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Monday, July 11, 2011

A Lookback at April - June New Music

Well since I did a post about new releases from January - March, I figured I should probably do one for the second quarter of the year.

Top Albums April - June 2011

1) Bon Iver - Bon Iver
I wrote a post about this album before it actually came out, but I've really enjoyed it. Justin Vernon had really big shoes to fill after "For Emma, Forever Ago," and I think this album is a great step toward doing that. He didn't try to recreate the same album again. Instead he took some chances, experimented a bit, and the result is great. Individual songs don't stand out to me as much as they did on the last album, but that may come with time, or I'll just enjoy the album as a whole. Either way, this will be near the top of my year end list.

2) Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care ($5 on Amazon)
I wrote about Explosions in the Sky recently, and I honestly didn't plan on putting them this high on my list, but after re-listening to the album, I can't help but just love it.

3) Ezra Furman & The Harpoons - Mysterious Power
This is a band that nobody can say lacks energy. I enjoyed their last two albums, and certain songs in particular, but this album feels like the most complete to date for the group. Highly recommended for anyone that wants some wild, rockin' tunes.

4) Death Cab for Cutie - Codes and Keys
It's ridiculous to think that Death Cab for Cutie has been churning out tunes for 13 years, but they have and this is another solid addition to their discography.

5) The Head and the Heart - The Head and the Heart ($5 on Amazon)
Technically this album came out last year, but it was self released to not many people, so it gets counted under its bigger reissue. Pitchfork gave the album a ridiculous 3.8 out of 10, but they also gave Mumford & Sons a 2.1 last year. Both are really enjoyable albums even if they aren't groundbreaking and hip enough for Pitchfork (which I do read and enjoy sometimes, but certain things about it still bug me).

The Best of the Rest
The Antlers - Burst Apart
The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?
The Kills - Blood Pressures
The Very Best - Super Mom Mixtape (free download here)
My Morning Jacket - Circuital

The Vaccines have the distinction of having one of the best names ever for a debut release. They had the hype machine churning in full force well before this release, and it's a fun pop/rock offering that they came out with. The first song on my mix below is by them and will probably warrant a post of its own at some point. The Very Best is a rapper from Malawi and a producer from England I believe, and the album is quite a bit of fun (plus its free, so you've got nothing to lose). The other albums here (as well as some that aren't listed) I've enjoyed, but I probably need to listen to them more.

Albums I Am Looking Forward To In The Next 3 Months

7/12 - William Elliott Whitmore - Field Songs
9/13 - Mates of State - Mountaintops
9/13 - Cymbals Eat Guitars - Lenses Alien
9/13 - A.A. Bondy - Believers
9/13 - Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
9/13 - Jonathan Wilson - Gentle Spirit
9/20 - Megafaun - Megafaun
9/27 - Wilco - The Whole Love

Either I'm dropping the ball watching for upcoming releases, or July and August are not kind to good releases. I'm really excited for the William Elliott Whitmore and Wilco releases anyway.

A Mix of My Favorite Songs from the Past Quarter of the Year

Just like I did last time, here's a mix of my favorite songs from the past quarter of the year thanks to the wonderful site 8tracks.com. Last night, I was listening to the mix before posting it on here, and after it finished it just randomly started some other person's mix which I kept listening to and really enjoyed. I noticed they have several others on there also, so yay for new music! (Seriously, if you like hearing new music, it's a great site to check out). Anyhow, here's my mix:

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