I had my iTunes playing on random this weekend and a song from Phantogram’sEyelid Movies came on (one of my top albums of 2010) and I ran (not joking, my computer was in another room) to my laptop, clicked off the random button and fell in love with that album all over again, which reminded me that sometimes rediscovering a well-loved album can be more fun than finding new music.
That being said, right after I listened to the album I went searching for new music from the band… as you do when you run a music blog and are a compulsive music listener. The band put out a couple of songs in September and I can’t believe I didn’t pay closer attention to the releases. My favourite at the moment is Celebrating Nothing, but I’ve also included Black out Days for your listening pleasure.
I’ve likely mentioned it before, but Sarah Barthel has such an awesome voice, and I’m not surprised they are stationed out of New York, because whenever I listen to them, the beat to their music makes me have a “walking through city streets” moment, that or a “sitting in my room eating cookies in bed” moment, one of the two.
They are touring right now but I didn’t see any Toronto shows, which sort of bummed be out, but I’ll be happy to just have the new EP to gush over.
If you liked Phantogram‘s last album, Eyelid Movies, as much as I did you should take a listen to their new Nightlife EP that came out at the beginning of the month. I haven’t given the other songs as much of a listen because I’ve been so tunnel-visioned with Don’t Move, but the sound is pretty consistent to their other album. Pretty, breathy, sometimes angry singing over a heavily sampled background. Other songs to check out from the EP: Turning into Stone (I thought this was TV on the Radio for a second), and 16 years.
This is the first time the festival has decided to broadcast live on the internet, and will even show 2 hours of behind-the-scenes coverage. The channel will be up and running August5th at 1:30 PM Central Time so check it out if you want the Lolla experience minus the cost.
The following 10 albums round out my all-time favourites to listen to over the past year in ascending order. Enjoy, and please comment with your favourites of the year, I’m really interested since I am not able to listen to every single album that was released in 2010!
#10 – Causers of This – Toro Y Moi
This album made for great travel music; despite whether I was driving, forcing a driver to listen to it, or on the GO/subway. I like the tone of Chad Bundick’s voice and his lyrics are really sweet. Watching them perform live was a bonus and only made me like the album more. Take a listen to Imprint After, Blessa, and Talamak.
Talamak – Toro y Moi
#9 – Eyelid Movies – Phantogram I have a crush on these songs, because they seem so effortless and sweet but still have this funky side to them. As Far As I Can See has a bit of a motown vibe, and When I’m Small and Mouthful of Diamonds (the most popular of the album) are upbeat and dancey. Then it has songs like 10 000 Claps and All Dried Up that hit you in the gut when you pair their lyrics with Sarah Barthel’s voice. Yet another musical front-woman that makes me envy her talent.
When I’m Small– Phantogram
#8 – Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager – Kid Cudi
Even though this album was just released, I am constantly listening to it. I go from start to finish without skipping over songs (something I don’t do often with albums that have over 13 tracks, since I suffer from musical ADD…). Plus, blasting these songs in my car and pretending I can rap is incredibly fun. My favourites: Mojo So Dope, We Aite (Wake Your Mind Up), MANIAC, and REVOFEV.
REVOFEV – Kid Cudi
#7 – Animal Shapes – Geographer
I like that Geographer has this synth-y sound to its songs and how it also pops some of the ol’ cello in there. Kites is the stand out of this trios EP, but Night Winds, Verona and Paris are just as awesome to me. There’s something special about Michael Deni’s voice, who started up the band after the tragic death of his sister and father; it’s almost angelic. Especially when he hits those high notes.
Kites – Geographer
#6 – Forgiveness Rock Record – Broken Social Scene
I pretty much just wrote a love letter to Broken Social Scene in my last post so I’m not going to say why this album made my list.
Romance to the Grave – Broken Social Scene
#5 – Say It – Born Ruffians & Champ – Tokyo Police Club (TIE)
Trying to figure out which one of these bands I like more would be like picking a favourite sibling. I only have one sibling, so I never have to choose in that scenario. I don’t want to choose in this one so I made them tie. Both have adorable frontmen who write geeky romantic lyrics that make you feel like you’re reading their diaries, sorry, jooournals… and I’ve probably seen them maybe a dozen times combined? So clearly I’m a fan.
What to Say – Born Ruffians
Favourite Food – Tokyo Police Club
#4 – This is Happening – LCD Soundsystem
I love this album. Two of my favourites are Dance Yrself Clean and Home. I love how they build (and build up) a song – it’s like James Murphy has it to a science. Just wait for the 2:55 mark of Dance Yrself Clean and hopefully you will get what I mean. Other songs I love: All I Want and Pow Pow.
Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Soundsystem
#3 – Swim – Caribou Making my top three was easy, and putting them in order wasn’t all that hard either. Swim will no doubt be several people’s favourite album of the year. Take a listen to Odessa (a mega hit this year) off of Swim and you will understand why this band is so special. Because you will no longer be sitting reading this post. You will be up. Out of your seat. Dancing.
Odessa – Caribou
#2 – The Suburbs – Arcade Fire I must admit I was late on the Arcade Fire bandwaggon, and I don’t harness a personal love or awe of talent for its members (most likely because I’ve never seen them live). All I know is I really like the music they make. I even had a weird moment of making awkward head shakes when thinking of what to write about this album because I like it so much. And the whole idea of urban decay and the feeling of emptiness in suburbia isn’t lost on me. My favourites from this album: Rococo, Modern Man, Ready to Start, and City With No Children, but my all time favourite was the continued version of Suburbs (insert weird and awkward head movements again from me just thinking about that song).
We Used To Wait – Arcade Fire
#1 – Teen Dream – Beach House I saved the best for last (because that’s the point of these lists…). I have easily heard this album start to finish over a hundred times since it has been out. The dreamy and sad tone in Victoria Legrand’s voice, the easy listening quality of it without being boring. It’s just a solid album. If that wasn’t enough, they also sound just as perfect live as they do on the album.
When I first heard this song (another one from a Shankly’s playlist) I thought it was a song from the Roots because it has that same vibe, maybe it just reminds me of a song I already know, maybe Lucy Pearl, anyway… I’ll figure it out. This song by Phantogram is sooooo good, I keep listening to it on repeat, it’s called When I’m Small.