Oh, St Vincent!

St Vincent

For the past week or so, pretty much the only music I’ve been listening to can be heard on St Vincent’s new album, eponymously titled St Vincent.

It’s an electronic, rock, vocal mix of songs that really catch me. The song Birth in Reverse, is a bouncy dance track, littered with mini-guitar solos and electronic fuzz, and it’s about … well, who knows what:

Like a birth in reverse
What I saw through the blinds
You could say that I’m saying phenomenal lies
On the cosmic eternity party line
Was a birth in reverse in America

But it’s as catchy as hell.

For more about St Vincent, check out Sasha Frere-Jones’s piece in the New Yorker, or take a listen yourself:

Yes (the band), not as bad as I remembered

Reading my old journal from 2003 – 2005 this evening, and I came across an entry that commented on how bad the band Yes, was.

Thanks to Spotify, I could fire up Owner Of A Lonely Heart and Roundabout and take a fresh listen… and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not going to “star” the songs on Spotify, but certainly better than I thought.

 

 

My Favorite Tracks of 2013

I can’t believe it’s late January, and I haven’t published this blog yet.

Anyhow, 2013 was a year of transition for me in the way that I consumed music. I guess you can say I went “all cloud” by basically only listening to Spotify and no longer buying MP3s from iTunes or Amazon.

Being liberated from buying and downloading music seemed to widen my taste and give me many — perhaps too many — options to chose from.

The full playlist can be found here, but here are some highlights:

Daft Punk – Lose Yourself to Dance and Get Lucky

Was this the year of Daft Punk or what? After being an underground or indie band for a long time, they broke out and then whamo, Get Lucky goes through the roof. These songs will always say “2013” to me.

More Pop and Dance Sounds

Perhaps this comes with having a broader palette available, or perhaps a sign of the time, but a whole bunch of pop and dance tracks jumped out at me this year:

I know Blurred Lines is so pop, but it’s also a great song. I’m totally sick of it by now, but hopefully it will sound good in 2015.

I’m not exactly how to categorize St. Lucia, except that Pitchfork called them “electro-pop”. All Eyes on You is a catch tune that has interesting lyrics unless you look too closely at them:

Know that I will take what I can
When you are there standing by
Soft, spoken in the dead of night
All eyes on you

But enjoyable none-the-less.

Alternative Rock and Indie

You know I’m not really sure what goes in what categories anymore, but in 2013 there were quite a few great tracks by bands who only use uppercase like CHVRCHES & MGMT

Some of my long-time favorites Of Montreal, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand put out albums that while not changing the world, were worth listening to and featured some great song:

and then of course the was Lorde, who wrote and performed the shockingly great Royals:

Hope you like the songs, and let me know what your favorites of 2013 were.

Of Montreal’s lousy with sylvianbriar

of montreal

If you haven’t listened to Of Montreal in a while, I don’t blame you. Their last few albums had some good tracks like Feminine Effects and and, well, hmmm, but were basically unlistenable.

Anyhow, Kevin Barnes must have read my texts because in this new album, he actually writes songs that have a structure that’s pleasing to the ear. The new album is filled with songs that are filled with his typical dense lyrics about who knows what exactly

From Obsidian Currents:

There is a virus in your tenets / Don’t be naive, you know it’s true / And if you don’t protect yourself / Obsidian currents / Will devour you

But it’s catchy, interesting and a fun album. Worth a listen to.

Pitchfork rated lousy with sylvianbriar a 7.4 (out of 10), quite a step up from their previous reviews of 5.8 and 4.6 for Daughter of Cloud and Paralytic Stalks.

This song is stuck in my head.

“But everybody’s like cristal, maybach, diamonds on your time piece
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair
And we’ll never be royals
It don’t run in our blood
that kind of lux just ain’t for us”

I know it doesn’t read that well, but give it a listen.

Had a chance to take in The Strypes last night at the 101 Club in London. According to Wikipedia they are a “are a four-piece rhythm and blues band from Cavan, Ireland”. It seemed the average age of the band members was 16, though that could just be me getting old.

They put on a great show included done of their original songs with some R&B classics. To me they sounded like two parts George Thorogood, one part Led Zeppelin and a bit too much harmonica. But these guys could play.

Their stuff can be heard here: http://m.soundcloud.com/the-strypes