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Posts Tagged ‘arcade fire’

 

Alright, I’m back from my holiday and I STILL haven’t put together my list of ‘top ten albums of the year’. I’ve been trying for ages and it’s just not happening. There have been a lot of good albums released this year, and a lot of great ones that I haven’t even gotten around to listening to. There are a probably a few albums that I’ve brushed off and will go back to listen to next year and think ‘why did I put that in my top ten!’. But such is life I guess.

 

For me I had two stand out albums of the year – Jonsi’s Go and the National’s High Violet. I can’t even begin to explain how well each of these albums resonates with me. Right from the first listen, I fell in love with both, and both had songs that made their way to my ‘most played’ in iTunes, knocking off songs that had been on it for over a year. I love both of these albums because they’re so different. High Violet is absolutely gut wrenching. It’s just plain depressing. Go is my uplifting album. I like to play its opening track ‘Go Do’ on the bus first thing Monday morning to try and brighten my spirits. They’re albums with so much passion and texture, they’re both moving in completely different ways.

 

My favourite Australian releases were The Boat People’s Dear Darkly and Foreign Tapes by Parades. I’ve loved everything the Boaties have released, and I swear they just keep getting better and better as the years go on. I actually didn’t buy Foreign Tapes until a few months ago. I saw Parades for the first time at Big Sound – and it was in fact the first I’d even heard of them – and was immediately drawn to their style. They’re both great pop albums, extremely catchy and easy to listen to right through til the end.

 

One of the surprises for the year was Arcade Fire’s release, the Suburbs. I tossed up whether or not this was a ‘top ten’ album. I don’t think it is for me. I really do love it, but I think it’s more so because I expected it to be awful.

 

I had a few other highlights, including Hungry Kids of Hungary and Spoon. I loved both of those albums, but I find that I really have to be in a certain mood or frame of mind to listen to them. To me a top ten list means anytime, anywhere, all the way through which is probably why I had so much trouble putting together a list of ten albums this year. Bring on 2011 though! I’m excited to see what it will bring.

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Unfortunately my Internet decided to stop working last night. So apologies for this one being late. Believe it or not this was the first Sunday where I actually had everything prepared and ready to go!

Earlier this week (possibly even earlier, but they really came out this week) the new Arcade Fire tracks were released. If you know me personally, you’ll know that I’m a massive Arcade Fire fan. Massive. And I have been looking forward to this album since I heard that it was even going to exist, around the beginning of the year. So yes, this is another case of me mentally hyping something far beyond its means (anyone recall my expectations of Seja’s album?). Stylistically the tracks are much closer to Neon Bible than Funeral, which I found a little disappointing but I’m trying desperately not to be one of those ‘I like their old stuff better than their new stuff’ assholes.

The Suburbs is enjoyable, but doesn’t have that particular spark that Arcade Fire songs normally have. Lyrically though, I find it much more appealling than Month of May, and tredding in more familiar territory. Month of May is a more generic guitar rocker, but has a lot more energy than The Suburbs. It’s certainly much more exciting to listen to, but it just makes me cringe every time I hear Win Butler sing “gonna make a record in the month of may”. These tracks just don’t seem to have the same amount of passion or soul than their older tracks do. They’re growing on me with each listen though. I suppose I had a similar problem with some of the Neon Bible tracks. I just don’t think I’ll ever get that same feeling from this band as I did when I first heard ‘Rebellion (Lies)’ and the Neighbourhood tracks…or that feeling I still get when I hear those tracks.

So what’s missing? Textures. Layers. Violins. Vocal harmonines. All of the things that make Arcade Fire special (in my opinion at least). But with each listen, they are growing on me. With each listen I think “I didn’t like this? WHy didn’t I like this?”. I’m definitely interested to hear what the rest of the album is going to be like.

What does everyone think of these tracks? I know a lot of you are Arcade Fire fans so speak up!

View the YouTube videos below (not so much a video, just a the song against a backdrop). Or download them from here for free.

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Oh my god – there are so many albums set to come out this year, especially in the next six months!

Matthew Cooper, aka ambient recording artist Eluvium has a new album coming out at the end of February called Similes. It’s been three years since Cooper released anything under this alias, so this is definitely one to look forward to.

English singer-songwriter Laura Marling is supposed to release two albums this year apparently, with this first entitled I Speak Because I Can coming out late February/early March. After that she’ll be heading straight back into the studio for another album to be ready by September.

Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi is releasing his first solo album, entitled Go on March 23. It’s supposedly going to be a bit of a step away from Sigur Ros’ post rock style, being largely acoustic and featuring string arrangements.

Music act Evelyn Evelyn consisting of Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley will release their first full length studio album on March 30, following the success of their Elephant Elephant EP in 2007.

MGMT will release their second album Congratulations on April 12 and is rumoured to have quite a few guest appearances.

Just recently, The National announced that they would be releasing a new album this year, a follow up to their extremely successful 2007 release The Boxer. Details of the new album are yet to be confirmed, but we know that it’s set for release in May.

Canadians Broken Social Scene, The New Pornographers and Arcade Fire are all set to release albums in May. The new Arcade Fire release is easily one of the most anticipated albums of the year, due to the phenomenal success of their previous two albums.

But possibly the biggest surprise will be the resurrection of Conor Oberst’s alter ego Bright Eyes. He’s supposedly releasing one more album as the ‘band’ before he officially retires the project to focus on his solo work and his latest band Monsters of Folk. The album is set for a fall release in the States.

Other rumoured releases include Nick Cave’s other project, Grinderman, as well as of Montreal, and Fleet Foxes. Lots to look forward this year…and it’s barely even begun!

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