I have not done a music spotlight since the beginning of April. I find that strange because music plays such an important roll in my life, and has since I was a young child. So, for today, I am going to direct your attention to a few albums you really need to listen to that there is a good chance the majority of people have never even heard before.
Kill the Lights — Buffalo Of Love
Band from Montreal, Quebec. Very reminiscent of the indi sound of the early 2000’s including a singer who can’t-sing-but-does-anyway-and-no-one-else-should. This album has some of the fastest drumming I have heard outside of metal. I saw them open for the Constantines a few years ago. At that show, the keyboard player did an awkward chicken dance through most of the set — it was awesome/awkward. Did I mention that it was awkward? Does not change the fact that this is one of the best albums with this sound I have ever heard.
Really unfortunate: I cannot find any music anywhere on the internet. However, it is on Spotify, but I hate that site.
June — If You Speak Any Faster
EMO EMO EMO EMO.
I hate that I love this album. It is in the same veign as Taking Back Sunday’s Louder Now, but less epic and awesome. (sell it better, Jay. Come on) I love this album. It does have it’s low points, but it starts perfectly. Dueling vocals, playful guitars, and powerful drums. The best part is that it is fun to sing with.
The Junction — ST
I really enjoy the contrast between this and the EP. Half the EP is somewhere on this album, but the songs are SO much darker. It’s just so damned interesting what they changed and what they kept. The first song is nothing but an assault on the ears (in the best way) and it never lets up until the end. Remember Love is so delicate compared to most of the album, but that does not make it less amazing.
The Last Shadow Puppets — The Age of the Understatement
Singer from The Arctic Monkeys, and I find this project so much better. Think Spaghetti-Western but rock. So good.
Pretty Girls Make Graves — Elan Vital
This was a random album that a co-worker threw into the player one day. The result was both he and I scrambling by the end to purchase it before the other. It is haunting, beautiful, complicated… Yeah. I was very tempted to put this on my list from a month ago, but it just lacks the emotional attachment to my life.
Quicksand — Slip
It actually offends me that more people do not know of this album. Yes: I admit that he cannot sing. However, the influence this sound has had on music is massive. This album does it better than every other in my opinion. The fact that his voice is so terrible adds to everything. Again, so close to my list, but not quite.
Samaris — ST
I went to Iceland on the one week where there was no live music. To make myself feel better, I walked into a record store and picked up a random album by a band that I have never heard of. What I got was one of the darkest and beautiful albums I have ever heard. Who knew that you could combine clarinet and electronica so well?
A Silver Mt. Zion — Kollaps Tradixionales
(Probably one of the coolest songs once it gets going. Really watch at the 3:06 mark)
Montreal: you slay me. That city has produced more music that I am obsessed with than anywhere else. I probably should have put “Godspeed You, Black Emperor!” instead of this band. What I find so amazing about this album is that it maintains being equal parts punk and folk.
Stars — Set Yourself On Fire
I hate this band. They put on one of the worst live shows I have ever seen. I say that, but I have never heard such an evocative set of lyrics matched with beautiful music before I heard this album No matter how I try, I cannot top it. Everything in me just has to love an album that open with “when there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.”
Stills — Logic Will Break Your Heart
I FORGOT ABOUT THIS ALBUM. THIS IS ACTUALLY IN MY TOP 3. CAN’T YOU TELL THE CAPS ARE DUE TO ME FORGETTING ABOUT THIS ALBUM UNTIL RIGHT NOW AND NOW I AM TRYING TO BE CLEAR THAT I LOVE THIS ALBUM AND FEW WILL EVER MATCH HOW AMAZING IT IS.
Full of atmosphere, brilliant lyrics, beautiful tones. There are few albums that I will ever describe as essential for any reason, but I honestly feel like this album is essential for anyone looking for an ironically-dark journey into a depressing-but-funny world. As simple as they are, the drums on this album are what kill me. There is nothing overly interesting about them on the entire recording, but they are mixed to a cathedral level of amazing that is amazing and amazing amazing amazing.
Ikara Cult — Basic Instructions
It took me WAY too long to remember how to spell this band’s name without looking it up.
This song defines punk to me: it’s so fast! I have been trying for years to move my arms as fast as this drummer. I have never succeeded. I’m not here to talk about the drums, this time. It amazes/hurts me how few people know this band. This was the first song I heard by them, and still remains my favourite by this group. The only song that got close to making me change my mind was OneNote, which is similar in how quick it is (and also remains a more-traditional punk sound).
Really, this band is what drove me to make this list. Like I said, I honestly do find it astounding how few people know of this British troupe. If I have sold you on them, get the EPs first. The album is good, but is missing the intensity that comes with the EPs.
A week later, and I have thought of 302130583405914 more bands to share. If there is interest, I will do another list of greats that you need to check out.