Favorited ex.fm Songs

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New releases from April - June 2013

The blog has gone relatively quiet lately, so I'm posting this almost two months later than I planned, but better late than never. So without further ado, my favorite albums from the second quarter of 2013:

My favorite albums released April - June 2013

1) Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze

I'll just leave this to my previous write up about the album.

2) The Postelles - ...And It Shook Me

Back in January, I posted about the track "Pretend It's Love," which was my first exposure to The Postelles. At the time, I was unsure what to expect from the album, but fortunately the rest of the album is also a ton of fun and has more than lived up to any expectations I had. The New York rock/pop band has mastered the catchy hook. If you enjoy this album, make sure to also check out their self-titled album, which you can get for $6 on their website. As for this album though, "Caught By Surprise" and "Running Red Lights" are two of my other favorite tracks. The whole thing is a great warm weather album to play loud and sing along to.

3) John Moreland - In The Throes

Switching gears a bit from the upbeat, hook heavy music of The Postelles, John Moreland has crafted an excellent americana/folk album that has grown on me more and more with each listen. "Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore" is my favorite track, but there's a ton to like here. John Moreland, along with Small Houses and Wooden Wand have made this a darn good year for folk music fans.

4) The Shouting Matches - Grownass Man

Justin Vernon is a busy man. While he is perhaps best known for his solitary retreat into the woods to write the first Bon Iver album, Vernon seems to revel in the art of collaboration. Since that album was released five years ago, he has released another EP and (a much more collaborative) full-length as Bon Iver, he released albums as part of Volcano Choir and Gayngs, he guested on several songs of Anais Mitchell's 2010 album, and he even found time to team up with Kanye West for a few songs. His latest project is a blues-rock trio called The Shouting Matches with two friends from his hometown of Eau Claire. I know some people lament the fact that he's focusing on these other things instead of Bon Iver, but I love seeing him spread his creativity as far and as wide as he sees fit and is able to. The Shouting Matches is a catchy album of blues-rock that shows another side of what Justin Vernon has to offer. If that's not your thing though, just wait around until September for another release with Volcano Choir.

5) Har Mar Superstar - Bye Bye 17

Har Mar Superstar is the recording name of Sean Tillmann. How this Minnesota based soul/r&b singer slipped under my radar is a mystery to me. While he seems to be known a bit for his theatrics (like performing in close to nothing, and claiming that Har Mar Superstar is his twin brother Harold Martin Tillman), his songs speak for themselves. "Lady, You Shot Me" and "Prisoner" are two of my favorites from this record, but listen to the whole thing if you're at all inclined to like soul/r&b/pop.

6) Telekinesis - Dormarion

And now for the condensed versions... Telekinesis is the project of Seattle based musician Michael Benjamin Lerner. His music is driving indie rock and Dormarion, his third album (all on Merge Records), is a solid follow up to the very catchy "12 Desperate Straight Lines."

7) Charles Bradley - Victim of Love

60-something year old Charles Bradley is back with more soul, funk, and love. I haven't watched it yet, but there is a documentary about him on Netflix Instant called Soul Of America.

8) Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend keeps doing what they do well for their third album, which has received pretty universal praise.

9) She & Him - Volume 3

Also, releasing their third (non-Christmas) album is the duo movie/tv star Zooey Deschanel and indie folk musician/guitar extraordinaire M. Ward. If you liked volumes one and two, there's no reason you shouldn't enjoy Volume Three.

10) Fitz and the Tantrums - More Than Just A Dream

This final spot was a bit of a wild card, but the energetic soul/pop of Fitz and the Tantrums won out. The lead track "Out Of My League" is my favorite.

Other albums I've enjoyed (in alphabetical order)

Bradford Loomis - Into The Great Unknown (folk music)
Camera Obscura - Desire Lines (Scottish indie pop)
Cayucas - Bigfoot (sunny sounding indie pop)
Daughter - If You Leave (British indie folk/indie rock)
Future Bible Heroes - Partygoing (project of Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt)
Iron & Wine - Ghost On Ghost (embraces a bit more jazzy sound than before)
The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra - The Benevolence of Sister Mary Ignatius (old-school ska)
Ola Podrida - Ghosts Go Blind (Texas based indie rock)
Smith Westerns - Soft Will (glossy indie rock/indie pop)
Streetlight Manifesto - The Hands That Thieve (new-school ska)
Treetop Flyers - The Mountain Moves (British folk-rock, newest release from Partisan Records)

My favorite EP

Shooting Stansfield - We Know Not What We Do

This was the only EP that jumped out at me from the second quarter of the year. The indie rock band is reminiscent of their fellow Scottish countrymen Frightened Rabbit, which is always a good thing. I'll be excited to hear their debut full-length when they get around to it.

Some of my favorite songs from April - June 2013 releases

And as is tradition, here are a couple (slightly different) mixes of my favorite songs from the second quarter of 2013. Anyone should be able to play the first one (although the order will be random if you play it a second time I believe) and the second one can only be played if you have Spotify. Enjoy!

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