERY long time. I am glad to report that it was worth the wait. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite bands. This entire album is solid. I am glad to hear a wider range of style and instrument use this time around. I listen to this album from start to finish all the time. It came out right around the time shit began hitting the fan, so I think it is safe to say that this album will always be remembered as "the break up album". I think I am okay with that.


    Here's to 2014: great new music, great new experiences, and great new memories.




    The Head and the Heart, The National, Arcade Fire, Lorde, Born Ruffians, Arctic Monkeys, STRFKR, CHVRCHES, Chris Garneau
  • Top 25 Albums // Top 100 Tracks of 2012

    2 Jan 2013, 05:00 by JaimeChiens

    You know what I hate? People who publish their end of year lists the first week of December. Can you guys relax?*

    With that off my chest - here's this year's top 25. Along with a link to 100 of my favorite tracks of 2012 - on Spotify. These are definitely 25 albums I've played the most / loved the most - but the actual rankings are fairly fluid. #2 could be #7, and vice versa. No strong feelings and based solely on how i feel today. (which is great, thanks for asking!)

    *this rant may or may not have a little to do with my own procrastination / need to validate the 2013 posting date of a 2012 list. Oops.

    Favorite tracks of 2012 - handy dandy Spotify playlist http://open.spotify.com/user/nysmilez/playlist/0o9LskOaLGbnDdio3i40bU



    (25) Cold Showers - Love and Regret
    Fave Tracks: BC, Alight


    (24) Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light
    Fave Tracks: So Long You Pretty Thing, Hey Jane


    (23) Arrange - New Memory
    Fave Tracks: Caves, North


    (22) Grasscut - Unearth
    Fave Tracks: Impossible Windows, Trading


    (21) The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
    Fave Tracks: Biloxi Parish, Blue Dahlia


    (20) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist
    Fave Tracks: Neon Cathedral,


    (19) Merchandise - Children of Desire
    Fave Tracks: Become What You Are, Time


    (18) White Laces - Moves
    Fave Tracks: Impossible Windows, Trading


    (17) She Does Is Magic - Her Height in Heels
    Fave Tracks: Means Nothing, You'll Miss Me


    (16) Floating Action - Fake Blood
    Fave Tracks: Matador, Seized, Complete the Myth


    (15) The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past
    Fave Tracks: Nice Things, Gates, The Obituaries


    (14) DIIV - Oshin
    Fave Tracks: Follow, Doused


    (13) Mrs. Magician - Strange Heaven
    Fave Tracks: There is no God, Dead 80s


    (12) Breton - Other People's Problems
    Fave Tracks: Wood and Plastic, Jostle


    (11) The xx - Coexist
    Fave Tracks: Missing, Reunion, Sunset


    (10) Tanlines - Mixed Emotions
    Fave Tracks: Not The Same, Nonesuch


    (9) Chromatics - Kill for Love
    Fave Tracks: Birds of Paradise, Back from the Grave


    (8) Miike Snow - Happy To You
    Fave Tracks: The Wave, Devil's Work, Say You WIll


    (7) The Babies - Our House on the Hill
    Fave Tracks: Get Lost, Alligator


    (6) Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is an Animal
    (Technically released in 2011... US release was this year)
    Fave Tracks: Little Talks, From Finner


    (5) Kindness - World, You Need a Change of Mind
    Fave Tracks: Swinging Party, House


    (4) Twin Shadow - Confess
    Fave Tracks: Run My Heart, Golden Light


    (3) Mumford And Sons - Babel
    Fave Tracks: Broken Crown, Hopeless Wanderer


    (2) Japandroids - Celebration Rock
    Fave Tracks: Continuous Thunder, The House that Heaven Built



    (1) Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
    Fave Tracks: Wasted Days, Stay Useless
  • TOP LIST 2012!

    30 Dec 2012, 18:17 by ericsadaddy

    I feel obligated to do a top 10 list because I’ve been doing one since 2008. I do have to admit I was so incredibly disappointed by so many of my favorite musicians this year that it would be easier to do a top 10 FLOP list. 2012 was my greatest year alive to date so I’m not that upset about the lack of great music. A little warning to 2013 though: DON’T FUCK IT UP!

    Here goes!
    -Eric

    Top Albums of 2012:

    10. Passion Pit – Gossamer
    I don’t know why this album got such terrible reviews. It definitely isn’t as fun as Manners but I still thought it was a solid release. Take a Walk is so smart and one of my favorite songs of the year. I like that we can hear his voice a little better this time around. I’m still a fan.
    Favorite Tracks: Take a Walk, I’ll Be Alright, Cry Like a Ghost

    9. Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams
    This album is super dreamy. I get kind of bored when I listen from start to finish =\ but there are a lot of good tracks and the music is really beautiful. Somebody recommended them to me and I’m not mad about it.
    Favorite Tracks: Lonesome Dreams, The Ghost on the Shore, She Lit a Fire

    8. Breton – Other People’s Problems
    Okay, this band is SO much better live. They get soooo into it. It’s hard not to swoon, especially considering they are British and DREAMY. These beats are so good. I have my best friend Anna to thank for introducing me to these dreamboats. Now excuse me while I blast some Breton.
    Favorite Tracks: Jostle, Pacemaker, Electrician

    7. Stars – The North
    I always have high expectations for my favorite bands. Stars is one of them. I don’t think any album of theirs will top In Our Bedroom After the War but I still have expectations. The North is definitely no Bedroom, but it is pretty awesome and definitely better than The Five Ghosts. The songs that are good on this album are really good. I just love them so much. They remind me of my favorite city Montreal, and my love affair that happened there years ago.
    Favorite Tracks: Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It, Walls, A Song is a Weapon

    6. The xx – Coexist
    I have to admit that I wasn’t initially impressed with this album. Now listening to it again I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I just needed the cold weather and short days to really get into it. There are definitely a few flops on the album, but overall another solid release perfect for the winter months ahead.
    Favorite Tracks: Angels, Fiction, Swept Away

    5. Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
    Hear me out on this band. 1. Their voices are awesome solo and when they pair up 2. They use a wide range of instruments without sounding excessive 3. They are from ICELAND!!!!!!!!!!! I am a huge fan of this band. They are really good at what they do. Of course this album will always remind me of my time in Reykjavik, but even without that added perk I still would love it just as much.
    Favorite Tracks: Little Talks, Mountain Sound, Love Love Love

    4. Marina and the Diamonds – Electra Heart
    I didn’t love this album that much when it first came out, but it is really, really solid. She is also so much fun live (all the hot gay men in the crowd are easy on the eyes too). You won’t find anything groundbreaking here..just some really good POP.
    Favorite Tracks: Lies, Teen Idle, Homewrecker

    3. Wild Nothing – Nocturne
    Their last album was probably better, but this is still really great music. They are really awesome live too, and that always helps. Shadow is probably the best first track of an album this year. Another album I enjoy from start to finish, especially as background music when I’m cleaning.
    Favorite Tracks: Shadow, Counting Days, Disappear Always

    2. Beach House – Bloom
    These two are proving they can do no wrong. Another solid release from one of my favorites. Wahoo! So many solid tracks on this album..I like to listen to it from start to finish.
    Favorite Tracks: Myth, Irene, Wishes, The Hours

    1. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
    So many people either love or hate her. Well, I’m proud to be on the love side. I’ve probably listened to songs off this album every day this year. SO good. SO SO good. I can’t get enough. I really have nothing else to say. For those who hate her: sorry you’re missing out.
    Favorite Tracks: Radio, Off to the Races, Dark Paradise, Born to Die


    Honorable Mentions of 2012:

    Kindness – World, You Need a Change of Mind
    Um, did you see the video of him teaching a little kid how to make music? Enough said. (again, thank you Anna!)

    Santigold – Master of My Make-Believe
    Some REALLY good tracks on this album, but I’m just not a huge fan. Sorry =\

    Tanlines – Mixed Emotions
    These guys look cute from their album cover and I definitely listened to All of Me every time I went for a run for about 3 months straight.

    Islands – A Sleep and a Forgetting
    These guys are fun. I don’t really love them, but their albums are always fun enough. Yeah, nothing really else to say.

    Azealia Banks – Fantasea
    Here’s the deal. I don’t really like hip-hop. I try. I just get a headache really quickly, and that’s even when the lyrics aren’t completely misogynistic and degrading. So, there are some super solid tracks that I listen to ALL the time, but I don’t think I have ever gotten through the whole mixtape. I do love what you’re doing though Azealia so keep it up.. and I wouldn’t be mad if you can release a song that tops 212 (but good luck).


    Best Songs of 2012:

    5. Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen – Good Time
    Yes I’m serious. This song was my end of summer, Fire Island, gaycation anthem and it will ALWAYS remind me of the greatest summer of my life.

    4. The Lumineers – Ho Hey
    Don’t pretend you don’t love it. I can never listen to it just once..it’s too short =[

    3. Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks
    This song was prettttttty much my anthem in Iceland this year. It’s safe to say anything that reminds me of Iceland will rank high forever and ever.

    2. Die Antwoord – Baby’s on Fire
    Let’s be honest here..the majority of their “music” makes my ears bleed but this song and this video?! Are you kidding me! Another summer anthem that will forever remind me of 2012.

    1. Azealia Banks – 212
    No explanation needed


    Biggest FLOPS of 2012:

    Mumford and Sons – Babel
    Putting these guys here makes me feel weird. I didn’t hate this album at all. It’s really just a result of my expectations being really high after Sigh No More. There are some really good songs but I just get so bored listening to this album. It almost sounds like a D-list version of Sigh No More. I’m sorrrrrry! They are still super dreamy and I haven’t lost faith in them. Maybe I’ll like this album later on? Hopefully?

    Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Here
    Okay, Up From Below would probably make my top 20 favorite albums of all time. That is saying a lot. That’s how good it was. I saw them earlier this year before this album was released and hoped that all the new songs they were performing would sound better recorded. Well, it’s very safe to say that is not the case. These guys need to lay off the hippie drugs and focus on making a good album again. =\ And I wanted to pay them to sing Om Nashi Me at my wedding!

    Bloc Party – Four
    I’m almost ashamed to be a Bloc Party fan. I waited SO long for this album. SO long. What do they produce? Crap. It’s pure crap. It’s a bunch of noise that makes no sense. Half of the songs I can’t make it through. And Kele is a bro now? When did that happen? So disappointed. I saw them live and it was basically Kele being cocky on stage. =[ What happened to you guys?! NOT looking forward to your next album.
  • top list for 2011

    20 Dec 2011, 04:02 by ericsadaddy

    Well folks, 2011 has come and gone (ohemgee, so fast I know right?!). This was definitely not the best year for album releases in my opinion. Even still, my only job right now is waiting on tables 3 or 4 days a week so I have a lot of free time on my hands and took this list WAY too seriously. So at least pretend to care? Drum roll….

    Top 10 Albums

    10. Peter Bjorn and John – Gimme Some
    UGH. These guys can take a shit and call it music and I’d probably love it. I don’t know what it is about them. Actually, I do. Their voices = sex. Their catchy beats = amazing. Their looks = YUM. They kind of make me feel like I’m in Europe when I listen to them? I highly doubt that makes any sense at all. Anyway, it took me a while this year to snag this album. I heard bad reviews and wasn’t too eager to check it out myself. Psh. It’s definitely not their BEST album, but it’s still so good. Then again, don’t take my word for it…(refer back to the shit comment) The reason they aren’t coming in higher on the list is because there are some kind of borderline terrrrible songs on the album =x
    Favorite Tracks: Eyes, Lies, Tomorrow Has To Wait, Dig a Little Deeper

    9. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
    Lykke Li, Lykke Li, Lykke Li…I didn’t listen to this album much when it was released. Even now, I feel that some of the songs are forgettable. However, the first half of this album is pretty amazing. And I love my girl Lykke. I feel like her sound changed a lot from her previous release. Do I like it? I don’t know.. I’m still on the fence. But yeah, the first few tracks make her top 10 worthy. <3
    Favorite Tracks: Love Out of Lust, Youth Knows No Pain, Unrequited Love

    8. Cold War Kids – Mine is Yours
    Now that I’ve listened to this album again while preparing this list, I’ve realized just how good it is. I originally planned on putting it as an honorable mention, then as #10 as a replacement to the Death Cab album, and now it’s all the way at #8. It’s REALLY good. This dude’s voice is super sexy. I think I need to focus more of my energy on this band, huh? I have nothing else to say. Just a solid album with some stand out tracks.
    Favorite Tracks: Royal Blue, Skip the Charades, Mine is Yours

    7. The Antlers – Burst Apart
    I discovered this album thanks to the trailer for one of the best films of the year, Weekend. I Don’t Want Love was played in the trailer (although not once throughout the entire movie..wtf?!). Anyway, I knew I needed to hear the whole album the second I heard that song. It’s a really dark album, perfect for a rainy day. I feel like this album will grow on me even more as the winter approaches. There are some tracks on here I really love, but overall the album doesn’t completely do it for me. They are definitely still top 10 worthy though. Brooklyn represent! (although I’m actually a native New Yorker and I doubt they are..just sayin’)
    Favorite Tracks: I Don’t Want Love, No Widows, Putting the Dog to Sleep =*(*****, Corsicana

    6. Foster the People - Torches
    OKAY. So Pumped Up Kicks BLEW UP this year on the radio. I don’t even care. I’m not the type (anymore) to stop liking a band just because other people now know them. That song defines my entire summer. God, it is SO good. I even created a little hip bopping dance (that no one will ever see) to go with it. There are also some other really solid songs on this album. When I look back at my charts on last.fm this year, they are way up there. I think a lot of it has to do with the 13246 times I listened to Pumped Up Kicks. Oh, it also helps that the lead singer is a total dreamboat. Le sigh. This whole album just screams SWAG to me. I don’t know, I can’t really explain it.
    Favorite Tracks: Pumped Up Kicks, I Would Do Anything For you, Call it What You Want, Houdini

    5. Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
    Okay. Coldplay on this list? Weird? I don’t know. Honestly, I put their Viva La Vida album way too low on the list in 2008 and regret it to this day. That album is most definitely in my top 5 favorite albums of ALL TIME, and most certainly should have been #1 in 2008. Yeah, I said it. Mylo Xyloto just came out and I’ve learned that Coldplay albums have to grow on me. Therefore, I refuse to bump it down when I know it has the potential to be [almost] as mind-blowing as Viva. The album seems a little more pop than their previous releases. It’s in a feel-good kind of way though, which makes me not mind so much. I have already played out a few songs because they are THAT good, so yes Eric..good decision putting them at #5. Oh yeah, one last thing: Chris Martin, get in me.
    Favorite Tracks: Charlie Brown, Up in Flames, Paradise, Don’t Let it Break Your Heart

    4. Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
    I have to thank one of my best friends, and my new music go-to gal Anna (last.fm/user/JaimeChiens) for Youth Lagoon. I hadn’t heard of him until November..and here he is at #4 on my list. Wow, this album is good. I can listen to this album from start to finish multiple times (which to me is the ultimate sign of a talented musician). It can almost be one long song; a very beautiful long song. How can you not love an album with these lyrics: “When I was 17, my mother said to me, don’t stop imagining. The day that you do is the day that you die.” UGH!!!!!! I am going to play this album out any day now. I don’t want to have to wait too long for another release =[
    Favorite Tracks: Seventeen, Cannons, Posters, Montana

    3. Adele – 21
    Girl! That’s what I want to scream whenever I hear Adele singing. She seems so out of place on this list. I’m sorry that I’m not sorry. I have listened to this album way too many times this year. I’ve never gone through a shitty break up but I already know 21 will help me get through it. I feel like there is a good balance of sad and slow, as well as upbeat. Also, the pipes on this girl? Out of this world. No one can compete. Sorry. Just one little word of advice: stand your ass up and do something entertaining in your music videos. And quit smoking! Oh, that’s two words of advice huh..
    Favorite Tracks: Turning Tables, He Won’t Go, Set Fire to the Rain, Don’t You Remember

    2. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
    Justin Vernon, when are you going to come out of the closet and confess your undying bear love for me? Hell, you can even stay in the closet. I don’t care. I think I was most excited for this album in 2011, and with very good reason. I probably listened to this album on repeat for 3 days straight when I first got it. It pretty much goes without saying that this man is a musical genius. I can sit here and rave about his music, but it would be like beating a dead horse. All I’ll say is if you haven’t listened to this album, ya’ll are buggin’. Oh, except for the last song, Lisbon, OH. It sounds like a really bad early 90s R&B song or something I don’t even know. I’ll forgive you though Justin.
    Favorite Tracks: Holocene, Perth, Minnesota WI, Hinnom TX, Wash., Calgary

    1. The Head and the Heart – The Head and the Heart
    Well folks, there you have it. My #1..a band that most people probably haven’t heard of. I honestly didn’t mean for that to happen. I discovered them a few months before Bonnaroo..it was the song Down in the Valley. Oh man, what a glorious moment for my ears. I knew it was love when I saw them on the last day of Bonnaroo, at a FINALLY not extremely crowded show, under the shade of a beautiful Tennessee tree. They were SO good live. My undying, committed love was solidified when I saw them recently at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tiny venue, them right in front of me. They give SO much when they perform. You can tell their newfound fame hasn’t gotten to them..YET. Their voices really complement each other. They play great musical instruments. Their lyrics are deep without being pretentious. They are just an all around great band. Seriously, if you only check out one band from this list, please let it be this one.
    Favorite Tracks: Cats and Dogs, Rivers and Roads, Lost in My Mind, Ghosts, Heaven Go Easy on Me..pretty much the entire album

    Honorable Mentions (or #s 11-15)

    11. The Naked and Famous – Passive Me Aggressive You
    Um, this album is actually pretty good. I had to stop listening to it because I couldn’t handle trying to figure out what other album to kick out of my list. They would have definitely been #11 on my list. Check them out, especially these tracks: YOUNG BLOOD!!!!!!!!, Punching in a Dream

    12. Death Cab for Cutie – Codes & Keys
    I’m so sorry Ben Gibbard. Please forgive me for not putting you in my top 10, especially the same year that bitch Zooey Deschanel broke your heart. Hopefully the break up will make your next album good again? OH SNAP. But seriously, I love you and will love Death Cab forever, but we just need a little break.

    13. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
    This band is FUN. I like to dance to the album in my underwear while I’m cleaning my apartment. TMI? Sorry that I’m not sorry. Only a few songs stuck out to me, but I listen to them on repeat, while dancing in my underwear (esp. Midnight City..those Victoria Secret models ain’t got shit on me)

    14. The Drums – Portamento
    I found out about this release too late. Also, unpopular opinion of the day: all of their songs sound alike. ZzZ…They’re a good band but I just get bored quickly.

    15. Kele – The Hunter
    Honestly, I don’t even know if this is an honorable mention. I just love him so much. Babe, just go back to Bloc Party and stop trying to be Calvin Harris or Tiesto. Thanks <3

    Top Tracks of the Year

    6. Charlie Brown by Coldplay
    The song just really makes me love my life, so I needed to add a #6 slot to include it on my list.

    5. Contact High by Architecture in Helsinki
    Such a sexy song. And the video is freaking freakily amazing.

    4. Holocene by Bon Iver
    UM hello?! Did anybody see this video?? Most beautiful scenery ever. Also, Justin Vernon can get it ANY AND EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEEEEEEEEEEK.

    3. I Don’t Want Love by the Antlers
    So ironic…

    2. Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People (refer to #6 on album list for detailed reason)

    1. Young Blood by The Naked and Famous
    NO BRAINER. This song is heaven. Pure fucking heaven. “..fall back in love eventually…YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH.”


    That concludes this year’s list. Putting this together took hours and also led to reminiscing about 2011 in general. I hope everyone had as great a year as I did. Thanks for reading =]
  • Top 30 Albums of 2011

    3 Jan 2012, 02:00 by JaimeChiens

    Listen, I could have done 25. But if I did, then I would also have to make a separate Top Songs of 2011 list, and I just can't keep making these sort of commitments.

    Also, I'm aware I'm missing some "big players" (hey Panda Bear!) but I just didn't get around to listening to a whole bunch of stuff - Mumford and Sons ain't gonna loop itself... geez.

    Without further adieu... from FAVES (top) to the ones i kinda just felt sad about leaving out (bottom).


    (1) The Antlers - Burst Apart
    Fave Tracks: Putting the Dog to Sleep, I Don’t Want Love, French Exit (aka. french doors, when i fuck up.)


    (2) Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation
    Fave Tracks: 17, Cannons, Daydream


    (3) Cold Cave - Cherish The Light Years
    Fave Tracks: Icons of Summer, Pacing Around the Church, Alchemy and You


    (4) We Were Promised Jetpacks - In the Pit of the Stomach
    Fave tracks: Hard to Remember, Pear Tree, Circles and Squares


    (5) The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong
    Fave Tracks: Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now, Belong, Heart in Your Heartbreak



    (6) Holy Ghost! - Holy Ghost!
    Fave Tracks: Hold On, Slow Motion, Hold My Breath


    (7) Bon Iver - Bon Iver
    Fave Tracks: Holocene, Towers, Perth


    (8) The Kills - Blood Pressures
    Fave Tracks: Future Starts Slow, Baby Says, Pots and Pans


    (9) The Head and the Heart - The Head and The Heart
    Fave Tracks - Down in the Valley, Rivers and Roads, Lost in My Mind


    (10) Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx - We’re New Here
    Fave Tracks: I’ll Take Care of U, NY is Killing Me, I'm New Here, Running


    (11) Beirut - The Rip Tide
    Fave Tracks: East Harlem, Santa Fe, The Rip Tide


    (12) Hurricane Bells - Tides and Tales
    Fave Tracks: Possibilities, I’ve Got a Second Chance, The Hunger Moon


    (13) Future Islands - On the Water
    Fave Tracks: Balance, Where I Found You


    (14) The Drums - Portamento
    Fave Tracks: What You Were, I Don’t Know How to Love, Money


    (15) Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
    Fave Tracks: Honey Bunny, Die, Vomit


    (16) Yuck - Yuck
    Fave Tracks: The Wall, Georgia, Coconut Bible


    (17) Givers - In Light
    Fave Tracks: Up up up, Saw You First, Noche Nada


    (18) SBTRKT - SBTRKT
    Fave Tracks: Right Thing To Do, Wildfire, Hold On


    (19) Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital
    Fave Tracks: Repatriated, What About Us?, Serve the People


    (20) M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
    (honestly, if it wasn’t for the existence of disc 2 this would’ve easily moved to the top 10)
    Fave Tracks: Midnight City, Intro, Raconte-Moi Une Histoire


    (21) Beat Radio - Golden Age
    Fave Tracks: Cold War, The Best and the Brightest, Everything Follows


    (22) Lady Gaga - Born This Way
    Fave Tracks: Heavy Metal Lover, Judas, Born This Way, Americano


    (23) yawn - Open Season
    Fave Tracks: Keep Up, YumYum, Never Knew


    (24) We Are Augustines - Rise Ye Sunken Ships
    Fave Tracks: Chapel Song, Book of James, New Drink for the Old Drunk


    (25) Blood Orange - Coastal Grooves
    Fave Tracks: Sutphin Boulevard, Forget It


    (26) Caged Animals - Eat Their Own
    Fave Tracks: Somebody to Use, Teflon Heart, NJ Turnpike


    (27) Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is an Animal
    Fave Tracks: Little Talks, Dirty Paws


    (28) Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin’ On
    Fave Tracks: Black Water, Ritual, Woman


    (29) Yellow Ostrich - The Mistress
    Fave tracks: Campaign, Hold On, Hate Me Soon


    (30) Little Dragon - Ritual Union
    Fave Tracks: Ritual Union, Shuffle A Dream
  • some nice press + photos from friends of Corita

    22 Apr 2011, 01:25 by memorybabe79

    Eve is an amazingly talented artist, please check out her supercool blog and beautiful creations:
    http://wunderfemme.tumblr.com/post/554292248/im-all-about-women-being-fierce-without-losing-an

    Jasper books shows at Fontana's and he's a most talented photographer: http://www.gimmeshutter.com/bands/corita040211.htm

    Eleanor's in the band and her blog is awesome. Here she features Dominick's lovely photos from our recording sessions at GodelString in Brooklyn where Corita recorded Memento Mori(shout out to our phenomenal producer/engineer Joel!):
    http://killerfemme.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/corita-in-the-studio-an-album-by-dominick-mastrangelo/
  • Top 25 Albums of 2009

    21 Dec 2009, 02:24 by JaimeChiens

    Note: Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear are both omitted bc i don't think they're as epic as everyone is making them out to be,...as well as lacking a high 'songs i like:songs i could do without' ratio. Besides Brother Sport and Two Weeks (which would prob both be in my top 10 songs of 2009), i really wasn't all that impressed. Or maybe it's just Angelina Jolie syndrome..

    Also, this list only includes LPs.. if it were to include EPs, Modest Mouse & Bon Iver would def be included in the top 10.

    Without further adieu...


    (25) Wavves - Wavves
    Fave Tracks: No Hope Kids, Cool Jumper


    (24) Tiësto - Kaleidoscope
    Fave Tracks: Escape Me, Feel it in my Bones, Knock You Out


    (23) Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
    Fave Tracks: Crying Lightning, Secret Door


    (22) Florence and The Machine - Lungs
    Fave tracks: Cosmic Love, My Boy Builds Coffins


    (21) Harlem Shakes - Technicolor Health
    Fave Tracks: Strictly Game, Nothing but Change, Pt.1



    (20) Japandroids - Post-Nothing
    Fave Tracks: Young Hearts Spark Fire, Wet Hair


    (19) Telekinesis - Telekinesis!
    Fave Tracks: Coast of Carolina, Look to the East


    (18) The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World to Come
    Fave Tracks: Philippians 3:20-21, Psalms 40:2


    (17) Cold Cave - Love Comes Close
    Fave Tracks - Hello Rats, The Trees Grew Emotions and Died


    (16) Meth Teeth - Everything Went Wrong
    Fave Tracks: Never Been to Church, This Is Not My Home


    (15) Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
    Fave Tracks: You Go On Ahead, Apollo and the Buffalo and Anna Anna Anna Oh!


    (14) Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Fave Tracks: 1901, Lasso


    (13) Passion Pit - Manners
    Fave Tracks: Little Secrets, Moth's Wings, The Reeling, To Kingdom Come


    (12) Miike Snow - Miike Snow
    Fave Tracks: Animal, Burial, Song for No One


    (11) Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
    Fave Tracks: Heads Will Roll, Runaway, Skeletons, Dull Life


    (10) Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Elvis Perkins in Dearland
    Fave Tracks: Shampoo, Doomsday, Chains, Chains, Chains


    (9) Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
    Fave Tracks: After the Storm, White Blank Page, Little Lion Man


    (8) Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
    Fave Tracks: Hooting & Howling, All The King's Men, The Fun Powder Plot


    (7) Franz Ferdinand - Tonight
    Fave Tracks: Die on The Floor, No You Girls, Ulysses, What She Came For


    (6) Beat Radio - Safe Inside the Sound
    Fave Tracks: Hard Times For Dreamers, Closing Scene, Sleepwalking


    (5) Noah and the Whale - First Days Of Spring
    Fave Tracks: Stranger, The First Days of Spring, Our Window, Blue Skies, Love of An Orchestra


    (4) Hurricane Bells - Tonight Is The Ghost
    Fave Tracks: Tonight I'm going to be Like A Shooting Star, Tenterhooks, Freezing Rain, The Winters in NY, Darkness is so Deep


    (3) The xx - xx
    Fave Tracks: Crystalised, Intro, Islands, Stars


    (2) The Antlers - Hospice
    Fave Tracks: Bear, Wake, Two, Shiva


    (1) The Decemberists - Hazards Of Love
    Fave Tracks: The Rake's Song, The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid, Won't Want For Love (Margaret in the Taiga), Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle The Thistles Undone)



    Most anticipated albums of 2010:

    Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring, because i love the direction that the first single is going in. The Sea Is a Good Place to Think of the Future

    Scanners - <unknown>, same reason as above.. Salvation is pretty good.

    Final Fantasy - Heartland, i want to like everything Owen Pallet does more than i actually do.

    The National - <unknown> YESSSSSS i hope it actually comes out in 2010

    Broken Bells - lead singer of The Shins' other band

    Yeasayer - Odd Blood, apparently won't sound anything like All Hour Cymbals. I wasn't a huuuge fan of that album, and I like "Ambling Alp" so... high hopes..

    Hot Chip - One Life Stand, i could not feel more eh.. about Hot Chip. but i'm seeing them in April with The XX so I hope their new album at least has some fun dance tracks.

    Arcade Fire, from stories/articles, i hear that they're the kanye west of the indie world... and i was sorely disappointed with Neon Bible.. so let's just say I'm curious...
  • Top Albums of 2008

    27 Dec 2008, 19:57 by JaimeChiens

    Top 20 Albums of 2008
    This is obviously a very subjective list. I welcome any disagreement on your part.
    Just remember that it’s my list and therefore I will win any argument regarding the contents. ^_^


    20. of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
    Favorite Songs: Nonpareil of Favor, An Eluardian Instance

    19. Chris Walla - Field Manual
    Favorite Songs: Sing Again, Everyone Needs a Home

    18. E-603 - Something For Everyone
    Favorite Songs: The Sweet Years, Bumpin’ Mandy, Knuck All Alone

    17. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
    Favorite Songs: Lump Sum, Skinny Love

    16. She and Him - Volume One
    Favorite Songs: I Was Made for You, Sentimental Heart

    15. Cloud Cult - Feel Good Ghosts (Tea Partying through Tornadoes)
    Favorite Songs: Hurricane and Fire Survival Guide, Journey of the Featherless
    I left you a love poem, the best that I’ve written
    My favorite words, were the one’s I couldn’t spell
    They say that I’m a lunatic, they say that I am full of it
    I say that its worth dreaming, just for the dream of it


    14. Why? - Alopecia
    Favorite Songs: The Hollows, Fatalist Palmistry
    In Berlin I saw, two men fuck in a dark corner of a basketball court.
    Just the slight jingle of pocket change pulsing.


    13. Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs
    Favorite Songs: Bixby Canyon Bridge, You Can Do Better Than Me, Your New Twin Sized Bed
    I’m starting to feel.
    We stay together out of fear. Of dying alone.
    I’ve been slipping through the years.
    My old clothes don’t fit like they once did.
    So they hang like ghosts of the people I’ve been.


    12. Noah and the Whale - Peaceful The World Lays Me Down
    Favorite Songs: Shape of My Heart, 5 Years Time, Mary
    And in that perfect moment,
    I nearly ruined it,
    by saying I love you,
    and nearly meaning it.
    But you know, I would never waste those words.


    11. TV on the Radio - Dear Science
    Favorite Songs: DLZ, Family Tree, Lover’s Day
    Give me the keys to your hiding place.
    I’m not gonna tear it apart.
    I’m gonna keep you weak in the knees, try to unlock your heart.


    10. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
    Favorite Songs: Time to Pretend, The Youth
    This is our decision, to live fast and die young.
    We’ve got the vision, now let’s have some fun.
    Yeah, it’s overwhelming.
    But what else can we do?
    Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?


    9. Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s - Animal!
    Favorite Song: Cold Kind and Lemon Eyes, As Tall as Cliffs
    But I can’t talk to you, the way I’ve wanted to.
    I’ve been telling lies. But I’ll tell you the truth.
    Darling Im tired, and I should be leaving. You know I’m tired, and I should be leaving.


    8. Semi Precious Weapons - We Love You
    Favorite Song: Magnetic Baby, Rock ‘n’ Roll Never Looked So Beautiful
    I can’t pay my rent but I’m fucking gorgeous.

    7. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
    Favorite Song: White Winter Hymnal, In the Hot Hot Rays, Tiger Mountain Peasant Song (because it reminds me of Gray’s Elegy in a Country Churchyard)
    Through the forest, down to your grave
    Where the birds wait, and the tall grasses wave
    They do not
    Know you anymore

    Dear shadow alive and well
    How can the body die
    You tell me everything, anything, true.


    6. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
    Favorite Song: Keep Yourself Warm, The Modern Leper, My Backwards Walk
    It takes more than fucking someone you don’t know to keep warm.
    Do you really think that for a house-beat, you’ll find love in a hole?


    5. Girl Talk - Feed the Animals
    Favorite Song(s): Still Here, Give me a Beat, Hands in the Air
    I know this is the second mash-up album I have on the list, what can I say? I’m a fan of the technique. This was also probably my most played album all year. In the morning, as background music, pre-gaming music... it’s everything great, master crafted into one cohesive whole: pretty versatile for listening. Gregg Gillis is a genius for turning technology into his best friend and then feeding it back to the sweaty throngs of teenagers that surround him on every stage. He may be using the work of other talented musicians but HE is the entertainment. And that’s a talent in and of itself. My favorite part of the album is definitely the 90210 theme song, did anyone else notice it?!

    4. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
    Favorite Song(s): Oxford Comma, M79, A-Punk
    For some reason I always drew more similarities between Vampire Weekend and MGMT than there really were. I guess I got into their music around the same time. In the end, Vampire Weekend with their significantly better live shows, and consistent quality of songs won. I can’t point out the “afro-beat” influence in their music, I just know it works. They have a slew of upbeat songs, which I wouldn’t say inspire or enlighten in any way, but they’re fun. Sometimes, you need music that’s simply catchy, and fun - and Vampire Weekend do it best at the moment. (I’m just a little wary of their staying power. They sort of remind me of the American, Ivy version, of Arctic Monkeys. Does anyone remember them? Yeah, when was the last time you heard their music?)

    3. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
    Favorite Songs: Stay Positive, Sequestered in Memphis, Constructive Summer
    In bar light she looked alright.
    In daylight, she looked desperate.
    That’s alright I was desperate too.

    This entire album reminds me of summer and going to concerts and festivals (probably because of Bonnaroo and that McCarren pool party?). Either way between the great songs and the energy of their live shows The Hold Steady are quickly becoming one of my favorite bands. If you only sort of like their music, I don’t think you’ve given them enough of a chance and they definitely deserve it. Their title track is the only song that fills me with the urge to jump around my room singing and dancing (sorry Lil Wayne/Britney); but I’m still not sure if I like this more than their previous effort, Boys and Girls in America.

    2. Bloc Party - Intimacy
    Favorite Song(s): Ion Square, One Month Off, Talons, Your Visits Are Getting Shorter
    I can see it in your eyes now. You have come to resent me.
    Condescension. In the silence.
    Your fingers are tired. How they falter against my thigh.
    Your kisses are pining. For the lips of someone else.

    Their first album is, hands down, my favorite. Their second album, I’m a bit hot and cold on. But “Intimacy” is the album that restores my faith in them - completely. It appears that by their third album they managed to combine the best things about the previous two: Silent Alarm had great beats and catchy hooks while A Weekend in the City seemed to focus on the lyrics. “Intimacy” brings together high energy tracks like Ares and One Month Off, laces them with lyrical genius then provides ballads like Ion Square and Signs, though more down-tempo, still offer plenty to appreciate musically. The only skip-worthy track of the album is their first single, “Mercury.” I respect that they’re trying out new techniques and sounds but, ... just not for me.

    1. Longwave - Secrets Are Sinister
    Favorite songs: Every. Single. One. It’s ridiculous.
    There’s no use
    The language you’re speaking
    It doesn’t make sense

    Simply superb, without a doubt number one. These guys never cease to amaze me, recorded or live. I don’t know what it is about their music (or them) but my admiration for the band reduces me to pure awe every time. If you haven’t heard of them (and from other end of the year lists, apparently STILL not many people have), do yourself a favor and start with this album. I’d describe them as indie-shoegaze-alt-rock, with an overtone of amazing. Well written, lots of distortion, great guitar work, and Steve’s voice tops it off. The icing on the cake (at least for me, as a fan) is that they’re actually genuinely nice and down to earth guys. Also, they’re from Brooklyn - support the local scene!
  • Eleven good ones (fall of 2008 selections)

    20 Nov 2008, 12:41 by talking_animal

    1. Mademoiselle: This is a hard one to find, but it’s worth it; Berry has a sweet, strong voice, and the songs are well put together, with nice melodic hooks and interesting instrumentation. Best of my latest slice of the French CD market.
    2. Un día: This one is a doozy. Juana Molina hasn’t really changed her style over the past four releases, but it’s gotten deeper and more intense. Instead of drifting back into a kind of folksy, droney sound, Srta. Molina has started to get the hang of the tape loop and delay, creating gauzy palettes of sound that continue to reverberate into your brain long after hearing them. Don’t miss this one.
    3. Set Luna: A great Senegalese flamenco record by Julia Sarr & Patrice Larose. Sarr sings in Wolof, I guess, although it doesn’t sound like the guttural Wolof I’m familiar with, and Larose plays pretty nifty guitar lines around her vocals. This one is good, and I’m kicking myself for coming to it a little late, like three years late. The duo avoid the easy-listening trap of making the arrangements too lush, but still hit the sweet spot for late-night reading or quiet evenings at home.
    4. Nests: This one falls somewhere between Sleater-Kinney and Joan as Police Woman. It’s got the confessional vibe, plus the angry guitars, and the female singer of She Keeps Bees has a pretty good voice and sense of phrasing.
    5. Mediocre: The arrangements aren’t as good as they are on the Berry album, but Ximena Sariñana has an amazing set of pipes and really puts her songs out there. This is more pop than Julieta Venegas’s work, but more straight-ahead singer-songwriter stuff than Shakira. I’ve always liked her voice, and I’m glad to see that it’s held up for an entire first album.
    6. Changing of the Seasons: This is not functionally different from the first Ane Brun record, but it’s a welcome function that it performs. It’s a little hard to evaluate this one evenhandedly because the first record she made, A Temporary Dive is a stone classic, in which great confessional songs brimful of emotion follow one another to make a coherent suite that will have an effect on you after only one or two listens. Compared to that one, Changing of the Seasons doesn’t have the coherence but still has great songs. It’s a good scandi-pop record, especially for sitting down quietly (second one on this list, I see).
    7. Gibraltar: One of the reviews on the store site compared Abd Al Malik’s work on this to the songs of Jacques Brel. I’ve never really been able to get into Brel, but this Gibraltar record might force me to reexamine his work. Although Abd Al Malik is known as a slammer, or French-language rapper, the best songs on here aren’t really rap, but spoken word. The man has fantastic flow and phrasing, for sure, and his lyrics just kind of hit you and root you to the spot without being tremendously overbearing and rhythmic. It’s as if he’s telling you a story . I bought it on a whim and am really glad I did.
    8. Liquid Liquid: I have been waiting for this one for a while, as I’ve been carefully collecting postpunk stars like Lydia Lunch, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, and Defunkt for years. I used to know one of the Liquid Liquid alumni and he was a fantastic person as well as a gifted musician, so when the opportunity to pick this one up, I didn’t waste it. It’s a great set of songs, full of rubbery grooves and strange percussion all put together into really tight songs.
    9. Midnight Boom: One that takes all those post-punk lessons and applies it in a fresh and new way suitable for 2008. Each song is full of charisma and groove, the kind of record you want to bring to all your friends’ parties and introduce to them. There’s not a bad one on the entire disc.
    10. Futurismo: This includes the new-generation Veloso, Caetano’s son Moreno, and is the record for everyone who is tired of MPB, or current Brazilian pop music. Moreno sounds a lot like his dad, but the arrangements are fantastic and intriguing and different, every one of them. It’s like these guys sat down and said, what can we do to make really interesting music, then they took some notes and did it.
    11. Tableau de Chasse: The second album from Claire Diterzi is just as good as the first one, which is saying something. The first record was a durable electropop disc. Diterzi doesn’t have the most fantastic well-rounded voice, like Berry above does, but she knows how to use it against a chilly texture to bring warmth to her lyrics.