1. department of eagles – archive 2003-2006

Department of Eagles is a small two piece band consisting of Fred Nicolaus and Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear). I first heard of them when their song ‘In Ear Park’ was played on Season 3 of Skins. I liked the song instantly and once I had found out who preformed it I was all over DOE like a rash. In my opinion Grizzly Bear always had a better feel and sound especially with their latest album Veckatimest but that’s not to say that Archive 2003-2006 doesn’t hold it’s own ground. The album is good from start to finish with stand out tracks being ‘While We’re Young’ and ‘Brightest Minds’.

2. two door cinema club – tourist history

Two Door Cinema Club is a fun electro pop band from Northern Ireland. This is a band that I have recently got into. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they will become a long lasting favourite band of mine but the songs are catchy enough to keep me happy for awhile. They remind me of a mix between Friendly Fires and Klaxons (kind of). A couple of good singles are ‘I Can Talk’ and ‘Undercover Martyn’.

3. pavement – brighten the corners

Pavement are an indie rock band from the nineties which recently re-grouped to do a reunion. Although they experienced only moderate commercial success, they achieved a significant cult following, and their music has been a major influence on many bands of the late 1990s and beyond. I have only recently discovered Pavement with their re-releases. Pavement are the type of band that can be played anywhere, they have songs that could be accepted in any social situation. Although I am still listening through the albums, my favorite so far is Brighten The Corners.

4. rilo kiley – more adventurous

A friend of mine recently took off to America for a holiday but before he did he mentioned a band that was on repeat on his iPod, that band was Rilo Kiley. I decided to follow up his suggestion and am currently cycling through a couple of their albums, More Adventurous and Under the Blacklight. Although both albums are good I find myself going back to More Adventurous a lot more than Under the Blacklight. A couple of good tracks are ‘Portions for Foxes’ and ‘It’s a Hit’.

honorable mention
1. sigur rós – takk…

For me, Sigur rós has been one of those bands that I knew of but never found the time to listen to and now regret every minute that I didn’t. They are amazing, Jónsi (he has just released a solo album named Go – also brilliant) has a beautiful voice that carries the songs. I don’t know what else to say about them, they make music that’s good, very good. Listen to them, now.

…rowan

So it looks like my blog is getting a few views these days so I have decided to drop my stupid ‘no uppercase’ gimmick (except for headings), thanks for bearing with me.

1. lcd soundsystem – this is happening

Lcd Soundsystem are amazing and I’ve said it before that James Murphy can do no wrong. Listening to This Is Happening has changed my first impressions somewhat, the album is getting better with each and every listen. I recently realized the album has a lot more depth and feel if listened to through a pair of good noise canceling headphones, you just seem to pick up so much more little additions to each song. Tracks to check out: ‘Home’, ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ and ‘You Wanted a Hit’.

2. foals – total life forever

I was never the biggest fan of Foals album Antidotes, and so I didn’t think Total Life Forever would be any better. To my surprise I was wrong. This sophomore album is a lot less funky and I feel that they have definitely found their “sound”. Songs like ‘This Orient’ and ‘Miami’ and stand out tracks and are songs to check out if you want a preview of how good Total Life Forever is. A good 2010 album!

3. delphic – acolyte

I only discovered this band a couple of days ago and so far have liked what I’ve heard. the band reminds me of a mix between Miike Snow and Klaxons, very electro poppy. I feel I will have to give the album a few more listens before I discover any real stand out / lovable tracks. The band formed in 2009 and released their first single ‘This Momentary’ in 2009 which went on to be nominated for 3 UK Music Video Awards and the band was also nominated for the “BBC’s Sound of 2010 list” in which they came third.

4. motocade – into the fall

To be honest Im not the biggest listener to New Zealand music, which is quite disappointing because there is a lot of talent coming out of this little country. A friend recommended this ep, Into The Fall, by Motocade to me a couple of weeks ago. Motocade is a four piece indie rock band from Auckland, New Zealand. As I said before I don’t usually give New Zealand music a chance but this ep is going down a treat. I hear influences from bands such as early Bloc Party, The Checks and early Kings of Leon. I have yet to hear the full length album which got released earlier this year and will hopefully have a copy of this in the near future.

honorable mention
1. micachu – jewellery

This album has blown me away! I cannot get enough of it. Micachu has been playing constantly through my iTunes over the last few months. Micachu is the stage name of London based songwriter / producer and composer, Mica Levi. She studies composition at the Guildhall School Of Music & Drama in London . As well as writing more traditional pieces, she writes electronic pop songs, sometimes delivered acoustically. Definitely a band to check out, I highly recommend their full length album Jewellery.

2. the checks – alice by the moon

This album was featured on my “current albums on rotation – 01/10/09” list and has not left. I have been listening to this album solidly for the last 8 months and have not yet got sick of a track. In my opinion it’s by far the best rock album to come out of New Zealand in the last 5 years. The album is a very well presented from their track list order to the album cover. A lot of hard work has gone into the production of this album and it shows. If any readers of this blog have not yet heard Alice By The Moon, I strongly recommend it. The album can be purchased from www.thechecks.net or for a preview visit their Myspace page here

…rowan

1. the pixies – doolittle
pixies

with the pixies concert coming up (next march) i wanted to be all ready for everything they throw at me and seeing as they have announced that they will be playing the entire doolittle album to celebrate its 20th anniversary then by giving this a good listen i should be well on my way. i was never the biggest pixies fan knowing only a handful of tracks including ‘alec eiffel’ ‘gouge away’ and ‘where is my mind?’ but since listening to them here and there for over the last two years my appreciation for them has grown hugely and without a doubt doolittle is their best album so words cant express how much im looking forward to this concert.

2. the mint chicks – screens
screens cover

i was always a big fan of the mint chicks from the time they started by owning their early eps (octagon, octagon, octagon. and anti tiger) but as ive aged and the band has progressed i found myself slowly listening to them less and less which is why it took me so long to get my hands on their latest album screens and i have to say that this album has blown me away, its great, they havent changed one bit, oh well maybe got a little more poppy but nothing too drastic. all im saying is if youve ever heard a track by the mint chicks from any one of their albums and liked it you will love this album. check it out.

3. metronomy! – nights out
l_5db3b2efb960adeb9eaf6d9bc6477632

with their concert being last week, the one that i dont remember too much from, ive been playing their album nights out over and over to see if any track triggers some memories, sadly im having no luck. although this isnt a bad thing as im still loving the album which is rare for me, usually when i rape an album i dont touch it again for months sometimes years. if your still not sure of metronomy! just listen to the tracks ‘heartbreaker’ ‘radio ladio’ and ‘back on the motorway’ a few more times and that should do the trick.

4. the velvet underground – the velvet underground & nico
TVUAN

a classic and probably one the best names for a band EVER (yep capitals)! i realise that these albums arnt on the “new kids on the block” rack in the music store but im not always going to be listening to the new stuff. its always good to go back and listen to older bands once in awhile and thats what i did this year with the velvet underground. they are amazing! in my opinion one of the best american bands for their generation (because lets face it in that era the british were killin it). this is the type of music you can just listen to and drift off because thats just what they were doing while writing the songs. gold! my favourite tracks include ‘all tomorrows parties’, ‘im waiting for the man’, ‘heroin’ and ‘venus in furs’.

…rowan

1. the checks – alice by the moon
Cover_800px-The-Checks-Alice-By-The-Moon

alice by the moon is the second studio by new zealand band the checks.

i was never a big fan of their first ablum entilted hunting whales, which lead me to believe that alice by the moon would be much the same but its not, the checks have sat down put their thinking caps on and written good clean rock songs. the whole album is a lot more polished and although i still had my doubts, after listening to the whole thing a few times i was sold. just when i as begining to think rock/alt rock was dead an album like this pops up. a few songs to give a listen are ‘ballroom baby’, ‘you and me’ and ‘back of the restaurant’.

2. animal collective – feels
_animal-collective-feels

what can i say, animal collective is coming to little old new zealands shores so im listening to all their greatest albums and feels has really grown on me. with tracks like ‘did you see the words’, ‘grass’ and ‘the purple bottle’ feels is a second equal album with strawberry jam, which are both slightly behind their 2009 album ‘merriweather post pavilion’.

3. dan deacon – bromst
bromst2

dan deacons bromst is a bit of a change from the other albums on rotation with a kick to the head through loud electro synths and keyboards. this is the album to wake you back up when you feel your self dozing off in the middle of work.

4. family cactus – come howling
Family Cactus - Come Howling

as stated in my review of come howling this is one of new zealands best albums of 2009. with a nice blusey/rock sound family cactus is a band to watch. check out tracks ‘kingmaker’, ‘come howling’ and ‘in transit’.

5. volcano choir – unmap
Unmap-Volcano_Choir_480

unmap is the new album by bon iver’s justin vernon. you might find these old friends also frequenting records and stages under different monikers, collections of colonies of bees and bon iver. the collaboration predates the meteoric rise of justin vernon’s bon iver project, with original songwriting dating back to the summer of 2005. this 6 piece band sounds like a slower more distorted bon iver with the stand out track ‘island, is’.

…rowan

all of these albums are worthy of being in the best of 2009 list:

1. grizzly bear – veckatimest
grizzly bear - veckatimest

after listening to veckatimest casually as background music for the last couple of months i never thought i would end up with such a huge love for grizzly bear. to be honest i have a kinda band crush on them at the moment and have acquired all of their back catalogue. this album is by far one of the best of the year, its up there with animal collectives merriweather post pavilion and yeah yeah yeahs its blitz.

2. the xx – xx
the xx - xx

the xx are one of the fastest bands to climb my last.fm ladder, within a week of listening to them they had around 70 plays (which is pretty decent, i dont like to listen to albums too much or else i get sick of them fast). from what i gather they are four 20 year olds who didnt expect the hype that they have received.

3. yacht – see mystery lights
yacht - see mystery lights

see mystery lights is yachts first album produced under dfa records (fourth album in total) and by far their best. after having ‘i believe in you. your magic is real’ on my ipod for so long i decided to give it a listen and immediately liked what i heard which lead to the discovery of ‘see mystery lights’ which has now got me hooked, im a yacht fan.

4. the antlers – hospice
the antlers - hospice

hospice is the third studio album by the antlers and the only one ive heard, if the older releases are as good as this album i will be tracking them down. they sound like a grizzly bear, arcade fire, family cactus mash up with a lot of emotion. tracks such as ‘bear’ and ‘two’ are current favourites.

if you havent already listened to one or all of these albums do so, now.

…rowan

%d bloggers like this: