Tag: Broken Bells
50-41 – http://www.ishitmusic.com/?p=122
40-31 – http://www.ishitmusic.com/?p=124
30) Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
- Of all the young kids that Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox has obviously influenced, no one has been able to define their own voice as much as this youngen from Boise. Floating vocals are strengthened by big bass kicks and an incredible ear for uncluttered melodies. Trevor Powers sounds like the kid from the movie version of Where the Wild Things Are recording an album in his basement 10 year later – incredibly warm and caring, comfortably alone, and with echoes of Karen O ringing in his ears.
29) Broken Bells – Meyrin Fields EP
- Danger Mouse can bring anybody up a few notches on the bad-ass ladder, and James Mercer should forever be in his debt. There’s just something so much ballsier about these tunes than anything The Shins ever put out. There may only be 4 tunes on this EP, but they’re just as dope as those on the debut LP. This is the kind of music that makes you feel like you’re James Bond stealth attacking an evil-madman’s Icelandic lair while an enormous joint hangs off your lip.
28) War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
- Finally somebody brought a taste of dream-pop into a successful cohesion with that classic Americana feel. Once fronted by Kurt Vile, a whole new lineup seems to have ignited this band into an amazing album that falls somewhere between the land cohabitated by Dire Straits and My Bloody Valentine. Adam Grunduciel has some amazing ideas on here – the kind that make you want to start your own shoegaze band all over again.
27) Death Cab for Cutie – Codes and Keys
- Death Cab makes killer albums, that’s all there is to it. They may always be the great bridge between middle-aged hipsters and tween-age girls, but once you let go of all preconceptions they can totally take control of your heart. There’s no direct radio hit on Codes and Keys, and that’s a good thing. If you’ve spent any time with the classic Transatlanticismi¸ this is in many ways its’ sister album. Incredible drum lines shape the entire album, much in the same way that Jason McGerr helped mold the songs on Transatlanticism, his first album with the band. And portending his breakup from Zooey Deschanel, it’s quite obvious that Ben Gibbard writes way better songs when his heart is a little broken.
26) Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo
- I’m sure they let you smoke butts in heaven, and Kurt Vile couldn’t have been more right on then crafting this image for his music. These solo, acoustic tunes are drifty and dreamy, but at the same time they make me want to drink shitty beer. The imagery and flow to the tunes make em’ sound like an old Sonic Youth album stripped down to its’ most naked form. First listen is casual, and then it may consume you.
25) The Flaming Lips – Gummy Song Skull EP (and) Lips w/ Neon Indian
- Wayne Coyne and cohorts have been a friggin’ psych-rock factory the past year or so. It seems like they released a new EP every month, so I had to include 2 here on my list. The tracks contained inside a 7 pound human skull made of gummy sound like a Phish soundcheck where everybody’s trying out a new synthesizer. And of all the collabortations they keep releasing, nothing was more natural than these 4 tracks with Neon Indian. Somehow eerie and uplifting at the same time.
24) The New Mastersounds – Breaks From the Border
- When this English four-piece announced they would be including vocals on their new album, my reaction was “Well, say goodbye to one of the tightest funk acts you’ve ever seen.” But lo and behold, something magical happened – instead of being sonic peers to 1997-era Medeski and Scofield, they became the only band that could ever live up to the heritage of The Meters. Soul, speed, and perfection – you can picture the Neville Borthers cranking this album in their homes.
23) Grouplove – Never Trust a Happy Song
- My favorite pop-rock band in quite some time. It is insanely tough to write this music without sounding like complete tools, but they mix the ideal parts of melody, fun, and rock to make an amazingly perfect pop album. So much groovier and more interesting than Edward Sharpe or any of the other quasi-popular indie-pops band out there today. I crank this record when I’m home by myself.
22) Tyler the Creator – Goblin
- I haven’t had music make me feel this way since the 2nd Eminem album came out. Inappropriate “F” words flow freely, plenty of murder, and the most innovative beats on the scene today. This is America, and we are legally allowed to be as politically-incorrect as we want to be. You gotta respect a kid who is definitely not afraid to have FoxNews blame him for all our problems. I love this shit.
21) Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings
- Dylan Baldi has already released his 2012 album which finds his sound progressing in unfathomably fast ways, but this eponymous disc is his primary statement of purpose. The finest in today’s neo-punk scene – these songs are fast, hard, and yet full of incredible melodies. If the kid likes a line, he’ll repeat it just to the point where you’re ready to bash your head against the wall, and that’s a huge part of the reason why I dig this album so much.
Gotta say, I was fairly stoked when I heard Danger Mouse was gonna make some new music with James Mercer in Broken Bells. It’s definitely the calabo that Danger should be riding with. I mean cool, “Crazy” blew the fuck up, but have some musical integrity and stay the hell away from CeeLo Green and the Gnarls Barkely crap. That’s essentially the one project in the Mouse’s career that doesn’t agree well with me – especially when he’s making such dope shit with other people. Here’s the middle of my review and the link to my full article at State of Mind: