Musical Musings…

Musical Musings...

“The Years”
Mp3. “Lately”

If Zooey Deschanel made morning music with Stars of the Lid before she had her first cup of coffee, and she sang without that subtle-but-evident hipster irony I have come to associate with She & Him, you’d have a rough idea of what Memoryhouse sounds like. Of course, they are also totally better than that cheesy metaphor. Wait. What?

Mumford & Sons
“Sigh No More”
Mp3. “The Cave”

It’s as though Fanfarlo hired Ricky Skaggs to run back up, and Amy Grant helped with some of the writing (to get the “Faith” bits just right). Of course, this melange sounds awesome, and if you can tolerate (and appreciate) the bluegrass undercurrents, then you’ll enjoy this band. Oh, and they’re not from America! Is that a bonus? I don’t know.

“Not Even In July”
Mp3. “Cleo’s Song”

Imagine Jose Gonzales and Jim James had a baby (it can happen, ask Devito and Schwarzenegger), and this child was raised on Great Lake Swimmers (before they left the silo). The haunting melodies and tragic undercurrent somehow makes this even better than that.

Local Natives
“Gorilla Manor”
Mp3. “World News”

A new kind of anthem band. This one eschews instrumentation in favor of barbershop harmonies and mixes mundane lyricism (“The lane next over’s always faster”) with profound delivery (see “Who Knows Who Cares”) to create one of my favorite albums this year.

Josh Ritter
“So Runs the World Away”
Mp3. “The Curse”

If Joanna Newsom leased out her patent on wordy songwriting, you’d have two of the tracks from Josh Ritter’s latest album figured out. If you made one of them about a mummy who falls in love with a female paleontologist (“The Curse”), and the other about a Christopher Columbus type searching for a paradise in Antarctica, well then you’d have discovered two of the best songs this year.

The National
“High Violet”
Mp3. “Conversation 16”

Pretend you combined all of the previous albums by The National, set the blender to low, then poured your concoction into a drinking glass that was shinier than the one you drank your morning milk in. Oh, and if a close listen to “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks,” doesn’t make you a wee bit weepy, you’re inhuman (subhuman?).

One Response to
“Musical Musings…”