Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
Although frontman Christopher Owens has one of the most fascinating back-stories in the biz, Girls have risen up through the ranks of indie rock as far more than the band with the eccentric singer who belonged to the Children of God cult. After impressing us with 2009's debut Album and its follow-up, 2010's Broken Dreams Club, this year Owens, bassist/producer J.R. White and their three new bandmates turned in yet another example of how Girls have become a band to rely on for consistent results. Obsessively retro to its core, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, is unapologetically speckled in what should be far too wide a range of influences: "Just A Song" opens with a classical guitar intro and evolves in Tropicalia, "Honey Bunny" rides a wave of blithe surf pop, "My Ma" is a tear-stained country ballad, "Live Like A River" throws back to some down-home rhythm and blues, and most peculiar is "Die," a staggering outburst of unlikely stoner metal. But the band pull it off earnestly, thanks to Owens' barefaced, almost uncomfortable honesty as a lyricist (two songs are admittedly about exes, one of which is titled "Vomit"), some imaginative arrangements and a team of skilled players. Father, Son, Holy Ghost is indisputably their finest work yet, but you get the sense that it's just the beginning. Owens is said to be working on a reggae album, and as outlandish as it sounds, the way he's spread his wings so far, it could make for a compelling fourth record.
FeaturesAug 24, 2015
Steam Whistle Unsigned presentsExclaim!'s Camp Wavelength Preview
Summer is almost done, but that doesn't mean all the fun music festivals are over just yet. The inaugural edition of Camp Wavelength —...
FeaturesAug 21, 2015
Fred PennerAll My Children
It's been a good while since Fred Penner was on television, but these days, he's having a bit of a moment. He plays festivals regularly; he'...
FeaturesAug 20, 2015
The Exclaim! QuestionnaireCarly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen could have been a one-hit wonder. When the British Columbian singer/songwriter released a single titled "Call Me Maybe" ...
FeaturesAug 19, 2015
Coeur de pirateMap of the Heart
"All my fears and anxieties and all that crap that humans go through — I didn't face them because I was so busy putting my energy into...
NewsAug 19, 2015
Destroyer Explains the Diverse Sound of 'Poison Season'
Dan Bejar has been releasing music as Destroyer since the '90s, but his career hit a new high with 2011's Kaputt. That stunning album catapu...
NewsAug 18, 2015
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About the Libertines
Propelled by the electrically charged creative partnership between Peter Doherty and Carl Bar‚t, the Libertines may have only released two s...
NewsAug 17, 2015
Beach House's Song Remains the Same, and They're Pleased
Since they formed 10 years ago, Baltimore's Beach House — Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand — have carved out a simple yet signat...
NewsAug 14, 2015
Rocketship Talk 'A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness' Reissue, New Album
In the annals of 1990s indie pop, Sacramento, CA's Rocketship weren't the most prolific act, but what they did produce has remained timeless...