Monday, December 13, 2010

Albums in 2010 - Part II

I will admit it, sometimes I need to think long and hard to remember if an album was released this year or the previous one, there is so much music out there, it can be tricky to keep up with it. However some albums punch you in the stomach at the first listen, so much so that you remember where you were when you heard it.
It's the case with These New Puritans ' second album "Hidden". I did enjoy the experimentations on their first opus: it was clever, quite obtuse but raging with some great energy.
It was with a lot of anticipation that I put the new album on my CD player and it started like this:

The whole album is a tad heavy to digest but it beams with sounds and atmospheres so radically different from anything else that was released this year. It's raw, tribal, convoluted, brilliant, engaging. It's also not an album that I would listen to very often. But every time I need a little reminder of how utterly energizing and inovative music can be I reach for These New Puritans.

In the quiet corner we have the fabulous Dane Ognes Obel. she is so tiny yet so talented. Her first album Philarmonics was released in the fall and has seduced many music fans.
Her melodies are teinted with melancholy, a sort of quiet sadness, nothing too dramatic but it's not not just 'pretty' there is depth here.

Live she has that sort of little girl lost in the woods look, but once her fingers are safely on the piano, she opens up, like a flower.

we move swiftly to the witches: in the mould left empty by Bat For Lashes or Fever Ray, this year we have Glasser. Haunting, tribal, her siren-like vocals tempt the listener into her world. Quite mesmerizing.

Back to the folk music with Conor O Brian's project Villagers. It just reminds me of the best of what Bright Eyes can do. Songs like stories with well written lyrics, kudos in the voice, simple melodies. It's like a bowl of cocoa, like a friend who hugs you. And we all need those from time to time. The album's called Becoming A Jackal

and a bit of fluffy electro to finish today's post with London's Hot Chip. I love the album, it puts me in such a good mood, romatic music you can dance on, what's not to like. so there!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Albums in 2010 - Part I

I know, it's been a while, the radio show and other matters have kept me very occupied.
I now have a few days to add some content to this blog so we'll go through the best of 2010. Or at least what I've enjoyed the most in 2010. Feel free to comment of course.

Everybody will agree that "High Violet" was another masterpiece by The National. The success of the album must have taken them by suprise a bit, it probably was released at the right time and people took to it. Good for them! Here's a great video of Terrible Love filmed for

What I love about this album is how you first get grabbed by the music and then slowly layer after layer you 'get' the lyrics, it's like discovering a new album over and over.

In another genre, another great success this yes is signed by the American duo The Black Keys. "Brothers" is their 6th album and probably the most accessible. They also showcase their odd sense of humour on the videos, with the little dinosaur Frank

I've always loved The Black Keys from the first chords of Thickfrickedness to their Blackroc project ( another Blacroc album should arrive soon, those guys never sleep) and again, it's another hard working band that deserves the success it now reaps. Keep the good music comin'

2010 was also the year ma favourite singstress Laura Marling released her 2nd album. Oh boy! "I Speak Because I Can" took me a little while to get into but it really became an album that rarely left my side.
Her voice is more assured, her lyrics sharp and evocative, the melodies and orchestration subtle et warm.
It's a gem of an album.
Here she is, raw, bare and still so very compelling

There must be a goth in me, this year I've enjoyed some darker music ( or is that kind of music more popular in these financial times?)
One EP that has caught my ear is "Stridulum II" by Zola Jesus. I didn't know her at all to be honest and I have not yet seen her live but I like where her music takes me.

Last album and video for today: "The Fool" the debut album by Warpaint. Hypnotic, warm, it casts its spell on the listerner from the first note to the last. And they're good, if a bit excited young puppy, on stage too!
You MUST listen to this record. pretty please.

More albums, concerts, singles very soon...