Chvrches: The Bones of What You Believe


It's been a year of a few great albums, but not enough. Good news: I'm absolutely gripped by the new (debut) album by Chvrches: The Bones of What You Believe. This is a Scottish electro-pop band around the M83 soundscape, but with a lot more dance beats. This music soars and it is almost continually fun and riveting. But it's anything but lightweight and the deeper you dive in the more you respect the richness of the music. These lyrics are dense. AV says, "Chvrches’ bread and butter remains highly melodic, synthesizer-based pop, but with just the right amount of darkness, thanks in part to [Lauren] Mayberry. She has a law degree and a masters in journalism, so she writes like she has something to say, not just to fill the space in the songs." I've been thinking about the opening track, "The Mother We Share," (colorful word in this song) for days now, listening to it over and over. This is thought-provoking fun and one of my favorite musical journeys of the year. The delicate vocals of Mayberry are just perfect. I've stopped what I've been doing to listen closely to the lyrics and I've been able to focus on work and just enjoy the music in the background. A rare album indeed.

Disclaimer: There are a couple of colorful words on the album. 

Noteworthy Reviews...

Metacritic: 82/100 | AV Club 100/100 |  Pitchfork 8.5/10 (Best New Music)


Avett Brothers | 2 Songs on Fallon

This is one of the most hopeful signs concerning the "popular version" of the Avett Brothers vs. the pre-popular version. Once they started shooting for and reaching the national stage, their music became slightly over-produced and less punk-awesome and screamo-fun. That's a lot of hyphens. In a bit of a return to form, I give you the band that bandwagon fans (not a put down) might have never heard. These guys rock, and everyone needs to know it. Crank. It. Up.

Some of the Best Albums of 2012 | CHEAP!


From last week's Best Albums of 2012 post, here's the same list of albums only listing the ones currently on sale. All are $5 unless I say otherwise. It was a couple days ago I worked on this so I'd appreciate it if you would let me know if any prices have changed.

APOLOGIES: Hot Chip | Cat Power | Crystal Castles | Frank Ocean ($3.99) | Bill Fay | Titus Andronicus

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel... | ShearwaterAnimal Joy | Father John MistyFear Fun | Todd SniderAgnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables | The Avett BrothersThe Carpenter ($3.99) | Dan DeaconAmerica | Beach HouseBloom | SpiritualizedSweet Heart, Sweet Light | Passion PitGossamer | Lower DensNootropics ($5.99) | Jon TalabotFin ($6.49) | Shovels & RopeO Be Joyful | GrimesVisions | HospitalityHospitality

35. Dirty ProjectorsSwing Lo Magellan
32. DaphniJiaolong 
29. Purity RingShrines 
28. Fort AtlanticFort Atlantic ($5.99)
26. Tame ImpalaLonerism 
25. Aaron EmbryTiny Prayers ($6.99)
23. Sera CahooneDeer Creek Canyon
22. The XXCoexist 
21. Now, NowThreads 
20. PolicaGive You The Ghost 
19. Brandi CarlileBear Creek 
18. Bhi BhimanBhiman ($6.99)
15. Damien JuradoMaraqopa 
14. PropagandaExcellent (free)
10. Andy StottLuxury Problems ($6.99)
8. SwansThe Seer 
7. The LumineersThe Lumineers ($3.99)
6. Richard HawleyStanding at the Sky's Edge 
5. Lost in the TreesA Church That Fits Our Needs ($5.99)
3. Anais MitchellYoung Man In America 
2. Alt-JAn Awesome Wave ($5.99)
1. Sharon Van EttenTramp

$5 Albums | June 2012


$5 albums this June are solid. Several are new, a couple are gems from the last couple years. Enjoy!

Cults | New Album


There's a new band, Cults. Their self-titled debut is a wonderful summer album, full of catchy hooks. It also uses samples of cult leaders speaking to their followers. It blends together fun poppy summer sounds with real depth & content worth thinking about. Tough to accomplish, but fascinating & successful here. Pitchfork names "Best New Music" & 8.5/10 and Paste 7.9/10. Check out Cults.

The samples, of cult leaders speaking to their followers, could have been a distraction had they chosen to make a big deal out of them, but they're woven tightly into the album's sonic fabric and processed to varying degrees of decipherability, which turns them into an effective textural element. (via)

Ultimately, Cults is an album that can be enjoyed as either a summer soundtrack or as something with a darker, more concrete substance. How you choose to interpret it is your call, but the beauty of this notable debut is that either way works just as well as the other. (via)

Shearwater | The Island Arc


You can stream free the new live album from Shearwater, The Island Arc. Or buy it, 10 tracks for $8. One of my favorite bands. Just listen to the first track, "Hail Mary," to find out why. Amazing mix of fragile melodies and vocals that often explode into confident proclamations. These songs are pulled from a 3 hour concert...

On January 15, 2011, Shearwater presented the three albums of their thematically-linked 'Island Arc' Trilogy - Palo Santo, Rook, and The Golden Archipelago - in a sold-out, 3-hour epic concert with longtime friends and collaborators at Austin's Central Presbyterian Church. This album consists of excerpts from that concert, mixing favorites like "Hail, Mary" and "The Snow Leopard" with rarely-performed tracks like "Lost Boys," "Going is Song", and "Missing Islands".

Okkervil River | "Wake & Be Fine"

I'm a big Okkervil River fan. Some of the most creative indie music around. Lyrically rich. New album, I Am Very Far, drops in May. I can't say enough how much I love their albums: Black Sheep Boy (and Appendix), The Stage Names, The Stand Ins. Here's the official video for "Wake and Be Fine" off their new album (via)...

$5 Albums for January

Blind music $5 albums for January are already up, and there are a thousand! First, the $5 albums on my Best Albums of 2010 list, then the Reformissionary Recommendations from the other January albums.

Here are $5 albums from my Best Albums of 2010 list...

Honorable Mention: Beach House
34. Justin Townes Earle
32. Avi Buffalo
31. Joe Pug
25. The Social Network Soundtrack
23. Caribou
19. Lost In The Trees
16. The Tallest Man On Earth
15. Menomena
13. Broken Bells
11. Besnard Lakes
7. Mumford & Sons
1. Four Tet

Great albums (some from this year & some from previous years)...

Classical - several albums here including classical composers (Chopin | Liszt | Haydn | Mozart & many more) | albums based on instruments (violin | piano) | albums for mood preferences (relaxing | for your mind | romantic). Worth filing through all of them if you are a lover of classical music.

Check out all the Amazon January $5 deals by categoryAmazons best of 2010 | Indie & Alt/Rock | Folk | Dance & Electronic | Pop | Rock | Country | Greatest Hits | Classic RockSoundtrack | Children's Albums