Monday, May 31, 2010

9 Summer Albums That Matter Most To Me

A spin-off of Spin's 25 Summer Albums That Matter Most, I've narrowed mine down to 9, 8 of those off Spin's 25. I'm expecting the number to go up so it will most likely change, but as for now, 9 it is!

Wolf Parade
Expo 86
Album Drops: June 29

What is it with bands from Montreal that I like so much? Oh yeah, everything!

Kid Cudi
Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
Album Drops: September 14

Since he blasted on the scene with his instant hit "Day N Nite" Kid Cudi has deemed himself the strangest (and arguably coolest) person in hip hop today as his newest single "Pursuit of Happiness" and his last album proved.

But as the saying goes: Strange is beautiful.

The Roots
How I Got Over
Album Drops: June 22

The Roots - hip hop at its finest. How I Got Over is their ninth album and is a promising one at that. Their single, "How I Got Over," was released in 2009 - a little teaser to their highly anticipated album. By now, these guys are pros at making head-bobbing hits.

The Young Veins
Take a Vacation!
Album Drops: June 8
Attending: Rooney with The Young Veins and Black Gold - June 17 @ House of Blues, Anaheim, CA.

Ah, a vacation into indie bliss. Former Panic! at the Disco (yes, "!" - I refuse to drop it) members Ryan Ross and Jon Walker departed from Panic! to follow their musical hearts, producing their preference of Beatles-like (too much?) tracks that are, quite frankly, delicious. Take "Cape Town" for example:


Although I'm bummed about the split (I was quite obsessed with Panic! in high school, an obsession shared by my closest friends) I'm also pretty happy. With The Young Veins we get an entirely different sound from Panic! which, basically, is like a double whammy of awesomesauce. Like many a relationship, this split was for the best.

Hot Hot Heat
Future Breeds
Album Drops: June 8
Attending: Hot Hot Heat - June 30 @ The Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles, CA.

It's been a long 3 years since we've heard anything from this band and I'm really excited to jump around to some of their new rousing hits. It was love at first listen when I heard "Bandages" on the mix my then-boyfriend Josh made me. I owe him for that one. I remember sitting in my room, daydreaming of my Baby Bash look alike of a beau, when a soft-lilting Jack Johnson track slid into a crazy jam about...bandages? By the time the second chorus came around I was jumping up and down on my bed singing along to the baffling lyrics, ending it with a loud "WOOOOOOOOO!!!" from utter exhilaration.

It was one of those musical experiences that stays with you. I was late to the band wagon since "Bandages" had actually come out in '03 and it wasn't until '05 that I caught on to the phenomenal fun that is Hot Hot Heat. Their only positive love song, and most recent single, "Goddess on the Prairie" was written for Steve Bays' fiancee - which just makes you wanna say "Awwwwwwww!" It's a fun song with a Chinatown-ish guitar rift floating through it that surprisingly goes really well. You can listen to it here:

Ra Ra Riot
The Orchard
Albums Drops: August 24

Attending UCSB last school year, we won a contest for the college that had the most registered voters who voted in the 2008 presidential election. As a reward, Death Cab for Cutie (my second favorite band) played at our school for absolutely FREE. Opening for them was Ra Ra Riot. At that time I had only heard one song by them and thought they were alright. After the concert, I instantly downloaded their songs and became slightly obsessed. It's without a doubt that with a single like "Can You Tell" - the ultimate indie crush song - that The Orchard is going to be outright peachy.

Jack Johnson
To the Sea
Album Drops: June 1
Attending: Jack Johnson - October 10 @ Cricket Amphitheater, Phoenix, AZ.

Admittedly the most controversial selection on my list, Jack Johnson has been one of my favorite singers since my freshman year in high school. Along with my boy bestie Josh, we've kept up with him since our younger days and pride ourselves on being his biggest fans before his rise to stardom. Though I have a completely biased view on Jack J, it's without a doubt true that he has helped me cope with the most difficult times in my life. You just cannot be down while listening to his songs; they have such a calming effect. Call it what you want, but I've been looking forward to this album since Sleep Through The Static (2008).

The video for "You and Your Heart" is just great. Reminds me, I went to the beach this past Saturday - THE WATER FEELS AMAZING! Can't wait for some more beachy tunes to coast me through another amazing summer.

Arcade Fire
The Suburbs
Album Drops: August 2nd or 3rd

Another Montreal band, Arcade Fire has the number two top spot on my list. A delectable delight I discovered in 2005, though they've been around since 2003, they have been nothing short of amazing - both Funeral (2004) and Neon Bible (2006-2008) are spectacular albums, so spectacular that they have earned multiple prestigious awards in Canada, the UK, and North America. My opinion on an absolutely beyond-words album is that each and every track has to be, well, absolutely beyond-words enjoyable. Funeral and Neon Bible are precisely that. I expect nothing less from their soon-to-be-released masterpiece.

Title TBD
Album Drops: TBD

Seeing as Interpol is most definitely in my Top 5 Favorite Bands of All Time and has remained there since I first listened to "Slow Hands" on KROQ in '04, their new album has me giddy with girlish excitement. It's with a heartfelt thanks to bands like Interpol that my music pool has widened into - I shan't say the size of the ocean necessarily - but instead the size of at least the Pacific and Atlantic combined. Thus said, I cannot wait for their newest release despite not knowing exactly when it will be officially available. One thing is for certain however, their new single "Lights" can be summed up in one word: Pleasing. Very pleasing. Interpol yet again exceeds at turning obscure, meaningless lyrics into something poetry-esque. "Please police me" - just what does it mean? What is the significance in this line and how can you relate it to Shakespeare's ever-famous "To die or not to die"? Whatever the meaning, I like the sound of it for a reason I can't quite defend. And is it just me or do they seem to really like the word "grace"?

While reading Spin's top 25 album picks for the summer, Interpol being on their list at number 19, they offered a "Fast Fact" concerning their lyrics - check out this article from Stylus Magazine from back in '04 for a good chuckle or two:

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