Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
Back in January few people had ever heard of drone-y doom-folk crew Gowns, but by years' end the defunct Los Angeles duo had gained some serious posthumous notoriety as the creative birthplace of Erika M. Anderson. Past Life Martyred Saints, the South Dakota transplant's debut as EMA, proved to be one of the year's greatest surprises. The record's strength comes from its intimacy, but intimacy doesn't always equal weakness. Opener "The Grey Ship" begins with a sparse acoustic guitar and hushed vocals, pulling listeners in before swaths of overdriven guitars pummelling them into submission. From there, we're putty in Anderson's hands. Past Life finds its legs in "California" where Anderson adopts a Kim Gordon-esque speak-sing that opens with the line," Fuck California, you made me boring," delivering a visceral vocal over top guitar drones and drums the size of the Grand Canyon. Critics have had a hard time pinning Anderson down, given that each song on the record seems to reveal a new influence. "Milkman" offers the closest thing to dance floor groove while "Coda" is a 60-second ode to Appalachian folk. Then there's "Breakfast," whose slow burn reveals a fair bit of time spent listening to classic rock power ballads. Anderson is the through line, singing with a confidence that provides a guiding light through the album's beautiful noise.
FeaturesSep 01, 2015
The LibertinesBoys in the Band
The Libertines burst onto the pages of the UK music press in the early '00s, setting the rock world ablaze with a revitalized, rambunctious ...
NewsAug 26, 2015
Melvins to Release Long-Lost Collaboration with Mike Kunka via Sub Pop
After 17 years, the Melvins will finally release an album they started in 1998 with Mike Kunka, bassist of noise rock duo godheadSilo. "W...
FeaturesAug 26, 2015
Beach HouseAll Natural
When Beach House announced their fifth album, Depression Cherry, back in May, Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand described it — in their...
NewsAug 25, 2015
Holy Fuck Share Info on New Album and the Reasons for the Wait
It's been five long years since Canadian electronic experimenters Holy Fuck released a new album. After a seemingly endless bout of non-stop...
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...