better late than never. without further delay,
The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man On Earth.
If I was compiling this list by the just the amount of times each record spun here, this record would still end up on top. TheTallest Man on Earth (aka Kristian Matsson) shines on his second album with his seemingly effortlessness, melodic sensibility with standouts such as “Love Is All”, live favorite “King Of Spain” and “Burden Of Tomorrow”. I can’t help but recommend this album and artist any chance I get.
Song:Burden Of Tomorrow[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/love-is-all/id365022480?uo=4" title="Tallest Man On Earth"]
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire.
I’ll admit, when we started hearing the first couple of songs off The Suburbs hit the blogs, it didn’t blow my mind right away. Perhaps I was still expecting songs with those epic builds off Funeral, but when I was able to hear the album all together, it really fit for me. Seeing the band perform it live just sealed the deal for me. Standouts for me included the quirky time signatured “Modern Man” and the Blondie sounding “Sprawl II (Mountains beyond Mountains).
Song: Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sprawl-ii-mountains-beyond/id382340814?uo=4" title="Arcade Fire"]
Tourist History by Two Door Cinema Club.
Absolutely huge year for this band and an amazingly fun record to go with it. I’ve always described the band to people as something between Tokyo Police Club and Death Cab for Cutie, but perhaps if possible, catchier songs. Take notice to the great intro to “I Can Talk”, plus my faves “Something Good Can Work” and “What You Know”.
Song: Something Good Can Work.[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-can-talk/id365973067?uo=4" title="Two Door Cinema Club"]
Odd Blood by Yeasayer.
Every time I went back to this record, I heard something new in the music. Odd Blood is an album in two parts, one side filled with songs on the side of poppy, the other side goes into the experimental. I recommend starting with songs like “Madder Red”, “Ambling Alp” and possible song of the year “O.N.E.”.
Song: O.N.E.[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/o-n-e/id352436240?uo=4" title="Yeasayer"]
Go by Jonsi.
Being a huge Sigur Ros fan, I was anticipating Jonsi’s solo debut quite a bit. He does deliver, with the ultra poppy (almost pixie-ish) singalongs of “Go Do” and “Boy Lilikoi” and the slow builders of “Grow Till Tall” and “Kolnidur”. For his tour “Grow Till Tall” was the bands encore closer and quite possibly one of the best songs I’ve seen performed live.
Song: Go Do.[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/grow-till-tall/id363449185?uo=4" title="Jonsi"]
Eyelid Movies by Phantogram.
Whenever I needed a heavy beat and a haunting voice, I put on Phantogram’s Eyelid Movies. Sounding like a band from an urban centre, it was surprising to hear this band calls the town of Saratoga Springs, NY home. But regardless of where they call home, this record found its spot in my highest rotation here; standouts include “Mouthful of Diamonds” and “When I’m Small”.
Song: When I’m Small.[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mouthful-of-diamonds/id351729293?uo=4" title="Phantogram"]
Teen Dream by Beach House.
This ended up being my summer album. Baltimore duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally packed up their lives and settled into a converted church in upstate New York with producer Chris Coady to create the lush dreamers of Teen Dream. Check out “Zebra” and “Norway”.
Song: Norway.[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/norway/id349535407?uo=4" title="Beach House"]
Postdata by Postdata.
Paul Murphy (of Wintersleep) writing songs with his brother Michael over shared tumblers of Scotch at their parents home in Yarmouth, N.S. A beautifully haunting record and debut for this project, take note of “In Chemicals” and “Tobias Grey”.
Song: Tobias Grey.[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tobias-grey/id348035002?uo=4" title="Postdata"]
The Drums by The Drums.
NYC indie-pop three piece coming out of relative nowhere with an album heavy on reverb, melody and a danceable beat. I recommend you check out the whistler “Let’s Go Surfing”, The Cure evoking “Best Friend” and their bonus track “When I Come Home”.
Song: When I Come Home.[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/lets-go-surfing/id375182416?uo=4" title="The Drums"]
Epic by Sharon Van Etten.
Apt album title. If you still don’t know who she is, you’ll know soon enough. Recommended tracks “Love More” and “Don’t Do It”.
Song: Love More.[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/love-more/id389598833?uo=4" title="Sharon Van Etten"]
Gorilla Manor by Local Natives.
Chalk full of multi-part harmonies, ‘polyphonic hand percussion’ and group vocal singalongs, this album is for people wanting to hear something near the vein of Fleet Foxes, Dodos or Grizzly Bear. Check out “Airplanes” and “World News”.
Song: World News.[itunes link="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wide-eyes/id352418533?uo=4" title="Local Natives"]
Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Parades is art-rock foursome who have recently signed to the independent label Dot Dash. The record came together DIY. Band memberJonathan Boulet (who has put out records on Modular) chose to produce their debut album in his garage. The result ‘achieves a dynamic whitewash of pop harmonies, post- rock guitars and electronic meanderings’, or what some are describing as an unhinged jam session. Coming up, the band will be doing dates withSally Seltmann and Passion Pit in Australia.