It’s been a fair while since I did my last music post so I thought I’d round up what has been getting a lot of plays on the ipod in the first half of this year (I can’t say high rotation in these days of solid state technology). I’ve found a lot of good singles on the fluxblog website which have led me to artists like Robyn. Some of these albums may drop out of the list at the end of the year for cds I haven’t listened to yet, but for now these are my current favourites:

1. Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous

This album came out last year but the whole of January was dedicated to this album even when I was in the midst of a Missy Higgins Woodford crush. I remember leaving Woodford playing this at top volume completely in love with the song “I never”. I’d read some gushing reviews by some bloggers but when I listened to it I didn’t immediately get the appeal. I think it was chimp with the opposable thumbs line that made my ears prick up, the bad news that made me love Jenny Lewis and the absence of god brought me comfort baby. Yeah, it’s a bit of a girls album and it’s a bit country, but when you find yourself looking for comfort this is the album you’ll always return to. By the way, Ripchord does eventually grow on you – even if it should be at the end of the record. [Rilo Kiley Website]

2. Robyn – Robyn

A white blond haired scandenavian looking lady who could hold her own in a rap battle against Missy Elliott but can pop as nasty as Janet Jackson. “Konichiwa Bitches” is this incredibly cute rap song about how good she is over the top of some nintendo game sounding music. A sample of the lyrics: Cause I’ll have me a toe, like a pediatrictian, saw you in half, like I’m a magician. Ditching the Destiny’s Child Independent Women schooling for a guy that sounds like my sister’s boyfriend in the song “Bum like you” she makes a moocher no good dickhead sound romantic. Like all good pop singers she cries in the rain in “Be Mine” which sounds like a 1990s Coke ad – but in a good way. There are these violins that sound like they are rubbing away dirt really quickly then every once in a while they throw in a big wipe. This is the song that Danielle says sounds like Janet Jackson before she discovered sex. “Be Mine” even has the all important 80s talk moment. This is one of the best pop albums I’ve heard in ages and is good to listen to before going out. [Robyn’s Website]

3. Husky Rescue – Country Falls

This is like a country folk pop electronic album. Think Goldfrapp or Moloko on valium. It’s got all the sliding guitar of a Ben Harper album mixed with the dots and loops of Stereolab. Very melancholy, it’s perfect for a dinner party or cafe as it’s inoffensive and chill. My favourite is the “Sunset Drive” instrumental because it makes think of riding a convertible out to the beach in California, but I love “Sweet Little Kitten” for the buildup. “New light of Tomorrow” has this cool dippity dot bit that I love as well. Don’t ask me what a dippity dot bit is, I don’t know how else to write it. Once again I fall prey to male and female harmonies. [Husky Rescue Website]

4. Architecture in Helsinki – In Case We Die

How happy is this album? It’s got all the requisites for a cheery record – hand clapping, pianos and lots of people singing. Obviously these guys watched Play School and Sesame St to know how to meld all the odd instruments they have together. I think there are 8 members or something in this aussie band. The song I love the most is “Wishbone” which has the female singer doing her best Mint Car version of Robert Smith from the Cure. The lyrics on the album are brilliant as well. I like their last album so much that I included “Souvenirs” on my Melbourne trip photo soundtrack but that only had a few highlights whereas this album is all gold. Be aware that the guy’s voice does not sound like Usher or Frank Sinatra but I find his high singing interesting. [Architecture in Helsinki Website]

5. Leo Nine – Slow Steady Heart

Yeah, I know I did the cover photo and I know I know the bass player, but I can’t look at the photo or talk to Jeremy on the ipod so this must be a good reason why it’s there. Caleb’s smooth voice isn’t something my ears usually attune to (see above) as it is more of a B105 singing style. If these guys got some local radio stations behind them I’m sure I’d be hearing “The Slow Bullet” all over the place. Kelly’s favourite is “Curbside” but “Give a Little” is the most played on my itunes list. The fact that I have cravings to listen to these songs means that it is more than a sympathetic friend plug. You can buy the album at JB-Hi Fi and Rocking Horse in the city if you want to hear what I’m talking about. Oh, and they are wicked in concert. [Leo Nine Website]

6. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm

If this album was only drums I would still listen to it. The beats in it are so innovative and interesting and are the driving force that powers the rest of them. They sound like a modern day Clash and sing about their local working class town of Sheffield in England. Even though I love all the fast “Helicopter” songs I bypass them all just to listen “This Modern Love”. I don’t know if it is the guitar, or the lines “I’ll pay for you, anytime” or the beat changes but it easily entered the special realm of 5 stars in the itunes list. Nice album to drive fast to. [Bloc Party Website]

I couldn’t make up a full ten because a lot of the records I’ve evaluated have only had a couple of good songs which doesn’t make it a good album in my book. Some records I’ve only just started listening to but suspect they will make it in to the end of year list are:

  • Hard-Fi – Stars of CCTV (think Bloc Party)
  • KT Tunstall – Eye to the Telescope (think Waifs, Missy or Dido)
  • Mice Parade – Bem-Vinda Vontade (the production in this reminds me of Beuna Vista Social Club)
  • OK Go – don’t know the name of the album as it isn’t out yet, but I love their music in their video for “Million ways to be cruel” so I’m hanging out to hear the rest of it (think Franz Ferdinand or Killers)



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