1. Chad VanGaalen - Diaper Island (Sub Pop)
2. The Belle Brigade - The Belle Brigade (Reprise Records)
3. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)
4. Low - C'mon (Sub Pop)
5. Duniven - I Have To Try For Her (self release)
6. Tommy Santee Klaws - Rakes (self release)
7. Torches In Trees - Torches EP (self release)
8. DeVotchKa - 100 Lovers (ANTI)
9. Eastern Conference Champions - Speak-Ahh (RockHampton Records)
10. Avi Zahner-Isenberg - Homemade EP (self release)
Still obsessed with Chad VanGaalen and his wonderful new CD. I really thought that the Low album would hold the number one position for a very long time, but with such great new material coming out, those predictions are out the window. There'll be a new number one next week again! The haunting poignance of Chad VanGaalen's vocals are matched by the delicate, yet solidly grounded melodies he writes. With simple arrangements, that are often no more than a guitar or banjo, a drum and two harmony vocals, he achieves an aching beauty so often on this album that it's hard to believe there's also so much variety. His lyrics are odd and decidedly quirky, but reveal real truths.
Jump on The Belle Brigade juggernaut if you want to see a band break into the big time fast. Their brand of perfect indie pop is so infectious, every person I play it for becomes an instant fan. Superb recording technology doesn't hurt either, as this record packs a powerful punch.
Fleet Foxes and Low are still riding high as I revel in having seen the former recently and the latter later in the year. The Duniven album, I Need To Try For Her, has a staying power that is only growing, in anticipation of the upcoming June residency Radio Free Silver Lake is hosting over at Silver Lake Lounge.
Tommy Santee Klaws (Rakes), Torches In Trees (Torches) and DeVotchKa (100 Lovers) are three bands who have given electrifying performances lately that I've been lucky enough to witness. And Eastern Conference Champions have released quite an impressive album with Speak Ahh!.