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New music we should all hear

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haha, it started out as just the few new ones that I actually listened listened to and a few which I listened to one or two tracks off of, but then I grew the list to just bands that I'd be interested in checking out at some point or another. Most of the selections are mainstream indie. Nothing obscure.

I did listen to some obscure albums on bandcamp too, like NIVA and Magic Man and others.

Also, I expanded the list so people could potentially refer to it to remember what they might have listened to.

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Feist's new album Metals is definitely one of my favourites of 2011. I also loved Ane Brun - It All Starts With One (probably because I went to her concert this year), the selftitled album by Seeker Lover Keeper, Katie Costello - Lamplight.. and I sort of rediscovered Florence + the Machine because of her Ceremonials. :] Ah, how all these 2011 lists remind me of the things to look forward to in 2012.. Bring it on Regina!

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Oh yeah, Florence Welch is fab. Love her. Such a formidable voice and long legs. She's a daughter of a professor (her mother) and it shows. My mind was blown when I found out that

for Doctor Who was a remix of F+tM's 'Cosmic Love'. Her songs have such excellent production, and she and her crew give a hell of a performance live.

I'm so happy for her success. Now, if only her concert tix weren't so damn expensive. I really would love to see her live... somehow.

Gotta check out some of your choices...

I looked up Katie Costello, and thank you. She's relatively easy to catch up on; she has two albums and an EP: Kaleidoscope Machine (2008), The City In Me – EP (2010), and Lamplight (2011).

"Katie Costello is a song-doodler, interweb philosopher, absurdist, & music farmer. Her next full-length album "Lamplight" will be released February 22, 2011. She is currently living in Brooklyn, New York. [Progressive / Lyrical / Melodramatic Popular Song]" from

Absurdist? Fuck yeah, I love her already. What a lovely personality. Likely choice for my next sustained obsession.

I briefly looked up and liked the other two as well.

Seeker Lover Keeper - Australian musical supergroup formed by Sarah Blasko, Sally Seltmann and Holly Throsby. [indie folk-rock/pop]

Ane Brun - Norwegian singer-songwriter, guitarist, vocalist. [acoustic, indie folk]

Added your choices to my super-list, just for the hell of it. Thank you!

What I don't like about the super-list is that there are only a few debut albums. I don't like to listen to a band's new album without listening to their earlier work, with a few exceptions if the band became more accessible.

This is why I love brumstix. Cause you folks listen to excellent sh…tuff. Let's have some more top picks of the year... I'm looking at you, people.

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Okay, I'll go.

Best music video of 2011, if not ever

Memory Tapes - "Yes I Know" (Player Piano) [chillwave, dream pop, indietronica]



My favorite album of the year is Cults - 'Cults' (2011). Such a perfect album. Extremely listenable.

They just announced today that they're coming to my city April 18th. For $15. I was like "HOLY SHITBALLS BATMAN!" So there. Very excited.

For the lazy who want to test out their material before they get their album, I recommend:

( '>official music video with Dave Franco and Emma Roberts) (

(audio) (Live at ACL, 09/16/2011)

Cults - You Know What I Mean

(Spin Loft on 6th - slowed down)

(Spin rooftop at SpinHouse L!ve, 06/21/2011)


(SPINhouse Live)

Cults - Oh My God [official music video] - freaky alien-ish music vid

Cults - Abducted (SpinHouse Live)




Everybody's talking about M83's album "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming".

M83 is the electronic music project of the French artist Anthony Gonzalez. He and former member Nicolas Fromageau founded the group in 2001 in Antibes, France. M83’s style owes a lot to the shoegaze genre, in that there is much emphasis on tonality, extensive use of reverb effects and often softly-spoken lyrics at times submerged in instrumentation. M83 was named after the spiral galaxy “Messier 83”.

(official video) - second-best music video of 2011

M83 - 'We Own the Sky' [French electropop] (basically a Urban Outfitters commercial)

M83 - 'Raconte-Moi Une Histoire' - prob my fav song by M83 cause of the children's story. Loads slow though.

M83 - 'Intro (featuring Zola Jesus)' (annoying ad, sorry. Lead track on album. I like this song better than 'Midnight City'.)


Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable is absolutely adorable. I'm in lesbians with her. This song is sex.

The Joy Formidable - Cradle

[official video]

(live on KEXP)


now to lose some reputation:

Avril Lavigne - What The Hell

(w/ lyrics)

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Lana Del Rey - Born To Die [official music video]

HOLY WOW. I'm calling it right now. Lana Del Rey is going to blow up big-time next year. She's not wow-worthy live, but her studio releases have great production. Plus, P4K is promoting her like crazy.

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I discovered this band on accident. I was browsing ambient electronic music to listen to while studying and the album cover looked nice, so I gave it a listen on bandcamp. A happy and fortunate discovery. Download their album for free:


(unofficial vid)

(fan vid)

and out they walked in single file

and through the door i saw you smile

and i, i was the only one to know

they tied a rag across my eyes

a silver spoon to feed me lies

and you, you were the only one to know.

so find your monster don't tell your friends

and write your name on the back of the page just to try

pull the flowers but keep your hands clean

leave the earth in a jar but come back to it

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I've been feeling a nostalgic for the music scene of my hometown (which died off a LOT since I was younger, but there are still some bands around.)

So I figure I'll help promote a friend of mine who's been working very hard to make it big with his band for as long as I've known him. So far they've been on Much Music and local radio stations and apparently the new CD is in select HMVs.

Anyway, this is Street Pharmacy:

The newest single, the new album has a very different sound from their older stuff. Not sure how I feel about that. (They used to be very Sublime inspired, sort of reggae-rock.)

Here's an older tune:

And a really old tune about that lame hometown I mentioned. Way back in the day this was the go-to song for all the little emo scenesters.Smiler :

The lyrics are pretty pot on. Maybe that's every town.

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A very cool, very impressive album was released a couple months ago by Matthew Haimovitz and Christopher O'Riley called Shuffle.Play.Listen. It's a two-disc journey through an enormous portion of musical space and time. The album covers an unfathomable variety of musical styles, and though the only instruments heard are Haimovitz's cello and O'Riley's piano, the performances are never lacking in harmony, expressiveness, energy, or emotion.

The first CD begins as the exposition of the album, starting off with a movement from Herrmann's "Vertigo" score (from the film). The album then transitions to Janacek's "Fairy Tale" and a few movements from Bohuslav Martinu's "Variations on a Slovak Folksong", interleaving selections from "Vertigo" all the while. With the exposition complete, the duo then dive into the brilliant and moving depths of Stravinsky's "Suite Itallienne" for 5 consecutive tracks, returning to the surface via Piazzolla's "Le Grand Tango" and finishing the first disc with one last movement from "Vertigo".

O'Riley and Haimovitz then change gear, opening the second disc with Arcade Fire's "Empty Room" and Radiohead's "Pyramid Song". The album's thematic crescendo continues to build through the Cocteau Twins' "Athol Brose" and "The Dance of Maya" by John McLaughlin before reaching the centerpiece of the whole affair, a powerful yet nuanced 6-minute arrangement of Blond Redhead's "Misery is a Butterfly". Plateauing briefly to prolong the climax, "Misery" is followed with a very fun and free rendition of "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi", the second Radiohead song in just 5 tracks. In keeping with the distribution, the album's long dénouement begins with Cocteau Twins' "Fotzepolitic" and "Melody", although the course briefly reverses with a bit of afterglow showing through in A Perfect Circle's "3 Libras". The dénouement resumes, proceeding through "Heaven or Las Vegas" and "In the Backseat", which I found to be the only unmemorable tracks on either disc, and ultimately concludes with an enchanting and satisfying performance of McLaughlin's "A Lotus on Irish Streams".

It is rare to find such a variety of neoclassical, traditional, pop/rock, and alternative genres in a record store these days, so to have this remarkable amount of musical diversity on a single album is absolutely incredible. The gorgeous melodies of Haimovitz's cello are truly breathtaking throughout, but I find the most impressive and captivating feature of Shuffle.Play.Listen to be the uncanny depth and breadth of harmony Christopher O'Riley provides with only his piano. His dexterity, precision, and execution are all undoubtedly brilliant, but it is his ability to arrange seemingly any piece, written for any number or variety of instruments, for a single instrument (the piano), and to retain all of the defining characteristics of the original arrangement. Often, attempts to arrange orchestral or rock music for the piano result in either a "sanitized" feeling, or a clutter of voices and melodies without the recognizable harmony of the original. When the interesting or unusual idiosyncrasies of a piece are lost in the interest of minimalism, or the fundamentals are obscured by an overabundance of details, the arrangement fails to retain the spirit of the original work. O'Riley's arrangements seem to go perfectly through the center of each score, and his performances capture the original spirit so completely, one can almost hear both arrangements at once.

If you're a fan of any sort of music or musicianship, I can't recommend this album highly enough.

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Two singers I've been listening to a lot lately are Gregory Alan Isakov and James Vincent McMorrow. Coincidentally, they both have three-word names and sing mellow, folksy stuff. James Vincent McMorrow reminds me a lot of Jeff Buckley. Here's a song from each of them...

Gregory Alan Isakov - That Moon Song

James Vincent McMorrow - We Don't Eat (the entire album, Early In The Morning is fabulous

he also does an excellent cover of "Someone Like You." I think I like it better than Adele's...

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