Best New Music this past year
So I would like to take a moment and give you a best of last year in music.... (Mainly cause I've got a headache and right now I am unable to be doing the work I should be doing) but I'm not going to give you the best albums or songs... this is just the best music that I discovered in the last year.
I want to start with Destroyer. This is a fella who works with The New Pornographers (a band I was always no more than lukewarm to) but has been doing the solo thing for quite some time. If you can not deal with a strange singer, and disjointed lyrics, well don't bother. But if you can get past the voice, this is some of the most interesting music out there today. The guy's lyrics if you can follow them are at times shockingly beautiful, "Now come on honey lets go outside, you disrupt the world's disorder just by virtue of your grace." But many times it's just a fluttering of images and emotions he creates for you to waft through. The most important thing is the music. Songs do not run simply from verse to chorus like your standard pop tune. The songs meander, like the lyrics, but not haphazardly. It's like having a good tour guide, moving people through some cavern in Kentucky, they point out everything interesting and don't get you lost.
I saw Chad Van Galen open up for Band of Horses. The guy walked out with a drum, a high hat, a guitar and a keyboard... by himself. No Andrew Bird record and loop tricks, he played everything real time, and it was a set ranging from straight indie rock numbers, to slow wanna kill myself depressive ballads, to dance songs. I hope this guy isn't one of those mad genius fellas who drops off the face of the earth, stops making music, or just flat out offs himself (his music can be on the depressing side... but there is some level of hope in it.) The level of diversity within his two records is astonishing.
Mirah... I don't normally go for girl rock. I don't know, maybe it's simply hard for me to put myself in the shoes of another person. But with Mirah I have no problem with it. It could be the noise added, the thudding base drum, the constant threat of a drum machine, or the fact that she seems like the girl I've been chasing after for my entire life. Independant, strong, emotional, but not out of control. I don't know her personally, obviously, but this is her persona in song often. (Why I'm always attracted to women who are... attracted to women never fails to amuse me.)
I'm from Barcelona is twee perfected. An ungodly number of Swedish people singing about loving one another though they don't know what love is. Singing about tree houses, painters, and other uplifting type shit. I just can't help but like that much positivity running through my headphones. Belle and Sebastian, Polyphonic Spree eat your heart out.
Jens Lekman is from Sweden too. I avoided him a while back because he writes love songs. Imagine Stephen Merritt with sincerity. I mean it sound just like the good ole Magnetic Fields, but there's something about Jens that makes you believe he believes it.
Figurines are from Denmark, and just represent solid indie rock. Another weird singer, I don't know I just like it, but solid slamming straight forward indie rock.
I've talked enough about Frightened Rabbit recently so no more.
Beirut and the Silver Jews are also new finds.