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.
StreamsJan 19, 2015
The OBGMs"Paranoid, Paranoia" on Exclaim! TV
The OBGMs (oOohh Baby Gimme Mores) have been on an ongoing high since their rise in popularity this past summer, due in part to their involv...
FeaturesJan 14, 2015
Ben Watt"Hendra" on Exclaim! TV
Since releasing his solo LP Hendra last April, Everything But the Girl's Ben Watt has been busy touring his folk-tinged rock across North Am...
StreamsJan 13, 2015
TTNG"Adventure, Stamina & Anger" on Exclaim! TV
Math rock outfit TTNG may be known better to some as This Town Needs Guns, having changed their name in 2012 with the release of their sopho...
StreamsJan 07, 2015
Jon Hynes"Opinion Piece" ft. Jonas Bonnetta on Exclaim! TV
Growing up on Canada's East Coast, songwriter Jon Hynes was no stranger to making his own 4-track recordings, as well as learning and playin...