The new album by Grimes was finally released last week. I was seriously counting down the weeks for this and the new album by Trust out this week. They are sort of like my Zola Jesus and Cold Cave of this year. Those albums were two of my favorites from 2011. And I can tell you for sure that Grimes and Trust will both be in heavy rotation in my life this year. Grimes is Claire Boucher from Montreal. She is fantastic and you should get to know this album. She has a bit of the baby voice. Which can be annoying in person. But it works for me on this album. Reminds me at times of The Cranes. Visions is her third album and her first on 4AD. Her first two albums have just been reissued as well. But they really are not as great as this new album. It falls on the dark side of things for sure. And is just a lovely little album. Check it out for yourself.
Listen to "Oblivion" from the new album Visions by Grimes...
The debut album from Trust has one of the most interesting album covers of the year so far. This is not the French metal band from the 70's with the same band name. This is the Trust from Canada who just released their synth pop dark wave album on Arts & Crafts. Trust is Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski from the band Austra. This dudes voice is amazing. I can't get over it. Like a mix of Clan of Xymox and Bronski Beat. Maybe with some Kermit the Frog mixed in there. It is that good. I have been really anticipating this album after hearing a couple of the singles. And it does not disappoint. Like albums from The Knife and Cold Cave it is a solid dark wave synth album. There are stand out tracks on this album for sure. But it really holds together as a complete fantastic debut album. I still can't figure out that cover art. I can't stop staring at it. It is dark and mysterious and spooky. Just like the music. It is entirely unique and I have not seen anything quite like it. Just like the album. I am loving it. Whatever it is.
Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. As you may know, I've worked in Hollywood for 8 years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 - at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2011 releases that I fell in love with or had hot and heavy affairs with this year.
50 Favorite Albums of 2011
Wild Beasts Smother
In 2008, Brit quartet Wild Beasts released their shaky-legged -but- stunning debut, Limbo Panto. In the four years since, the band has released two thoroughly dazzling masterpiece full-lengths of deceptively delicate indie rock, lyrically bent towards looking in the dark recesses of the heart and libido, largely sung by co-vocalist Hayden Thorpe in his trademark falsetto. Smother finds the band adding a new restraint to their arrangements that allows the tension in the lyrics to hit with hair-on-end chills. It is a singular LP by a singular band that I expect will eventually reach a Radiohead-level stratosphere.