Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Countdown - #13

Third time has been said to be charming, so on the third day of my 2011 countdown, and in the 13th mention of great albums - I thought I would feature two very charming artists at this time and place in music history. One, a quirky fairy princess who took the world by storm less than three years ago with her obscure beats and pre-pubescent sweet croons; the other, a Canadian indie rock rising phenomenon nominated for this year’s Polaris prize and gaining steam with each sold out show. Here are the charmers:

Lykke Li

LYKKE LI – Wounded Rhymes: As a winter staple that I readily gave two thumbs up, the singles from the Swedish sprite’s coming-of-age album are still popping out of the woodwork even after I’ve retired them from my regular rotation. The retro go-go beats and organs swirling around her youthful, undecorated voice go perfectly with Li’s signature style – wide cat eyes, glamorous fur, and long model locks. Packed with doo wop last dance numbers as well as sassy femme fatale theme songs – Lykke’s proved she’s no longer the sweetheart in the shadows from Youth Novels. Nobody puts baby in the corner. Highlight songs: “I Follow Rivers”, “Love Out of Lust”, “I Know Places”, ‘Get Some”


The Rural Alberta Advantage
RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE – Departing: The follow-up to the Toronto band’s widely received freshman album, which drew big time comparisons to other great Canadian acts like Grizzly Bear and Arcade Fire, Nils Edenloff’s effortless Neutral Milk Hotel-reminiscent howl overtop of beautifully rustic-sounding jams is ever-so-heartwarming. Each of the chilly, folk-rock jams are buried beneath just enough romance and sparkle, creating a diverse yet comforting theme throughout the album which would entice even the most reluctant of listeners. The pretty touches to each honest, woodsy track hardly take away the edge of the album – but just show that their open-road musical journey to fame is going to show us many different sides. Highlight songs: “Two Lovers”, “Stamp”, “Barnes’ Yard”, “Coldest Days”, “Good Night”

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