Tag Archives: Feist

2011-in-Review-music

My 2011 in Music: Honorable Mentions

Over the next few days, I’ll be listing out my favorite things of 2011 – music, movies, games. I’d do books, but I only made it through a pitiful number of books in 2011, not even worth listing. All this stuff is listed on my 2011 Favorites page, which I’ve been keeping updated all year, but calling my favorites out with a bit of explanation is something I always look forward to doing.

To start things off, here are ten albums (in no order) that I really enjoyed, but didn’t quite make my favorites of the year.

Neon Indian – Era Extraña

I came across Neon Indian via NPR’s First Listen – I often check First Listen to preview albums I’m planning to buy a week early, but once in a while I find something I’d never heard of before. Neon Indian are a bit heavier on the electronic-sounding distortion than I usually like, but something about their sound really pleases me, especially when it falls into fuzzier distortion. Both “Hex Girlfriend” and “Polish Girl” would rate among my favorite songs of the year, but the rest of the album left me colder – kind of same-y and unmemorable, knocking it down into the honorable mentions.

St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

I can easily see this album being in my top twenty if I’d given myself more time to get accustomed to it, but I find St. Vincent something of a tough sell, personally. I don’t know why; lots of people whose taste I generally share love Annie Clark a lot, and I can see the appeal, but she just doesn’t grab me immediately. Like I said, with more time to let it seep in, it might.

An Horse – Walls

The third album from this Australian duo takes their basic sound and polishes it up a bit – not quite so much reliance on the fourth interval, for one thing, which is welcome.

Braids – Native Speaker

A January release, so this one has had plenty of time to earworm me, but only the opening song “Lemonade” has succeeded in sticking with me very long. That song is killer, a pop-happy experimental number that promises more than the rest of the album can quite deliver.

The Pauses – A Cautionary Tale

It’d be disengenuous of me not to mention that I’m pretty good online friends with this Florida band’s drummer; I wouldn’t know they existed otherwise. They have a very pleasing indie pop sound, with strong vocals and a bit of experimentation around the edges that sets them apart from the crowd.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Hysterical

I’ve not really liked Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s previous albums all that much, but listened through this one on a whim and was duly impressed. It’s tighter and stronger than what I’ve heard before, with catchier hooks and a great sound.

Pepper Rabbit – Red Velvet Snow Ball

I saw these guys opening for another band several months ago and remembered enjoying their set, so when I saw they had an album out now, I figured why not check it out. Often I enjoy opening bands at the show because, well, live music is awesome, but Pepper Rabbit followed through in the studio.

Feist – Metals

Most people who like the bands I like put Feist way up at the top of their lists. I like her all right, but I just can’t quite love her stuff (aside from her vocals with Broken Social Scene, of course – those are awesome). It’s a little too spare, a little too quirky, or something. That said, I enjoyed listening through Metals more than I’ve enjoyed her other albums. Maybe next time is the charm?

The Violet Lights – Sex & Sound EP

Another band I’m friends with, but I think this EP is really strong aside from that – an LA-tinged throwback to Britpop, like a touch of Oasis mixed with a dash of the Libertines, and then a sprinkling of Jack White thrown in on top.

Twin Sister – In Heaven

A bit of an electropop touch layered in makes this album really listenable; with a bit more time it might’ve risen higher, but on the other hand, it’s maybe a tad forgettable outside of definite earworm material like “Bad Street.”

Music Monday 18 June 2007 – Retro Rock

I know I missed Music Monday last week. What with a paper due on Monday (which I just got back today, with a 95% yay!) and having postponed Sunday Night Movie Night with my friends to Monday night due to the paper, posting music just got a little lost. By the time I remembered, it was Thursday, and I figured I’d just wait until today.

Blog Finds

Fabulist.org had a couple of tracks from the soundtrack of Paris, je t’aime, a movie which I very, very much want to see, including this one by Feist. Most of Feist’s songs are in English, but this one is French, in keeping with the film. So yeah, I have no idea what she’s saying, but it sounds lovely anyway.

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And Fluxblog posted this quietly beautiful song from Citizen Helene. They described it perfectly, so I’ll just quote the image they conjured up when listening to it:

It’s a small apartment, a walk up in some old building with a gray stone facade. There are books in piles, too many to fit on the shelves. There’s empty tea cups on a coffee table, and a newspaper from three days ago folded out of shape. The decor is a bit scattered, but there’s a lot of browns and oranges — curtains, rug, pillows. The window is open, and rain drizzles in fits and starts. It’s a bit too humid, but there’s no fan, no air conditioner. There’s a couch and chairs, but you’re sitting on the floor by the window, and when a bit of breeze drifts in on the 1:13 mark, it might just be the best thing you feel all day.

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Retro Rock

The two bands I’ve picked this week both sound like blasts from the past, even though they’re very much up-and-comers. Everything old is new again, right?

Locksley

Locksley - Don’t Make Me Wait Locksley is a New York-based band; they played South by Southwest in Austin this spring, and I really wish I’d had the free time and money to go down there. Not just for them. But also for them. Their sound is very British Invasion, with all the joy and freedom of the early Beatles albums. And from what my friends who did go to South by Southwest tell me, they’re a great bunch of guys, too.

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The Pipettes

The Pipettes - We are the Pipettes My favorite XM Radio station showcased The Pipettes a few weeks ago as one of the hottest up and coming bands right now. And I got all happy because I’ve had Pipettes songs for months and months, and thus I am an early music adopter. Anyway, they’re an all-girl band from England, with a very unique vibe. It’s basically dance music, but oh so much fun to listen to. And their accents are very prominent, which always makes me happy. (Oh, by the way, the only disc Amazon has available is super-expensive, I suppose because it’s an import, but I got the album from emusic–really, the best legal mp3-downloading site there is, so you should try there.)

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(The Locksley and Pipettes streaming players are showing up in weird places for me on preview…someone let me know if they’re behaving oddly? I can’t figure out what would cause that…)