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”.

MoSS? Presents… Albums to Watch for in 2013

Albums 2013

Seems like every website is putting together a guide for upcoming album releases in 2013. Why should MoSS? be any different? We aren’t going to bore you with an endless list of shitty albums coming out this year. Instead, we are just going to share a few of our most anticipated albums.

Todd’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

January is a big month for me because four albums I’ve been not so patiently waiting for are being released.

Free Energy, Lovesign [Free People]. This one’s a real guilty pleasure for me. The songs can be sort of cheesy but they are catchy as hell and these guys don’t try to be anything but straight up rock and roll.

Bleeding Rainbow, Yeah Right [Kanine]. The band formerly known as Reading Rainbow.  I guess if you name your band after a beloved PBS children’s show, you can expect lawyers to come knocking at some point. Anyway, they are back with their 2nd LP. It was supposed to be released in October 2012 but was pushed back. I am hoping the delay wasn’t because the record sucks.

Local Natives, Hummingbird [Frenchkiss/Infectious]. Another group hoping to avoid a sophomore slump. I’ve heard two songs from it and both are pretty good. If the rest of the album is as good, then they should have a record of the year contender on their hands.

Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob [Warner]. I really loved the last two Tegan and Sara albums. The ladies released a single “Closer” from Heartthrob last fall and they revealed a much more dance/pop oriented sound. At first I hated it. Eventually, as my family (and its placement in my Top 10 Songs of 2012) can tell you , I wore that MP3 out.

There are a few albums I’m excited about being released this spring. The album I am most anxious for is…

Youth Lagoon, Wondrous Bughouse [Fat Possum]. I missed the boat way back in 2011. Youth Lagoon’s first LP, The Year of Hibernation, came across my desk at MoSS? HQ but I ignored it. Since then, I have listened to that record more often than several of my Top 10 of 2011 selections. Maybe this one will make the 2013 Top 10.

Other releases I’m hoping for…

Phoenix, TBA [Glassnote] 

Neon Indian, TBA [Mexican Summer]

I Break Horses, TBA [Bella Union]

Small Black, TBA [Jagjaguwar]

Release I am always hoping for but will probably never happen…

Pixies, TBA [4AD]

Chris’ Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

I don’t know why I am buying into Kevin Shields’ promises anymore, but supposedly we are getting a new My Bloody Valentine album sometime soon. Of course, Shields said it would be out before calendar year 2012 concluded. And he’s said numerous times before that something would soon follow up the 1991 masterpiece Loveless. Yep, the 1991 album. But there seems to be some concrete talk this time. Bassist Debbie Googe spoke about the album, even though she made it sound as though Kevin is channeling his inner Billy Corgan and handling a lot of the instrumentation himself. And one of these times it has to be the real thing, right? So I’ve got this to look forward to…possibly all year long (and beyond).

Also:

Toro y Moi, Anything in Return (January 22). I really liked Causers of This but was slightly disappointed by the 2011 release Underneath the Pine. I’m hoping for a return to greatness with Anything in Return.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, II (February 5). I loved UMO’s first album in 2011; here’s hoping album No. 2 is even better. Led Zeppelin and Crystal Castles set the bar pretty high for albums titled II, though (as did Chicago, for that matter).

Iceage, You’re Nothing (February 19). Another band that released a wonderful, economic debut in 2011. Frankly, if Iceage simply releases another 12-song, 24-minute blast of dark punk, I’ll be satisfied.

Junip, TBA (April 23). Jose Gonzalez never fails to deliver.

The Weeknd, TBA (?????). If you believe his Twitter feed, Abel is dropping a new album in 2013. I’m still a huge fan of House of Balloons and found the other two parts of Trilogy to be interesting at worst and quite excellent at times, so I’m in on more Weeknd.

Also, without comment:

The Joy Formidable, Wolf’s Law (January 22)

Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob (January 29)

Sally Shapiro, Somewhere Else (February 26)

Rhye, Woman (March 5)

Marnie Stern, The Chronicles of Marnia (March 19)

MoSS? Monthly Mixtape: November 2012

Side A : Todd’s Picks

1. Tegan and Sara, “Closer”

2. Dan Deacon, “True Thrush”

3. Local Natives, “Breakers”

4. The Sea and Cake, “Harps”

5. Lower Dens, “Blue and Silver”

Side B : Chris’ Picks

1. Kate Boy, “Northern Lights”

2. Earl Sweatshirt, “Chum”

3. Hannah Georgas, “Enemies”

4. Black Moth Super Rainbow, “Psychic Love Damage”

5. Crystal Castles, “Child I Will Hurt You”