January 2011


1. Jan. 2011, 12:42

The idea is for a journal for every month listing new albums I listen to and what I think so that when I review the year's music in December, I will have a handy reminder. I will add to this as the month goes on. Suggestions welcome.

Play the radio: My Gang Featured Albums 11

Dec 2010 and earlier

w/c Mon 03 January:

Forest Swords - Dagger Paths
If Your Girl is a ghostly cover of Aaliyah's If Your Girl Only Knew that stays in your mind.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Thea Gilmore - Teach Me To Be Bad (Nov 14, 2010)
4-track EP. Folk. Hugely underrated British talent. Everything by her is worth listening to.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Wild Nothing - Gemini
The one everyone was listening to that I managed to miss. Right up my street with their dream pop shoegazy goodness.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Best Coast - Crazy for You
The one I thought I heard last year because I'd heard the Boyfriend song in a compilation. Oops. Excellent album. Kicking myself.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

LA Vampires & Zola Jesus - LA Vampires & Zola Jesus
Spooky cover alert! This time No No No, which is a cover of Dawn Penn's You Don't Love Me (No, No, No). Good, spooky, dreamy album in all, ending on this little gem, which serves to raise your opinion from like to love.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

James Blake - Klavierwerke EP (Single)
The critic's darling and the debut hasn't been released yet. Due in February. Getting to know you...
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

James Blake - CMYK EP (Single)
Getting to know all about you...
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Drake - Thank Me Later
Virtually a concept album about the loneliness and lovelessness of the successful celebrity, a sort of sequel to Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak, only more audaciously dolorous because he's only just started. (Amazon) Beautiful album.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Take That - Progress
The only Take That album I own. And probably the best. Great stuff.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Bleu - Four (25 Oct 2010)
Hook-laden power pop of the 1970s American trad rock variety. Dropped by major due to label politics, album made using funds raised by fans. Love When The Shit Hits The Fan.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

w/c Mon 10 January:

Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi
Dark atmospheric romantic pop. Pure theatre and high drama. Incredible talent.
The Line of Best Fit - review
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
Features appearances from Gillian Welch and Rem’s Peter Buck. Allegedly, upon hearing said band’s Reckoning, Meloy set out to write a homage to REM (Drowned in Sound) Very good, but I think I like earlier work better.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Clive Tanaka y su orquesta - Jet Set Siempre 1°
Originally released on cassette, the Japanese musician's album adds an electronic spin to his unique band of dream pop. (Spinner) Last track, Lonely for the High Scrapers, is the best - robots harmonising! Video for it on this blog.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Abigail Washburn - City of Refuge
The acclaimed indie-folk banjo player gets help from members of My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists and Old Crow Medicine Show (among others) on her latest release. (Spinner) Played this on repeat for most of this week. Glorious. Americana, roots, folk, country.
BBC review
NPR review
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Mew - Eggs Are Funny
The Danish art rockers' first hits compilation features a new track, Do You Love It. (Spinner) A best-of already? Good fun as always.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Hang Glider - Hang Glider
The synth-loving L.A. musician wrote, performed and recorded all of the music on his debut EP by himself. (Spinner) 5-track EP. A good late-night listen. Best track: The Landings
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Wire - Red Barked Tree
Their twelfth studio album and my first album-want of the year. Sharp melodies and great guitar lines are given a backdrop of pulsating rhythm (Amazon) Perfection.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

British Sea Power - Valhalla Dancehall
The Brighton, England indie rockers recorded their "mood-based" new album in a remote farmhouse. (Spinner) Don't like this kind of indie so kept putting this off to the last minute. Still don't like their usual style but then they start playing actual music. The indie side holds them back. The music side is beautiful.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Empresarios - Sabor Tropical
The D.C.-based quintet blends funk, dub and reggaeton on its debut LP. (Spinner) Due 8 February. A welcome break from indie shindie. Reggaeton isn't cool, all the more reason to turn this up. Recalls everything from Thievery Corporation to Radiohead and much more inbetween.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Moon Hotel Lounge Project - Into the Ojalá
Saxophonist Tom Moon put together a talented group of talented musicians for this collection of seductive, atmospheric jazz. (Spinner) Not unpleasant background music, which I suppose is the point.
Philly.com - interview
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

w/c Mon 17 January:

Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues
The Allman Brothers singer's first solo LP in 14 years features Dr. John and T Bone Burnett's studio band. (Spinner)
NPR review Due 7 February. Very good blues for Blue Monday.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Madison - Noise Some People Make
The former med student releases the first of four EPs featuring her brand of dance-rock. (Spinner) 4-track EP. Doctor, Doctor! The DJ who really will save your life (don't think she's a DJ though, that was just for comic effect y'understand). Good fun, cheesy and sleazy, chased away Blue Monday blues.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere Over The Rainbow
The Hawaiian guy with the ukulele who did the amazing cover of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' which was picked up and used heavily all over television and film. More unique covers here as well as a selection of traditional Hawaiian songs.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Fujiya & Miyagi - Ventriloquizzing
Starts well but loses its way.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Joan as Police Woman - The Deep Field
Good, but prefer first album.
BBC review
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Dolorean - The Unfazed
While this Portland band was working on their latest effort, they got a new drummer and had four kids. (Spinner) Wonderful. Soft and gentle.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Tennis - Cape Dory
The duo's debut album was written after a seven-month stint spent on a sailboat. (Spinner) Put it on because I like the cheesy cover art. Music wasn't at all what I expected. Sweet and dreamy indie pop.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Charles Bradley - No Time for Dreaming
The Brooklyn's soul singer's inspired album was produced by Thomas ''Tommy TNT'' Brenneck of the Dap-Kings and the Budos Band. (Spinner) Will be released 14 February.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Bryan Greenberg - We Don't Have Forever
The singer-songwriter and 'How to Make It in America' actor's album was produced by Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Devendra Banhart) and features a guest spot by Kid Cudi. (Spinner)
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Gang of Four - Content
In which I am reminded of Duran Duran and the B52s. Not sure I'm meant to do that. Bonus track, Second Life = Josh Homme, QOTSA.
BBC review
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Braids - Native Speaker
The Canadian quartet's self-recorded debut features stretched-out indie-pop jams. (Spinner) Slow-core. Dreamy and ethereal. Female Animal Collective. Superb. On repeat.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Oh No Oh My - People Problems
The Austin rockers' second record features a more grown-up sound thanks to the five-year wait since their debut (Spinner)
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
Huge change of direction. 70s FM radio influences. Favourite track: Me and Lazarus.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Only Son - Searchlight
Former Moldy Peaches lead guitarist Jack Dishel and band release a sophomore record featuring Regina Spektor and members of the Strokes and Of Montreal. (Spinner) One word: awesome. Call Them Brothers Feat. Regina Spektor is outstanding, no mean feat on such a spectacular album. Loved this.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

David Gergen - The Nearer It Was... The Farther It Became
The singer-songwriter's fourth LP features a blend of Americana, electronica and blues. (Spinner) Little bit weird. An odd blend of early 80s dark electronica, blues guitar and sharp sounds in the higher registers. Not enough balance anywhere. Good voice, though.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Seafarer - Hiding Places
Originally released in May 2010, the Chicago psych-folk band is reissuing its debut EP thanks to plenty of buzz. (Spinner) Loud and noisy and good.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Daniel Martin Moore - In the Cool of the Day
Influenced by Appalachian folk and vintage gospel, Daniel Martin Moore s second solo album is a laid-back, God-fearing affair. (Amazon) Due 31 January. Soft, quiet, soothing and only 30 minutes in length. Acoustic, piano or guitar, minimal with just Moore taking much of the lead.
Streaming on Sub Pop http://www.subpop.com/channel/blog/stream_aurelio_and_daniel_martin_moores_new_records
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Aurelio Martinez - Laru Beya
Due 14 Febrary. Streaming on Sub Pop http://www.subpop.com/channel/blog/stream_aurelio_and_daniel_martin_moores_new_records
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Destroyer - Kaputt
80s soft rock throughout. Lloyd Cole and The Commotions only less so.
Pitchfork interview
Hype Machine full stream ahead of release 25 Jan http://hypem.com/#!/artist/Destroyer
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

The Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts
The third album from Brighton-based indie sextet, The Go Team, is their first in four years, since 2007's critically acclaimed 'Proof Of Youth'. 'Rolling Blackouts' features a number of collaborations, including with Bethany Consentino of Best Coast, and Satomi Matsuzaki of Deerhoof. The group have employed some interesting studio techniques on this record,including recording 'office' sounds for 'Secretary Song'. (Amazon) Their best yet, reminds me of David Holmes' work, especially Yosemite Theme which recalls 69 Police.
Hype Machine full stream ahead of release 31 Jan http://hypem.com/#!/artist/the+go!+team
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

East River Pipe - We Live In Rented Rooms
Due 15 February.
Full stream on Merge Records http://mergerecords.com/store/store_detail.php?catalog_id=760
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Cold War Kids - Mine Is Yours
Mine Is Yours is the third full-length studio album from Californian four-piece Cold War Kids. The album was produced by Jacquire King, who has previously worked with Modest Mouse, Tom Waits, Norah Jones and the Kings Of Leon. Mine Is Yours has a much more expansive sound than the band's previous work, with complicated and sprawling arrangements taking the place of the stripped-back simplicity of their earlier albums. (Amazon) I knew I wouldn't like this - and I don't. Hit and miss and more patchy than a patchy thing. Made it to track 6. No more.
Due 24 January. Full stream http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/luisterpaal/44383212#luisterpaal.44383212
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

w/c Mon 24 January:

Hercules and Love AffairBlue Songs
Strong album, year-end lists contender. Dirty disco, range of tempos, plenty to be getting on with, you don't know it on first listen. Great.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar
Huge buzz over this but, I don't know. Will come back to it.
Drowned In Sound review
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Esben and the Witch - Violet Cries
Full stream here http://stereogum.com/623072/stream-esben-and-the-witch-violet-cries-stereogum-premiere/mp3s/
A welcome reworking of early 80s dream pop, goth, ethereal, complete with shyly shimmering guitars behind a girly Siouxsie vocal. Best track: Eumenides. A good debut. BBC ones to watch for 2011.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Caroline - Verdugo Hills
The Japanese-American singer-songwriter and Mice Parade member follows up her 2006 debut, 'Murmurs.' (Spinner) Weird woman via Charlotte Gainsbourg.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Various Artists - Love SIC Disco
To celebrate 100 releases on London label Something in Construction, here's a whopping great compilation for you to download featuring MNDR, Kele, and the Gay Blades (The Guardian). A rather good giveaway.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

The Get Up Kids - There Are Rules
The Kansas punk band's first post-reunion full-length features plenty of keyboards and no love songs. (Spinner) Not bad, given half a chance. Automatic borrows heavily from Donna Summer - State of Independence.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Lia Ices - Grown Unknown
The Brooklyn-based pianist/singer-songwriter's latest features a duet with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon on 'Daphne.' (Spinner) Due 14 February. Dreamy, folky and peaceful. Absolutely gorgeous and an album of the year.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Chikita Violenta - Tre3s
The Pavement-influenced Mexican indie band's third album has been getting plenty of buzz. (Spinner)
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
The San Francisco indie stalwarts experimented with guitar sounds on their pop-oriented 10th LP. (Spinner) Was expecting something irritating, based on that description, but enjoyed this. Possibly their best yet.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Say Hi - Um, Uh Oh
Eric Elbogen's lo-fi project's seventh LP features lead single 'Devils,' which was used on 'Gossip Girl.' (Spinner)
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Cloud Nothings - Cloud Nothings
The frenetic indie-pop act's debut full-length features mastermind Dylan Baldi playing every instrument. (Spinner) Hipster stuff. Even he gets bored half way.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Exray's - Exray's
Former Ray's Vast Basement frontman Jon Bernson returns with the debut LP from one of his many projects. (Spinner) Striking, hard to define, intriguing, lo-fi... something. Pop but not. Lovely melodies. If this is grime, it's very sweet.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

Ensemble - Excerpts
French artist Olivier Alary mixes experimental noise and folk on his latest album. (Spinner) No difficult or demanding noises on this chic album. Dead classy.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

I Was A King - Old Friends
The Norwegian band's second LP boasts more of its trademark to-the-point pop ditties. (Spinner) Good name - cos this sounds familiar. Enjoyable shoegazy power pop.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

David Berkeley - Some Kind of Cure
The singer-songwriter's new fan-funded album was written while he was living in Corsica. (Spinner) More chic music for chic people. Downtempo, one man and his guitar. Sounds like David Gray but less dramatic.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

U.S. Royalty - MIRRORS
The band's debut album weaves influences from American literature and Westerns. (Spinner) Loved the music from Westerns and missed it when it wasn't there. The rest is good, honest, old-fashioned rock 'n' roll.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

The Ex - Catch my shoe
Dutch punk veterans release an album of relentless art rock. (Spinner) 'Relentless' - no kidding. Still, good natured and fun, even if they do need to be introduced to editing.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace

John Vanderslice - White Wilderness
The singer-songerwriter/producer enlisted a Bay Area orchestra for his eighth studio effort. (Spinner) Recorded in three days with no post-production. Polished orchestral and rough-edged folk combined. Sufjan Stevens influences. Wouldn't say it's beautiful, but a peaceful and interesting listen nonetheless.
We7 | Spotify | MySpace


  • Nialloleary

    Seems like an ambitious journal! Just be careful a few of these are 2010 releases. Forest Swords, Wild Nothing, Best Coast all excellent releases imho. I suppose I need to listen The Decemberists & Fujiya & Miyagi-reports are excellent.

    23. Jan. 2011, 18:52
  • Babs_05

    Oh I know. Same as your Jan journal, the press only just covered them. And the ones in the first week - they're from your and our friends' best of 2010 journals (remember?). :) The Decemberists and Fujiya - two I didn't like much.

    23. Jan. 2011, 19:00
  • Orange_Anubis

    I'm listening to Hoylake Misst now - creepy! And thank you for putting all those handy We7 links in this journal, I'm going exploring...

    1. Feb. 2011, 11:46
  • Babs_05

    You're welcome. Yes, Hoylake Misst stopped me in my tracks. Let me know what goodies you liked.

    1. Feb. 2011, 12:16
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