I was gone for a bit, now I'm back, with my most up to date music that I am listen to right now!
Radiohead - "All I Need" this song is from two years ago and Radiohead is about 20 years too late to be a next big thing band, but this song is just too good not listen to.
Telekinesis - "Tokyo" I reviewed their album about 2 months ago and they are just starting to get mainstream attention, and this song is only half the reason why. Their album was near perfect for a debut, and being produced by Chris Walla helps any indie band gain some press coverage.
MGMT - "Indie Rokkers" released on the "Time to Pretend" EP but not on their full length album, this song was created when they were still called "The Management" and its my favorite MGMT song.
Natalie Portman's Shaved Head - "Hush Hush" awful band name, really fun song.
School of Seven Bells - "Half Asleep" dreamy lo-fi with electronica undertones. sounds like if Ladytron decided to collaborate with Frou Frou.
So Eminem has a new album out. And the media is doing a stellar job of pushing this Asher Roth kid as the next big thing. I say screw them all. Here's my list of the best unknown and under rated rappers.
K-OS - Forget Kanye West you want a guy who produces his own music has a addictive hooks and intelligent rap dialog? K-OS--not Kanye is the king.
Sage Francis - Representative of the disenfranchised and angry. Leave Eminem in the discount bin pick up this guy instead.
Atmosphere - One of the smartest lyricists in the game. Raps mostly about social unrest and teen angst, and experiments with different instruments for the hooks. Its nice to find a rapper who is brave enough to use his voice as the main instrument and not the synthesizer.
Illa J - Mentioned this man in a previous blog, his beats are fresh and car radio friendly.
K'naan - This is the third time I've mentioned this guy, so hopefully someone (if anyone actually reads this) has gone out and listened to some of his tracks now. I'm starting to feel like a K'naan groupie so this will probably be the last time I mention him in my blog for awhile.
Charles Hamilton - He has had a lot of hype surrounding him lately but that's because his rhymes and style are so original. With his raspy voice and mixture of old school charm and futuristic spin on music Hamilton really is the wave of the future.
B.o.B. - Hip Hop's new southern son.
Kid Cudi - Ok fine you probably have heard of this guy. I started listening to "Day n' Nite" around January of 2008. There was no video for the song yet and no huge promotion of the single, but it was generating a lot of buzz online. About a year later it finally got its due and is now enjoying top 40 radio play. However Cudi has more cutting edge material that has been eclipsed by the dance anthem-y single, listen to "Embrace the Martian."
Lupe Fiasco - I put Lupe on the list because he is well known but still under appreciated. In a world dominated by Lil Wayne and T.I. Lupe is the nerdy kid brother.
The Cool Kids - Before Kid Cudi was known as Kid Cudi he was (and still is) one half of The Cool Kids, two eighties old school obsessed rappers from Cleveland.
N.E.R.D. - One of the most innovative hip hop groups that never gets enough attention from the mainstream press.
Elephant Stone - These Canadian/Indian rockers produce their own dreamy form of indie rock, "hindie rock." It sounds like they were heavily influenced by George Harrison and his random excursions to India as well as early Jam Bands. I will definitely be looking for their albums at Sonic Boom! and Sunrise Records.
Horrorpops - Horror punk and death rock have come back in fashion lately. With new bands like The Horrors and a resurgence in popularity among older horror punk rock acts like The Misfits. These guys are the Siouxsie and the Banshees of the 21st century. Their sound is very retro and the lead singer looks like a gothic Betty Page.
Its the end of the year and I have 1 more exam left the dreaded CHM 225 final. Its a full year course (that's right people from September to May) and the exam is cumulative so that's thermodynamics plus quantum chemistry. Two semesters worth of stuff. So here are my top songs for my last exam...ha.
Stereophonics - "Dakota" This song just screams summer vacation, in that dreamy summer fling sort of way.
Semisonic - "Closing Time" One of my all time favorite songs of the nineties. The tune is a bit cliche, and it was the only hit from their record "Feeling Strangely Fine" which I think is a tad unfair. However it wouldn't have been such a big hit if the song wasn't well written and well produced. (Listen to other songs on their album too; "Secret Smile" is another great Semisonic song.)
Spoon - "The Way We Get By" Spoon is one of my favorite bands. I have all their records from "Girls Can Tell" to "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" and this song is an awesome example of how cool and simplistic a rock song can be.
The Black Keys - "Just Got To Be" one of the best songs of this decade. Its a reserved conversation with a guitar and a drum set, with the vocals acting as a translator.
So I spent an hour walking from Spadina and Bloor to Bloor and Yonge to pick up Edgefest tickets for me and a friend only to realize that the ticket master office at Sunrise Records was closed. But then I went to Sonic Boom! Records (at the totally opposite end of Bloor) only to find that they don't sell them...moral of the story? Always look at store hours before you go out! But I really didn't mind it was a nice day, and I picked up a great used CD at Sonic Boom! for 4 bucks from Clinic.
I finally got my hands on the new Sophia Somajo album (Laptop Diaries) and I love it! It is amazing she isn't bigger in the states. From the anthem "Stolkholm Calling" to the dance infused "I-rony" and my favorite single "Warm Blooded Murder" Ms Somajo has produced a quality album. other songs worth taking note of are the electronic "Girls Like Me" and the hip hop infused "Game Over Gambler"
Stefy - "Hey School Boy" and "Pretty Little Nightmare" I have listened to them since high school...in fact I own the entire "Orange Album" but being the indie kid I am, I have kept it hidden in the closet until now. Stefy Rae's songs are guilty morsels of electronic pop perfection, however they also sound dangerously "mainstream" which is why the high school version of myself hid her album deep with in my mp3. God forbid anyone think I wasn't indie!
Girls Aloud - "Loving Kind" This song was written by the Pet Shop Boys so its obviously as mainstream and as pop-y as it gets. Its an addictive song and now that I am in university I can openly admit to liking it without having my Converse shoes and Urban Outfitters cardigans confiscated.
Keri Hilson - "Knock You Down" I don't like Kanye West. I don't like Ne-Yo, but I like Keri Hilson. And the girl can sing, and write and produce. And this song is well produced, well written and well sung. I have to give Keri credit for writing and co-producing almost all of her tracks on her album. Although plenty of indie, underground, and alternative acts produce and write their own music, its quite rare to hear of a R&B diva willing to not just sing but take a more active role in the music creating process.
NASA - "Gifted" Not a huge Kanye West fan, but this track features Kanye West, Lykke Li and Santogold...so obviously Lykke Li and Santogold overpower Kanye and his ego. I have been playing this on my computer on repeat for at least a month now, its so catchy!
The Cribs - "Men's Needs" This song was my summer anthem and I have found myself listening to it again. The track has a great guitar riff and the lyrics are smart and sarcastic. Its one of those songs that keeps playing over and over in your head hours after you have listened to it. "Because a man's needs, a man's needs are full of greed! Are full of greed! A man's needs are lost on me...A girl's needs, are girl's needs, just don't agree with a man's needs...uh oh uh oh"