So here we are, it’s JUNE already. I honestly can’t believe this year has moved so quickly thus far. I know that as you get older time flies even more, but this year has been ridiculous in regards to it’s speed. For me personally, I’ve experienced some incredible highs and some of the lowest lows I can ever recall. It’s truly been a mixed bag. One thing that has been consistent despite my personal life, has been the influx of truly great music that has been coming out regularly this year. It’s definitely a banner year for me so far. I’ve discovered some great bands, have realized some were shit, and have seen some wonderful gigs as well.
That being said, I’ve compiled a short list of my favorite records of the year so far. I can’t say whether any of these records will be on my list come the end of the year, but it would surprise me if the majority of them weren’t.
This is in no particular order.
The National – High Violet – This record floored me the first moment I heard it. I’ve been a fan of the band for a while and this record lived up to my expectations despite feeling that lead single, “Bloodbuzz Ohio” was a bit lackluster. The album is chock full of songs that could easily be singles. It also helps that I’ve seen them three times already this year + another show coming next month.
The Black Keys – Brothers – Stomping soulful blues from Dan Auerbach and company.This album is an early contender for my album of the year. Auerbach’s voice is absolutely spellbinding and songs like “Too Afraid to Love You” are in heavy rotation. This band has yet to miss the mark for me.
The Radio Dept. – Clinging To a Scheme – I really liked this record when I first heard it, but it is slowly losing steam for me. There are some corkers for tunes on it, but its a little sedate and samey in places. At this moment, I think it is excellent, but as typically with a lot of electro-Euro-pop, it tends to lose some of its flavor after a while.
Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can – A beautiful record by a girl who is only 20 years old. It amazes me the talent that is oozing from this girl. Her second record, and a second classic. It’s very rare this day in age for something as well done as this to hit so well. She is fantastic and so is this record.
Holy Fuck – Latin – I’m not the biggest fan of pure electronic music, but when I do like it, I tend to LOVE it. This is the case with DJ Shadow (bar The Outsider which is pretty much dogshit) and Holy Fuck. Holy Fuck absolutely bring the noise and bring the funk and this is probably their most cohesive record to date. It’s engaging and very palatable on multiple listens. Its also the first record I attempted to review on this blog, so it will always have a bit of a memory attached to it for that reason alone.
Christian Bland & The Revelators – The Lost Album – While technically from 2007 (recorded anyway) but released this year, Christian Bland (the guitarist from The Black Angels) has self-released an album of psychedelia that is really quite smashing. It’s got all the makings of a record to zone out to while completely obliterated. There’s also a really sharp Charles Manson cover! The one negative is that while bigging this record up will get others to listen, its going to be hard to come by unless you look someplace nefarious. It had a release of only 175 copies and is sold out, but its too good not to list.
Avi Buffalo – Self titled – Arguably the best debut of the year so far, Avi Buffalo is an interesting pop act on the Sub Pop label. The lead singer has a very distinct vocal and is quite engaging. I’ve not listened to it enough to properly say its going to remain in its current regular rotation, but I absolutely adore the single “What’s It In For”. This is a band to keep an eye on and bring a hipster bat to any shows of theirs you may attend as they will be there like flies to shit.
There’s a few other records so far this year that I’ve enjoyed. Namely Black Rebel Motorcycle Club‘s “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo”, as well as Brian Jonestown Massacre‘s “Who Killed Sgt. Pepper”. However, they’re not really getting a lot of spins from me.
On the negative side, or maybe this is a plus, there is only one record I have truly hated this year. I’m not even going to name it, but its probably shittily reviewed down the page a little bit. Atrocious.
As for upcoming releases, I am eagerly anticipating the new releases by The Black Angels, The Coral, and hopefully getting final word on releases from Asobi Seksu, Fleet Foxes, and Beady Eye. Who’s Beady Eye? Why that’s goofy Liam Gallagher’s new band! At any rate, I hope the 2nd half of this year is as good as the first half has been musically and I’m sure I’ve forgotten something that I’m anticipating. If my personal life can get to the quality of the music, all will be right in my world. Slowly, but surely, it’s getting there.