End of 2009: Young Talents
So, after a lot of procrastination and seeing a LOT of other lists, I finally took up the courage to start sharing my list with you guys. It’s always a lot of work, but in the end very fulfilling.
First start with my young talents list. Last year, I predicted a bright future for Mumford and Sons, and I turned out to be a visionary man (The year before Bon Iver was my number 1). I must admit that I’m not that sure about this year’s artists or this year’s number one. there aren’t any artists that will go into indie mainstream, which doesn’t mean that they aren’t as great. In my entire list (including my top 50), there is one artist who I think will be spoken of a lot next year. I will tell you if we get to the artist.
But enough blah blah. my top 10 promising artists!
What? Twenties anxiety in songs
Most artists start making music in their teen years, when they are full of teenage angst, screaming to become an adult cause their growing brains are killin’ them. As soon as they’re 18, they realize how stupid their grieving was, and they will put aside their instrument to chase a life full of disappointment. But what do you do with the cynicism or regrets when you’re in your twenties? I guess you would make albums like The Awful truth. It sounds like songs from a grown-up, but not yet adult enough to believe that this is well-thought of. It seems to deal with growing pains, but not in the “fuck man, i wanna kill myself” kind of way. The voice sounds a bit like Destroyer, Thanksgiving and Adam Lipman. And maybe a little bit of Love Letter Band. This could end up to be a great promsie, but ‘Object Permanence’ is already charming enough to deserve your attention.
What? Stretch those vocal chords and join the circus
Daredevil Christopher wright is not an androgynous man singing about his days at the circus, although you could think that after a first listen. After closer inspection it turns out to be a trio, with vocal cords being stretched like it’s a carnival act. Especially when he’s doing the falsetto thing, you could – this is gonna be a very bad joke and i’m apologizing already – think someone is juggling his balls. (told you it was bad). The music is kind of like a circus too, cause it bounces around like elephants on little tiny bikes that are bouncing around in big circus tents. If I wouldn’t be feeling the urge of talking about circuses, I’d call the music on ‘In Deference to A Broken Back’ theatre. Well-orchestrated stuff, if you know what i mean. There are quite some references to christian things, and having seen the documentary on Danielson just this weekend, i’m kind of eager to use that band as a reference, although it’s not that extreme.
What? Cucumber bubblegum chewed by Lo-fi afficionados
I can imagine you reading the description, and really wondering how cucumber bubblegum tastes. I think it’s kind of edgy. And bubblegum is catchy. This means that The Love Language is catchy edgy music, and with a lo-fi feel. Woohoo, it matches my definition of great music. This debut album gives me the happy wave your hands in the meadows on a hot summer day- feel. It’s hard to come up with comparisons, but some of the songs remind me of what Swedish pop people like Jens Lekman & Suburban Kids with Biblical Names would make if they had to live in a basement. I also saw Wavves & No Age pop up as reference, but this is not even close to their kind of lo-fi noisyness. No, this just has a smile your head off while being shot at on a carnival ride-feel. Boat, they’ve got a bit of Boat. And some band I can’t come up with right now.
What? Cabaret is this year’s trend
We’re four bands far in my year list, and I’m already starting to repeat myself. But well, DM Stith is kind of theater as well. He is the arty farty street performer, who can bring ghouls back to life. How that musically can be defined? Well, you all like Grizzly Bear don’t you? It’s like them, but then more Department of eagles. It makes you dance in a weird standing still kind of way, falling in between the layers of the songs, and then finding out that your name doesn’t have to be Alice to get in Wonderland. You don’t need drugs to see big toads talking to you. A bit of DM Stith will do the trick.
What? Morning Benders and Animal Collective have a Love Baby
While Indie kids are jerking off on Animal Collective and other too cool for fools-bands, I tend to take the time to go out there in the digital jungle to find what’s gonna be hot next. It’s not always easy, swimming in a pool of endless music sources, and drowning because the music at the bottom of the pool is pulling you down. But once in a while you find these bands that look like bubbles. You can inhale them, so that you can swim on for another 15 seconds before Game Over appears on the Screen. Caddywhompus, that sounds like a rough version of “Band that is gonna be big next year because they signed to a bigger indie label” Morning Benders. We’ll see them in 2 years, next to Jumbling Towers. Thank Aninsideoutsock for the early Adopter-opportunities. You can tell your friend you knew bands before they were cool, and call them a fool! Oh, and this EP is downloadable for free on their website!
5. Lee Baggett (or lee Gull?)- Burn’r (RAD Records through Marriage Records)
What? Electric guitar slacking on the front porch
Is it weird to find out that Lee Baggett is part of Little Wings? Not really. He’s got that strange charming monotony that only real music lovers love, cause other people think it’s deadly boring (that’s what some of my friends would say). I think Baggett recorded this album while he sat on the front porch, a long extension chord coming from his amp inside. And while watching the sun setting and the three-legged dog slumping to his drinking bowl filled with multiple layers of dust, he just starts jamming and singin’ with his friend. And without even knowing it, ends up with extremely catchy songs. (Though next time, keep low on the solo instrumentals).
NOTE: he doesn’t seem to have a MySpace. I guess he was too busy jammin’.
What? Experimental is a dirty word if you don’t wash it.
I’ve kept the experimental segment of my musical journey low this year. That has got to do with most indie music becoming more experimental already, and realizing that it’s stuff i just don’t listen to that often, even though I enjoy it. Question is if Au is really that weird and trippy. It’s a bit more offbeat than Animal Collective or Akron/family, but e.g. ‘Ida Walked Away’ is quite standard. Au only tends to freak out once in a while, but does it in a standardly awesome way. If standardly is not a word, It fits a description of Au perfectly. Akron/Family: watch your steps.
What? I never heard of a band that calls himself after some weird dead object..It’s like calling yourself Pavement, stupid!
Ok, I guess no one will get the What-description, though it means nothing more than that ‘A Paper Cup Band’ sounds like Pavement. But that’s only in one song. In another they sound like The Donkeys, and in another they sound like Of Montreal, and then they sound like a honky Tonky band. It’s as if they’ve been drinking from a glass of spit from all the indie that’s out there, and then tried to guess whose spit they tasted. Actually that’s a rather good concept for an album. Then again, a title like Detroit Vs Farming puts it very well as well. city versus countryside. Pyjama versus sleeping naked.
What? Someone’s gotta to be the new Unicorns
You know who I hate? Nick Thornburn. For not fully admitting that he wants to make catchy pop songs and instead comes up with artsy fartsy disastrous albums (and some good side projects, okay okay). But from now on, there is no reason for despair anylonger, cause Gregory Pepper & His Problems are here! He’s Canadian, he looks a bit like Thornburn. We can all turn away from Thornburn now and listen to Pepper’s catchiness. Like Peppermint catchy. It’s not his first album, so I’m not sure whether he sounded like the Unicorns on his first album and this is his debut as Islands, but I hopen ot, cause that would mean that his next album would be awful. Still, Pepper is the way to go for now. Go Pepper go.
1. Squanto – Go Go Gadget Grass Stains (Self-released)
What ? Bedroom robots singing about their home planet
It’s sad to say, but I’m pretty sure that by the end of next year almost no one will know Squanto. That’s because Squanto is untouchable for most people. The music is a ghost with a shadow that no one can see. You only get a hint of something going on there. Layered music in a lo-fi setting, like Mount Eerie makes 23034 cd’s a year. This is perfect competition for the best Of-compilation of that album. I don’t know what it is that Squanto does with me, but I know it’s something I wanna feel flowing through my veins more in my life. That’s worth a number one spot. The album can be completely streamed at Virb, and downloaded for Free at the Collective, whose catalogue keeps to amaze me!
Tags: A Paper Cup Band, Aagoo Records, adam lipman, akron/family, Amble Down Records, animal collective, Anti-Civ Records, asthmatic kitty, Au, Bladen Records, Caddywhompus, Department of Eagles, Destroyer, DM Stith, Fake Four Inc, free music, Gregorry Pepper And His Problems, Grizzly Bear, Islands, jens lekman, Lee Baggett, Lee Gull, Little Wings, Marriage Records, Mount Eerie, no age, Of Montreal, pavement, squanto, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, Thanksgiving, The Awful Truth, The Collective Family, The Daredevil Christopher Wright, The Love Language, The Love Letter Band, the morning benders, The Orchid Collective, Theater, UnicornsYou can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.