As the New Year gets underway, we anticipate lots of new releases from some of our favorite artists. However, a new name jumps to the head of the line in this year; a duo from Baltimore named Beach House. Their first album for the Sub Pop label comes out this January, entitled Teen Dream, and may just be one of the albums we're talking about again when we come full circle in 2010.
For their third album, The Shins have pulled out all the stops. Chock full of memorable tunes, Wincing The Night Away is at once the band's best and most eclectic offering.
For Ernest Greene it’s all about atmosphere. His artistry as a singer and songwriter takes a backseat for his ambition as a composer and a mood setter. Greene is the latest artist to emerge out of an increasing popular ‘chill-wave’ scene. As of just two years ago he was producing home-made music out of a bedroom in his parents’ house in Atlanta, GA. But those EP’s found an audience and Greene now finds himself as a hot commodity. Using the stage name Washed Out, Greene was courted and signed by Sub Pop records to release his full-length debut Within And Without.
Seattle’s Fleet Foxes surprised even themselves with the success of their debut album. Fleet Foxes (the album) was an extraordinary introduction to the band’s harmonic bliss and rural sonic landscapes. For indie rock audiences, the band ushered in unprecedented warmth with their music and an approach that was honest and rather unassuming. Yet faced with the reality of their follow-up record, the band found itself in the precarious situation of dealing with grand expectations. The process of making what would become Helplessness Blues was well-documented as the band dealt with the demons of uncertainty and frustration.
Twenty years after they started to bring the grunge revolution out of the Pacific Northwest, the resilient music lovers at Sub Pop Records have now given us a band with brilliant five-part harmonies and a decidedly hippie-esque world view that owes as much to Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Beach Boys as Mudhoney did to Iggy & The Stooges.