I'll be honest, I don't know what happened to me this year. When did I become an alt-country fan? Since when have Pitchfork reviews meant so little to me? It is obvious that my thirties are finally leaking out in my musical selections (not that there is anything wrong with this). To be fair, I've realized that the music I enjoyed as a younger man are not exactly practical, surprisingly Man Man, Animal Collective and Deerhoof don't translate well with the in-laws. I now spend my time finding amazing music that won't freak relatives out (although a few of my old habits sneak in once in a while). So enough rambling, here's my list entitled:
Music For Friends and Relatives in 2011:
Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation
~bedroom rock at its finest, everytime I hear "17" it has an effect on me.
Lykki Li - Wounded Rhymes
~this girl is 24 years old, let that soak in.
Cults - Cults
~In my opinion it's as if Best Coast and Sleigh Bells had a baby.
My Morning Jacket - Circuital
~so close to making my top ten, actually they were about one terrible song away from making it on the list (glad I got that "Outta My System").
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
~Fuzzy poppy lo-fi record is a solid follow-up to their self-titled debut.
The Black Keys - El Camino
~We'll talk about this more next year.
my actual list:
10. Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
~Catchy melodies and gorgeous lead guitar licks made this album impossible to ignore.
9. Saint Vincent - Strange Mercy
~OK, I get it now. Annie Clark is really good... really good. Great maybe? In my opinion this is the best work she's done and that is saying a lot.
8. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
~I really expected to be disappointed by this album, there is no way they could meet my expectations (they didn't, but, to be fair, these were really high expectations). Great follow-up that proved to me that they can do this lo-fi folk thing for the long haul and keep it fresh.
7. Beruit - The Rip Tide
~I feel like a new stripped down approach has brought new life to Zach Condon's sound. This album is exactly what I hoped it would be, strange and comforting and completely approachable.
6. Morning Teleportation - Expanding Anyway
~Where is my sense of adventure? This band could quite possibly be the future of psych rock. Essentially take Modest Mouse and Dungen, get them a nice steak dinner and see what happens. Seriously watch this video below...
5. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
~This album sounds so polished, yet ready to fall apart at any second... I love that.
4. Middle Brother - Middle Brother
~Alt-country record that I can't stop listening to. How does a "super-group" makes such a cohesive album out of random songs written by different people? Great stuff on this one.
3. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
~Good news everyone... the man can reinvent himself.
2. Ryan Adams - Ashes and Fire
~Ryan Adams sounds more focused than he has in years... thank goodness, I had nearly checked out.
1. The Head and the Heart - The Head and the Heart
~Great set of songs, full of warmth and heart. Can't wait to see what the future holds for this group.
So that is it... big shout out to Spotify, never would have listened to as much new music without it!