So, April has come and April has gone, leaving yours truly a year older and a couple of excellent albums richer in its wake. I usually try to keep the music here pretty accessible, but sometimes, you just have to share the awesome English folk-rock with everyone you know.
Best New Music
I’ve been looking forward to the debut album by English folk rockers Dry The River ever since my best friend told me to listen to their EP and I did exactly that and enjoyed it immensely. So it was with quite a bit of excitement and expectation that I sat down to enjoy their debut album, Shallow Bed. It didn’t disappoint. Similar in sound to previous folk/rock crossover Mumford & Sons with perhaps a bit more mainstream appeal, Dry The River have crafted an album long on melancholy that is somehow surprisingly catchy.
Honorable mention: Are we now relying on the barren West to provide America’s best rock bands? Where rock was once a big city thing, recent rock music has had a decidedly… desert flavor. The Killers (from Las Vegas) have been America’s best rock band for the better part of a decade (on that note, RIP to recently departed sax player Tommy Marth, a frequent collaborator). Similarly, there’s Provo, Utah’s Neon Trees, who made a splash with 2010 earworm “Animal” (you know the one: “oh-oh I want some more/Oh-oh, what are you waiting for?”). Their new album, titled Picture Show, is a top effort; slick and fun and incredibly infectious.
I’m currently super-excited that I was able to snag a ticket to see Bloc Party in NYC in August. Hailing from London, they’re indie rock legends of the highest order, and having recently returned from a two-year hiatus to record material for their upcoming fourth album, were something of a hot ticket, selling out in under an hour and a half. So to celebrate that, here’s the wonderful “Hunting For Witches” from sophomore album A Weekend In The City.
Opening for them that day will be a band I’d heard good things about but not looked up until recently, Brooklyn’s The Drums. Combining a sound akin to early 80s Manchester with 50s rock, I’m looking forward to seeing them live and following their career.
And we’ll finish this month’s current tunes off with Belgian superstar Gotye‘s excellent “Somebody That I Used to Know.” I heard this song remixed at a rave about a week after I first listened to the album, and for the rest of the show, I just wanted to go home and listen to this song (raves really aren’t my thing).
With the massively massive Manchester Derby on Monday, and my upcoming trip to that city, and my unabashed love for the amazing music produced there, I had to go with a Manchester band for this month’s column. The problem was, with so many wonderful bands hailing from The Warehouse City, which should I pick? The Smiths are a bit too melancholy for the excitement level, and I already did an Oasis track back in January. I finally settled on one of my personal favorites, the Stone Roses track “She Bangs The Drums.”