For folks that may have first claimed their breakout potential at last year's South By Southwest Music Festival, Local Natives resisted rushing out their debut album. But their patience and ability to road-test their material makes this one pass the big test.
The unavoidable truth about the new album from Corinne Bailey Rae is that it comes from one of the most painful places one can imagine. The Sea, the highly anticipated follow-up to her Grammy nominated debut album, features songs that were written on both sides of the unexpected passing of her husband. The result is an album that is as you would imagine, personal and poignant.
The track list from the 29th volume in the Live at the World Cafe series includes 18 live tracks from your favorite WXPN artists individually chosen By David Dye, for you, the XPN Listener.
A few years removed from arguably their most successful studio album to date, the veteran indie-rockers, Spoon, return with their seventh studio album Transference. And while its predecessor dipped into a pop arena at times, Transference consciously avoids that avenue opting for a raw, unapologetic approach.
Simply stated, Contra, the sophomore effort from Vampire Weekend does not miss. As a follow-up to their much admired debut, the new album is open to new, adventurous musical avenues all while still harnessing their worldly appetite. Unquestionably, Contra is smart, artistic, and — as you'd expect from Vampire Weekend — catchy.
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.
Since forming, the band Freelance Whales have went from busking on street corners to independently releasing their debut album, Weathervanes, to signing a record deal all in just under two years. The five piece band from New York has had no problem garnering attention. Ambition is a big factor but after spending time with their music it's easy to hear what makes Freelance Whales so irresistible.
Years from now we may look back at Daptone Records as the label that produced the most significant soul music of this time period. And yes, most of the attention comes from the spirited Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. But on the compilation Daptone Gold we're introduced to the many fine artists that call Daptone Records home.
It's hard to imagine any area on the musical spectrum that Bob Dylan hasn't dipped his paintbrush in. But as the days get shorter, and the first of the snowflakes start to fall so does arrive a Christmas record from the man himself, Bob Dylan.
Before you even put on your headphones, there is something mysterious and luring about the debut album from the South London band, The XX. Maybe it's their name, or the simplicity of a plain white "X" that's planted on the black backdrop of their album cover. Whatever it is that draws you in, expect to be met with a haunting album that is clever and ambitious in its simplicity.