I've been listening to a lot of new music (well, new to me) lately, and it seemed like time to share some of it with both of my readers. And what better time to revive my "Friday Playlist" series! [Editor's note: do two entries constitute a "series?"] Anyway, here's what's in store:
- K'naan - "Waving Flag"
I heard this Canadian (by way of New York, by way of Somalia) play live on NPR's stream of the SXSW 2009 Music Festival (I think he played the day after I left Austin). His show was great, and this song in particular got stuck in my head for some time. He reminds me of Wyclef in some ways, but not in a derivative way. His latest album is chock full of collaborators, so each song manages to sound very different from the previous one, yet they make a surprisingly cohesive album. Check it out!
- The Antlers - "Two"
My brother has bestowed the coveted "best song of the first 3 months of 2009" award on this song. I would save that for the Andrew Bird song below, but this is still a great song. I give them props for letting the "intro" go on for over a minute before busting out the loud guitars and the chest voice.
- Andrew Bird - "Fitz and the Dizzyspells"
It's the rhythm that gets me on this one. And his voice. And the melody. And the background vocals. And of course, the whistling at 1:46. It's just too damn catchy at that point.
- Dan Deacon - "Build Voice"
I love Dan Deacon. "Spiderman of the Rings" was one of my favorite albums of 2007, and I was really excited when "Bromst" came out. I don't love this whole album yet, but it's growing on me. I disagree with those who say that it sounds exactly like his last one - this one is much harsher in many places, and much softer in many places. I think it has a lot more peaks and valleys than "Spiderman," and in several places there's much more emphasis on emulating an 8-bit sound than there was in his previous work. I haven't found a hit single like "Wham City" on this one yet, but I'm sure it's in there. This is the opening track and it's really beautiful.
- Sin Fang Bous - "The Jubilee Choruses"
This is the solo project of Icelander Sindri Mar Sigfusson - better known (to some) as the founder of Seabear - and it's wonderful. Dreamy electronic pop with layered vocals, catchy hooks, jolly drum machine tracks, and an overall great vibe. This song makes me happy.
- Animal Collective - "Summertime Clothes"
Some have said that "Merriweather Post Pavilion" is Animal Collective's first "pop album." While I don't quite agree with that (nor do I understand why the hell they named it after my neck of the woods' worst outdoor concert venue), this is certainly a catchy little song. But it's not their first catchy little song. See "Peacebone" or "The Purple Bottle."
- All My Pretty Ones - "Mermaids"
This song is about mermaids, the album cover art has a dude in a sailor suit, and the first line of the song mentions a ship. Add that all up with some honky-tonk piano, and this song sounds like a sea shanty gone rogue to me. It's also a great song. The oscillation between fast and slow manages to work without sounding jarring, and his voice fits this song really well.