Spiritualized offers 10 grandiose songs on Sweet Heart Sweet Light (album cover pictured above) that gel together cinematically. You’ll be listening from track No. 1 onward, without skipping, because this is Jason Pierce’s best album since Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. There’s intricate orchestration and droning psychedelia -- what’s not to love?
Spiritualized’s “So Long You Pretty Thing.”
Just What You’d Expect:
Horse Feathers’ Cynic’s New Year offers lush, sad songs filled with soft crooning and rich stings, which feels like an extension of their 2010 release Thistled Spring. And Midwest math-rockers Maps & Atlasses drop Beware and Be, which shows the band taking their complex, spirited tunes (read: music for musicians) to new heights.
Neon Trees release their sophomore album Picture Show, and the first single, “Everybody Talk,” is already moving up the charts. To read a review and interview with bassist Brandon Campbell, go here.
Official video for “Everybody Talks.”
The Big Surprise:
After spending over three months in Ghana about five years ago, I came back with a renewed love of Afrobeat and highlife, which is the Ghanaian version that melds in heavy funk, uptempo rhythms and thick horns. Guitarist Ebo Taylor is a legend of the form and his latest release, Appia Kwa Bridge, gets back to that classic sound. “I wanted to go back to a highlife feeling with this album,” explains Ebo Taylor. “The songs are very personal and it is an important part of my music to keep alive many traditional Fante songs, war chants and children’s rhymes.” Give it a listen -- you won’t be disappointed.
Why Are You Still Making Music?:
No, really? Train, why have you written and recorded California 37? Just go away.
Dry the River’s Shallow Bed, Lightships’ Electric Cable and Dar Williams’ In the Time of Gods.