Mini-Beats – January 2011 – Edition 34

Four TetThere Is Love In You (2010, Domino) ♥♥♥♥
-a texturally warm and organic IDM surprise that will likely serve as Kieran’s best since 2001’s Pause
Alright Alright – You Are One Of Us Now (2010, Hive-Mind) ♥♥♥½
-a welcome combination of playful power-pop and glam; RIYL Spacehog, Dogs Die In Hot Cars
Antony & The JohnsonsSwanlights (2010, Rough Trade) ♥♥♥♥
-I’m definitely in the camp that feels this is his most impactful work yet even though it lacks the homoerotic ‘Fistful Of Love’ punch of efforts past; it was also nice to hear the loosely-strung Björk paired up for a duet-
Only ThievesHeartless Romantics (2011, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-a special blend of punk energy, classic indie rock and a touch of Midwestern saloon fighting; RIYL recent Against Me!, Delta Spirit, Bruce Springsteen
Wolf PeopleSteeple (2010, Jagjaguwar) ♥♥♥♥
-70’s-influenced psyche of the highest order, think Tame Impala minus the fuzz plus a ton of historical and geographical references; RIYL Okkervil River/Shearwater, Hobbit-core?-
AnikaAnika (2010, Stones Throw) ♥♥½
-a messy gathering of deconstructed pop, no-wave and dub; not even a Portishead member in the ranks could save this outside of the infectious, Tarantino-esque ‘Yang Yang’-
Dana FalconberryHalletts (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-while this ended up being a pleasant listen it failed to deliver on the promise of her undeniably special Daytrotter session from last year-
Ola PodridaOla Podrida (2007, Plug Research) ♥♥♥♥
-David Wingo’s former haunt included scoring movies and it shows in this beautifully arranged folk LP that knows when to lower the volume and when to crank the amps for effect; didn’t think he could top 2009’s Belly Of The Lion (one of my faves of ’09) but he did-
Darren Hayman & The Secondary ModernEssex Arms (2010, Fortuna Pop!) ♥♥♥½
-Darren continues his reign as one of today’s premier songwriters (with or without his main gig Hefner); Essex features an equal amount of folk anglophilia, comic-book nerd musings and straight-up rockers (like the closing ‘Nothing You Can Do About It’)-
Dawn Golden & The Rosy CrossBlow EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-it was tough shaking off any comparison to that 90’s one-off group Primitive Radio Gods; fans of the more linear, all-cards-on-the-table side of chill-wave will be all up on this; RIYL A Sunny Day In Glasgow

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