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Top 25 Albums Of 2013: Part 1

December 11, 2013

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Because I want to makes sure you know I listen to too much music, here’s another year-end list.  This time it covers the albums I couldn’t take off repeat when I wasn’t pouring over various singles.  The countdown will come to a conclusion on Friday!  Enjoy.

25) Chelsea Light Moving – Self Titled

Thurston Moore’s new band put out their self titled debut in the first part of 2013, and I’ve been listening to it fairly often ever since.  It’s a meaty, noisy indie rock effort that gets better the more time you spend with it.

:Chelsea Light Moving – Burroughs:

24) Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – We The Common

We The Common didn’t resonate with me as much as Thao’s previous two albums, but I still find it to be a really good effort.  She continues to be one of my favorite songwriters.

:Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – We The Common:

23) Marnie Stern – The Chronicles Of Marnia

Despite being a long-time fan of Marnie Stern, The Chronicles Of Marnia is the first album of hers that I’ve fully liked.  Probably because it’s easily her most focused effort to date.

Check out the album here.

22) The Men – New Moon

I know everyone prefers the Men’s heavier efforts, but I adore the almost folkish indie rock sound that makes up New Moon.  Don’t be afraid to toss on headphones for this one.

:The Men – The Seeds:

21) Grape St. – A Date With You

A good chunk of my 2013 was spent singing-a-long with Grape St’s A Date With You.  The Austin act sure knows how to put together a catchy garage rock tune.

:Grape St – A Date With You:

20) Terry Malts – Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere

Terry Malts’ Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere took a few listens for me to completely warm up to it, but once I did I never wanted to let go.  If you like fuzzed-out pop punk, then you need this album.

:Terry Malts – I Was Not There:

19) White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade

Even if you’re not a big fan of White Denim, you have to appreciate how hard they work to constantly expand their sound.  Corsicana Lemonade is really nice step forward for them.

:White Denim – At Night In Dreams:

18) Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister

Weird Sister is one of the more scatterbrained, largely crazy indie pop efforts of 2013, but it works.  Here’s hoping Joanna Gruesome never change.

:Joanna Gruesome – Sugarcrush:

17) Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic

Foxygen’s poor/bizarre live showings seem to have soured most people’s opinion of the band, and that’s just too bad.  We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic is a really good album that proudly showcases the band’s various influences.

:Foxygen – On Blue Mountain:

16) Bosnian Rainbows – Self Titled

Omar Rodriquez-Lopez (The Mars Volta) and Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes) are at the center of Bosnian Rainbows, and their self titled debut is full of well crafted alt-rock gems.  Still not sure how I feel about their name, though.

:Bosnian Rainbows – Morning Sickness:

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Marnie Stern

August 13, 2013

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Just in case you haven’t been anticipating it like me, today’s post is a reminder that Marnie Stern’s track for the 2013 Adult Swim Singles Program is ready to be loved.  Victory for all!  By the way, if you’ve yet to check out the gifts that Adult Swim and Williams Street Records have been giving over the years, then get over there and treat yourself.  You won’t regret it.  Enjoy.

:Marnie Stern – This Was It:  I imagine this track is probably as close as Marnie is ever going to get to writing a ballad.  Seriously, it’s sweet, and you should get ready to want to hug someone.

Bonus Video:

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Stream This

March 29, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Charles Bradley – Victim Of Love
Cold War Kids – Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
Generationals – Heza
Olafur Arnalds – For Now I Am Winter
IO ECHO – Ministry Of Love
Luxury Liners – They’re Flowers
Vondelpark – Seabed
Dutch Uncles – Out Of Touch In The Wild
The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
Chvrches – Recover EP
Wax Idols – Discipline And Desire
Mudhoney – Vanishing Point
Wire – Change Becomes Us
Warm Soda – Someone For You
Niagara – Otto
Tartufi – These Factory Days

VIDEOS

Yeah Yeah Yeahs are all set to release Mosquito on April 16 through Interscope.

Phosphorescent just put out Muchacho on Dead Oceans.

Marnie Stern’s The Chronicles Of Marnia is out now on Kill Rock Stars.

Big Deal is set to release June Gloom on June 18 via Mute.

Wavves recently put out Afraid Of Heights on Mom + Pop.

Tricky will release False Idols on May 28 via his own label.

Shellshag will put out Shellshag Forever on April 20 through Don Giovanni.

Barbarossa’s The Load 7″ is out now on Memphis Industries.

Team Spirit will release a self titled EP on April 9 via Vice Records.

Toro Y Moi’s Anything In Return is out now on Carpark Records.

The Coathangers are about to head out on a tour in Europe with And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead.

Inc. recently put out No World on 4AD.

Thee Oh Sees will release Floating Coffins on April 16 via Castle Face.

Cold Cave put out this song in September of last year, but the video is new.

Passion Pit’s Gossamer is out now.

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Sound Samples: Marnie Stern

February 20, 2013

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Sound Samples is a SOTO feature meant to provide some insight on what inspired and/or influenced an artist’s latest release. Today’s entry comes from New York’s Marnie Stern. On March 19 she’ll be releasing a new full length titled The Chronicles Of Marnia, and around that she’ll be spending a couple of months on the road.  If you’re in Austin, be sure to catch her either at SXSW or at Holy Mountain on May 3.  She puts on an electrifying show that shouldn’t be missed.

On another Marnie-related note, in the past we’ve done these and artists have submitted a fairly sizable mix of songs.  Marnie, however, sent four with the following note:

I tend to listen to a lot of the same things, as they never get old to me. Different parts speak out at different times, and most of it has been around for a while. This is the stuff I was listening to when I wrote The Chronicles Of Marnia.

How can you not love that?  So, here’s four songs (with some words from Marnie) that influenced her latest album, which by the way is an absolute blast.

HEART – CRAZY ON YOU

The chorus is what I come back to a lot. It’s emotive and so impactful, and it’s just three words that repeat. I’m drawn to how and why certain simplicities are so effective, and why others aren’t … and I’m trying to learn from them. The intro to this song, of course, is also amazing, as is the singing, and the overall structural build.

DAVID BOWIE – YOUNG AMERICANS

I listened to a ton of David Bowie while writing this record. His voice and is cadence are so fascinating. I read somewhere that he records one word at a time, but I’m not sure if that’s true. There’s a freeness and casualness to this song that I’m attracted to.

WARREN ZEVON – WEREWOLVES OF LONDON

I listened to this a lot for the vocal style and flair. He really has a delivery that’s all his own, and it’s a very fun song. Lyrically, I think it’s one of the best ever because it’s tongue and cheek, but still kind of tough.

ROYAL TRUX -  STEVIE

This is one of my favorite bands, so I go back to them often. This song is so slippery, and that’s part of why I like it. There a ton of influences in there, but the song still sounds 100% Royal Trux. It’s also got a sadness to it that I was interested in.

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