Friday, July 31, 2009

New Sea Wolf: "Stanislaus"

Long has it been, I feel, since I've heard any news about ex-film student, Alex Church's, band Sea Wolf. Leaves in the River was a favorite of mine back in 2007 and I've finally heard news of Sea Wolf's up and coming album White Water, White Bloom coming out September 22. You can currently go here to pre-order the album and download the bonus track Stanilaus.

Sea Wolf will be playing a show at the Troubadour on September 17, 2009. I recommend faxing in your order to get tickets soon (It's cheaper than ticketmaster).

Check it Out: Sea Wolf - Stanislaus

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fanfarlo: Reservoir Album Review

I feel like there hasn't been enough buzz for Fanfarlo's up and coming release Reservoir. Fanfarlo is an interesting band because their sound seems to encompass the sounds of other great indie bands and still make their sound their own. Simon Baltazar's voice has the uncanny ability to make one simultaneously think of Arcade Fire's Win Butler on "Pilot", Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody on "Comets", Coldplay's Chris Martin on "If it is Growing" and Beirut's Zach Condon on "The Walls are Coming Down". Further driving these comparisons are probably Fanfarlo's use of instrumentation. Their string section conjures up the dissonant and beautiful sound of Arcade Fire, while their horns remind one of Beirut. Then again there are those instruments that are purely Fanfarlo's doing: the wallowing musical saw or the waltzing melodica in "Luna".

I could go into every track of this album and explain what I like about it, but I don't think that would amount to much. The album is simple and yet beautiful, and if I could complain I would say that the album is too simple and perhaps too beautiful. Part of what made Arcade Fire's Funeral so perfect was that it bounced between beauty "Kettles", epic "Wake Up", chaotic "Neighboorhood #3 (Power Out)" and just fun "Rebellion (Lies)". Reservoir successfully accomplishes about two of these, while still having moments of the other two. I'd like to hear a little more of the fun and chaos, but who's to say that Fanfarlo needs to be like Arcade Fire? It's easy for me to compare Fanfarlo to other bands, but the Swedish group is very much their own. They're beautiful, fragile, and elegant.

Fanfarlo's album can be purchased/pre-ordered from their websiteand the Swedish group will be coming to Los Angeles's very own The Echo on Wednesday September 16th, 2009.

I Give Reservoir 8/10 Bleeding Heads

Check it Out: Fanfarlo - Luna

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Muse "The United States of Eurasia/ Collateral Damage"

Long has Matt Bellamy been at work on Muse's orchestral follow up album, The Resistance, to Black Holes and Revelations. The album isn't out yet (soon very soon), but they have released one track so far and it's entitled "The United States of Eurasia/Collateral Damage". It's a long name yes, but we can expect no other from a symphonic space-rock band. On first listen the song is very Muse. It's piano based rock, with Queen like vocals and now with the new addition of an Egyptian like symphony. I think I like it, and hopefully y'all will too!

It should be noted, however, that this is not the first single off the album. The first single will be "The Uprising". I look forward to hearing the whole album (coming out September 14th) and to Muse going on tour in the United States of America!

Resistance Tracklist:

1. "Uprising" – 5:02
2. "Resistance" – 5:46
3. "Undisclosed Desires" – 3:56
4. "United States of Eurasia/Collateral Damage" – 5:47
5. "Guiding Light" – 4:13
6. "Unnatural Selection"
7. "MK Ultra"
8. "I Belong to You/Mon Cœur S'ouvre à ta Voix"
9. "Exogenesis: Symphony Part I (Overture)"
10. "Exogenesis: Symphony Part II (Cross Pollination)"
11. "Exogenesis: Symphony Part III (Redemption)"

Check out their last great album Black Holes and Revelations if you like what you hear.

Check It Out: Muse - The United States of Eurasia/ Collateral Damage

We Were Promised Jet Packs: These Four Walls Album Review

There are a lot of different kinds of bands coming out of Scotland these days (Belle and Sebastian, Snow Patrol, Frightened Rabbit, Glasvegas) and now we have We Were Promised Jet Packs to add to that list. Like most Scotish bands there's just something about WWPJP that I just seem to like. Maybe it's that damn accent that just makes their singer (Adam Thompson) sound so sad and pathetic when he wails, or maybe its the gleeful pop that rides underneath all their songs, despite the often rough exterior. WWPJP's sound is very simple, but I'm not sure how I would describe it. I suppose it's a little bit like listening to Glasvegas's James Allan sing, but with less of that dreamy flood of noise that encompasses all their songs, and more of a down and dirty punk feel.

The first song "It's Thunder and It's Lightning" is a emotional song that starts off slow and builds up till all you hear is Adam Thompson yelling "Your body was black an blue". The song sets the tone for the rest of an album that bounces back and forth between emotional distraught and a desire to rock-out using a mixture of guitar, drums, and a playful glockenspiel throughout. It's minimalist and at times repetitive, but I argue that it's also effective. WWPJP's sound is a bit brash and tiresome, which is probably their biggest set back, but the songs have just enough space to breathe in between all the full fledged rampage. Aside from the opening track other good songs include: "Roll Up Your Sleeves", "Quiet Little Voices" and "Short Bursts", however on an album like this where every song seems to be of similar strength it is difficult to choose favorites. Not because every song is perfect in its composition and performance, but because none of them seem to exceed a certain level of merit.

These Four Walls is a solid debut album by a promising Scotish band, however it is not the breakthrough album they may have been hoping for. WWPJP is a band that I hope will develop their sound further and come back with an even better Sophomore album ( as hard as that is) because I don't think their current sound can survive a second rehashing. I enjoy it now, but I only really need to hear it once.

I'll have more to say on this band when I see them open for Frightened Rabbit on September 20th and the Knitting Factory. Until then I encourage all to check out their debut album: These Four Walls.

I give it 7/10 Bleeding Heads

New Architecture in Helsinki: That Beep

It's been a long time since we've heard anything blog worthy from the Australian band Architecture in Helsinki. Fingers Crossed and In Case We Die were instant favorites of mine, and they more than surpassed my expectations when I saw them open for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, however I found their follow up album, Places Like This to be uneventful to say the least. "That Beep" is the first song we've heard from the band since Places Like This, and it makes me excited for what we might hear on their next album Vision Revision. The song seems to be much more polish than their past songs, but has an unresistable beat that just screams FUN! "That Beep" can be found on their EP of the same name, and a remix of the song can be found at their website. However until we can hear some more new AIH, everyone should get their first two albums:

Check It Out:Architecture in Helsinki - That Beep

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Florence and the Machine: Lungs Album Review

I first heard Florence and the Machine about a year ago when I downloaded their EP A Lot of Love, A Lot of Blood from iTunes. I was initially drawn to their cover of Cold War Kids' "Hospital Beds", but then found "Kiss With A Fist" to be my favorite. A lot of time went by before I heard the name Florence and the Machine again, but a month prior to the release of Lungs Florence and the Machine began to generate a lot of hype.

Florence and the Machine isn't so much a band as it is the moniker of singer Florence Welch. This is not to say that she doesn't have an array of backup performers on the album (one of which use to be Lightspeed Champion's Devonte Hynes), but in all honesty, Florence Welch is the selling point of this package. She has a tremendous voice that has the spontaneity of Regina Spektor, but with the power of an American Idol. A sort of soulful indie-rocker.

Lungs kicks off with possibly one of the best songs of the year, "Dog Days Are Over", an upbeat and powerful song that shows you just exactly what Florence and the Machine are capable of. The album's second track, and fourth single, "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)" begins to show us more of what I'll call a gothic sound that Lungs posses. I'm not exactly sure how this sound is achieved. Perhaps it's the prominent harp sound or the massive overdubbing that begins to sound like a booming choir, but often times I almost feel like I'm listening to Evanescence's Amy Lee sing "Bring Me to Life". Lungs is great in the fact that it has a handful of fantastic songs that showcase Florence Welch's voice as a true instrument. My other favorite tracks include "Cosmic Love" and "Kiss With a Fist". However at the same time that many of these songs seek to showoff Florence's vocal stamina, the music itself adds too much support to an already powerful force.

Lungs makes me think back to Florence Welch's unreleased covers of Beirut, Cold War Kids, and Lightspeed Champion, where she was backed by an army of one. In these scenarios Florence's skills were truly highlighted. I understand that perhaps she is trying to reach a broader audience than the acoustic audiophiles, but I feel that many of her songs would benefit by having a little room to breath so I can hear her clearly. While Florence and the Machine's sound is fun and powerful, it is also tiresome and I don't believe that half the songs would be worth listening to if Florence Welch wasn't singing them. Florence Welch is probably one of the most talented singers out right now. She is sort of what I would imagine what our generation's Bonnie Tyler would sound like (Can't you just picture her singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart"?), but I think she still has a few cogs to work out in her Machine.

So in conclusion:

Good:"Dog Days Are Over", "Cosmic Love", Florence Welch in general.
Bad: Too much of the Machine, and channeling of Amy Lee.

I give it: 6.5/10 Bleeding Heads

Monday, July 20, 2009

Orchestral Twee Pop that is Noah and the Whale

I've been in high anticipation of Noah and the Whale's second album The First Day of Spring since I fell in love with their debut album and since they canceled their Los Angeles show to supposedly "work on the second album".Needless to say, I have high expectations, and at this point it is difficult for me to say if those expectations have been met or not. About a month ago the band released the first track "The First Day of Spring" and it was very much so an introduction to how the entire album would sound. I am now as I as then worried that Noah and the Whale has lost their sense of fun. Almost all of the tracks seem to wallow in sadness without building up to much of a climax and Charles Fink's lyrics seem to be striking the same note of isolation and loneliness. Is the album pretty? Yes. Do I think that all Noah and the Whale fans should check it out? Definitely. I haven't had a chance to fully allow the album to sink into my skin, so I will give it a chance to warm up to me. After all the albums that have to fight to win your affection are always the best ones, right?

I sort of imagine that this is what Sigur Ros would sound like if they wrote English Folk tunes. The First Day of Spring is set to be released at the end of August. As for now you can get their great debut album

The First Day of Spring Tracklist:
1. "The First Days of Spring"
2. "Our Window"
3. "I Have Nothing"
4. "My Broken Heart"
5. "Instrumental I"
6. "Love of an Orchestra"
7. "Instrumental II"
8. "Stranger"
9. "Blue Skies"
10. "Slow Glass"
11. "My Door Is Always Open"

Check it Out: Noah and the Whale - Love of an Orchestra

Some More of the Good Stuff

I jumped on the Modest Mouse Bandwagon when they released Good News For People Who Like Bad News in 2004. Then when We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank came out in 2007, I was less than impressed, but did not abandon the band. I'm now glad to hear a little more of that old Modest Mouse sound that drew me into them on their new EP No One's First And You're Next. Originally I thought this EP was going to be an LP, and when I first saw the tracklist I was disappointed. Modest Mouse has slowly been releasing half of the tracklist on vinyl 7'' for the past few months leaving the listener with only 4 unheard tracks. Basically No One's First And You're Next is an EP composed of B-tracks from Good News For People Who Like Bad News. If you were a fan of that album, then I think you'll like this EP. Most likely you've heard half of it already, so I don't need to tell you what it sounds like. Modest Mouse is also said to be releasing a video for the song "Rat King" that was directed by the late Heath Ledger and animated by Terry Gilman. But more news on that later.

1. Satellite Skin
2. Guilty Cocker Spaniels
3. Autumn Beds
4. The Whale Song
5. Perpetual Motion Machine
6. History Sticks To Your Feet
7. King Rat
8. I've Got It All (Most)

Check it Out: Modest Mouse - I've Got It All (Most)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Warm Heart of Africa

"Warm Heart of Africa" will surely be the summer's most summerish song you'll hear this summer (haha awkward sentence). It's the first single that has been released from The Very Best, which consist of London production duo Radioclit along with East African Esau Mwamwaya. Their debut Warm Heart of Africa album is set to come out September 2nd, but for now we can only relish in the title track featuring the familiar vocal stylings of Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig.

The Very Best - Warm Heart of Africa (feat Ezra Koenig)

Oberst, Jim James, M.Ward = Monsters of Folk

There seem to be a lot of super groups nowadays, and today's new one seems to be the folk alternative of Jack White's garage rock supergroup, The Dead Weather. The band I am referring to is none other than Monster's of Folk,which consist of Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) M.Ward and Jim James (My Morning Jacket). The term Monster's of Folk was coined by fans that saw the three perform during a tour in 2004. The band is set to release their self-titled debut on September 22nd, but for now here is there first single "Say Yes"!

Monsters of Folk - Say Please

Monday, July 13, 2009

We Were Promised Jetpacks

Scotland seems to be a great source for music these days. There's Belle and Sebastian, Snow Patrol, Glasvegas, Frightened Rabbit and now We Were Promised Jetpacks. WWPJ just released their debut album These Four Walls. The album is not your typical "indie rock" album and tends to fall more on the side of bands like Rise Against, while still maintaining some of the quirkiness of more off-beat bands. If you're into a harder sound and a thick Scottish accent then check them out.

WWPJ will be opening for one of my favorite Scottish bands, Frightened Rabbit, on September 20th at the Knitting Factory. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from Ticketweb

Get it on Vinyl!

Check it Out:We Were Promised Jet Packs - It's Thunder and It's Lightening

Heartbeat Radio

Sondre Lerche is a young (26) fun-loving guy, who likes to write fun love-songs. Made popular by writing the soundtrack to Peter Hedge’s Dan in Real Life, he has now recorded his next album Heartbeat Radio and its first single, of the same name, can be heard on his Myspace page. It sounds very much in the style of Sondre Lerche, but now with the backing of a string section (ooooohh!).The album is set to come out September 8th and Sondre will be playing a show at the Los Angeles Troubadour on September 24th. If you want to watch a guy who is great at guitar and has always been loyal to his fans in Los Angeles then I recommend going to see Sondre Lerche.

Heartbeat Radio

01 "Good Luck"
02 "Heartbeat Radio"
03 "I Cannot Let You Go"
04 "Like Lazenby"
05 "If Only"
06 "Pioneer"
07 "Easy to Persuade"
08 "Words and Music"
09 "I Guess it's Gonna Rain Today"
10 "Almighty Moon"
11 "Don't Look Now"
12 "Goodnight"

First Train Home

Los Angeles got to hear a sneak preview of Imogen Heap's next album Ellipses this past weekend on July 11th and now everyone gets to hear first single "First Train Home" on her Myspace page. The album should come out August 25th in the U.S.

Putting the "!" Back in the Disco

Panic! at the Disco is back to being Panic! at the Disco and not Panic at the Disco. They had dropped the exclamation point after the first album saying it was something they used in promotions and never intended to keep, but in a recent post on their website Spencer refers to the band as "Panic!" and not "Panic". Anyway. I guess that's unimportant.

The band also posted a 30 second clip of a new demo called "Oh Glory". You can listen to it here. Panic! at the Disco has had a tendency to get mixed up with a lot of emo bands like Fall Out Boy, which makes sense I guess since they tour together, but I think that gives them a negative rap that is undeserved. I've seen Panic! twice now and they are by far one of the funnest shows I've been to. They have a strong stage presence, theatrical act, and strong musicianship that really come to life on stage.

However one claim that I'm beginning to believe is that they are trying too hard. I appreciated Pretty. Odd for its diversity, but I also wished it was more danceable like their previous album. It's hard to judge by a 30 second clip, but "Oh Glory" sounds like the band is trying to give the crowd what it wants by making more dance music. Dance music is exactly what I want, but I'm worried it's going to sound forced. Whether it be adding a "!" back into their name, or constantly switching musical styles, Panic! is one band that is willing to jump through hoops for their listeners.

I'm not sure how the band is going to deal with the loss of two of its members. I would be worried, but after seeing them live it's become obvious to me that Brendon Urie is really the musical heart and soul of this operation, and he is all I really need in Panic! at the Disco.

The band is set to release a new single August 17th called "New Perspective", which will also appear on the soundtrack of Diablo Cody's second film Jennifer's Body (which looks awesome btw).

Here's a demo I got from their Myspace before the release of A Fever You Can't Sweat Out in someways I've always preferred it to the album version.

Check it Out: Time to Dance (Demo)

P.S. I hope one day they change their name to "Panic!@the Disco". I just feel it would be so relevant to the day and age we live in.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Midnight Cover Up

Ha I really like that picture of Obama, another thing I also like is this band Pale Young Gentlemen. The chamber rock group released their second album last year Black Forest (Tra La La) and it was one of my favorite of 2008. Here is a cover song they did of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" that they posted on their website for kicks.

Pale Young Gentlemen - Paper Planes (M.I.A. Cover)

The Rural Alberta Advantage

This is an odd little band that just released their debut album Hometowns on Saddle Creek Records. They sounds a little bit like if Jeff Mangum had female backings and strings. The style is very similar to Neutral Milk Hotel, especially in terms of the vocal and chaotic feel of the songs. If that's you're thing it's definitely worth checking out.

The band will be playing a show tonight at the Echo ($10 @ door)in support of the album.

Click to Buy!

Check it Out:Rural Alberta Advantage- Don't Haunt This Place

Final Days of NIN

I was unaware until recently that Nine Inch Nail will finally be getting out the nail clippers and calling it quits. They've been playing a lot of shows with Jane's Addiction during their run through of all the big music festivals, but Trent has decided that isn't how he wants to go out.

He says:

"Getting right to the point, we're going to play a handful of shows in NYC, Chicago and LA starting August 22nd. They will be informal affairs in medium to small venues with longer set-lists, possible special guests, cool openers and other surprises. Upon reflection, the NIN/JA tour felt like we had to rush through sets due to a limited allotted set length and many shows were in daylight - it just didn't feel right to end NIN that way. An offer to headline V-Fest in Toronto (being announced soon) set the idea in motion to play some FUN shows to end this up with. If we can get it together we'll film these shows, too.

In NYC we'll be playing Bowery Ballroom, Webster Hall and Terminal 5. In Chicago, the Aragon Ballroom. In LA we'll be at The Wiltern, The Henry Fonda, The Palladium and The Echoplex. These should be cool, unusual and unique shows and I hope you come out - this is it.

So far, The Horrors will be joining us for some shows in NYC, Mew will be with us at other shows in NYC, Chicago and LA, and perhaps more. Details and ticket info will be announced shortly, so check back.


From what I know you have to be in the NIN fanclub to buy tickets to the shows at the end of next week (Jul 17th) and then LiveNation will be having a presale at the end of the month (Jul 31st) for the Henry Fonda and Wiltern shows. I don't listen to NIN that much, but they've always been a band that I've wanted to see live just based on the sheer energy of their songs. Can you imagine seeing them at a place as small as the Echo? That would do wonders for my street cred! I feel like it would be a sin for me to get a ticket to the Echo show and deprive a die hard fan of their final chance to see the legendary band, but maybe I'll try anyway.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Time to Die

The Dodos' new album Time to Die hit the interweb today, and although I can't really give my full opinion on it yet, I thought I'd throw a song out there so people can gather a taste for it (I've also congregated a few tracks from among the web). From what little I've heard the drums are the same, the guitar is the same, however the production quality seems a bit higher. Rather than sounding like the songs were recorded in bedroom, it sounds like they took this one to the studio. The songs also seem to have less of that scattered-panic feel that songs like "Jodi" had. However maybe this is just a sign that our beloved Dodos are maturing? I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Nevertheless I'm always happy for some more Dodos!

If you're in the Los Angeles area the Dodos will be playing a free show at the Getty Museum August 8th and if you don't like waiting in big crowds, or hate art snobs, then there is always their show at the El Rey September 27 ($15 + fees).

Time to Die
1. "Small Deaths"
2. "Longform" *via hypemachine
3. "Fables"*via hypemachine
4. "The Strums
5. "This Is A Business"
6. "Two Medicines" * via hypemachine
7. "Troll Nacht"* via hypemachine
8. "Acorn Factory"
9. "Time To Die"

Get Dodos on Vinyl The Visiter and CD Beware of Maniacs

Sufjan Stevens reworks Enjoy Your Rabbit

I was excited when I first heard that Sufjan Stevens was going to release another album, but be warned this is not a new Sufjan Stevens album. I'm actually a little confused as to how much Sufjan Stevens even has to do with this album aside from the source material and the album artwork. Apparently Sufjan's Brooklyn buddy, the National's Bryce Dessner, suggested that Stevens rework his 2001 album Enjoy Your Rabbit for the quartet Osso, whom played on Illinois. The album will be called Run Rabbit Run and will come out on Asthmatic Kitty October 6. The album will be arranged by various budding musicians such as: Nico Muhly, Michael Atkinson, Olivier Manchon, Maxim Moston, Rob Moose, and Gabriel Kahane.

The tracklist is as follows:
1. Year of the Ox (arr. Michael Atkinson)
2. Enjoy Your Rabbit (arr. Michael Atkinson)
3. Year of the Monkey (arr. Michael Atkinson)
4. Year of the Tiger (arr. Rob Moose)
5. Year of the Dragon (arr. Nico Muhly)
6. Year of the Snake (arr. Olivier Manchon)
7. Year of the Horse (arr. Rob Moose)
8. Year of the Sheep (arr. Maxim Moston)
9. Year of the Rat (arr. Olivier Manchon)
10. Year of the Rooster (arr. Gabriel Kahane)
11. Year of the Dog (arr. Rob Moose)
12. Year of the Boar (arr. Michael Atkinson)
13. Year of Our Lord (arr. Michael Atkinson)

Also Sufjan Stevens is said to play at this years Pop Montreal Festival, suggesting possibly that Sufjan will tour some more around the states? Yes? Eh probably not.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bitch City

If you haven't heard of the Los Angeles based band Under the Influence of Giants (UTIOG), you should. They're bringing disco back, but for now I'd like to take a step back to their older days as Home Town Hero. I've talked about the roots of this band in an earlier blog and as I promised I would post their semi-unreleased album Bitch City. They recorded it after their dispute with Maverick, before they officially became UTIOG and before they had any sort of distribution. So they said "fuck it" to the record labels and just put it online for free. That was about five years ago (2004), and I think it's about time it got some recirculation, so I urge everyone to download every track and give it a go. After's free.

Bitch City Files
01 Workin
02 Robbers
03 Bones
04 Beautiful
05 Daysleeper
06 Hell of a Guy
07 Stage Fright
08 By Chance
09 Hi-Lo
10 Golden
11 Elf Trot
12 This is War

If you like what you hear then you should by all means support this little band that can by either purchasing their Home Town Hero Self-Title Record or their Debut Under the Influence of Giants record

Monday, July 6, 2009

Best of Far

So the general trend seems to be over anticipating the end of '09 by posting a best of '09 list now at the ides of 2009. It's sort of dumb, but at the same time I like making lists so I will follow in suit, with the rest of the music community. So here is my Best of Far!

5] Bitte Orca by The Dirty Projectors

The Dirty Projectors are a band that I have recently heard about, and have been skeptical about for a month or so now. Their new record Bitte Orca is said to be their most accessible and highest rated yet and it is for that reason I gave it a chance. I'll be honest that it did not when me over right away, and I'm still not sure it has. However something about it's odd melodies and style keep bringing me back to repeated listens. It's poppy,it's weird, it's pretty, it's fun! The album may not make it into my final Best of 2009 list, but as of now I'm considering it.

Check it Out: Remade Horizon

4] Dear John by Loney, Dear

Dear John is the little album that came out at the beginning of the year from Swedish folk band Loney, Dear. The album didn't generate much buzz, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it is a simple, sad, and beautiful album, which we've all come to expect from songwriter Emil Svanängen.The biggest complaint I've heard about Loney, Dear is perhaps their lyrics. Most people accuse their lyrics of being that of a child, and after seeing Loney, Dear at Spaceland earlier this year, I'm not surprised that some people would say that. The most surprising thing to me about Loney, Dear is that they write songs in English at all because after seeing them live they obviously don't have a strong hold on the language. Nevertheless the slow build up that posses their songs, which focuses on emotional defeat, but some how leaves you feeling uplifted makes for a great listen which makes this one of the best albums I've heard this year.

Check it Out: Harm

3] Merriweather Post Pavillion by Animal Collective

This is probably the most buzzed (I like that word Buzzed) about album this year. Leaking on last Christmas and coming out in January. This album has been on everyone's playlist for over half a year. In my opinion this is not Animal Collective's best album, but that's probably just because I loved Feels and Strawberry Jam so much. However Merriweather Post Pavillion is a testament to Animal Collective's ability to still continually change their sound after having already done seven albums. There may be less tribal beats and more synth, but the album is a lot of fun. I've posted the opening track, "In the Flowers" not because it's the best song, but because I think it's the most moving song on the album, and a great album opener. "In the Flowers" is a great example of the kind of deep emotion Animal Collective can create by using elements that most people would describe as "noise".

Check it Out: In the Flowers

2] Mean Everything To Nothing by Manchester Orchestra

Manchester Orchestra's Mean Everything to Nothing is probably the biggest surprise record this year. Having only liked "I Can Feel a Hot One" from their earlier EP's I wasn't expecting much from Manchester Orchestra's third album. However from beginning to end I've loved this album. The sheer image of the burly Andy Hull weeping over his guitar while screaming out rock ballads that suggest insecurities and fears is enough to grab me in to this album and follow it anywhere. Surprising enough is that this is a band that once opened for Brand New, hardly my usual crowd, but I could only have wished to have been at their Sold Out show earlier this year at the Troubadour.

Check it Out: Shake it Out

1] Dragonslayer by Sunset Rubdown

What else is there to say about Spencer Krug? I've talked in detail about this album and I sincerely doubt any upcoming album will bump it from my #1 spot. With every record that Sunset Rubdown releases I only construct a taller and taller pedestal upon which I can place Spencer Krug. The story that is told within this album and the themes that reach back all the way to the days of Shut Up I am Dreaming proves once again that Spencer Krug is a great songwriter. I also appreciate the fact that this album does not sound identical to any other Sunset Rubdown, or even Wolf Parade albums. Sure there are similarities between all of Spencer Krug's work, but that's also what I love about him. In Dragonslayer Krug is free to experiment with off-kilter songs like "Black Swan" and still feel comfortable enough to write something as simple as "Silver Moons". As Sunset Rubdown evolves from a solo project to a full fledged band, Spencer Krug seems to find himself more at home. The question is how long will he stay there?

Check it Out: You Go On Ahead (Trumpet,Trumpet II)

Other albums I'm excited for:

Fiery Furnaces-I'm Going Away
Modest Mouse- No One First And You're Next
Imogen Heap- Ellipse
Muse- The Resistance
Devandra Banhart - TBA
Flaming Lips- Embryonic
Vampire Weekend -TBA