1. Everest - On Approach (Vapor Records)
2. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (Jagjaguar)
3. Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)
4. The New Pornographers - Together (Matador)
5. The National - High Violet (4ad Records)
6. Broken Bells - Broken Bells (Columbia Records)
7. Roky Erickson with Okkervil River - True Love Cast Out All Evil (Anti)
8. Helen Stellar - If The Stars Could Speak, They Would Have Your Voice... (self release)
9. Helen Stellar - Prayer To Myself (self release)
10. Choir of Young Believers - This Is For The White In Your Eyes (Ghostly International)
Lot's of new music as the new Everest album , On Approach, makes a huge impression, landing at number 1. The band's first release for Warner Brothers shows them staying true to their musical roots, but adding sharper writing, far more powerful vocals and a breadth and beauty only hinted at on Ghost Notes. The New Pornographers new CD, Together, proves that this band is, indeed, still together, and still a powerful musical unit, landing in the fourth position. Add The National album, High Violet, which I didn't quite warm up to all the way until I saw them perform it live at The Wiltern last Saturday night. It's morose, brooding, moody and exactly what you want from them. That was an astonishing concert. Also new is the Roky Erickson with Okkervil River album, which is a little heavy on the redemption theme, but seeing them perform the material live last week , I came away with a huge respect and admiration for Okkervil River and particularly Will Sheff, who so generously and respectfully shared the stage with the rock and roll legend.
Avi Buffalo was bumped by, not only Everest, but by The Besnard Lakes as well, as their show last week at The Troubadour was so impressive I can't stop listening to them. In fact, when I ran into Sarah Negahdari at the Silver Lake Jubilee over the weekend, we confessed to each other that we're addicted to this album. As The Happy Hollows played a few dates with them, she was able to tell me that they're also some of the nicest people she's met.
Still high on the Broken Bells show and playing the album accordingly. Helen Stellar seem to be forever with me and I'm panting to see them again, as well as Choir of Young Believers, who need to come back from Denmark, rounding out my top ten.