Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heavy Fives - Week of March 14, 2011

Just about every year, after the year-end music nerd list hoopla settles, I seem to retreat almost systematically to recharge my proverbial musical batteries.  January and sometimes even February are almost like the off season, with March being the equivalent of spring training as I get my new music legs again. I keep tabs on new stuff getting released or announced, but a clear head for proper listening and ranting seems to truly surface like clockwork around mid March.

So here we are.  Back to five 2011 releases that are currently in heavy rotation

Cut Copy - Zonoscope

Not a lot of surprises, but still fresh and slick in only a way Cut Copy can be slick and get away with it. The Bryan Ferry vocal treatments are a nice shift and work really well.  The 15 minute finale, "Sun God" is nothing short of brilliantly ridiculous, but the New Order guitar fill near the end of "Pharaohs & Pyramids" is the part that makes me smile every time.

Telekinesis - 12 Desperate Straight Lines

"Oh you went platinum? Yeah that's nice. Now let me see you do the same thing twice." So these guys aren't likely to see platinum sales anytime soon, but Nas was on to something in that this album proves Telekinesis are destined to make perfect indie guitar pop for a while yet if they want to. The first album was clearly not luck.

Hey Rosetta! - Seeds

I was admittedly a little late to the Hey Rosetta! game, only taking the time to finally check them out properly some time last year.  This album initially sounds like them finding their stride and building on an already robust and well rounded sound. Lots of room to grow into this album, with plenty of interesting hiding places.

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will 

I've never been convinced Post-Rock was a great idea for a genre name, but generally speaking most genres in the last 20 years have been made up and are a little silly in restrospect (Sad Core? really?). Regardless, if Post-Rock still exists, and if in fact Mogwai still qualify, then they should sit near or  on top of the PR heap both for their past catalogue and this finely crafted piece of near lyrically absent sonic mish mash.

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

Simply put, this recording is currently leading the pack as my favourite 2011 release.  There is not a lot of bad music coming out of Sweden these days, but this is beyond. Her first album was great, but this is also beyond.