by Cherie, blog founder
What can I say. Frank Turner is flawless. I’ve had his latest album, Tape Deck Heart, on repeat for a while now and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s easily my favorite album of his to date. If you like alternative, indie-folk/rock music, then give Frank a listen. Seriously, he has a song for every mood. His catalog is immense (5 LPs, 4 Eps, and 3 Compilation albums), and he is a fantastic story teller.
I’m only six years too late, I know, but I only recently started listening to British rock band the Arctic Monkeys. Their latest album, AM, has very few weak tracks on it; nearly every song is a potential single. It’s darker then some of their previous work, but there’s something empowering about it as well. The other album I’m really into right now is their first, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. It’s straight up rock and it’s apologetically British. From their very first album the Monkeys have never tried to change who they are and where they come from, and you have to respect them for it.
With the release of their latest album, Modern Vampires of the City, I found myself also revisiting their older work as well. It’s a toss up between which album is my favorite, MVOTC or Contra, but the whole trilogy is awesome. Vampire Weekend truly are in a category of their own, and I look forward to what they do next. I could listen to Ezra’s vocals for days. In fact I may have done just that.
Although Ben is one of my newer musical discoveries, he’s actually been around for a while. He’s signed to the same label as Frank Turner, and in fact toured with him in the US last summer. If you ask Ben what kind of music he makes, he’ll probably describe it as “angry folk for enthusiastic people.” It might be angry folk music but it certainly is catchy. If you are reading this and you haven’t given him a listen, his music is available for free to stream on spotify. There’s no excuse to not give him a listen.
Ben Howard also makes indie folk music, but he’s considerably less angry then Frank Turner or Ben Marwood. His album, Every Kingdom, is a masterpiece. It’s dark at times and uplifting at others. I read somewhere once that a lot of the guitar tracks on the album were recorded live and that any mistakes and imperfections were left in the final cut. I really like that idea: embracing imperfections instead of trying to gloss them over. Each track on the album takes the listener through an emotional journey of its own. If you’re looking for something uplifting check out “Keep Your Head Up” or “Old Pine.” If you’re looking for something a little darker try “Burgh Island” or “Black Flies.”
I already wrote up a short article on the band after seeing them play in New York, and have been listening to them ever since. They’ve only got one EP for sale in the US so far (Agape), though a second one is available elsewhere and a third is due to be released soon. For just a three piece band (drums, guitar, and banjo being the primary instruments) the band manages to produce a full sound and packs an emotional punch. My favorite track, “Pompeii” is a track off of their self-titled EP and you can easily find it on youtube. There also is a live version from the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover shows they played this summer that you can watch here.
I don’t think I can say this enough. Laura’s latest album is flawless. Truly a musical masterpiece. You can read my previous post on the album here. Sometimes I forget that Marling is the same age as me, which makes all that she’s accomplished in her short career that much more impressive. From what I hear through the grapevine, Marling is continuing to debut new song after new song on the road, so it seems like we won’t be hearing the last of her anytime soon.
Marina and the Diamonds
Mariana is my go-to music when I want something fun to blast at full volume when I’m stuck in traffic driving home from work. Sure I might get some weird looks from other drivers when I’m dancing in my seat to “Primadonna” or “Oh No!” but I regret nothing. If you haven’t listened to Marina her first album, The Family Jewels, is in my opinion, her best work yet; though I do love Electra Heart as well. She’s got a fantastic range, and her music is definitely unique.