Several times a year I enjoy sharing some of the new music I’ve been enjoying over the past few months. Since we’re about halfway through the year, here’s what I’ve been listening to since I last posted recommendations 3 months ago. I’d love to hear your recommendations as well! Leave me a comment or tell me on twitter @noahmglenn. Anyway, here are my picks in no particular order:
The Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Comittee Pt. II
This is their best album since Hello Nasty in 1998. That’s saying a lot, because Hello Nasty is probably in my top 25 favorite albums, and definitely in my top five hip hop albums. It’s just fun, quirky, out-of-left-field hip hop with clever lyrics.
Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – Rome
This is supposed to be Danger Mouse’s take on the music of Spaghetti Western films. You may know Danger Mouse as half of Gnarls Barkley or half of Broken Bells, but here he’s teamed up with film composer, Daniele Luppi. Some of the songs are instrumental while others feature vocals from Jack White or Norah Jones. While it’s a good listen in its own right, and I commend it for having a unique sound, Rome doesn’t quite live up to the best of Spaghetti Westerns. In that department no one holds a candle to Ennio Morricone!
Thao & Mirah – Self-Titled
As the name implies, this album is a collaboration between two musicians – Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn (who for obvious reasons performs as simply “Mirah”) and Thao Nyugen (who has performed and recorded solo and as “Thao with the Get Down Stay Down”) I’ve long been a fan of Mirah, but Thao Nguyen is new to me. In recent years, I’d begun to lose interest in Mirah’s music, but this project has given me a renewed interest. It features very original arrangements. Their voices and styles fit nicely and I look forward to exploring more of Thao’s music as well.
Panda Bear – Tomboy
I was a big fan of Panda Bear’s last album, Person Pitch, and I’ve been looking forward to this one. His music slowly grows on me, and I can’t say I fully appreciated this album on the first listen. It seems to be a logical progression in style from his last album, so nothing ground breaking, but I think it’s ultimately more focused and rewarding.
Sondre Lerche – Self-Titled
I’ve admired Sondre Lerche since I first heard his album Two Way Monologue in 2004. I’ll admit to being a bit jealous of his career. We’re close to the same age and he recorded his first album, Faces Down, at age 19. It was beautiful and ambitious and gave him great success at a young age. Since then he’s been able to shape-shift and dabble in different types of music, but he does it all consistently well. It’s always a pleasure to hear something new from an old favorite like him.
Bon Iver – Self Titled
This is the third self-titled album on the list. I thought Bon Iver’s first album, For Emma, Forever Ago, was pretty good. But it had a very distinct sound that grew old fairly quickly for me. I only enjoy it in small doses. That is definitely not the case for his second release. His sound has grown and progressed nicely. Some may be a little put-off by some of the 1980s type production on certain tracks, but what I love about it is that he seems completely sincere about sounding that way. A lot of indie bands these days have an ’80s sound/style that feels a little ironic and forced, but Bon Iver seems to really be making music in a way that he loves.
I want to hear about the new music you’ve been listening to! If you have recommendations for me, leave a comment or tell me on twitter @noahmglenn.