2011 was full of discoveries. Some of these acts released their debuts this year, while some have been around for quite some time and I just caught wind. But new or old, discovering new music is one of life’s small pleasures, and I truly hope that I’ve helped you discover something new.
Adam & The Amethysts is a psychedelic pop band led by Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist and prodigious home-recorder, Adam Waito. The first Amethysts release was Amethyst Amulet, released in 2008 and recorded by Adam at his apartment. The second Amethysts album, called Flickering Flashlight, was recorded by Adam at home over the two years following the completion of Amulet and released this last October. [source]
♪ Adam & The Amethysts – Prophecy (from Flickering Flashlight)
Battles is an American experimental rock group, founded in 2002, in New York City. Their first full-length album, Mirrored, was released in 2007. The album received positive reviews and appeared on several top album lists that same year. Battles’ second album, Gloss Drop, was released this last June and features an array of guests, including Gary Numan, Kazu Makino, Yamantaka Eye, and Matias Aguayo. This month the band will curate the All Tomorrow’s Parties “Nightmare Before Christmas” festival in Minehead, England alongside co-curators Les Savy Fav and Caribou.
♪ Battles – Ice Cream (feat. Matias Aguayo) (from Gloss Drop)
Boiling up from the independent musical cauldron Hotlanta has become, Gringo Star has followed up 2008′s critically acclaimed debut, All Y’all, with Count Yer Lucky Stars, a collection of catchy and instantly classic pop music. You won’t be able to stop humming this spate of new and bright tunes, music that lifts the spirit. In this Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley, Deerhunter) produced record, the surge of primordial forces that reveals itself through rock and roll only about every other generation has infected these multi-instrumentalists and the result is an upbeat album of raw energy and positivity. [source]
♪ Gringo Star – Shadow (from Count Yer Lucky Stars)
Skying is the third studio album by British band The Horrors. The album was released this last Summer recorded entirely by the band in their self-built London studio — the first record the band has produced themselves. Two months prior to the album’s release the song “Still Life” was premiered on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show as his ‘Hottest Record in the World’ where it was played in its entirety. This was the first track to be released from the album and the first indicator to fans of the direction the album would take. I really enjoyed this album and The Horrors were easily one of my favorite discoveries this year.
♪ The Horrors – Still Life (from Skying)
The Jezabels are a four-piece musical group based in Sydney, Australia. Hayley Mary (vocals) and Heather Shannon (piano/keyboard) first began playing together in Byron Bay before moving to Sydney to attend university, where they met Nik Kaloper (drums) and Sam Lockwood (rhythm guitar), and formed the band. The band’s sound is not exactly the easiest to define. They’ve been compared to such bands as Fleetwood Mac and Banshees, and sound like a blend of indie pop, rock, and disco pop. The band themselves often describe their sound as “intensindie”. Now I’m not exactly sure what “intensindie” means, but I don’t care and neither should you. All you should care about is that The Jezabels make fantastic music.
♪ The Jezabels – Endless Summer (from Prisoner)
WALLS’ Alessio Natalizia and Sam Willis don’t deal in perfect wholes. The Kompakt duo return swiftly on the back of 2010’s critically lauded self titled debut, an album that picked up Mojo’s coveted Electronic Album Of The Year, featured in NME’s end-of-year lists, not to mention winning fans such as of Jamie XX, Caribou, James Holden and impressing US trio Battles so much that they’ve invited the pair on tour around the US this coming October. Yet it isn’t these admittedly impressive accolades that make the announcement of second LP “Coracle” such an anticipated one; what makes WALLS so alluring is the fully immersive experience of their mellifluous electronica – reaching out far and wide to pull influences sonic, emotional and theoretical together into patterns of blissful phantasmagoria. [source]
♪ WALLS – Raw Umber / Twilight (from Coracle)
What were your favorite discoveries this year?