Witch Cross - Rocking the Night Away: 80’s Metal from Denmark, Fit for Fight (as far as I know) is the only full length album Witch Cross ever released and it’s amazing. “Rocking the Night Away” is a celebratory anthem about playing music and along with another track (“Killer Dogs”), gets stuck in my head for DAYS. If the word “Rocking” repeated over and over again (along with an insanely addictive riff) doesn't make your day way better, then I don’t know what will.
Wipers - Mystery: Not new by any means but rediscovered. Beyond good.
Night Birds - Killer Waves: Surf punk, with pop punk sensibilities AND they talk about the ocean? Yes please. This song was on a constant loop when I was reading Susan Casey’s The Wave. Incredible book, catchy song, best summer pairing on global warming.
Of Monsters & Men - Little Talks: Icelandic indie band, alternating between female and male vocals, upbeat. Not my usual choice but I totally love this song and the album is pretty good too.
RVIVR -Tiny Murders: Melodic pop punk, shouty female (and male) vocals, personal-as-political ideology…. Everything I would have liked at 16, still stoked about at 33.
Sol Invictus - Angels Fall: This early Sol Invictus album, Against the Modern World, and its first track “Angels Fall”, showcases not only the band’s consistent historical/mythological source material (which as someone who loves history is particularly satisfying) but also displays the band’s intensity which ranges from dark folklore to a bleak misanthropic march. Although new to me within the last year, this record (along with their later release, The Devil's Steed) has already made its way onto my yearly winter rotation.
Kim Phuc – Weird Skies: Thanks to Ned Wells and one incredible mixtape, i finally listened to this band. Totally worth it. This track is off a 7” of the same name and their recently released LP, Copsucker. Mid-tempo punk that reminds me a little of early Stooges and Radio 4 but way more intense, plus they put on a completely overpowering live performance that should not be missed.
World/Inferno Friendship Society - Thirteen Years Without Peter King: The Anarchy and the Ecstasy may not be my preferred album from World/Inferno but tracks like this make each and every album at least worth a listen. Still one of the most original and unique bands playing, their music is always a surprise. Although I tend to gravitate more towards the songs that have a Sticks and Stones undercurrent, “Thirteen Years without Peter King” proves that even something entirely different (in this case a slow samba) can be completely engaging when performed by a band that loves music (all music) and actually has something to say.
Murder by Death - Good Morning, Magpie: After about ten years of listening to this band, it’s nearly impossible for me to describe exactly what they sound like on any given album. Murder by Death is part western, part Gothic, part post-punk, part drunken serenade . “Good Morning, Magpie” combines the deep, howling vocals of Adam Turla (some of my favorite in music today) with Sarah Balliet’s beautifully haunting cello to create a dark, mournful love song. With reoccurring album themes of sin, forgiveness, revenge, love, whiskey and the devil, they never disappoint.
40 Watt Sun - Between Times: The way I feel about this album is strangely similar to the first time I heard Diary by Sunny Day Real Estate. There’s something tremendously overwhelming about both of these albums for me, a longing or yearning that’s heard throughout each record, without being trite or insincere. This song especially, feels substantially more personal, exemplifying a feeling of loss and distance in a way that’s genuine, relatable. My attachment to this record, along with the staggering depth of each track, makesThe Inside Room easily the best new album I’ve heard this year.
Bonus 2010 tracks:
The Knife - Heartbeats: A few years ago I spent an entire day watching YouTube videos of this band. Their concerts are just pure performance art and even though this is not from their most recent album, I continue to go back to it. Swedish electronic music, absolutely perfect.
Deadboy & The Elephantmen - How Long the Night Was: Dax Riggs creates exactly the kind of music I love, We Are the Night Sky is no exception. “How Long the Night Was” and “Misadventures of Dope” are the highlights for me on this record but the former definitely showcases Riggs’ vocals more and the combination of morose lyrics with a tension building arc makes this one of my favorite (and most listened to) songs in the last two years.
Agalloch - In the Shadow Of Our Pale Companion: Atmospheric folk metal, unbelievably good. This song (off The Mantle) is the perfect combination of everything i enjoy in their music.
Zombie Zombie - Driving This Road Until Death Sets You Free: French electronic music inspired by John Carpenter, completely amazing. Also...