It’s only mid-April, I know, but despite not posting as much on the blog as I have in the past, I’m still listening to a lot of music. And so I thought I’d throw some thoughts together on some of my early favorites for 2015 albums. Definitely a lot more raucous than in past years, perhaps. Not a folk act or folk-rock act in sight so far.
Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up
Colleen Green’s music just makes me happy. “I Want To Grow Up” is a fun, frolicking, indie pop album from the 30-year Los Angeles native. Backup musicians this go-around included JEFF the Brotherhood’s Jake Orrall and Diarrhea Planet’s Casey Weissbuch. One of the quotes on her facebook page says it best – “like Belinda Carlisle fronting The Ramones”.
Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
I absolutely love Courtney Barnett. There’s just something about her music and singing that captivates the soul, bewitches you with emotion, but still has this subtle dirty griminess you just want to get messed up in. I think I still might prefer her earlier release, but this is without a doubt an extraordinary album.
Modest Mouse – Strangers To Ourselves
I’ve been a Modest Mouse fan for a number of years. In fact, I might have more Modest Mouse albums on my iPhone than any other band. Unlike most other bands I can point to and go “that’s my favorite album”, I’m not sure any of their albums stick out more than any other to me – I tend to love a few songs on every album. This will probably end up being the same – “Lampshades On Fire” and “God Is An Indian And You’re An Asshole” are great, great tracks.
Myrrors – Arena Negra
I listened to this album for the first time on the same day as the new Godspeed You! Black Emperor album. The Myrrors’ release is everything I was hoping for from the GYBE release. Similar vein, but Myrrors just knock it out of the park with this one.
North Highlands – eponymous
I’ve been following this New York band since 2011, when I called their album “Wild One” a “beautiful package, with jaw-dropping vocals and harmonies overlaying the whole fabrication … wholly enjoyable from start to finish”.
Started in 2009 by NYU music student Brenda Malvini, it quickly included four other college friends. “Wild One” was probably their pinnacle, though this eponymous release is almost equally as extraordinary. Sadly, the band’s been on indefinite hiatus since last year as they’ve all left New York for other parts of their country, and I honestly would be completely shocked if we ever get any more material, ever, from the project.
Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love
Not sure what more to say about this release that hasn’t already been said. I wasn’t a huge fan for their first time around, just never seemed to get on my radar. Sort of odd, given that my early 90’s were dominated by Seattle bands. At any rate, they’re back together, and this album is every bit as good as everyone told me it would be.
Viet Cong – eponymous
I won’t be surprised if this album tops my year-end charts. An angry, guitar-fueled frenzy from start to finish, with a rawness that is so rarely captured in albums nowadays.
Credits: All photos by yours truly. Thanks to models Jameson, and Megan and Flynn (their first appearance on the New Music Michael blog, at the tender age of three weeks and one day), as well as Jimmy Fallion (the lion), and Royal and Munchie.