So, on to part II of new music that doesn’t make you want to cry in agony, in contrast to the persistent and deafening drone of those South African vuvuzelas in the World Cup. If you don’t know what i’m talking about, check out the video below!
Imagine trying to play football with tens of thousands of those things….and we wonder why the standard of play has been so poor so far! But I digress…..
1) Artist: The Black Keys Album: Brothers
This blues-rock duo has really developed their sound over the last five years. Somewhat unfairly dubbed as White Stripes wannabe’s, these Akron boys are finally receiving the respect and recognition they deserve. 2008’s Attack & Release ushered in a new era for the group in which they tested the boundaries of traditional blues rock confines of thier previous albums with creative usage of stuidio techniques, distortion, and harmonies to add a level of texture and depth to their sound. Indeed, the most striking thing when listening to recent Black Key’s music is the fact that they really are only a two piece band. Their desire to experiment and expand their sound was further underscored by the recent Blakroc project (see my previous post for details, in which they collaborated with a host of hip hop artists. Brothers is clearly an attempt to continue their musical evolution while remaining faithful to their blues rock roots. It is perhaps their most accessible album, but somehow also manages to maintain the grit and rawness that sets these guys apart from a lot of more slickly produced acts. Highly recommended.
Top Songs: (the whole album is worth a listen, but if you insist…): Everlasting Light, Sinister Kid
2) Artist: Santogold (now known as Santigold) Album: Santogold
This is not a new album by any stretch of the imagination. Santogold broke into the burgeoning indiepop scene back in 2008, and her single L.E.S Artiste’s received considerable attention from both indie and mainstream media. Dubbed as the next M.I.A due to similar influences, musical choices, and fashion tastes, Santogold can definitely be seen as part of the same wider genre that blends hip hop, r&b, reggae/dancehall, as well as more eclectic world music into a more contemporary and youthful sound. In many ways, Santogold is a more maintstream artist who takes fewer risks and clearly wants to develop a radio friendly hook in her music. Hey, there ain’t nothin wrong with that if she manages to keep it interesting! I never gave her whole album a chance until recently, and I was pleasantly surprised by the consistent quality from start to finish.
Top Songs: L.E.S Artistes, Shove it
3) Arist: Foals Album: Total Life Forever
Although I enjoyed Foals’ previous album Antidotes, I found it to be a little too inconsistent and rather tinny in its production. It felt like the guys had an interesting sound (kind of a geeky, dance rock sound that combines elements of math rock, post rock, electro pop and 80’s new wave) but their songwriting hadn’t fully caught up with their ambition. Total Life Forever represents their true coming of age as a truly credible and unique band that can cut it. I have only just heard most of the album’s songs, and it is definitely among the best albums I have heard this year. Each track has offers a new twist without diverging so far that the transition is jarring, and all the songs are both instantly enjoyable but have enough depth and texture to reward deeper listening. Nice one Foals!
Top Songs: Blue Blood, Spanish Sahara
Also, check out Nucleya, an Indian electronic artist who has made a banging album that mixes bollywood tracks with a lot of cool stuff. Check it out through fairterlizer