Not sure where your neck of the woods is, but where I am (the Chicago area), it got mighty frigid this week. So in honor of our prickly cold weather, we give you the best songs for this time of year, our favorite winter songs. In evaluating these songs, much like how we evaluated our top ten albums of winter last year, we tried to find the ten songs that best encapsulate the look, feel, and sound of the season; not just our ten favorite songs that just so happened to mention winter. So without further ado, the ten best songs for this frisky weather.
We at LxL are men for all seasons, and winter is no exception. As three people grown up and still suffering through the Midwestern cold, we get the meaning of winter. So we know you need a little musical help to get you through the harsh cold. Here are our top ten albums of winter. Enjoy.
Brooklyn-based trio The Antlers have truly been a band to watch (and hear) ever since the release of 2009’s Hospice, our 5th favorite concept album and 3rd favorite winter album of all time. The album centered around lead singer Pete Siberman sitting in the hospital as he watch a loved one die, and Siberman’s haunting voice on top of the careful and sorrowful orchestration makes for one of the most powerful albums I’ve ever heard. It’s follow up Burst Apart, brought a more lively pop sound, which I thought made the band poised to breakout though they didn’t quite do so. Their super-underrated Undersea EP followed, and really stands as a precursor for their latest album Familiars, which instead of further projecting and expanding out like Burst Apart, the band turns inward for a beautiful elusive dream, that ebbs and flows in stunning fashion. Continue reading “The Antlers Review: Familiars”
New York based musician Ryan Lott aka Son Lux has quietly been making some of the most forward-thinking electronic/post-rock music around since 2008. The young musician has taken on his music with a real entrepreneurial spirit, with his songs taking the most unique twists, and exploring all expanses of the musical universe. Despite being highly imaginative, Son Lux’s music has left me a little cold in its abstractness until this year with his third release Lanterns. Continue reading “Son Lux Review: Lanterns”
It is often said “familiarity breeds contempt”. This phrase is most often directed towards people, but it also carries a lot of weight in regard to listening habits with music. With a few exceptions, if a band that does the same thing over and over with every album, they will often lose my ear. Or, if a band comes along and does something similar to what is trending at the time, that familiar trend will cause me to be dismissive of a copycat upstart.
Almost everything on Mutual Benefit’s debut, Love’s Crushing Diamond, is familiar to me. The voice of the primary vocalist, Jordan Lee, is so reminiscent of The Antler’s Peter Silberman, that upon first listen I had to make sure Mutual Benefit wasn’t a side project of Silberman’s. The string arrangements range from extremely delicate in the vein of Damien Rice to containing more punch like those used by Lost in the Trees. There are even some hints of Sufjan Stevens in the collaborative vocals and overall song structures.
Love’s Crushing Diamond is about as familiar as it gets. But there is such a warmth and genuine nature to the album, it would be almost impossible not to love. Mutual Benefit has managed to make an album where I feel like I have heard every song before, but also feel lucky to revisit each and every one. Its the type of familiarity akin to seeing some of your best friends from a previous stage of your life that you haven’t seen in years, and proceeding to pick up right where you left off. It is very fulfilling. Continue reading “Mutual Benefit Review: Love’s Crushing Diamond”
Not sure where your neck of the woods is, but where I am (the Chicago area), it got mighty frigid this week. So in honor of our prickly cold weather, we give you the best songs for this time of year, our favorite winter songs. In evaluating these songs, much like how we evaluated our top ten albums of winter last year, we tried to find the ten songs that best encapsulate the look, feel, and sound of the season; not just our ten favorite songs that just so happened to mention winter. So without further ado, the ten best songs for this frisky weather. Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Best Winter Songs”
Of the artists we most anticipated new albums from in 2012, two of them failed to release a new album (Outkast and Kanye). We decided to be a bit less lofty with our prognostications this year, and are relatively comfortable that all the artists on this year’s list will end up dropping a new full-length (except my “just missed”, which is the same as last year, and a complete shot in the dark). As always, some artists will surprise us with great new releases, but we can only base our list now on who has given strong vibes something new is coming in 2013. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on who you are personally anticipating or where we messed up. Enjoy!
10. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience
Has Justin Timberlake ever faltered since he began his solo career? No, no he hasn’t. Making as smooth a transition from boy-band front man, to Michael Jackson-esque solo debut, to hyper-aggressive sophomore album Prince sound has seemed all too easy for ole’ JT. Let’s hope The 20/20 Experience is no different.