Well the shuffle on iTunes has brought up some little gems that I'd nearly forgotten about here from the last year or so, and seeing how we're almost halfway through January, I thought it was more than high time to look back a little. And I'll also try to keep this to artists and tunes that I haven't blathered over previously, so don't go looking for Regina Spektor or Liars...
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has those songs that you fall in love with instantly. For this one it's the catchy guitars, that fantastic and somewhat prominent, rolling baseline, and the offbeat title. Of course visiting your national parks makes perfect sense, and perhaps the government should look into using the song to promote them. OK, probably not. What's the song about? Once again, I don't have a damn clue- but it's fantastic still.
Oxford Collapse- Please Visit Your National Parks
We'll have to cheat on this next one as it was released in late 2005 but I didn't hear it until this year, so let's just pretend, eh? I've always been a fan of drum and bass and breakbeat. Which is not to say I'm by any means moderately knowledgeable- just that I really enjoy almost everything I've heard from the genres. The driving beat and bass of this one is undeniable- if I were one to twirl my behind off with glowsticks, this would certainly be one to do it to. I love the way it starts out with a pretty standard hip-hop beat before changing up into hyperdrive. "Tonight... on this small planet... we're going to rock civilization" and BOOM. Nice.
I've always been just a moderate fan of And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. They weren't even really on my radar until the release of Source Tags & Codes- and more specifically, "Another Morning Stoner." Such a fantastic song, and one that creates such an indescribable mood and time whenever I listen to it. But the last two albums have been much more hit or miss for me, with just a few great tracks among a lot of other mediocrity. Such is the case with "Wasted State Of Mind." Starting off with a galloping beat and piano, the vocals are almost reminiscent to me of Built To Spill. Just as you think the tune is going to die off without going anywhere, the backing vocals kick in to sing along with the chorus. My only complaint is that the tune goes off at least a minute too long- we get it, guys...
Trail of Dead- Wasted State Of Mind
Cex. OK- first off, I hate the name. Apparently going by Rjyan Kidwell just doesn't cut it. Same goes with the album title and cover- but that didn't prevent Actual Fucking from becoming one of my favorite records of the year. And how out of left field- the tracks I'd heard from Cex before this album were more sound experiments than actual songs. But this time around we've definitely got tunes, and good ones at that. I'm not even sure how I'd describe the music, even in comparison to other artists- and believe me, I've tried. The female vocals continually tend to remind me of the style of Beth Gibbons, and the music tends to be dark and rhythmic, sometimes ominous. Great stuff, and the tunes definitely have a tendency to worm their way in your brain and stay there.