It’s that silly time of year when we ascribe arbitrary rankings to the music created by our favorite artists. And, I’ve already seen a few lists from the likes of Paste or Rolling Stone (among others) that I find completely off the mark. Now, our ATH End of Year list will be a team effort, so here is a list of records I adored that probably won’t end up on too many other “Best of Lists,” though I think they should! Again, no particular order, just ten albums you should enjoy. …that you might have forgotten about.
I’ve really been enjoying listening to Calgrove and their Windy Vane EP (Forged Artifacts & Gentle Reminder). There’s something that definitely seems like it harkens to an earlier period in indie rock, when structures of of rock were interwoven with country flare. I guess to my ears it sounds like a bedroom pop version of Centromatic, allowing you to connect with the intimate quality of emotions, and faintly hinting at folk traditions. If this reaches you in any way, I suggest you get your hands on the new EP, which will be available on Friday.
It’s Friday, so you’ve got to look for some impressive tunes to get you into the weekend, and I think this Calgrove tune might just do the trick. It’s a casual bit of modern Americana, with little hints of twang in the vocals and slide guitar working in the far distance to take you across the vast expanse of the USA. Dig the ways there are these little turns, with vocals almost recorded on top of one another. This track will appear on the band’s Wind Vane EP, just released by Gentle Reminder and Forged Artifacts.
For the last few months, I’ve been raving about the new music of Romantic States, and since Friday, I’ve spent a lot of time spinning their latest LP, Corduroy in Italy. While the singles have been great at teasing what was to come, opener “In My Arms” illustrates just how far the band has come, perfect blending elements of slow core and fuzzy indiepop. Ilenia and Jim switch singing roles throughout, but I think theIlenia’s performance on “Half Your Life” might just steal the show. Seems cliche, but there’s honestly not a bad song on this entire LP. Go grab it from Gentle Reminder Records; it won’t disappoint.
Dammit I love Romantic States. I was just in the doldrums about the lack of hits I’ve found in my daily search of the net, then this gem sneaks up on me. Heavy distorted guitars ring out loud, but there’s a soft underbelly delivered from the vocals that gives a perfect balance to the track. I can’t help but feel the youthful vibrance this track exudes, energizing me here early in the morning. Already feel this album creeping into my Top Ten list for the year; you’re going to want to get your hands on Corduroy in Italy next Friday when it hits via Gentle Reminder.
Romantic States caught my attention with their self-titled debut for DZ Tapes, and followed it up with an incredible 7″. Now, looks like we’re finally getting another full-length from the band. The band’s approach on their first singer seems to be that summery jangling indiepop, featuring a steady melodic croon operating during the various verses. But, when the chorus slides in there’s a nice jangle, and the tune later breaks down with a little bit of distortion to add some punch. Gentle Reminder Records will be releasing the group’s Corduroy in Italy on May 12th, hopefully bring a fresh batch of endearing tunes.