It’s been a crazy year, and a depressing year, so perhaps we all retreated more into our record collections to seek out that fleeting joy. On my end, I spent a lot of time running/walking in the ‘burbs, so these are the records that played the most in my life…thus they are my Favorite Albums of 2020. The validity means little to anyone other than myself, but since you stop by, perhaps come by and check out my list!
And, just an FYI…there are 30 bands, and I linked back to Bandcamp pages so you can buy directly from the artists…except that one band because apparently they’re too cool…even though that album rips.
You can say it all you want, but you’ve all been waiting for someone to pull off the Strokes with the same infectious quality the band had…especially in their first two releases. Lucky for you, GRMLN seem to have done it perfectly, and while it might be a touch of a rip-off, I’m still going to blast it super loud. I mean, that swagger in the vocals with those guitar-monies working in the background…don’t tell me you’re not excited by the execution alone! Look for the band to release their latest offering, Discovery EP, this Friday, filled with expected hooks and repeat listens.
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Many folks in the music world are crowing New York rock band The Britanys as saviors to rock n roll music in an industry increasingly filled with DJs and electronica. Now I’m not sure I’m ready to call them the next Strokes, but I do rather enjoy their music. Maybe you will enjoy it as well when you listen to this new single from the guys entitled “Get My”. Funny thing is, the new single was produced by legendary producer Gordon Raphael who produced The Strokes ground breaking debut This is It. The guys will also be working with Raphael on an upcoming EP. Stay tuned.
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It’s ACL Weekend One, and after all the hubbub, the festival is upon us. Initially, I was surprised at the choice of offering up the Strokes as the Sunday headliner, but upon further consideration, I can see how easily they fit in. They’ve spent the last 15 years as a relevant musical act, whilst filling my own personal collection with hit after hit. People will rave about Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse, but when I think of the quintessential band of the 2000s, I think of these guys. Their first two albums alone could be played from front to back, and never miss a beat as far as enjoyment goes. I might be in the minority, but I think this is one of the best headliners the fest has had. So, I went through the catalog and picked out my Top Ten Strokes songs of all time, which should not only cement them as a great band, but as a great closer of Austin’s revered festival. If you click on the track title, you’ll get a video link to hear the songs for yourself. Read more
Though the lineup unofficially leaked yesterday, we were holding off to make sure everything was all official and whatnot before posting anything. So if you haven’t seen it yet, the ACL lineup was just announced this morning for both of the festival weekends. Of course ATH is excited about seeing The Strokes again, but as usual, we’re enjoying the undercards with groups like Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee, Talk in Tongues, Jose Gonzalez, etc. Check out the full lineup here and form your own opinions.
You can also pick up a 3 day pass at 10am central time by following this link. Do it.
There’s two reasons I’m in love with this track from Barkhouse. Part of the work, particularly the drumming, reminds me of great Walkmen tracks. On the other hand there’s a Casablancas indifference that’s been recorded in the vocals. Together, the song packs this huge punch that’s fairly gritty, with just enough pop sensibility to keep listeners tapping their toes throughout the day. If you dig this song, as you should, look for an EP titled Wolves at the Wall to come your way very very soon.
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This track has me a bit perplexed, so I figured I’d reach out to you faithful readers. On one hand, I love both the Strokes and Albert Hammond Jr, but on the other hand, there’s something that seems amiss in this track. There’s some great guitar work and catchy harmonies that I’ll definitely back any day of the week, but the stuttering piece at the opening few seconds of the verses sort of rubs me the wrong way. Even the vocal there sounds odd, but that’s why I’m asking for your help. Am I just a disgruntled aged blogger? Regardless, I’m still looking forward to his AHJ EP, which will be released by Cult Records…which is run by some Julian Casablancas character…never heard of him.
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Virginia’s The Trillions might not be on your map just yet, but they’re definitely a band you’ll want to familiarize yourself with today. With named influences such as the Strokes and Big Star it’s easy to lump the band’s sound in with the masses, but I think the vocals give them an extra touch that sets them outside the usual realms. I hear a little bit of Dr. Dog in the vocals, giving a softer underbelly to their rock tunes. They’ve got a new record coming out called Tritones, and this track below is the lead single, so wrap your ears around this goodness.
Download: The Trillions – The Experts [MP3]
Every once in awhile the Brits steal our homegrown bands beneath our noses, promoting some of the best in America without us even knowing. It happened with the Strokes, and now it’s happening with Howler, a Minneapolis group. They’re record America Give Up comes out next week via Rough Trade, and it’s a pretty solid collection of pop tracks. NPR even praised it as an album full of stand alone singles, so I had to give it the good old college try. The number below is definitely one of those tracks with hooks galore, giving listeners a bottle full of fun. Surely this tune will make your day just a little brighter.
Download: Howler – Back of Your Neck [MP3]
This song is a real throwback to those early 2000s when we could all just join up in a club and dance for fun. Black Taxi are a Brooklyn foursome, currently working towards the release of their record in January 2012. On this number you’ll find that steady guitar jangle stomp often heard in the likes of Franz Ferdinand or The Strokes. I can already tell that this is one of those numbers that will have you and your friends dancing about late at night after the bars. And if you like what you hear, the band will be playing the Zombie Ball at ACL Live this Saturday in Austin.
Download: Black Taxi – Tightrope [MP3]