1. The National - High Violet (4ad Records)
2. The New Pornographers - Together (Matador)
3. Everest - On Approach (Vapor Records)
4. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (Jagjaguar)
5. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinemas (Matador)
6. The New Pornographers - Challengers (Matador)
7. Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo (Sub Pop)
8. The National - Boxer (Beggars Banquet)
9. Broken Bells - Broken Bells (Columbia Records)
10. Helen Stellar - If The Stars Could Speak, They Would Have Your Voice... (self release)
Things get very mixed up this week as my listening habits were a bit helter-skelter this time around. Every once in a while I just go mental over a band and that's what happened with The New Pornographers this week and no, I haven't started working for Matador Records. I like their new albun, Together, a lot, but it hasn't grabbed me quite like all their previous releases. That could simply be a function of it's newness...we'll see. It's caused me to go back and revisit Challengers and Twin Cinemas, repeatedly.
Seeing The National at The Wiltern last Saturday (May 22) and hearing some of the new material performed live helped to clinch High Violet for me. The songs had a growling, ferocious power live and helped foster a greater appreciation for the record. They performed so much of Boxer too, and that is such a superb album (it took no getting used to), I had to spin it a few times.
The Everest album, On Approach is definitely as good as I thought and proving to have staying power. And Avi Buffalo and The Besnard Lakes have a lock on two slots in my end of the year best list. Broken Bells and Helen Stellar round out the list. Is it me, or is there an inordinant amount of good albums coming out right now?
I'm looking forward to picking up a copy of The Californian EP tonight at their Spaceland show and you can expect to see it on the list next week. I know that even without hearing it yet.