is introducing a new feature to our site: Spotify Playlists
customized by us for your listening pleasure — free of charge!
HOW IT WORKS:
At the beginning of every month, we’re going to create a playlist (Called ‘Heavy Rotation’) of our top ten songs that we were really into the previous month and compile them in a playlist on Spotify. We’ll give you the tracklisting of the playlist here on the site, put in our two cents on each song, and then we’ll link you directly to the playlist on Spotify so you can listen to the whole thing at your leisure.
Occasionally we’ll create other kinds of playlists on Spotify throughout the month usually based on a certain theme or artist. Obviously, you need to have a Spotify account to partake
, which is FREE and attainable by clicking right HERE
Active Child - You Are All I See
This crimson-topped Los Angeleno choirboy (choirman? — choirboys aren’t usually ripped like he is) has the voice of an archangel and the harp-plucking skills of the apocalyptic symphony said archangel is riding in from the heavens with. It also doesn’t hurt that Active Child, A.K.A. Pat Grossi, is a master manipulator of New Order-esque synthesizers, and it all comes together wonderfully on this title track of Active Child’s debut album You Are All I See
Bleached - Think of You
These four Los Angeles-based rockers grew out of long-broken up punks Mika Miko. Singer Jennifer Clavin sings this love song with the sincerity (and perfectly raspy voice) of a young woman professing her love to someone at the end of a rager of a party in the early hours of the morning.
Eleanor Friedberger - Owl’s Head Park
The sister half of The Fiery Furnaces released an excellent debut solo album in July, hit the road, and made several stops around LA recently (which you can read about HERE
). “Owl’s Head Park” is possibly the best song on the album with its mysterious aura and wonderful Brooklyn-centric lyrical imagery.
Karen Elson - Crying, Waiting, Hoping
Fiona Apple’s cover of “Everyday” was originally the sole reason why I was interested in hearing this Buddy Holly tribute album in the first place. Apple’s version is perfectly fine, but the real treat of the album turned out to be Karen Elson’s energetic take on “Crying, Waiting, Hoping”, which is set to a playful horses’ gallop and Elson’s perfectly nasally country voice.
La Sera - Watch Me Jumpstart
Speaking of tribute albums, Guided By Voices got a rather good one recently, as well. La Sera, A.K.A. Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls, adds to her excellent 2011 (great new La Sera and Vivian Girls albums and live shows) by contributing the best cover on this compilation. Her take on “Watch Me Jumpstart” turns the original lo-fi growler into the music of he heavens, complete with Goodman’s angelic vocals and some church organ to match.
Man Man - Oh, La Brea
Man Man released the decent Life Fantastic
earlier this year but its closing track, “Oh, La Brea”, took a little extra time to reveal itself as one of the best written songs of 2011. Perhaps the late bloomer quality of the song is partly thanks to the complex multi-sectional structure of the song: it goes from freaky cabaret theatre piece to hushed folk to quirky potential film score of some unknown indie dramedy. It feels like three songs in one and it will appropriately demand three consecutive plays the first time you hear it.
Pictureplane - Trancegender (feat. Zola Jesus)
Zola Jesus’ Nika Rosa Danilova is quickly becoming a guest appearance MVP due to her recent collaborations with Pictureplane, M83, and her participation in this past weekend’s Serge Gainsbourg Tribute Concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (with Mike Patton, Victoria Legrand, Ed Droste, and others). Picturepane’s Travis Egedy utilazed Danilova’s voice perfectly as a sort of disco diva over a trance pop whirl of synthesizers. The result is one of the better potential singles of 2011.
St. Vincent - Surgeon
Now bracing big time magazine covers like Spin, St. Vincent/Annie Clark seems absolutely ready to explode in popularity. “Surgeon” is just the song to help that cause. It’s ridiculously catchy with a riptide of a chorus and some fancy guitar work that already warrants a ridiculous amount of repeat listens.
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Senator
Pavement reunion behind him, Mr. Malkmus keeps marching right along with yet another strong album, this one produced by sudden superproducer Beck. “Senator” is classic explosively quirky Malkmus songwriting no matter what the senator wants.
Tom Waits - Bad As Me
He still hasn’t missed a beat. Now into his 60s, Tom Waits aims to take the world by storm once again and this title track/lead single off of his seventeenth studio album is just the song to do it. “Bad As Me” essentially picks up where Waits left off, with fiery horns that match his vocals, all mixed in over a rigorous percussive stomp. He should still be making fresh music well into his 80’s at this rate.