Band: OLAFUR ARNALDS Album: For Now I am Winter For Now I Am Winter is a wonder of an album. It’s been categorized as classical in some Internet retail outlets, but it also has elements of pure pop. Lush orchestrations came from his collaboration with New York wunderkind composer Nico Muhly, and vocals by prog rock Arnór Dan, which gave this album a big jolt.
Band: VALLEYS Album: Are You Going to Stand There and Talk Weird All Night?
Toronto has become one of the biggest centers for ethereal and haunting dream pop bands. Since the release of their first album in 2009, Valleys have been one of the finest examples of this genre. Their sophomore record is filled with loss, the result of the passing of one of the family member of the duo.
Listen to "Are You Going to Stand There and Talk Weird All Night? HERE
Band: SAVAGES Song: Silence Yourself
London’s all female post punk Savages is my one of my new favorite bands. Formed in 2011 and with only one ep out, their style has been compared to performers like Siousxie and PJ Harvey. Silence yourself, out May 5, aims to create a solid sound written for the stage.
Listen to "Silence Yourself" HERE
Band: YOUNG GALAXY Album: Ultramarine
Young Galaxy recorded their fourth album in Gothenburg, Sweden, away from their Montreal home. This lent a glimmering electronic pop sound to their characteristic portrayal of melancholic youth.
Band: WAMPIRE Album: Curiosity
Portland residents Wampire have been making music together for more than 10 years, but it took them until now to produce their first record. Curiosity is an off-kilter blend of electronic and rock, with nods to some time spent in Germany, hence the band’s name and, perhaps, this cover of Kraftwerk’s Das Modell.
Band: BONOBO Album: The North Borders
The British DJ and producer Simon Green recruited some amazing vocal talent for his fifth album, recording with Erykah Badu for the dreamy Heaven For The Sinner.
Band: JOHN GRANT Song: Pale Green Ghosts
Queen of Denmark, Grant’s first solo album, was named best of 2010 in many British magazines. Expectations for his new material is high, and, thanks to Gus Gus producer Biggi Veira, he beautifully delivers his mordant lyrics about love and break up and more, underlined by chunky electro beats and layers of strings, giving a dark symphonic feel.
Listen to "Pale Green Ghosts" HERE
Band: CO LA Album: MELTER’S DELIGHT
Baltimore’s CO LA second album strips down all the kitsch and exotica of his previous recordings, concentrating now on layers of drums, breathing sounds and water trickles. Results are as magical as ever, a non-stop fun joy ride.
Listen to "Melter's Delight" HERE
Band: JAI PAUL Song: Jasmine (Demo)
Jai Paul’s long awaited album leaked last week, though it was just another collection of demos stolen from his laptop. No one was able to buy it, but if it were as good as Jasmine, it would have made my day. His “real” album is supposed to come out soon. In the meantime, enjoy one more time Jasmine.
Band: BATHS Album: Obsidian
Obsidian is the moody and dark new Baths’ album, in which LA producer Will Weisenfeld departs from his early quirky sound. Quirky is something he shared with some his LA peers like Daedelus or Bibio. What sets Will apart is his great virtuosic control of a large number of instruments; he has been playing the piano for 20 years, and it shows in the elegant Ironworks.