The first part of any year is pretty tough for new releases. Major artists generally don’t release much until February giving fans enough time to recoop financially from the holidays.
As usual, I feel blessed to have not only a great love for music, but friends who are also complete nut jobs for the newest, coolest thing. Here are my favorites of the year so far:
Seeland – Tomorrow Today – Seeland are Mark “Billy” Bainbridge and Tim Felton previously of Plone and Broadcast. Tomorrow Today sounds like a first album. Not every song is perfect, but perfectly placed within to keep the listener interested. Fans of MORR Music (especially Lali Puna and The Notwist) will be happy. My favorite off the album, “Turnaround” sounds like Ulrich Schnauss meets the string of proper pop singles era of OMD.
Check out LOAF site for the entire album. Listen to “Burning Pages”, “Turnaround”.
Aeroplane - Remixes for Friendly Fires and Sebastien Tellier – This is the Belgian duo of Vito De Luca and Stephen Fasano, not the band of the same name. Their remix of Friendly Fires’ “Paris” replaces lead vocalist Ed Macfarlane’s vocals with the breathy female vocals of Au Revoir Simone. Hearing the line “I’ll find you that French boy, You’ll find me that French girl” gender bended adds to the perfection of this remix. Their take on Sebastien Tellier’s ”Kilometer” is sort of indescribable with a dash of “Jump” by Van Halen.
M. Ward – “Rave On” (featuring Zooey Deschanel) – This is the first song I’ve heard on the radio that pricked up my ears in a very long time. This mellow-dramatic future classic clocks in at exactly double the length of Buddy Holly’s version and makes for a perfect walking pace on my long iPod walks! Plus it honey drips with harmonies by my current crush, Zooey Deschanel.
Watch: The official 4AD video for “Rave On”
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion – Everyone’s heard everything about this 2009 top ten shoo-in already. I’m just surprised that Dave Fridmann was nowhere around when this was made. “My Girls” was the out of the gate hit, but I’ve been all into the way off the rails “Brothersport”.
Phoenix – “1901″ – My dear friend Eli pitched this one pretty hard. When I finally listened, I realized he was spot on – this is going to be the summer jam. I think those were his words!
Listen to “1901″, “Lizstomania” and prior singles at their Myspace page