Friday, January 6, 2012

So Many Great Records, Part 4

Okay. So this is the last of the longlist entries. Once I recap my Top 20 of 2011, it's on to new things. I've actually already heard a couple albums this week I'm itching to write about, so expect the new stuff to be posted next week. Enjoy your weekend.

Sandro Perri - Impossible Spaces [Constellation]

Here’s another one I owe to Jeff Friesen. He’s been a longtime Perri-person and it was thanks to his championing of prior works that I was primed for Impossible Spaces.
Love & Light by Sandro Perri

Shimmering Stars - Violent Hearts [Hardly Art]

I owe Stylus a review of this one. I’m not going to blow the awesome analogy I’ve come up with for it here, but needless to say, the review will be a favourable one.

Listen to one of the best tracks, "I'm Gonna Try" here. [Embed not available]

Sister Crayon – Bellow [Manimal]

I could’ve sworn I wrote about this record on this blog or Reductive Reviews, but a search reveals I did not – which is a shame, because this is a really solid record. Sister Crayon has a pretty distinct sound that captivated me.
Sister Crayon "I'm Still The Same Person" (The Album Leaf remix) by terroreyes

Sleep Over – Forever [Hippos In Tanks]

Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde [Fat Possum]

I didn’t see these guys when they opened for Arctic Monkeys in Winnipeg so I can’t confirm rumours I’ve heard about their live performances not matching up to the record, but maybe that’s a good thing.
Weekend - Smith Westerns by joshuadj

Snailhouse - Sentimental Gentlemen [White Whale/Forward Music]

Me and loving Snailhouse go way back. Feuerstack was one of my favourite interviews of the year on TGIFR because we talked while he was scouting locations to play handball while on tour.
Great Storytellers by snailhouse

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy [4AD]

On a list of “just missed its” in my life, being a day late to see St. Vincent at a small club in Phoenix a few years back ranks up there.

Listen to "Surgeon" here. [Embed not available]

The Stepkids - The Stepkids [Stones Throw]

WAAAAAY back when, I wrote about a band called The Dragons. That was an old album rediscovered. The Stepkids is just an album that sounds like it was rediscovered, but was actually created by guys who have supported the likes of Alicia Keys and decided to do their own thing.
The Stepkids - Shadows On Behalf by Stones Throw Records

Sun Wizard - Positively 4th Avenue [Light Organ Records]

Not quite sure what it is about B.C. right now, but there’s a lot of classic-sounding rock coming out of that province. Yukon Blonde is the breezier AM Gold to Sun Wizard’s more muscular sound. I had the good fortune of having these guys in to play live on TGIFR this year.
Sun Wizard - World's Got A Handle by Light Organ

This Hisses - Surf Noir [Transistor 66]

Here’s one of those rare instances where the album’s title perfectly describes the sound of the music contained therein. Surf Noir didn’t exist until this Winnipeg three-piece created / coined it.
01 Lycanthrope by This Hisses

This Will Destroy You - Tunnel Blanket [Suicide Squeeze]

I actually liked this record so much I wrote about it twice. Once in Stylus and once on Reductive Reviews.
Communal Blood by This Will Destroy You

Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On [Arts & Crafts]

Listen to this on vinyl. You deserve it.
Timber Timbre: "Lonesome Hunter" by flavoredtrash

Tom Waits - Bad As Me [Anti-]

Everyone’s favourite creepy uncle returns.
Tom Waits - Chicago by throw_your_head

Toro Y Moi - Underneath The Pine [Carpark]

My countdown co-host, Jared McKetiak nailed it when he talked about this record on air. Toro Y Moi was one of the people who set the benchmark for chillwave with his first record and proceeded to jump well over it with Underneath The Pine.
Toro y Moi - New Beat by raphaelassaraf

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Unknown Mortal Orchestra [Fat Possum]

This came out of leftfield and grabbed my attention.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Ffunny Ffrends by MODESTMODUS

War On Drugs - Slave Ambient [Secretly Canadian]

Much preferred this to Kurt Vile’s record.\
The War on Drugs - Baby Missiles by edin2sun

The Weather Station - All Of It Was Mine [You’ve Changed Records]

Delicate, beautiful, personal. Tamara Lindeman’s sophomore effort as The Weather Station slayed me from the first listen.
The Weather Station - Everything I Saw by thebrokenspeaker

Weird Owl - Build Your Beast A Fire [Tee Pee Records]

Here’s another one I’ve yet to review for Stylus (Taylor, I promise, I’ll be submitting these soon!), but have been listening to for a while. Tee Pee is a fascinating label that hews its own line rather than following what others are doing sonically. Weird Owl is – in its own way – the perfect fit for them.

Wilco - The Whole Love [Anti-]

These guys have earned a place in my year-end wrap-up pretty much any year they release a record. And the title track earned a spot in my Top 20 songs of the year.

Whole Love from Spencer Tweedy on Vimeo.

Wires Under Tension - Light Science [Western Vinyl]

I wrote about these guys here on Ear To The Sound, so it shouldn’t be a surprise they made this list.
Electricity Turns Them On by Wires Under Tension by western.vinyl

Yamantaka/Sonic Titan - Yt//St [Psychic Handshake]

Another blind find courtesy of the postal service. This album came into the station unannounced and I slipped it into my computer based solely on the fact that the band’s name piqued my interest. So glad I played it.
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Reverse Crystal // Murder of a Spider by Psychic Handshake

Zola Jesus – Conatus [Sacred Bones]

I resisted this one at first because it felt like everybody was raving about it. But my resistance was futile.
Night by ZolaJesus

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