TOP FIVE: Spring 2008

At the behest of a fellow blogger, whose opinion I respect immensely, I have decided to get back at it. I was feeling sort of down on the state of music recently, only to discover about twenty new bands just in time for spring. Here're the Top Five for Spring 2008:

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
The unsung heroes of SXSW, Seattle's Fleet Foxes specialize in harmonic pop and lazily precise guitar work. They draw from diverse influences and traditions including folk, pop, choral, gospel, sacred harp singing (yup), West Coast music (read Beach Boys), traditional Irish music from Japan, film scores, and their NW peers. Their subject matter ranges from the natural world and familial bonds to bygone loves and stone cold graves. Said one fan, "when we saw them, we were standing in a puddle of our own tears." MP3 - White Winter Hymnal

Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs
Purists may shy away from this album, but Narrow Stairs is precisely the album Ben Gibbard and Co. needed to propel them from "well knowns" to "standard bearers" for the indie rock scene. While at once being epic ("I Will Own Your Heart", 8:23) and minimal, this effort is far more driving and guitar driven than any of their previous works. Not to be missed, this album will undoubtedly break the top 10 of year end lists. MP3 - Bixby Canyon Bridge

My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
Getting away from "normal rock and roll sounds" has worked remarkably well on this album. There are bits for everyone here including country, electronica, and guitar driven anthems. This album is the first to feature other band members on vocals and is quite a departure from the gentle riffs and falsettos to which fans have become accustomed. MP3 - Sec Walkin

Last Shadow Puppets - Age of the Understatement
The Last Shadow Puppets are Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys and the Rascals' Miles Kane. This duo was so inspired by the likes of Scott Walker, early Bowie, and David Axelrod, that they recorded this album of hot-blooded, bold and brassy tracks. Full of drama, wit, and melody, it takes on the form of a Spaghetti Western run amok in Chelsea. The album's lush orchestration was recorded by the 22-piece London Metropolitan Orchestra doing their best Ennio Morricone impression. Look for this duo on select US dates in September with full band and a large string section. MP3 - Age of the Understatement

Vedera - Stages (EP)
Vedera gives us just what we need as the weather heats up: a shimmering, bittersweet blast. This band’s sound recalls the melodic whimsy of artists like Sixpence None the Richer, The Cardigans, and The Sundays. Their take is more straightforward though, as bright moods light up even the most plaintive ballads as the minor chords get cracked open by crystalline tandem vocals, allowing one of the record’s many glittery hooks to burst through. While it may be a bit over produced for some who prefer a more gritty feel, Stages is a refreshing breath of fresh air with a vocalist whose voice is as strong as Neko Case's and as clear as Jenny Lewis's. MP3 - Still Standing

1 comment:

KBO said...

YES!!! I am excited to hear the My Morning Jacket. Already have the DCC, along with the new Old '97s. Can't decide if I'm going to invest in the new Coldplay, since I didn't like X&Y.

Glad you see you back in bidness. Also, thanks for the ride Friday. Or Saturday, depending on how you look at it.