December is a great month for a musical adventure. This is largely because everyone's best-of lists emerge and throw up albums that you've never heard of or overlooked due to one bad review.
So I basically spent a lot of time on my laptop listening to a ridiculous number of these and, quite generously I might add, am now going to share with you my highlights in no particular order.
The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient
I know very litte about this band, I have no idea what they look like, what their history is and how to put them into context. But after one of those beautiful unconscious listens while carrying out a spate of house cleaning, I decided I love this album.
They're their own sound, but if I was to put it into a box I'd say they're a more modern version of a mash-up of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty's work in the 80s. Or even a Canadian Phoenix Foundation. Here's a lovely number from them:
The Weeknd - Echoes of Silence
This is the third album from The Weeknd that I've listened to. I loved the first one but wasn't so hot on the second as I felt it lacked a lot of the big hooks that the first one offered. Yep, real deep, but that's what I loved in House of Balloons. This latest record has gone back to the hooks, so I'm back with the love. Here's my favourite track:
Great Northern - Remind Me Where The Light Is
Another in the list of great new boy/girl dreamy pop bands. I've always loved Stars and these guys fit in beside them really well. Enjoy!
Real Estate - Days
Jangly indie pop goodness. (I know...these descriptions are getting smaller...coffee high is fading sorry)
Raphael Saadiq - The Way I see It
Here's another one of my new-soul favourites along with Charles Bradley. Awesome for when summer finally comes to NZ. Here's a track from the album, featuring Joss Stone:
Little Dragon - Ritual Union
Soulful electronic pop. Yeeeah.
Middle Brother - Middle Brother
Last, but not least, a supergroup made up of members from some great folk-rock bands, namely Deer Tick, Delta Spirit and Dawes. For me, this is definitely one of those albums from a "supergroup" that has actually worked and produced something with a bit of magic in it. For fans of folk rock goodness.