Great New Albums for November 2014

All of the top songs and albums posts for 2014 are descending upon us.  And guess what, most of them are crap.  Check out the top Rock Artists of 2014 according to Billboard.  Granted, there are some great rock acts on this list, but in what universe is Lorde considered rock?  And how in the living hell did she top acts like Foo Fighters, Jack White, and Arctic Monkeys?  Also, why am I surprised?  A mainstream list like what Billboard provides is never going to satisfy me.  So on I march making my own lists.  Here are some listen-worthy albums from November.  Stay tuned for my obligatory 2014 lists coming soon.

Dels- Petals Have Fallen

New rap that I like?  It does exist!  This English born rapper, graphic designer, and filmmaker creates music that harkens back to raps heyday.  If you’re a fan of Jurassic 5, The Roots, or Mos Def, give him a listen.  With connections to acts like Hot Chip, you can’t go wrong.

 

Also check out:  RGB,  Shapeshift (earlier album)

 

Ormonde- Cartographer/Explorer

Like St. Vincent?  Fan of Indie Folk and Pop?  This is your album for November.  This isn’t get out of your seat and dance music, but if you’re looking for a soundtrack to chill, they have your number.

Also check out:  A Grande Design, Lemon Incest (earlier album)

 

Circa Survive- Descensus

Heavy at one moment and melodic at others, Circa Survive has a sound all their own.  My attraction to the band lies cleanly in the vocals of Anthony Green.  Dig his high pitched, odd voice.

Also check out:  Schema

 

Foo Fighters- Sonic Highways

Really I didn’t even need any other albums on the list for November.  Because, let’s be honest, I listened to this one like it was my job.  Perfection.  The only complaint I have is it’s only 8 songs.  That’s almost an EP!  I love the story behind the album and the docu-series of the same name on HBO was fantastic.  A must listen and a must watch if you’re a fan of music history and well, music in general.

Also check out:  Something From Nothing, Subterranean, and In the Clear…damn, just listen to the entire album.

 

Happy listening!

new music

New Music Tuesday: Top New Album Releases for October

The leaves have changed, the weather is getting crisp, and the time is perfect for a backyard fire.  You know what goes great with a fire (besides some good friends and great brews)?  New music!  So prepare your ears and get thee to a computer stat!  Because these new releases from October are just waiting for a download.

Best New Album Releases October 2014

NMT

Hozier- Hozier

Critics and indie rock lovers are falling all over themselves for this guy.  “Take Me Church” is so freaking catchy and is getting some major airtime.  This means I’m destined to hate it soon after it appears in a gazillion ads and movie trailers, but for now I’ll enjoy.  Andrew Hozier- Byrne has an Irish sourced soul, a beautiful mane of hair, and an even more beautiful voice.  Bonus points awarded because his first single tackles a human rights issue.  “Take Me to Church” is about  gay discrimination in Russia.  The video achieved viral status last year launching the Hozier love fest.

Also check out:  Like Real People Do

Milky Chance- Sadnecessary

Folky at times and a bit electro-indie at others.  I’m totally digging this German duo and their latest pop offering.  Open the windows and do a little fall cleaning or baking.  I dare you not to dance!

Also check out:  Stunner and Loveland

We Were Promised Jetpacks- Unravelling

My picks this month are skewing poppy for sure.  Here’s another pop rock group from across the pond.  Emo and a smidge punk at moments, somehow this album goes a little dark while remaining optimistic.  And it’s wonderfully cohesive.

Also check out:  Night Terror  The critics seem to hate this one.  I find it odd and delightful.

The Flaming Lips- With a Little Help from My Fwends

Ever wonder what a tribute to The Beatles “Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” would sound like if say, Miley Cyrus, My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog and Moby teamed up with The Flaming Lips?  Well here’s your answer.  These guys come together with a list of other musical pals to make a strange album even stranger…and also completely awesome.  Bizarre and beautiful, you have to give this one a listen.  Skip about a minute in to get beyond the crazy.

Also check out:  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and She’s Leaving Home

High Ends- Super Class

I’m a big fan of Yukon Blonde (a Canadian synth-indie-pop band).  High Ends is lead singer’s Jeff Innes’ solo project.  He wrote the album and recorded it in a home studio.  Completely upbeat with singable choruses, it pairs nicely with the first four albums on my list.

Also check out:  Keep on Dancing and The Weight

Le Cassette- Left to Our Own Devices

A chill-wave 80s throwback, Left to Our Own Devices is wonderful from start to finish.  If you’re a fan of M83, this album will be right at home in your collection.  A Peter Gabriel and Bowie presence is tangible.

Also check out:  Electric Paradise and Arms of Mine

There you have it folks, 6 gems from October.  I’m hoping my November picks end up more on the rock end of the spectrum, but sometimes we all need a little dance break.  Enjoy!

What were your faves from October?  Let me know below!

Stay positive and love your life!

-Melissa

New Music Rocks!

So part of the reason for the neglect of my personal blog is that I was writing twice weekly for an awesome site called Lefty Pop. It was a wonderful co-op of writers passionate about music, politics, and pop culture.  Sadly, the editors decided to shutter the doors in mid-October.  I’ve decided to move one of my recurring Lefty Pop posts over to this site.  Each month I’ll give you the readers’ digest version of the albums released during the previous month that are worthy of a listen.  No long reviews.  No music snobbery…okay, maybe a bit of snobbery.  I hope this will be a great way to share my love of music with the world, find some fellow hardcore music fans, and give my friends who are clambering for some good, new music a source from which to tap each month.    This recurring post will also be part of me venturing back into a semi-regular blogging habit.  I’ll very  likely be revamping the site as well (new look, new name), so stayed tuned.  I see great things ahead…and definitely great music.  I’ll have your October digest up later this week, but in the meantime, please enjoy these selections from September originally posted over at Lefty Pop.

new music

It’s finally gotten to the point that I can’t even stomach, let alone enjoy, the “music” being played on Atlanta’s local Top 40 station.  I know what you’re thinking, “why are you listening to the radio?”  Drive time morning commute baby!  I have a long running habit of toggling between two local morning shows.  Here’s where it gets sticky; sometimes the morning show on the Top 40 station plays songs in between segments.  Let me tell you, I nearly throw my shoulder out switching to anything else.  Even a commercial is preferable.  It’s gotten bad people, really bad. In case you’d like to inflict some pain on your ears, because you’re into that sort of thing, Google “All About That Bass”, anything from the new Maroon 5 album, or Iggy Azalea (dumb name, even dumber songs).  But please, you must save yourself from Jason Aldeen’s new song where he imagines what would happen if his truck could talk.  Jesus.

But have no fear, if my opener has you longing for the old days and U2’s forced download has you thinking that musical bliss is a thing of the past, I’ve got the fix for what ails ya.  Here are six solid releases from September for your listening pleasure.

Lonely the Brave:  “The Day’s War”

What’s this?!  Guitars in a new release that’s actually climbing the charts?  Hell yeah and rock on.  Though LTB’s offering is a little more Biffy Clyro-espue, new age, arena anthem than gritty, in your face, rebel rock, it’s still rock, and I have to say, I love this album.  It’s cohesive and listenable start to finish.  The bands sites The National and Pearl Jam as influencers and you can hear it.  Critics and fans alike can’t get enough.

Also check out:  Trick of Light, Deserter, and Dinosaurs

King Tuff:  “Black Moon Spell”

King Tuff is the moniker adopted by Kyle Thomas for his offering of what can be described as lo-fi, stoner rock, 60s and 70s nostalgia, and glam rock all at once (depending what track you’re currently spinning).  He’s back with his third and what I’d argue, best offering.  Though critics are giving “Black Moon Spell” middle of the road marks (C+ to B-), I quite enjoy the album and find it far more accessible for the casual listener attempting to discover new rock.  I also dig that KT, in the spirit of Pearl Jam and The Gaslight Anthem,  took a stab at a vinyl tribute song with  “Black Holes in Stereo”.  Does anyone else here Danzig’s “Twist of Cain” in the title track?

Also check out:  Beautiful Thing and Sick Mind.

The Preatures:  “Blue Planet Eyes”

Like your rock a little more on the poppier end of the spectrum?  Check out The Preatures.  Fans of Haim with feel right at home amongst the dreamy and then groovy offerings of Blue Planet Eyes.  Danceable tracks, sing along lyrics, and funky guitar, this album has it all.  It’s totally fun.  It get bonus points for Spoon’s Jim Eno’s involvement in its production.

Also check out:  Rock & Roll Rave and Ordinary.

Alt-J:  “This is All Yours”

Let’s move from very accessible to very polarizing.  Alt-J is a love em or hate em band.  Even the critics can’t agree.  One lauds praise like they’re the next coming and another compares them to Radiohead rip offs doing it wrong.  I happen to dig Alt-J.  Bizarre for sure: I know their new album will firmly cement them in the instant skip category when my husband is in the car.  But this album, just like “An Awesome Wave” will definitely get some time in the rotation from me.  Approach with an open mind and lay aside your hipster hate, and you just may find you have a little room for “This is All Yours” in your playlist.

Note- Their single “Left Hand Free” was made at the behest of the record label to “appease the American audience”.  It sounds nothing like the rest of the album.  Satire or no, I still enjoy the track.

Also check out:  Every Other Freckle and Nara

Mazes:  “Wooden Aquarium”

British rockers very clearly influenced by 90s American alt-rock.  The very clear comparison to their influences has garnered a bit of a rating problem amongst critics who believe the band is struggling with their own identity.  I don’t care, I’m all over this 90s throw back.  At times a bit Pavement and at others reminiscent of Oasis, “Wooden Aquarium” delivers a wildly enjoyable album sure to be at home in any Gen Xer’s collection.

Also check out:  Mineral Springs

Death from Above 1979:  “The Physical World”

My favorite September release, I adore this album.  From the opening song “Cheap Talk”, it’s got a rocking synth momentum that carries you through the final track and then sends you right back to the start to do it all over again.  Sebastien Grainger’s voice is slightly reminiscent of Britt Daniel’s (second Spoon reference this post) and is a wonderful fit for his hefty drumming.  Guitar riffs, odd beats, delicious synth infusions, I just can’t say anything else without going full fan girl.  Go listen and let the album speak for itself.  Wonderful.

Also check out:  Cheap Talk, Virgins, and Gemini

Happy listening!

-Melissa