I’ve been behind on new music lately. I’ve been listening to Kurt Vile’s excellent Smoke Ring For My Halo (which I reviewed for Verbicide) and The Dodos’ latest, but I keep getting sucked back into the classics – Neil Young, Howlin’ Wolf and The Beatles. That’s not a bad thing, but there’s so much I still want to listen to. That’s why I’m making a to-do list of music.
R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now
As far as I’m concerned, R.E.M. has never put out a bad record, and based on the reviews its been getting, Collapse Into now might be their best in a decade. It could be another classic record from the Athens, Ga. group.
All Tiny Creatures – Harbors
Hometapes might be the most underrated record label out there. They’ve got Megafaun, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Bear in Heaven and Slaraffenland, among others. Each new release never fails to impress. All Tiny Creatures’ latest features guest appearances by Megafaun and Justin Vernon. And with a lineup featuring Collections of Colonies of Bees/Volcano Choir’s Thomas Wincek, Harbors shouldn’t disappoint.
The Strokes – Angles
I gave Angles one listen and wasn’t terribly impressed. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but it’s not groundbreaking in any way. My first impression is that it sounds more like frontman Julian Casablancas’ solo album than the gritty garage rock from Is This It? that I’m craving. Hopefully, it’ll grow on me.
Beach Fossils – What a Pleasure
Music is becoming saturated with lo-fi Brooklyn bands that sound pretty much the same. Beach Fossils has been one of the standouts of that scene. One of the tracks, “Fall Right In,” even features Wild Nothing. What a Pleasure should be a good listen.
Middle Brother – S/T
In some ways, Middle Brother is a supergroup. Its three members are all in good bands, but their main projects aren’t as well known as they should be. John McCauley III fronts Deer Tick – probably the best known of the bunch. The other two members, Matthew Vazquez and Taylor Goldsworth, are members of Delta Spirit and Dawes, respectively. Middle Brother’s talent alone makes their debut promising.
Bibio – Mind Bokeh
You might have heard Bibio on the Amazon Kindle commercial. It’s the solo project of Stephen James Wilkinson, who plays an incredible array of instruments, some as non-traditional as a filing cabinet. Mind Bokeh might be the album I’m most excited to hear. He’s been known to readily switch from dreamy acoustic to dance music, all with incredible production. It could easily be one of the best of the year.