Before February fades into a distant memory and the New Year pulsates towards increased partisan rancor, I wanted to spotlight eight records that have captured my ears thus far. I believe many of you will enjoy in some manner or another. One of the really exciting common themes of these records is the prevalence of some excellent records by all female or female fronted groups! For simplicity sake all the records listed below can be found on this 2012 Vol. 1 Playlist.
- Adam Arcuragi – …like a fire that consumes all before it
a powerful and moving blend of Philly soul and American Folk Rock. AA’s voice is piercing and powerful and his songs evoke an everyman simplicity evocative of Whiskeytown and Nebraska era Springsteen. (Visit the link to the website above for a free download of the record!)
- Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror
A unique and mesmerizing blend of gothy downtempo dance (think 80s England) mixed with eastern-tinged beats evocative of Passion Pit and Gang Gang overlaid with an angelic, otherworldly voice reminiscent of Cocteau Twins
- Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory
Another loud guitar, distortion driven post-punk record reminiscent at times of In Utero as well as evoking a Superchunk/early 90s Chapel Hill indie-pop feel. Opening five songs feels like a mini teen angst opera.
- Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
Brilliant Brooklyn chanteuse following in the lyrical footsteps of Patti Smith and Gillian Welch and the sonic tradition of early Cat Power. Her bare bones, confessional style of songwriting might not appeal to all but it’s arresting and powerful. “Serpents” is a career making song.
- Frankie Rose – Interstellar
- Chairlift – Something
Both Frankie Rose and Chairlift share a common love for 80s era New Wave/Brit Pop beats and lush orchestration. There is a whole lot of Cure, Modern English, Thompson Twins and bands of a similar ilk pulsing through these two records. Frankie Rose’s record tends more towards the ethereal and electronic nature of its title (think a poppy version of Spiritualized’s We are Floating in Space).
- Shearwater – Animal Life
Operatic and sprawling; requires time to simmer and breath into your consciousness.
p.s. many of these acts will be touring this fall, check out who, when, and where here.