Laura Mvula distills soul, jazz, pop, and choral music into a fresh, original sound on her debut Sing To The Moon. The 26-year-old singer/songwriter from the UK packs this album full of empowering lyrics, timeless sounds, and wonderful vocal arrangements. It is one of the year's best. Laura Mvula has experience as a choir director and it informs her music. She arranges and layers her vocals in ways that would normally be used with a choir. The first 30 seconds of "Like The Morning Dew" is the audio equivalent of a sunrise waking you up. While the main vocal takes
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Laura Mvula distills multiple genres into greatness on her debut.
Sterfish's Favorite Music of 2012: Animal Collective, Frank Ocean, Nas, Jack White, Passion Pit, Bobby Womack...
My favorite albums of the past year.
2012 has come to a close and it produced a lot of great music. The 14 albums and one EP on my favorites list this year are just a fraction of the music I enjoyed. I'll probably spend most of January checking out more music from 2012 that I missed and overlooked. As it stands, my list is of the albums I listened to over and over and over again throughout 2012 and would gladly listen to many more times. The albums are presented alphabetically by artist with no rankings applied. Animal Collective – Centipede Hz: This sheer quantity of
The second album from Passion Pit is beautiful, personal, and excellent.
Three years after their stellar debut Manners, Passion Pit finally returns with Gossamer, an album that manages to be even better. It's a fantastic pop album from start to finish that is a joy to listen to. However, the ear candy hides the fact that this is one of the more intensely personal albums you'll ever hear. This is what makes it one of the best albums released in 2012. Everything on Gossamer is a step above Passion Pit's previous album. The most notable upgrade is in the vocals of mastermind Michael Angelakos. His signature falsetto remains but it sounds more polished.
The Chicago duo that brought the future RnB in 2011 with a stellar EP return with their debut album.
Supreme Cuts, who brought the future RnB with their stellar EP Trouble in 2011, are back with their debut album. Whispers In The Dark has the Chicago duo expanding and refining their unique sound. Chock full of both hazy soundscapes and huge bass, it's best enjoyed after the midnight hour. The elements of their style that made Trouble so enjoyable are featured on Whispers In The Dark. What has changed is an increased focus on building atmosphere and mood. As a result, there are a wider array of sounds used throughout. "Lessons of Darkness (Apology)" combines a lot of different
As close to being at a Chemical Brothers show as a movie can get.
Many concert films combine performances with interviews, documentary elements, and behind-the-scenes footage to help audiences get to know the artist. The Chemical Brothers' first concert film Don't Think does not contain any of these things. Instead, it aims to replicate the experience of attending a Chemical Brothers show. Directed by longtime collaborator Adam Smith, it is as exhilarating and trippy as the real thing. Filmed at the 2011 Fujirock Festival in Japan, Don't Think features multiple perspectives to really put you in the show. Cameras are seemingly everywhere. While several cameras are situated within the audience, overhead shots are avoided
Mondo is not bad...but it doesn't leave much of an impact.
Mondo, the debut album by Electric Guest, is another pop album produced by the ever present Danger Mouse. It's filled with solid, well-made music...music that doesn't make a major impact. This is not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination. It just fails to stick with you the way really good albums do. The first single from Mondo,"This Head I Hold," is a wondrous piece of retro ear candy. From the soul-inspired arrangement to vocalist Asa Taccone's distorted falsetto, everything about it is great. Clocking in at just under three minutes, it lasts just long enough for you
Favorite Albums of 2011: Clams Casino, Jay-Z/Kanye, Common Danger Mouse/Daniele Luppi, Coldplay, The Roots, Florence and The Machine
16 albums ranging from hip-hop and electronica to pop and classical.
This is the seventh year in a row that I have done a year-end list of Favorite Albums and I have to confess that this one was difficult. It wasn't difficult in the sense that not enough good music came out in 2011 but the opposite instead. Once the year started, it never seemed to let up as some sort of quality music came out week after week. There are 16 albums on my list this year. I started out with nearly double that (and that doesn't even count my list of 2011's Best EPs). The albums are listed in
Sterfish weighs in on his favorite EPs of last year...
Each year I do my Favorite Albums list, there are maybe one or two EPs that I like and offhandedly mention. This year, I decided to put these little collections of excellence into the spotlight for the first time. The five EPs below are listed in alphabetical order by artist and are available from your favorite digital music merchant unless otherwise noted. Air Drops – EP: This debut is a wonderfully realized collection of fun, dreamy electronica/pop. The mellow opener "Desi" features piano and a children's choir combined with some spacey synths. "Champion's Chariot" features an unexpected (yet completely welcome)
The duo adopt a prog rock influenced style on their latest release.
Four years after their acclaimed debut Cross, French electro house duo Justice return with Audio, Video, Disco. Instead of trying to replicate the success of hits "D.A.N.C.E." and "DVNO," the duo adopt a sound influenced by prog rock. What could have been a spectacular failure ends up being quite enjoyable. When they don't try to take themselves too seriously, Justice succeeds in making some really fun music. The song "Horsepower" not just serves as a great opening track but also as a transition between the duo's albums. It's a big track, full of all the bombast you expect. However, there
Say hello to future RnB.
Chicago duo Supreme Cuts unleash their self-described "future RnB" on the world with their debut EP Trouble. This collection of five tracks is as mesmerizing as it is pure fun. It doesn't quite sound like anything else out there. If you're looking for something fresh and unique, you can't do too much better. What Supreme Cuts does to R&B is similar to what electronic artists have done to hip-hop and house for years...they destroy it and rebuild it in new ways. The vocals in their songs are sampled and used in such a way that they are both familar and
Straddling the gap between hip-hop and electronica, Rainforest is a fascinating listen worth checking out.
Primarily known for his beats for artists such as Lil B, Prodigy, and Soulja Boy, Clams Casino gained acclaim earlier this year with his Instrumental Mixtape. Hearing his beats without lyrics exposed their true artistry. He continues to shine on his latest work, the five-track EP Rainforest. Straddling the gap between hip-hop and electronica, Rainforest is a fascinating listen worth checking out. For those unfamiliar with his work, Clams Casino's production style is a bit different from other hip-hop producers. His beats are often chock full of atmosphere. Vocals by such female singers as Adele, Imogen Heap, Bjork, and Janelle
The Chemical Brothers' first film score is dark, edgy, and a fantastic album in its own right.
Less than a year after releasing Further, their best album in years, The Chemical Brothers are back with a brand-new album. Following in the footsteps of Daft Punk and Trent Reznor, the duo make their film score debut with the soundtrack to the upcoming thriller Hanna. Dark, edgy, and supremely engaging, this is a fantastic album in its own right. The album opens with "Hanna's Theme" and it sets the tone for the rest of the score. Music box sounds and dreamy vocalizations interplay with synths that suddenly take a very dark tone towards the end of the track. This
The duo mixes the orchestral and electronic for the score to the Disney blockbuster.
The best thing about the film Tron Legacy wasn't the storyline or the visual effects (though they were stunning). What stood out the most was the music, particularly the original score. It was the driving force of the movie and there are few scenes where it doesn't appear. Daft Punk provided that music and it's collected on the Tron Legacy Original Soundtrack. The duo's first original musical work since 2005's Human After All, this is a true score as opposed to a Daft Punk album masquerading as one. While Oscar may have snubbed it, this is a wonderful album and