Mini-Beats – December 2009 – Edition 9

Jay Farrar & Ben GibbardOne Fast Move Or I’m Gone (2009, Columbia) ♥♥♥½
-recorded to compliment Kerouac’s Big Sur; turned out to be a moving bunch of songs and a
Tap TapOn My Way (2009, Stolen Recordings) ♥♥♥
-we all loved the first Shins record….some of us more than others-
Friends Of LizzyThe Answer (2004, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-a surprising release that tapped in that syrupy Twice Removed-era Sloan, The Argument and Fountains Of Wayne; sadly the band has called it quits-
Alec OunsworthMo Beauty (2009, Anti) ♥♥½
-lead singer from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah; some tracks border on the chamber side of pop a la Antony & The Johnsons with horn flourishes and whatnot; completists only here….-
HulaboyOlympic Krush On (The) Hulaboy (2008, 555) ♥♥♥
-equal parts indie-pop a la Teenbeat and post-punk lite; some really nice moments here-
Ola PodridaBelly Of The Lion (2009, Western Vinyl) ♥♥♥♥
-enveloping folk not unlike Fleet Foxes; very solid through and through-
Universal Studios FloridaOcean Sunbirds (2009, LFT) ♥♥♥½
-almost as much fun as the theme parks; they do that earthy, tribal, feel-good, lo-fi pop thing-
Jonathan BouletJonathan Boulet (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-Australian wunderkind is definitely onto something here; mid-fi garage-lite tunes with a sunny pop side to them-
Dark Dark DarkLove You, Bye EP (2008, What A Mess!) ♥♥♥
-European folk tinged shanties not unlike Beirut; male/female vocals backed up glockenspiel, accordion etc.-
Kristofer ÅströmThorskag Sessions (2005, Startracks) ♥♥♥
-companion disc to So Much For Staying Alive held up by Kristofer’s powerful voice and a clever Faithless cover-
XX, TheXX (2009, XL) ♥♥♥½
-at first it didn’t succeed and then it revealed its quiet, understated charms and sexy cool-
Daniel JohnstonIs And Always Was (2009, Eternal Yip Eye) ♥♥
-pretty much over this shtick-
The RaveonettesIn And Out Of Control (2009, Vice) ♥♥♥½
-the band sings about nefarious topics in such a sugary, sweet manner; love the dream-pop direction they’ve taken the past few albums-
First Aid KitHard Believer EP (2009, Wichita) ♥♥♥½
-short 2-song single from these up-and-coming Swedish twin sisters; worthy primer to their pending full-length-
The Denver GentlemenIntroducing (2001, Smooch) ♥♥½
-a dark variety of vaudevillian chamber-pop featuring ‘The Professor’ from DeVotchKa; RIYL DeVotchKa and Nick Cave
Tigers On TrainsGrandfather (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥
-mellow, tuneful pop-folk with Christian undertones-
The Pet Ghost ProjectThe Great Satisfactory (2007, self-released) ♥♥½
-a psychedelic pop affair that ends up being a little too eclectic and unpredictable for its own good-
Track A TigerI Felt The Bullet Hit My Heart (2009, Deep Elm) ♥♥♥
-a little more up-tempo than their last effort; the nice arrangements here are marred slightly by the amateurish vocals on a few tracks-
One For The TeamGood Boys Don’t Make Noise (2006, Afternoon) ♥♥♥
-cut from the same cloth as their latest album; bouncy indie-pop with a shit-ton of tunefulness-
His ClancynessHissometer Cassette (2009, Secret Furry Hole) ♥♥½
-had high hopes for this but these tracks felt a little incomplete and demo-ish-
Br. DanielsonBrother Is To Son (2004, Secretly Canadian) ♥♥♥
-my first experience with these guys and it will force me to seek other episodes in their catalog; a few brilliant tongue-in-cheek, quirk-pop moments; Sufjan plays a little banjo on this one-
Candy ClawsIn The Dream of The Sea Life (2009, Indiecater) ♥♥♥½
-I somehow get the feeling I’m drowning when I listen to this; clearly my opinion of drowning in music is higher than like really drowning for real-
World’s Greatest GhostsNo Magic (2009, Lucky Madison) ♥♥♥♥
-super catchy, synth/keys heavy indie that will keep your head and feet moving for the full 33 minutes; RIYL The idea of The Thermals playing D&D instead of reading Chomsky or Phoenix
Washed OutLife Of Leisure EP (2009, Mexican Summer) ♥♥♥½
-the new secksy time music for hipsters and their loved ones-
HolopawOh Glory, Oh Wilderness (2009, Bakery Outlet) ♥♥♥½
-another solid album from this (now) duo; expect engaging pop flavored with horns, cello and less weirdness than previous releases-
Immánu ElMoen (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥
-Swedish dream-pop/post-rock; not as epic or interesting as their first; Moen has a heavily religious tone but mostly this album is marred by unnecessary melodrama and lack of diversity-
PantherEntropy EP (2009, Kill Rock Stars) ♥♥♥
-think along the lines of Spoon marrying 31knots and you’re close; included a couple of dancier remixes-
Loney, DearDear John (2009, Polyvinyl) ♥♥♥♥
-uptempo yet introspective pop spiced with well-placed electronic beats; RIYL Bon Iver
SlaraffenlandPrivate Cinema (2006, HomeTapes) ♥♥½
-I really want to like these guys more than I do; seems their artistic hearts are in the right place but it’s not catching on with me…-
The Hidden CamerasOrigin:Orphan (2009, Arts & Crafts) ♥♥♥
-still weaving scandalous tales of ‘youthful exuberance’ and cumraderie albeit with less of that Episcopalian backdrop-
Foreign BornPerson to Person (2009, Secretly Canadian) ♥♥♥
-an oddly upbeat offering from SC – i’m sensing a Vampire Weekend vibe on some of these songs; the downside being most tracks sound more or less the same-

Leave a Comment

Filed under Mini-Beats

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *