Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
The number of bands that create a memorable debut album but stumble thereafter are more numerous than stars in the sky. New York indie pop band Pains of Being Pure At Heart's introductory full-length in 2009 was nothing short of pure bliss. And this year they sidestepped fading into the unknown mist ― their follow-up album Belong slaughtered the sophomore slump with a loving middle finger. Produced and mixed by the same fine folks who have worked with the likes of the Smashing Pumpkins and Depeche Mode, Pains capture the uplifting pop sensibilities of those bands without becoming a nostalgic clone. The fuzzed-out guitars, inviting synth melodies and Kip Berman's soft vocals combine to create this warm feeling that can cure a broken heart, or lift a euphoric feeling even higher. From the title track that begins the album with this "us against the world" feeling that makes you believe anything is truly possible, to the closing track "Strange" that cements that same sentiment under the light of a couple in love, Belong takes the listener on a heart-wrenching ride toward hope.
FeaturesJul 06, 2015
BullyYouth and the Old School
Ask any musician who grew up listening to Nirvana, the Breeders or PJ Harvey what studio they'd love to record their debut album in, and cha...
FeaturesJul 06, 2015
Where I PlayWill Currie and the Country French
"Our band isn't what it was," Will Currie says, seated behind a Korg SV-1 keyboard in his cozy living room in Waterloo, ON. One of his bandm...
StreamsJul 06, 2015
Dave Monks"Summer Dream" on Exclaim! TV
A lot of Tokyo Police Club's Canadian fans grew up alongside the band; many followed them from early performances in tiny Southern Ontario d...
NewsJul 06, 2015
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About Conor Oberst
Few artists have charted a career path like Conor Oberst. The Omaha, NE musician got his start when he was barely a teenager, and in the ens...
StreamsJul 03, 2015
Crosss"Old Sound" and "Interlocutor" on Exclaim! TV
Gloomy Toronto psych-rockers Crosss combine their heavy sound with a continuous rhythmic flow that creates a listening experience that is fu...
FeaturesJul 03, 2015
Leon BridgesInstant Vintage
She was like, "Is this secular music?" I told her "yes ma'am," Leon Bridges recalls. The playing of or listening to secular music was ve...
FeaturesJul 02, 2015
The Exclaim! QuestionnaireFlorence Welch (of the Machine)
Florence Welch has been on top of the charts ever since her band Florence + the Machine burst onto the scene in 2009 with the breakthrough a...
NewsJun 30, 2015
Canada Day Playlist: Artists Pick Their Favourite Canadian Albums of All Time
This week, we'll all celebrate the 148th birthday of Canada with Canada Day fireworks, barbecues and other traditional activities. No Canada...