Music You Should Be Listening To: January 2013

Here at MoSS? we care about our readers. We know finding good new music can be a challenge. Lord knows you don’t hear it on the radio these days. Against my better judgment, I turned on the local rock station the other day and what do you think they were playing? Buckcherry. That’s right, Buck-fucking-cherry. It’s like regular “over the airwaves” radio is stuck in some early 2000s black hole that it can’t escape. So anyway, as a service to you loyal readers we’ll be sharing some music that “You Should Be Listening To.” Yes, we will still be doing the monthly mixes but we only get 5 songs each and sometimes that’s just not enough. Also, these posts will be mainly aimed at LPs/EPs and not singles.  So pay attention. We don’t want you wandering around aimlessly listening to shitty music now do we?

January 2013 has been a pretty good month for music. Normally, January is a very slow time for new music. Also, early in the year releases can be a tough for an artist with designs on landing on my uber-prestigious best of year list. In the last few years, there have been some early releases that I loved. Examples: Frankie Rose, Interstellar in 2012 , and Cut Copy, Zonoscope in 2011. Both are great records and were my favorite of there respective years for quite awhile do to the lack of competition. Unfortunately, I burned them out and was so sick of them by year’s end that they both struggled to crack the top 10 on my list. Maybe some of this January’s releases will fair better with so much more competition for air play.

Earlier in the month, we had a few interesting releases by:

feFree Energy, Love Sign – Just plain old good time rock. I heard them described once as “Trans-Am Rock”…seems fitting. Wish I could have made it to their show last weekend at RIBCO. Heard it was good. Maybe next time around.

Key Track(s) – “Electric Fever” ,“Girls Want Rock”

lmLily and Madeleine, The Weight of the Globe EP – These girls are like 19 and 16 and can write and sing like this? I was just trying to figure out how to play an F-Chord at that age (I still fake it a bit on that one and use my thumb on the low E). Vocals sound a lot like the group First Aid Kit. Their songs kind of remind me of The Swell Season with their use of guitars and piano. Check out Lily and Madeleine’s  Bandcamp page and think about supporting them with a purchase.

Key Track(s) – All five songs are good.

While those releases were good, today’s the day I’ve had circled on my calendar. Four albums came out today that have me excited:

dtDucktails, The Flower Lane – This one surprised me. I was never a big fan of Ducktails in the past. The last LP was fine but never really kept my interest. Pitchfork streamed this record for free last week and I couldn’t stop playing it. The mastermind behind Ducktails is the guitarist for Real Estate so there are some similarities between the two but this record stands up well on its own. Chris’ former pretend girlfriend Madeline Follin from Cults even makes a cameo on my favorite song from the record “Sedan Magic.” They are coming to Iowa City in April, may have to check out the show.

Key Track(s) – “Sedan Magic”

tsTegan and Sara, Heartthrob – Much like Vampire Weekend’s upcoming album is likely to be Chris’ 2nd favorite album of the year, this one is a shoo-in for a #2 spot on my list since their previous two records had that title in 2007 and 2009. This time the ladies changed up their style a bit and released this synth-pop gem. It took me a few listens to warm up to the new direction. At first, it seemed like an attempt to cash in with a Katy Perry-ish type record. Hidden behind those up-beat hooks they have some seriously dark and painful lyrics. In a way it is a perfect pop record but with some depth behind it.

Key Track(s) – “Closer”, “Now I’m All Messed Up”

lnLocal Natives, Hummingbird – iTunes streamed this record last week and I liked it right away. It’s not like much else out there today. Chris is way better at expressing in writing why a record is good. Usually, I just go by the feel of it. This one feels good to me. Some of the songs sound like long lost Jeff Buckley tunes so maybe that’s why.

Key Track(s) – “Breakers”, “Colombia”

brBleeding Rainbow, Yeah RightSolid release that I haven’t had the chance to really dissect yet. They streamed it at Pitchfork last week but the Ducktails album made me forget about it. I was really looking forward to this one too. It was supposed to be out last October but they delayed the release. Usually, that’s not a good sign but I’ve listened to Yeah Right and liked what I heard. It’s definitely worth checking out if you like distortion filled shoegazey type stuff.

Key Track(s) – “Pink Ruff”

Can’t wait to see what next month brings us. It’s going to be hard to beat last year as Chris dubbed it the “Best February Ever”.

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