Thought I might join in with a few albums that I liked, that were generally overlooked.
Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday
What can I say about this album? I remember first listening to the opening track “While You Were Sleeping” and just being completely entrapped in the music. I now wake up everyday to “While You Were Sleeping” and it always provides a great start to the day. The album has a great flow of ups and downs throughout, and is perfect for any mood. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who likes fuzz-folk, although this is more on the folk side then the fuzz. One sad fact about this album is that it was written after both of Perkins’ parents died. His father died of AIDS when Perkins was young, and his mother died in one of the September 11th planes. This definitely shows up on the album, but it’s more of a sad overtone then a sad direction that the album takes on. This is album definitely is one of my favorites of the year, and it’s a debut album to boot.
The Rakes – Ten New Messages
I can’t remember where I heard this, but I remember hearing someone call The Rakes “the real Arctic Monkeys.” Well this is their second album, and it’s a good one. As the title suggests, it’s ten new tracks in that post-punk/art-rock British style that The Rakes are good at. With a nice consistent sound throughout the whole album, it flows really well all the way from “The World Was a Mess But His Hair Was Perfect” to “Leave The City And Come Home.” Really a decent album. And when you have a track called “When Tom Cruise Cries” how can you go wrong?
Tullycraft – Every Scene Needs A Center
What more could you want from an album? With themes like punks, and goths and Dracula, UFOs all crushed up, put into a big old blender and then doused in pure essence of happiness, I don’t know what could go wrong. It’s not often that you find such an enjoyable 7+ min. pop song, but Tullycraft did it with Dracula Screams of Tiger Style (Parts One and Two). This is one of the only albums this year that I’ve listened to twice in a row. One of the happiest bands I know of, yes even happier then I’m From Barcelona, Tullycraft is also one of the funniest. The review at KWUR says something along the lines of “Great music, and witty lyrics that Pitchfork writers wish they could have written.” Reason enough to go and listen to Every Scene Needs A Center right away.
Most people haven’t heard of White Flight. What they’re missing is the solo project of Justin Roelofs, who you may know as a member of the now defunct ban The Anniversary. And let me tell you, it’s a terrific album. The album is a complete, beautiful work of art. The best way I can describe it is as a collage of poppy sounds and hooks. Sometimes it’s electronic, sometimes acoustic, but it all flows so well together. And over all of this you have some great lyrics and vocals. It really creates this complete experience that just sucks you in for the length of the album. I’ve heard a rumor that the album was inspired by Roelofs trip to South America where he experimented with a lot of local psychedelics. This would definitely explain quite a bit, as the album is really a strange album. And not everyone will like it because it’s so strange. But if you give it a listen, you might come it enjoy it as much as I have.