Written and curated by Xavier Pastrano
Future Islands // Singles
I wasn’t sure what to think of these guys the first time I saw them, but after watching their Letterman performance a few times, they really grew on me. I enjoyed the music from the get go, but I couldn’t tell if Samuel T. Herring’s stage antics were “for show” or truly genuine. Turns out the dude is a poet with some wicked dance moves, and I can dig that.
LISTEN: Back In The Tall Grass
King Tuff // Black Moon Spell
Imagine if Roger Klotz, from the Nickelodeon show Doug, fronted a swanky Rock-n-Roll band. Enough said.
LISTEN: Black Moon Spell
HAVE A NICE LIFE // Deathconsciousness (Reissue)
This concept album was originally released in 2008 and centers around followers of an 18th century Italian writer and a mysterious religious figure named Antiochus. This past June, the band teamed up with The Flenser and put out a limited number of vinyl pressings. HAVE A NICE LIFE do an amazing job of blending shoegaze, industrial, and dark wave into a harrowing and bleak musical sound scape. In other words, great rainy day music.
Death From Above 1979 // The Physical World
As a bass player, I thoroughly enjoy a fast paced, fuzzed out bass riff, and this second album from Death From Above 1979 has plenty of chops to hang a fang into.
LISTEN: Right On, Frankenstein!
311 // Stereolithic
311 was one of the first bands I got into as a kid. I was about 10 when I first heard their self-titled blue album, and it really shaped my love of music and desire to play bass guitar. I’ve been a die-hard fan ever since, and although people say that they’ve gone “soft” over the years, their new album stays true to their roots and delivers some great tunes.
Imogen Heap // Sparks
I have a crazy amount of respect for Imogen Heap. The woman is so incredibly innovative it blows my mind. While her latest album leaves just a little to be desired, the main reason why it made my list is because my wife and I had the opportunity to receive the Sparks collector’s box set from Imogen Heap herself at her house in London. It was quite an amazing experience and I’ve never met a more humble and caring musician.
Animals As Leaders // The Joy of Motion
I’m not even sure how to classify this album. Instrumental-prog-metal-jazz-fusion? Whatever, instead of trying to pigeon hole everything, I just kick back and enjoy it for what it is: a killer album with complexity and depth. Teacher Side Note: I sometimes grade student papers while listening to this.
LISTEN: Tooth and Claw
Cold Beat // Over Me
At the time I discovered this album, I was on a new-wave/dark-wave kick. I was listening to a lot of New Order, Heavens, She Wants Revenge, and Depeche Mode, and this album totally fit into the ranks. Imagine a more shoegazy version of the B-52’s.
2014: SOME MUSIC OTHER PEOPLE LIKED ALL YEAR
This playlist is a completion of the music from the series of posts that share the same name.