Monday, January 31, 2011

Rabbits and Hares

2011 is heating up.

A new month starts tomorrow, and we’re about to see an influx of the New Year’s music. Countless albums are released at the end of one year or the beginning of a new one – a smart tactic for artists who are looking to start over, artists who are looking to put their musical footprint on the year and it’s sound, those who want to flip their sound and those who want to excite us.

In my opinion, 2010 will be hard to top. I remember in the late 90s and early millenium, searching for those meaningful and fascinating songs was just that – a search. We were in the age of rambunctious teen punk, pop princesses and Chad Kroegers, and looking for a thematically diverse song with thought-provoking lyrics wasn’t as easy. Everything I found to be special was “underground” or really “indie” and hell would freeze over before hearing it on the radio. Aside from a few exceptions (Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Lauryn Hill, etc.), the quest for gems was a struggle, unlike these past few years where we’ve had the luxury of tripping over them everywhere we step.

I’m already seeing 2011 singles pop up left, right and centre – with or without a fully developed album that’s ready to be released – and I have a little inkling we are off to a very intriguing start. Here is what I mean, or, here is what I’m going to share today:


1. The Stand – Mother Mother: I love this band. Five British Columbian friends, some related and some not, who get up on stage and spread the party far and wide. This new song off Eureka is an absolute blast for all who listen, and I can’t wait to get my hands on those to follow. Founder and lead singer Ryan Guldemond talks back to his sister Molly’s pipsqueak vocals about his corrupt weaknesses on this upbeat dance-rock track. They're infectious, sexy, and a little hilarious.
                                                                


2. Preservation – Wintersleep: Following in the footsteps of their previous chords struck, these Canadian men hit home with their good-God-what-took-them-so-long new single. Wintersleep needed some new material to show us they’ve still got the magic they had with 2007’s Welcome to the Night Sky. I’ve yet to hear whether or not the rest of the songs off their newest, entitled New Inheritors, are as good as this one – but if it’s any representation of the rest, this is going to be a mature and heartwarming step in the right direction for them. It's an ambient and profound concept, with lead singer Paul Murphy’s droning vocals narrating the story of a woman with a past who isn’t accepting love. He pleads, “And if you ever willed it/ I would embroider you in disaffected kisses/ In bleach reticent sunsets.” Wow.

                                                         


3. Hey Boy – Mark Ronson and the Business Intl: Famed British DJ, Producer, Musician and jack of all trades Mark Ronson released his latest album Record Collection in September of 2010, but the diverse compilation of hip-hop and dance-trance songs are still continuing to trickle out and gain ground. One song I’ve heard on a number of websites and on certain stations recently is this one, and it’s made me re-visit my copy of Record Collection with avid ears. It’s a sweet mix featuring Theophilus London’s b-boy rhymes, funky electro-backing and the romantic vocals of The Pipettes’ Rose Elinor Dougall, that guarantees a second listen right after the first. Other great tracks that can be checked out off this album are “The Bike Song” and “Bang Bang Bang.” You can’t go wrong with Ronson.

                                                       

Well, that’s all for now. But the discovery process has only begun!

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