If you really want to know what I listened to this year, you’d be better off checking out my Last.FM. But as far as this year’s newbies go, here’s my picks. For the smaller artists you may not know, I’ve included online links to purchase their tunes. For the rest, go support a local independent music retailer.
Highlights of the Year (Ones I’ll Enjoy For A Long Time):
Josh Rouse – SubtÃtulo
A great album start to finish in a style that I liken to a less-playful Jack Johnson. My first reaction was that SubtÃtulo was perfect for light-hearted summer tunes, but the album has too much substance to just write it off as that. I guess in a phrase it’s a good album for a rainy day. “It Looks Like Love” has the best energy of any track on the album, so that’s my pick to share with you.
MP3: Josh Rouse – It Looks Like Love.
The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
I’ve never been a big Decemberists fan and I’m just settling into this album, but I can already tell it’s going to be a personal favorite. My personal favorite thus far is the epic keyboard-rocked triptych “The Island,” however I still love the album start to finish as a whole. It’s so cohesive and full of depth of sound and lyrics that it would do the album injustice to listen to it another way. I’d share “The Island” but it’s a long tune and I think you’d be better off checking that out elsewhere, so here’s the slower “Shankhill Butchers,” which I’d guess is one of the less shared songs off of the album.
MP3: The Decemberists – Shankhill Butchers.
Aaron Schroeder – Southern Heart In Western Skin (CDBaby)
This is the one on my list that most of you won’t recognize. Sadly I’ve failed to write enough about Schroeder’s tunes on here since I received a copy of his album in the mail. The currently-Washington-based 22-year-old has a signature sound that I’ve grown to love, and everyone I’ve shared the album with has agreed. And – if you end up getting any of the albums on this list, get this one – it’s only $7.99 on CDBaby. If you’ve never ordered a CD from CDBaby before, I highly recommend it, they’re the best at customer service of any music retailer online. Anyways, here’s “Rollin’ Tennessee,” I promise you’ll dig it
MP3: Aaron Schroeder – Rollin Tennessee.
Other Albums I Enjoyed (No Particular Order):
Albums I Should Have Checked Out But Haven’t Yet:
Josh Ritter – Animal Years
Medeski Scofield Martin and Wood – Out Louder
Willie Nelson – Songbird
Tortoise and Bonnie “Prince” Billy – The Brave And The Bold
Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat
Yonder Mountain String Band – Yonder Mountain String Band
Cornmeal – Feet First (CDBaby)
Elsinore – Nothing For Design (CDBaby)
Elton John – The Captain and The Kid
Neil Young – Living With War
Tom Petty – Highway Companion
Islands – Return To The Sea
Gomez – How We Operate
J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton – The Road To Escondido
The Roots – Game Theory
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium
Bonnie “Prince Billy” – The Letting Go
Scissor Sisters – Ta-Dah
The Mountain Goats – Get Lonely
Beck – The Information
The Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
Bob Dylan – Modern Times
Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere
John Mayer – Continuum
Justin Timberlake – FutureSex / LoveSounds
Oh No! Oh My! – Oh No! Oh My!
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris – All The Roadrunning