Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Countdown - #9

cool/koŌl/: Slang: a. Excellent; first-rate. b. Acceptable; satisfactory. These artists are cool. Both of them - very much so. One surfaced into my life about four years ago, captivating my attention with his eccentric melodies, massive instrumental backing and grandiose indie yodel. The other popped up a little over a year ago, and has now been played so painfully to death, I'm currently in the middle of "cool"-ing off from them. But that doesn't mean they don't deserve a large mention for making this year very, very pumped up.

BEIRUT - The Rip Tide: Faithful to Beirut's coined caravan-jam classics- this album is a sunny glance into his awesomely obscure American indie-pop, orchestrated by a barrel of instruments ranging from giant horns to his famous ukulele to jolly piano. The album was just perfect as a June release;  it's like one giant dreamy summer voyage that stretches across a heartwarming collection of coming-of-age concepts. Zach Condon, or Beirut, is a 25 year-old indie sensation who has proved his music is here to stay - only getting better, older and happier. This is my favourite album from this little star; it really does make me so happy when I listen all the way through. I suggest you do the same.. Highlight songs: "Santa Fe", "Goshen", "The Rip Tide", "Vagabond"


Foster The People

FOSTER THE PEOPLE - Torches: My article from back in October of 2010 cited these guys as a band that would make a "head-turning" splash in 2011 - and I have to say, I told you so. Between the popular and wildly overplayed "Pumped Up Kicks", the band whipped out "Helena Beat" mid-year - a funky downtown jam pulled together by their laid-back, young voices and futuristic melody. They could be a fad, or they could be a stylish addition to the dance-indie wave that we'll see kick around for several more albums. To be determined; but in the mean time, I have FTP to thank for helping me improve my "cool" walking strut over the course of the past year. Try not to strut when "Pumped Up Kicks" is playing, regardless of how sick of it you are. Also, did I mention they're undeniably handsome? Bonus points... Highlight songs: "Helena Beat", "Don't stop (Color on the Walls)", "Waste", "Miss You"


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