After a crazy long day running around Seattle (with a cold, mind you), I will attempt to write another installment of my list. Since I must have walked somewhere around 2 or possibly even 3 miles today, I don't have much energy to write about anything other than some of the albums that I enjoyed early on in the year, and so in all likelihood these albums will seem like old news to you.

Contra - Vampire Weekend
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Well, here's an obvious one. It was one of the first albums of the year to get a high rating on Pitchfork, and unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last year, you've probably heard at least one song off of Contra sometime during the year, whether from performances on late night television or the many commercials that have used their song (and if you wanted, you could say that these guys started the whole vintage-polaroid-for-the-album-art thing). You can accuse these guys of whatever musical crimes you will, but you can hardly get any closer to a funner pop album than the stuff these guys turn out, and if you actually spend any time with their lyrics sheet, you might find that you actually like what they're writing about.

Teen Dream - Beach House
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

It's hard for me to put into words exactly how I feel about this album, particularly because the whole thing evokes a sort of hazy, uncertain, lonesome feeling that just makes you want to curl up with this album and feel sorry for yourself for a while. Though the lyrics are choppy and the phrasing strange, the emotion of the album is very clear; each song explores themes of loneliness and estrangement, sometimes not recognizing the people around you or even recognizing yourself. 

Have One On Me - Joanna Newsom
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Maybe you've heard of this little album. If you are anything like me, you were nothing less than thrilled to hear that Newsom was releasing a triple album, simply because you can't get enough of her amazing songwriting. Or maybe you were just intrigued by the idea of an album that lasted nearly 2 hours and wanted to see if you could actually sit still long enough to listen to the whole thing in one go. Newsom's music can be surprisingly polarizing, whether it is the incredibly dense and cryptic lyrics or (much more likely) her unique voice. For those of us that enjoy unraveling puzzling songs, Have One On Me does not disappoint.

There Is Love In You - Four Tet
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Anyone that has been around in the last year will know that I love Four Tet. Hebden has released an impressive number of albums and EPs, and they have all been consistently great, and as per usual, the album has some actual sounds from Hebden's personal life ("Pablo's Heart" is literally Pablo's heart).. There Is Love In You was apparently born on a dance floor while Hebden was DJ-ing in London, though it doesn't necessarily feel like something to be written off as a dance album. Though it is certainly a moving album, it is also thoughtful, demands attention, never to be relegated to background music.

Heartland - Owen Pallett
Insound | Pitchfork Review | Mediafire

Full disclosure, I haven't actually spent as much time with this album as it truly deserves. The album has a very well thought out imaginative world, with a very specific character and a storyline. Though Owen Pallett has been making great music for a very long time, Heartland is obviously a step up in songcraft, and though everything seems just a bit grander and more eloquent than Has A Good Home, there are still moments of fantastic hooks. And though the album is rooted in an imaginative land, the emotion is completely relate-able. 

1 comment:

amda said...

A small footnote, I didn't add a mediafire link for Owen Pallett's Heartland simply because I couldn't find one. And also because most of those links were removed for copyright infringement and I'm afraid of getting busted.