Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Album of the Unspecified Time Period (Part 2)

I've been enjoying the hell out of the XM Radio I put in my car, but it means I haven't been listening to as much of my own music. I did, however, find a few good new bands on XM's indie rock/college channel. My current pick:

Air, "Talkie Walkie" - If you asked me to categorize this, I'd say it's some kind of weird, etherial, electronic-pop by a couple of French guys. Oh, and it's really good. If you've ever read any of my comments on music, you know that my favorite albums are ones where each song has its own "character" -- this is why I enjoy bands like They Might Be Giants and the Pixies. Air's newest album definitely accomplishes this. From the quirky acoustic guitar and whistling in "Alpha Beta Gaga", to the Portishead-with-minor-chords sound of "Run", to the whispering tones of "Cherry Blossom Girl" (which sounds like it could be a lost song from the Katamari Damacy soundtrack), each piece has its own life and character.

And some other stuff, new and old, that I've been listening to lately:

Supersystem, "Always Never Again" - I heard these guys (previously known as El Guapo) on XMU, and they're pretty great. It's straight indie pop, but they've adopted a bit of the "nouveau-disco" sound that some other bands have been playing with lately (most notably Scissor Sisters, which I think are fairly hit-and-miss). I don't know why I'm drawn to this band's new album, since I don't generally like "poppy" music, but their songs are catchy as hell. Oh, and the pretentious assholes at Pitchfork Media hated it, and that's good enough for me.

Metric, "Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?" - Another band I first heard on XMU, Metric combines interesting harmonies with very simple arrangements. You only have to listen to "Calculation Theme" to know what I'm talking about. The album is a nice mix of mellow electronic (but not exactly "trip hop") and indie "girl rock" -- I've heard similarities to everything from Information Society to Juliana Hatfield. Whatever sound they're going for, the singer's dead sexy voice fits the tone perfectly. They actually have a new album that came out last week called "Live It Out", but I haven't gotten my hands on it yet.

And please, stop recommending The Decemberists to me. I have the album; I just don't like it very much.


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