Thursday, December 5, 2013

Q4: October - December

New releases typically slow down in the year's fourth quarter, but that doesn't mean we weren't treated with a few fantastic releases. For me, 2013's final quarter meant that I finally got to hear new music from Arcade Fire. The band's long and intriguing promotion of Reflektor may have ended up hurting its broad public reception more than it helped - especially since they took a bit of a risk in experimenting with a multiple new styles on one record. Fortunately, they had LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy at the helm for much of the production and I really enjoy where they went with this record. If nothing else, they're an extremely ambitious group who genuinely want their fans to have an authentic experience. Look no further than their post-SNL performance.

As for the rest of the list, artists I'm plenty familiar with released new records in Los Campesinos! and Of Montreal (this is my favorite record they've released since Sundlandic Twins). I also came across a few pleasant surprises, including Courtney Barnett, an Australian songstress, and The Baptist Generals. I also took a rare trip into what I'll call ambient, experimental, electronic soundscapes from Tim Hecker. I found that Hecker's music is perfect for blocking out the world around me when I really need to get work done. Rounding out the final quarter is Diane Coffee, a new project from Foxygen drummer Shaun Flemming - this also means that Foxygen thoroughly dominated my 2013, with members appearing in quarter's one, three and four. Expect to see a heavy dose of their music in my year-end lists.
Website | Listen to "Live Room"

Website | Listen to "Turnunders and Overpasses"

Website | Watch them perform "She Ain't Speakin' Now"

Website | Watch the "Avocado, Baby" music video
Website | Listen to "Porno"
Website | Listen to "Tale of a Dead Dog"

Website | Watch the "Avant Gardener" music video

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