Posts Tagged ‘2016albums’

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Dave’s Music Discoveries 2016

February 26, 2017

First thing I should mention is that things are still going well with Spotify for me.  I did have some issues last year with downloading too many albums last year and filling up my 32GB phone.  That just prompts me to be a little more critical with regards to what I feel like I am enjoying enough to justify letting it take up space on my phone.

The second thing I wanted to add was to give a quick shout out to some additional albums that I liked from 2015 but somehow missed them and discovered them after the fact.  They are (in no particular order):

  • Oh Wonder – Self-titled album (My wife and I have been playing this album a lot)
  • The DØ (pronounced like the deer, the female deer) – Shake, Shook, Shaken (any serious Metric fans should check this video out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu577tNp1hA)
  • JR JR – Self-titled album
  • Kopecky – Drug for the Modern Age
  • Battle Tapes – Polygon (I first heard the single “Feel the Same” for this a few years ago and I have been waiting to hear a full album ever since) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJdLiyPIbcY

 

But on to this year.  I’ll start at number one this time and count up to number five which I had the most trouble deciding on.  I’ll give an honourable mention to the other contenders for the #5 spot at the end as well.

 

#1) The Naked and Famous – Simple Forms

1-tnafI’m a big fan of this group, ever since I first discovered them back in early 2011 with their debut album “Passive Me, Aggressive You”.  They had a second album in 2013, but for me that one was just okay.  This one got back to the quality of the first in my mind.  They have a nice full electronic sound in the background of most songs with good energy, and the vocal chemistry between Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers is beautiful.

They are a band out of New Zealand and they have had some success and radio time with a few hits including “Punching in a Dream”, “Young Blood” and “Girls Like You” from the first album, and “Hearts Like Ours” from the second album entitled “In Rolling Waves”.  So far the only single I’ve heard on the radio from the new one is the song “Higher” but I think we’ll hear another before the album has run its course.  I’m thinking maybe “Energy” or “Last Forever” might be possibilities.

If anyone wants to see them live, let me know.  Next time I hear they’re in town I might just buy a couple tickets and hope to find a buddy after the fact.

 

#2) Yeasayer – Amen & Goodbye2-yeasayer

These guys are a band out of Brooklyn, formed back in 2006 but this album is my first time coming across them.  For me, they have an almost Beatles quality with some of their vocals like the intro track “Daughters of Cain” and “Prophecy Gun” when the lyrics finally come in.  Also, the song “Gerson’s Whistle” kind of reminded me of the Beatles with its story about a random guy style; kind of reminiscent of “Eleanor Rigby”, “Nowhere Man” or “The Fool on the Hill”.

As for the rest of the album, it has good variety of musical sounds and clever lyricism throughout.  Give it a listen.  I haven’t heard it on the radio, but I’ve heard “I Am Chemistry” on a few quality pre-packaged playlists that are provided on streaming sites.  Here’s the video for that song, but be prepared for some serious weirdness!

Not sure what’s happening on the album cover either, but whatever…

 

#3) Young the Giant – Home of the Strange3-young-the-giant

Formed in the early 2000s out of Irvine, California (LA area), this band went mostly unnoticed by me for their first couple of albums.  They would probably be best known for their hits “My Body” and “Cough Syrup” (both from their debut self-titled) but I never gave the rest of the albums a good listen through.  This one, for one reason or another, stood out for me.

“Something to Believe In” was the first single released, and I’ve lately been hearing a lot of “Silvertongue” getting airtime, but I think my favourite song is one called “Titus Was Born”.  It starts off very soft and then builds to a solid head-bobbing sound by the end.

They are on my radar now; I’ll definitely be checking out any future albums they release.

 

#4) Paper Lions – Full Colour4-paper-lions

This was just a fun album for me, plus it’s good to have some Canadian content.  These gentlemen are from PEI, which I got to check out for the first time this summer (had a nice trip out east).  The musical style is kind of an 80’s inspired pop-ish sound with a good mix of chill and upbeat songs.

chucky-dangerI like the album title because it feels like a good throwback/tribute/follow-up to a previous album they released that was simply called “Colour”.  This was from back in 2006 before they changed their name from Chucky Danger Band.  I like Paper Lions better, so good call on the name change.

 

I think “My Number”, “End of July” and “If You Ever” are my top songs from the album.

 

#5) Bear’s Den – Red Earth & Pouring Rain5-bears-den

This album is a bit more on the softer side than the rest of this list, even registering in the folk side of the spectrum, but every song is so good I can’t stop playing it.  I tried to resist and put something else in the number five spot, but it won its way into my heart.  I don’t know if I can point to any particular song as a stand out; I think it stands best as a whole.  I do like how the opening/title track starts out though.  I think the album had me before the first word.

The band is from London and this is their second full-length album.  They did some touring as openers for Mumford & Sons so they’ve been getting some good exposure.  Good for them!  Now someone just needs to work on their Wiki page.

 

The albums that Bear’s den were up against were:

  • Panic Is Perfect – Cellspace (this album came out early in the year and got a lot of listens from me – I got attached to it and it was hard to let it go) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5yzNaeByLU
  • Radiation City – Synesthetica (Using the words “taciturn” and “cacophonous” in the first two songs gets my respect; smart is sexy)
  • AURORA – All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend (I like her accent… even though she’s Norwegian, she sounds a bit Irish to me so the album took me back to classic Cranberries no need to argue era)
  • Blossoms – Self-Titled (Dana vetoed this one)

Thanks for reading to the end.  Hope I gave you something new to discover along with me. Until next year!