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10 More Essential Records from 2014

Posted by Billy Gil, December 8, 2014 06:20pm | Post a Comment

Last week, I posted my top 50 albums of the year. Cause 50 just ain’t enough, here are another 10 essential records from 2014:

Fear of Men Loom

Fear of Men imagine a world where The Cranberries stayed good, The Sundays really got their due and Belly didn’t flame out. Led by singer/guitarist Jessica Weiss, the band calls to mind alternative/dream pop bands of yesteryear, and Weiss’ vocals call to mind the ethereality of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser crossed with the heartiness of The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan. The band’s muscular indie-rock can move in graceful lockstep (“Tephra”) or set a pretty, yet never sappy backdrop over which Weiss can breathily intone, as on the lovely “Seer.” On the album’s most thrilling moments, Weiss will stretch her voice into territory that goes beyond the expected, singing into a lo-fi mic on the gorgeous “Descent” or looping into dizzying layers on standout “Waterfall.” One of the most promising debuts of the year.

 

Cult of Youth Final Days

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Top 10 Domino Releases

Posted by Amoebite, November 14, 2014 01:31pm | Post a Comment

Domino Records

For over twenty years, Domino Recording Co. has been one of the most celebrated and creative forces in the world of independent music. Founded in 1993, the London-based label started off by licensing works from acts signed to American record companies for release in the UK. Since that time, they've opened an office in Brooklyn and established the divisions Domino Deutschland and Domino France. Their stable of artists includes some of the most inventive, beloved and influential acts in music today, and we're delighted to welcome Domino to our family of digital labels available on Amoeba.com! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of Domino's best releases from the past decade and a half, listed below in no particular order.

Arctic Monkeys AM

Arctic Monkeys - AM (2013) 

One of the biggest recent records here at the store, AM sees the band collaborating with Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on what he calls a "really cool, sexy, after-midnight record." This means Queens-style spooky grooving, melodic, laconic, druggy guitar solos, tired-drunk-guy crooning with falsetto doubling, and a shuffling, mid-tempo disco snark turned sneer in a nicer jacket a la someone like Jarvis Cocker's work with Pulp.

Album Picks: Sharon Van Etten, Hundred Waters, Owen Pallett

Posted by Billy Gil, May 27, 2014 09:26am | Post a Comment

Sharon Van Etten - Are We There (LP, Deluxe LP, CD, Download)

Sharon Van Etten's new release takes the sound she's been carefully crafting over four albums and injects it with a dose of drama, billowing out her songs until they threaten to overwhelm you with emotion. Ambition looks good on her—and the songs on Are We There even seem to address this change. Opener "Afraid of Nothing" gives her voice enough room to belt, shedding some of the modesty of her previous work. "Even I'm taking my chances" she sings knowingly over an electronic beat on "Taking Chances," that foray into electronica carrying over to songs like the delicate, Beach House-ish "Our Love." On showstopper "Your Love Is Killing Me," Van Etten gives it her all, imbuing the chorus with such emotion in her low vibratto, it's impossible not to get goosebumps. Yet even as she's clearly reaching for the brass ring on Are We There, Van Etten still sounds tastefully restrained when need be, never losing her cool. It's a win-win—new listeners will undoubtedly be taken with Van Etten's powerful voice and immaculately crafted songs, while longtime fans are bestowed her best album yet.

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