- Weird Dreams - Choreography
- Matthew E. White - Big Inner
- The Orwells - Remember When
Try: “Mallrats (La la la)
- METZ - s/t
- Swearin’ - s/t
- The Men - Open Your Heart
- Lower Dens - Nootropics
Try: “Nova Anthem”
- Lace Curtains - The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness
No Youtube or Spotify links available, if you get your hands on a copy, try “Tropic Of Cancer.”
- Rat Columns - Sceptre Hole
Try: “Death Is Leaving Me" (Spotify link)
- Field Music - Plumb
Try: “Who’ll Pay The Bills”
- Ty Segall - Twins
Try: “The Hill”
- Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse
Try: “I Bought My Eyes”
- Royal Headache - s/t (2012 US reissue)
- Tame Impala - Lonerism
Try: “Enders Toi”
- Father John Misty - Fear Fun
Try: “Funtimes In Babylon”
- Allah-las - s/t
Try: “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind”
- Angel Olsen - Halfway Home
- Mount Eerie - Ocean Roar
Try: “Pale Lights”
- Eternal Summers - Correct Behavior
- Aesop Rock - Skelethon
Try: “Zero Dark Thirty”
- Melody’s Echo Chamber - s/t
Try: “Be Proud Of Your Kids”
- Holograms - s/t
- Ty Segall & White Fence - Hair
Try: “Scissor People”
Ty Segall and White Fence combine their respective garage rock sounds to create an album of material that throws back to quirky 60’s rock acts like The Count Five or The Move.
Foxygen - Take the Kids Off Broadway
Try: “Abandon My Toys”
Take the Kids Off Broadway was reissued this year on Jagjaguwar Record, but I wish I had heard it sooner. Foxygen make sort of a neurotic mash of late-60’s garage and early 70’s glam that really resonates with me at this point in my life.
- Chris Cohen - Overgrown Path
Try: “Caller No. 99"
Chris Cohen is a music veteran being a part of bands ranging from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti to Deerhoof. On Overgrown Paths was my first experience with the artist. This record features Cohen playing 9 tracks that sound similar to what could have been The Village Green Preservation Society b-sides.
- Black Twig - Paper Trees
Try: “Lake Song”
I first heard about finish Black Twig in 2011, with the digital release of “Lake Song.” The analogy that I used to describe the band when I had first heard them was “Jason Pierce fronting Sonic Youth” and now though I realize that the description I used was regrettably nieve, but I would say it still applies. (I would qualify it to an 80’s Sonic Youth, but that matters little.)
- Spiritualized - Sweet Heart, Sweet Light
Try: “Hey Jane”
Sweet Heart, Sweet Light is undoubtedly Spiritualized’s most religious album. It also may be his most personal. Through Sweet Heart, Sweet Light, Jason Pierce outlines his beliefs in some of the clearest of terms revealing personal details about his religious “walk” and I took from the lyrics that it has not been on the steadiest incline And why should it be? He’s encumbered two near-death experiences in his lifetime and his recent run-ins with chemotherapy. Physical struggles like the ones Jason’s faced or really the daily struggles in life that anyone faces can have an impact on one’s faith. Jason’s ups-and-downs of faith and life are displayed in this album, it is the feeling of empathy that really drives this album home for me. I also like the songs.
I have mixed feelings towards cover songs. The purpose of a cover song is most often an artist simply sharing their rendition of a song they enjoy. A lot of times this is harmless due to the laid-back nature of things like the A.V. Club’s Undercover or artists simply goofing off on stage. The (sometimes) negative side of cover songs come from an artist trying to stretch his or herself into making the cover sound original. My rationale with cover songs or rather tracks in general on studio albums is the fact that the collection of tracks on a certain album are there by the artist’s intent, therefore there should be zero chaff or filler on the record. A lot of the time that chaff plagues (or perpetuates) an album’s negative side. Sadly, cover songs seem to frequently contribute to that chaff.
The Good (Cover songs that I felt justified their place within their respective albums)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - “Avalanche”
The Bad Seeds covering Leonard Cohen seems somewhat appropriate at the thought. The brooding atmosphere found in their early LPs, as well as The Birthday Party material combined with Nick Cave’s per-usual brutal vocal delivery enhances this song to stark heights. Listen here.
The White Stipes - “Stop Breaking Down”
Jack White turned a minimal Delta Blues song by Robert Johnson into a highlight on the Stripes’ debut album. The energy and guitar roughness is usual for early White Stripes songs but along with some impacting lyrics that are only emphasized by a stellar vocal performance elevates this cover to prominence. Listen here.
The Bad (Not album-destroying, but not good either)
The Fall - “Victoria” Listen here.
Devo - “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” Listen here.
Both of these songs were a case of the artists trying to be ambitious, by attempting to put their unique spin on classics that were real mismatched choices in terms of styles.
The Ugly (Songs that will force you to question your existence)
Joss Stone - “Fell In Love With A Boy” (Stone’s “re-arrangement” of The White Stripes’ “Fell In Love With A Girl”) Listen here.
The Fall - “A Day In The Life” Listen here.