Blitz

That's Entertainment - Albums of the Month (04.2009)

As we enter the last month of spring, it's time to take a look back and single out some of the finest albums and tracks we've been listening to in April. From the multitude of fine spring releases, the one that  stands out the most is the third Yeah Yeah Yeahs LP, the amazing "It's Blitz!", which also boasts one of the most striking covers of the year...

Blitz


As we enter the last month of spring, it's time to take a look back and single out some of the finest albums and tracks we've been listening to in April.

From the multitude of fine spring releases, the one that  stands out the most is the third Yeah Yeah Yeahs LP, the amazing "It's Blitz!", which also boasts one of the most striking covers of the year. Karen O and company manage once again to present us a different aspect of their sound in comparison to the previous two, also excellent, albums. The inspiration this time comes from the dancefloor. One of the finest bands of this decade demonstrates its unique ability to evolve and find new ways of giving us a thrill, leaving the competition stuck on repeat. Read more about our album of the month here.

I have already written about Metric and included their fine fourth album in the March list, but "Fantasies" had to be present in this month's list as well, since I haven't stopped listening to it - and now, finally, I also have the cd in my hands!

The third excellent release of April for this column is "Two Suns", the second album from Natasha Khan, a.k.a. Bat For Lashes. We discovered her two years ago with "Fur and Gold" and the excellent single "What's a girl to do" and now it's time for her return with a superior work, where she collaborates, among others, with the legendary Scott Walker (vocals on "The Big Sleep") and members of Yeasayer (their album "All hour cymbals" is highly recommended). "Daniel" is simply one of the singles of the year, but really all 11 tracks on the disc are excellent and work seamlessly as a whole, creating a unique atmosphere. My personal highlights include "Glass" and "Pearl's Dream", while here you can read about the songs that led gbal to give a rating of 7,9/10.

 April's Top 10 also includes:

  • Two strong albums from 2008 coming from Los Angeles bands: "A Certain Feeling", the sophomore LP from Bodies Of Water which, among other things, reminded me of the big sound of Arcade Fire with all its trumpets and trombones (this album also received the fine rating of 7,9/10 from pitchfork, and it also received the honor of being included in the year's top 10 albums of the unmissable 25 radio show), and "Take It Personally", the fourth LP by The Starlite Desperation, the garage-punk band that took its first steps at the end of the '90s with great singles such as "Hot for Preacher" (which you can download from epitonic).
  • Also from Los Angeles we have the up and coming Silversun Pickups with their second album, "Swoon", who follow in the footsteps of early Smashing Pumpkins. The surprise is the recent announcement of their appearance on the 24th of June at the Gagarin 205 club, a concert that we definitely recommend (more about this summer's concerts coming soon).
  • The folk albums of the month come from our old pals Bill Callaghan (ex-Smog) and Will Oldham (a.k.a. Bonnie Prince Billy), stalwarts of the americana sound for the last couple of decades. With "Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle" and "Beware" respectively, the two singers-songwriters shall not disappoint their fans, but probably will not earn any new ones either.
  • A truly excellent release comes from a new Olympia, Washington band called Gun Outfit which we first encountered in the "Counter Culture 08" compilation. Their debut mini-LP is entitled "Dim Light" which boasts a powerful, lo-fi guitar sound that harks back to the heroic indie-rock days of the '80s ("just gimme indie-rock!" as Sebadoh once shouted). It's released on PPM, a label connected to No Age.
  • And finally, a lesson in music history - the 4-cd collection "Factory Records Communications 1978 - 92" consists of tracks from throughout the history of the legendary Manchester label, where next to Joy Division, New Order or Happy Mondays you can find a multitude of lesser-known or forgotten names who have also contributed to the creation of the alternative sound of an era that has not ceased to inspire countless new bands.

Top 10 Albums

  1. It's Blitz! - YEAH YEAH YEAHS
  2. Fantasies - METRIC
  3. Two Suns - BAT FOR LASHES
  4. A Certain Feeling - BODIES OF WATER
  5. Dim Light - GUN OUTFIT
  6. Swoon - SILVERSUN PICKUPS
  7. Take It Personally - THE STARLITE DESPERATION
  8. Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle - BILL CALLAHAN
  9. Beware - BONNIE PRINCE BILLY
  10. Factory Records: Communications 1978 - 92 - VARIOUS ARTISTS

Top 20 Tracks

  1. Sacred trixter - SONIC YOUTH
  2. Zero - YEAH YEAH YEAHS
  3. Daniel - BAT FOR LASHES
  4. Gimme sympathy - METRIC
  5. Under the pines - BODIES OF WATER
  6. I want you to know - DINOSAUR JR.
  7. Misfits & mistakes - SUPERCHUNK
  8. Panic switch - SILVERSUN PICKUPS
  9. Devotion - VIVA VOCE
  10. Work experience - GUN OUTFIT
  11. Spirit army - THE STARLITE DESPERATION
  12. Idiot heart - SUNSET RUBDOWN
  13. My friend - BILL CALLAHAN
  14. I don't belong to anyone - BONNIE PRINCE BILLY
  15. Nikorette - CONOR OBERST AND THE MYSTIC VALLEY BAND
  16. Pop lie - OKKERVIL RIVER
  17. Lisztomania - PHOENIX
  18. Stillness is the move - DIRTY PROJECTORS
  19. Dressed in Dresden - THE HUNDRED IN THE HANDS
  20. Supply and demand - FISCHERSPOONER

Song of the week : Gun Outfit and "Troubles Like Mine", one of the songs that stand out from the mini-LP "Dim Light", as performed at the SXSW 2009 festival last March.

 

Gun Outfit - Troubles Like Mine

 

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