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Quickdraw: While We Were Sleeping – Part 1

January 6, 2014

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Why do people bother releasing new music in December?  Not only is it the holidays, but during that time I’m so deep in year-end lists that the thought of listening to anything new makes my head hurt.  It’s silly I tell you!  In any case, I hate missing out on good tunes, so we’re starting 2014 with a 20-track December recap.  The first part awaits you below.  Enjoy.

:St. Vincent – Birth In Reverse:  Naturally, St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) owns the top spot on my Most Anticipated Abums Of 2014 list.  She is as talented as it gets.  Expect to be able to get her self titled effort on February 25 via Republic/Loma Vista.

:Yellow Ostrich – Shades:  This song only has a few moments where it actually feels like a Yellow Ostrich effort, but I think that’s a good thing.  Their sound seems to have taken a darker, louder turn, and it’s a change that’s re-energized my love for them.  Cosmos will be released on February 25 through Barsuk.

:The Tontons – Magic Hour:  I raved about the Tontons for a good chunk of 2013, and you can expect more of the same this year – especially if they keep on putting out singles as snazzy as this one.  The band will release The Make Out King And Other Stories Of Love at some point this year.

:Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks – Cinnamon And Lesbians:  Stephen Malkmus is one of my heroes, so of course I love that he’s put together a sixth solo album.  Here’s hoping that he and the Jicks do a good number of SXSW shows.  Wig Out At Jagbags is due out tomorrow on Matador.

:Wild Moccasins – Emergency Broadcast:  Houston’s Wild Moccasins have finally readied a sophomore effort, and I think it might end up being their best work yet.  This song is particularly kinetic, which I dig.  New West Records will put out 88 92 on February 4.

:Shivery Shakes – Sidewalk Talk:  If you’ve yet to start paying attention to Austin’s Shivery Shakes, then it’s time that you do.  I get the feeling that their upcoming full length is going to garner them a lot of love.  The band’s Sidewalk Talk/So Long 7″ is out now on Punctum Records.

:Speedy Ortiz – Everything’s Bigger:  Is anyone out there right now making better 90s-esque rock music than Speedy Ortiz?  I say no.  If I’m lucky they won’t just put out an EP this year.  Carpark will release the Real Hair EP on February 11.

:Young Girls – Caroline:  Our friends over at Austin Town Hall Records recently started working with … ahem … Young Girls.  This super catchy track is the first thing to come out of the partnership.  The band’s self titled EP will be available starting on January 28.

:EMA – Satellites:  If you asked me to describe EMA, I’d say she makes the kind of music that just dominates every part of you.  Yes, that means it’s intense, but it’s also rewarding.  Don’t be afraid to dive in.  The Future’s Void is expected out at some point this spring via Matador.

:SHMU – She’s Leaving:  For those of you that don’t know, half of Austin’s Zorch is SHMU.  You’ll like this if you have a fondness for experimental pop music.  The Chroma Key EP is due out January 14 via Grand Theft Zamboni Records.

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Top 25 Albums Of 2013: Part 3

December 13, 2013

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This is it! I’m done listing things for you people. If you’re curious about what the staff loved, look for an all-inclusive post next week!  Enjoy.

05) Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City

If I were to jot down a list of my biggest surprises of 2013, Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires Of The City would be at the top.  I’ll forever feel sort of silly for assuming they could never be this good.

:Vampire Weekend – Step:

04) Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe

Chvrches were pretty much all the rage this year, and it’s easy to see why when listening to The Bones Of What You Believe.  There’s just not a bad song anywhere on it.

:Chvrches – Recover:

03) Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen

I’ve listened to Waiting For Something To Happen at least once a week since it was released back in February.  I love the songwriting.  Also, I think there’s only a handful of indie pop acts that can claim to be as infectious as Veronica Falls.

:Veronica Falls – Buried Alive:

02) Speedy Ortiz – Major Arcana

Speedy Ortiz’s Major Arcana is a sloppy slice of 90s alt-rock, and I absolutely love it to no end.  I only wish I had managed to give the band more love on SOTO throughout the year.

:Speedy Ortiz – Tiger Tank:

01) Mikal Cronin – MCII

Mikal Cronin dominated my 2013 with MCII.  From front to back the album is nothing but one stellar pop rock song after another, and it pretty much made me a forever fan of Mikal’s.  Here’s hoping a follow-up isn’t too far away.

:Mikal Cronin – Shout It Out:

5 Honorable Mentions:
Bleached – Ride Your Heart
Quasi – Mole City
Mirror Travel – Mexico
Russian Circles – Memorial
Action Bronson – Blue Chips 2

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