The Photon God’s 2010: LPs & EPs

It’s often that you don’t get the same experience from listening to a single song that you do when you listen to an entire album. There’s a story being told that you miss out on when you listen to one or two random songs. If I like an album, I listen to it over and over until I digest it as best as I can. Each of these albums was there for me through thick and thin, through any kind of weather, through road trips, through heartbreak, through life, death, what have you. However, I’m tired of putting things in a numbered order. It doesn’t matter. Each of these records is amazing. I thought “this is the best record I’ve ever heard” while listening to each one of these albums. Putting them in a numbered list seems fucking ridiculous now. In no particular order:

The Photon God’s Top 50 Albums of 2010

Beach HouseTeen Dream
Arcade FireThe Suburbs
Ariel Pink’s Haunted GraffitiBefore Today
Les Savy FavRoot For Ruin
Here We Go MagicPigeons
The Flaming LipsEmbryonic
DeerhunterHalcyon Digest
Magic KidsMemphis
Las RobertasLas Robertas
Dum Dum GirlsI Will Be
Someone Still Loves You Boris YeltsinLet It Sway
Janelle MonaeThe ArchAndroid
Owen PallettHeartland
Julian LynchMare
Surfer BloodAstro Coast
Lower DensTwin-Hand Movement
No AgeEverything In Between
The Soft PackThe Soft Pack
Twin ShadowForget
MedicationsCompletely Removed
Dr. DogShame, Shame
EmeraldsDoes It Look Like I’m Here?
Best CoastCrazy For You
EelsEnd Times
We Are ScientistsBarbara
Vampire WeekendContra
WomenPublic Strain (Get back together, assholes)
The BooksThe Way Out
Beach FossilsBeach Fossils
WavvesKing of the Beach
DevoSomething For Everybody
Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Xiu XiuDear God, I Hate Myself
Coma CinemaStoned Alone
The WalkmenLisbon
El GuinchoPop Negro
WoodsAt Echo Lake
The NationalHigh Violet
Frankie Rose & The OutsFrankie Rose & The Outs
Thee Oh SeesWarm Slime
Jeff The BrotherhoodHeavy Days
Lord HuronMighty
Foxes In FictionAlberto (Really recent, but really good)
GirlsBroken Dreams Club
Twin SisterColor Your Life
WarpaintThe Fool

This is my last list for LISTS WEEK. I am announcing here and now that I will be taking a break from the blog to regain whatever hours I’ve managed to shave off of my life from not sleeping. Call it a period of hibernation. I will be back sometime in January. Until then, if I don’t see you tonight or tomorrow, Happy Holidays!



The Photon God’s 2010: Songs

I listened to a lot of songs this year. I’m talking A LOT. A few stuck with me, a few didn’t. This list was hard to pin down. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked each and every one of my friends’ heads off about at least one of the songs on this list. I have a habit of going “HEY EVERYBODY, LISTEN TO THIS” when I hear something I really like. Sometimes my exclamations are met with indifference, sometimes they’re met with “Yeah, we know”s. Other times they’re met with “QUIT YELLING”s. Just the same, I love these songs. Feast your ears on

The Photon God’s Top 50 Songs of 2010

50. The BabiesMeet Me In The City
49. La SeraNever Come Around
48. Kanye WestMonster [feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj & Bon Iver]
47. Ba BabesHoly Ghost
46. The Soft PackAnswer To Yourself
45. Panda BearYou Can Count On Me
44. Owen PallettLewis Takes Off His Shirt
43. Lower DensCompletely Golden
42. Cee Lo GreenFuck You
41. Magic KidsSuperball
40. GirlsHeartbreaker
39. Big SurrAlright
38. El GuinchoBombay
37. Les Savy FavLet’s Get Out Of Here
36. Janelle MonaeTightrope [Feat. Big Boi]
35. The BooksThe Story Of Hip-Hop
34. WomenEyesore
33. DevoFresh
32. Jeff the BrotherhoodU Got The Look
31. Xiu XiuChocolate Makes You Happy
30. Surfer BloodFast Jabroni
29. Active ChildI’m In Your Church at Night
28. WeekendComa Summer
27. Perfume GeniusMr Petersen
26. WavvesGreen Eyes
25. VulpesGhost Dance
24. WoodsSuffering Season
23. No AgeFever Dreaming
22. The Young MathsHospitals
21. MedicationsLong Day
20. Dr. DogShadow People
19. Arcade FireEmpty Room
18. The YoungBird in the Bush
17. Best CoastWhen I’m With You
16. DeerhunterDesire Lines
15. Twin ShadowI Can’t Wait
14. Las RobertasGhost Lover
13. Someone Still Loves You Boris YeltsinSink/Let it Sway
12. The Tallest Man On EarthLove Is All
11. Local NativesCamera Talk
10. Twin SisterMilk & Honey 9. Reading RainbowWasting Time8. Dum Dum GirlsJail La La7. Beach FossilsYouth6. The VaccinesIf You Wanna5. Here We Go MagicCollector4. Beach House10 Mile Stereo3. The Morning BendersExcuses2. Ariel Pink’s Haunted GraffitiRound and Round1. Thee Oh SeesI Was Denied

Girls are heartbreakers

(Photo: Pooneh Ghana on Flickr)
Girls just released a new track from an upcoming release of theirs titled Broken Dreams Club.

It’s out on True Panther/Matador November 22nd. Tracklist below.

1. Oh So Protective One
2. Heartbreaker
3. Broken Dreams Club
4. Alright
5. Substance
6. Carolina

This new song is the second track on the EP, “Heartbreaker”.

I like this song. Girls is soaring past their debut album’s already ambitious level of pop songwriting and inhabiting much more subtle territory that is otherwise left to it’s own damp affairs. As for new songs, Girls have been exposing their fans to more and more as time goes on. Whether they’re preparing for a new full-length release or Christopher Owens can’t go a single day without writing a terrific pop song is beyond me. All I can tell you is that I am a humble writer and avid listener of this band who cannot wait for this EP to be released.

I won’t be hosting songs for a bit while I get everything settled in with this new site, so you can grab this new track here. Please excuse the inconvenience.

O, the sunlight! O, the music!: Pitchfork Music Festival Review

Music-lovers are fascinating creatures; they are willing to put themselves well past their limits of endurance for even the slightest chance at seeing a song they’ve come to know and love recreated before their very eyes. Case in point: music festivals. The amount of dedication—no, unfettered loyalty that fans exhibit at a music festival is absolutely incredible.

Photo: pcurtner on Flickr
This year’s Pitchfork Music Festival brought many great bands together; most of which had either released some new music this year or are going to at some point. Originally, I was only going to attend the final day of the festival, Sunday. However, during a healthy visit to Reckless Records on Saturday, a rather generous punker kid offered me his ticket to that day of the festival stating that he could not attend and didn’t want to see it “go to waste”. Deciding not to waste my time being thankful for fate and becoming a believer in destiny, I made my way to the nearest Blue Line stop, left my bag full of new records at the place I was staying at and hopped my way through Chicago’s incredibly-confusing railway system until I finally arrived at Union Park. Given that I didn’t acquire a means to attend the festival until the afternoon, I arrived rather late in the day and missed a few bands I would have liked to see, Real Estate, The Smith Westerns, WHY?, Sonny & The Sunsets, Titus Andronicus—the list goes on. However, I did arrive just in time to catch Panda Bear’s performance. This being the first time I ever see him perform live, I walked up to the large mass of swaying people surrounding the stage with a slight bit of apprehension. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Panda Bear’s music; his last album, 2007’s Person Pitch, was a beautiful record. However, I’ve seen many similar electronic artists suffer the same infuriating stigma when translating the delicate intricacies of their music to a live setting; some things don’t always make the cut and you begin to hear the songs for the faintly synchronized streams of looped noises that they are and the experience is ultimately relegated to the back part of one’s brain where it will hang out with other mildly interesting memories that have already started a game of Risk: Universe Edition and don’t feel like resetting all of the purple pieces just so the ‘newbie’ can have something to do.

Photo: Jason Stoff on Flickr
Luckily, Panda Bear’s performance didn’t suffer this bland fate and instead, fell flat on repetition. His set was full of new material for the most part, and I being the lazy blogger that I am, am still not familiar with any of this new stuff aside from the b-side off of his new single, TOMBOY, “Slow Motion”. Therefore, I wasn’t able to really get into his new songs and ended up standing in the audience waiting for the pleasant patterns of unfamiliar noises made by the scrawny man on stage to end. However, I still picked up the then-unreleased 7” single. I didn’t stay to watch LCD Soundsystem out of personal preference but from what I heard on my way out of the festival from across the park, it’s safe to assume that James Murphy and co. had a great time. I wasn’t too worried about missing their set considering I was on my way to catch Here We Go Magic play Schubas Tavern that night; a performance that, and I’m only using a slight amount of hyperbole, absolutely blew my mind.

So come Sunday, I arrive to the festival a bit behind schedule due to some brief but heavy rain and immediately make a beeline to the press tent to attempt to get an interview with Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic despite my lack of punctuality (it was arranged for 1:30, I arrived at 2:15). Luckily, he was kind enough to stick around for a bit to chat. You can read that interview in the post preceding this one or if you’re lazy, here’s a link. Now, the first band I set out to see was Girls. I had missed several opportunities to see them closer to home (keep in mind, I’m from Texas) and already had the pleasure of experiencing Best Coast, who was also playing at the time, twice at South by Southwest this past year. So, naturally, I made my way to the main stage just as the band began playing “Laura”, the first single from their debut album, last year’s Album.

Photo: Robert Loerzel on Flickr
For being so early in the day, the band had quite a large audience; several hundred festival-goers were obediently bobbing their heads and either humming or singing along to the infectious pop ditties that the band was almost effortlessly playing through. It was also a pleasure to hear the band play their new song, “Lysandre” with my own ears. Final thoughts on this performance: I think that everyone should refer to Christopher Owens’ leg-lift move as the ‘flamingo leg’. It might become the next ‘duck walk’.

I noticed early on that in order to get as close to a band as possible, I would need to sacrifice a song or two from a previous performance to get an early spot and ‘camp out’ at another stage until that band started playing. So, wiggling my way out of the audience, I begin the 30-40 ft pilgrimage in the blistering hot sun toward the C stage and plant myself between two now either very startled or very uncomfortable people and wait for Beach House to finish setting up while softly singing along with the chorus to Girls’ last song.

I had the pleasure of watching Beach House play Emo’s in Austin a couple of months ago and was quite impressed with their set. Sunday’s performance received no different a reaction. The band seemed unaffected by the weather in the comfortable shade provided onstage and after greeting the crowd as heartily as a band like Beach House can, they started their set.

The band played a majority of the songs off of their latest album, Teen Dream, stopping in Devotion territory for a few memorable tunes but ending with arguably their best song yet, and my personal favorite, “10 Mile Stereo”. There’s something really incredible about this band’s ability to make such mellow music feel so intense. Final thoughts on this performance: Alex Scally is a goofball, there’s a good chance that I have a crush on Victoria Legrand, and had it been later in the evening once the sun had set, the rotating diamonds the band had onstage would have had a better effect on the performance.

Quickly following Beach House’s set, I made my way back to the main stage and dug myself well into the audience that now reeks of armpit; bracing myself for the mighty noise rock duo from Rhode Island, Lightning Bolt. I overheard members of the audience talking about how they were ready to start ‘going crazy’ and how others were “on like, a lot of drugs, dude”. Needless to say, I began to regret my rather impulsive decision to get as close to the stage as possible. This meant I had injected myself straight into the beating heart of an audience that was going to become very violent very quickly.

Not to toot my own horn, but I was right. The minute both Brians (Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson) took the stage and began testing their instruments, a collective roar arose from the audience, myself included with camera in hand. Arms with clenched fists at the end of them rose into the sky as others gave out cheers of the band’s name. “Light-ning Bolt! Light-ning Bolt!” Almost as if in response to this ‘call to arms’, Brian Gibson begins making a bunch of fuzzy noise with his bass and the audience’s cheers multiply. Following suit, Brian Chippendale begins banging the crap out of his drum set as sporadically as possible which turns the excited crowd of stiffs into a torrent of arms and elbows going every which possible direction and at that point, I decide that ‘journalistic integrity is for the birds, I’m never going to get this footage, I. must. survive.’ and, after putting away my camera, I join the mob in violent catharsis for what seemed like forever but turned out to be two and a half minutes before I nearly lost my footing and felt that I would prefer to not die at the boot-heels of Lightning Bolt fans with the band’s performance of “2 Morro Morro Land” being my death’s soundtrack.

So, after shoving my way out of the mosh mob’s strong current, I watched the rest of the band’s loud, noisy set wondering if anyone else finds it weird that they’re not on the ground with everyone else. Final thoughts on this performance: my head hurts, I would have preferred if they had been on the ground.

So, following that exciting experience, I meandered back to the C stage and began a very, very hot wait for St. Vincent to play. Annie Clark is one of my favorite musicians in the entire world; her technical prowess and songwriting abilities never cease to amaze me so I went into their performance with high expectations. When the band opened with “The Strangers”, in my opinion one of the weaker songs on the band’s latest album, last year’s Actor, I don’t see it as the best first impression. On top of that, the volume levels on some of the instruments were too low. I don’t know if the sound man was having a nap or something but two very crucial elements to St. Vincent’s songs–hell, any songs–are the bass and guitar. Having these at lower levels robbed the songs of the intimidating presence they have on the records; especially songs off of Actor. However, and call this a primal impulse, but I was absolutely floored by the performance.

Photo: Jeremy M Farmer on Flickr
Hearing Annie Clark’s voice coating the festival chatter in a wave of tranquility that was subsequently torn asunder by her abrasive guitar work made me teary-eyed. The minute her set began, I forgot that my feet were on fire, I forgot that I was probably dehydrated, all I knew was me…and her. It was magical. Ahem. Final thoughts on this performance: despite some lasting sound issues, the band played their heart out and won mine in the process.

Following St. Vincent’s performance, I wasn’t in any real rush to see anyone else play. Sleigh Bells seemed like they would be uninteresting live and I had to pass on Neon Indian’s set so that I could get a good spot when I camp out at the main stage for Pavement’s performance. I would estimate that I ended up standing about 30 or so feet from the stage, which certainly beats watching from across the park.

Now, in a move that makes me think Ryan Schreiber felt like putting Pavement fans flocking to his festival through one final trial before they see the band, Major Lazer was placed on the bill right before them. I could go on about how I’m ‘impressed that I made it through the entire show’ but honestly, it wasn’t that difficult to watch. With DJ Diplo behind his table overseeing all, MC, funnyman, and apparently trained stuntman Skerrit Bwoy! held sway over the stage as well as the entire audience. Every time he screamed at the top of his lungs about ‘getting crazy’, and he did it often, the audience roared back in agreement. The general consensus seemed to be ‘yes, we want to be crazy with you. Let’s get crazy.’ The stage performers, varying from ballerinas to Chinese dragon dancers, only added to the overall air of insanity that this performance gave off. Honestly, this performance was very entertaining.

Having seen the amazing music video for “Pon de Floor” several times, I can hardly begin to explain the combination of both excitement and utter dread that I felt when I saw one of the main dancers bring out a ladder. If you’ve seen the music video, let me tell you right now, they did it. They actually did it. Several times! Final thoughts on this performance: I have never felt so bad for a crotch that was not mine in my entire life.

Following Major Lazer’s performance, I did my best to wiggle and waddle my way through the crowd to get as close to the stage as possible. I still had an hour to wait and if I was going to be on my feet the entire time, I might as well make it worth the wait. As the moment we were all waiting for drew nearer, a man named ‘Rockin’ Ryan Murphy walked out and talked all sorts of ‘shit’ about the festival and Pavement themselves for about seven minutes; this is what people who spend their lives online refer to as ‘trolling’. He got what he wanted though, plenty of ‘fuck yous’ were sent his way.

Once his little spiel ended, the band finally walked out onstage. First Steven Malkmus, then Scott Kannberg, followed by Steve West, Mark Ibold, and finally, Bob Nastanovich. Watching this happen kind of made my heart flutter a little bit. I’m a big history buff, so if I see something or come into contact with something that is a big part of history, let alone music history, I have this rush of adrenaline go through my body. Watching these men pick up their instruments makes me wonder if that’s exactly how they picked up their instruments when they first started playing together all those years ago. Of course, I noticed that time has taken it’s toll on them, they’re no longer in their early 20s making a bunch of fucked up noise at shows. However, the minute they launched into “Cut Your Hair”, the entire audience went wild! Members of the audience young and old were singing that melody we all know and love. The band sounded fantastic, too. They were much louder and more in sync with each other than they sound on the albums.

Photo: dailybeatz on Flickr
Looking at the members during the show–seeing the looks on their faces as they hit parts of songs that the entire audience sang to–was like looking in a time machine. The band played 21 songs nearly spanning their entire discography that night. Here is a short video of them starting “Frontwards”. FYI, the audio kind of sucks and I decided that I would prefer to enjoy the song than film it, sorry.

I can easily say that this was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Final thoughts on this performance: I’m disappointed that they skipped We Dance, I would have liked to hear Box Elder, and I’m not entirely disappointed that I didn’t get to the very front of the stage because I’ll have another chance in September when they come to Austin.

Overall, the festival was a great experience. Yes, I felt like dying at some points because the sun was absolutely relentless, but like everyone else that was there at the end that felt the way I did, I’m glad I stayed. You may not be crazy like me and travel across the country for a band, but if you’re ever presented with an opportunity to do so, take it. I’m more than certain that it will be worth every single second.

New song from Girls: "Lysandre"

California’s Girls blew people’s minds last year when they released their debut album, Album. The San Fran duo’s brilliant use of pretty much every good thing about pop music young and old gave us one of the greatest releases of 2009.

Just last month in Vancouver, filmmakers Kheaven Lewandowski and Joshua Grafstein captured a performance of a new song, “Lysandre”. Watch below.

First off, this song is pretty great; definitely single-worthy. Secondly, the quality of this recording is superb. I’ve had some frustration with filming live bands before but for the work these guys did, I really have to give them kudos.

@ True Panther Sounds

A Question: Covers?

Ah, the cover; a staple of the modern music world.

Covers are made for many reasons. A band could want to give the world a glimpse of their influences via putting their own spin on songs that they connected with when they were growing up.

Perfect example: Nirvana’s cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World”.(“The Man Who Sold The World”, Nirvana, DGC 2002)

Other people make entire albums of covers because they have probably run out of steam and can no longer create decent original content. That, or they had a jam one night of nothing but covers and enjoyed it so much that they want to let others in on the fun of that one night regardless of whether the covers are actually good. I’m looking at you, Nouvelle Vague.

A short list of some my favorite covers:
“12XU” – Minor Threat (originally by Wire)
“Flash’s Theme” – The Locust (originally by Queen)*
“My Favorite Things” – John Coltrane (originally performed by Mary Martin)
“Some Things Last A Long Time” – Beach House (originally by Daniel Johnston)
“Warning Sign” – Local Natives (originally by Talking Heads)
“I Think We’re Alone Now” – The Spinto Band (originally by Tommy James & the Shondells)
“Surfin’ Bird” – The Ramones (originally by The Trashmen)


Mates of State recently covered “Laura” by Girls for their upcoming covers album, Crushes: The Covers Mixtape which will be out sometime this summer on Barsuk Records.

Here is the tracklist:
1. Laura (Girls)
2. Son et Lumiere (The Mars Volta)
3. Sleep the Clock Around (Belle & Sebastian)
4. Technicolor Girls (Death Cab for Cutie)
5. Long Way Home (Tom Waits)
6. Love Letter (Nick Cave)
7. Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac)
8. 17 Pink Sugar Elephants (Vashti Bunyan)
9. Roller Coaster Ride (Dear Nora)
10. True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston)

I must admit, while I’m not really a fan of Mates of State, I am looking forward to hearing their interpretations of these songs.

You can hear their cover of Laura here.

What do you think of this “rendition”?
Are you a fan of Girls or Mates of State or both?
Do you like covers?
If so, what are your favorites?
How did this post end up formatted like HRO?

Leave your answers and discussion in the comments.

10 of the Greatest Albums of 2009

This has been said by everyone(probably because it’s fucking true), so I’ll get it out of the way before anything else: 2009 was a fucking great year for music. Great bands have resurfaced, new bands are taking up space on people’s iPods–hell, even shitty bands have had a good year. With all of the wonderful music that was released this year, many an album was donned ‘favorite’. However, for the sake of the blog and simplicity, I have whittled down my list to 10 albums. These 10 bands have written songs that won’t get out of my head. Each of these 10 albums’ artwork has been burned into my brain. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you…

10 of the Greatest Albums of 2009!

10. Japandroids – Post-Nothing (Polyvinyl)“Young Hearts Spark Fire”With powerful guitars and relentless energy, Japandroids have undoubtedly made a great first impression on the world’s collective eardrum with one of the strongest debuts of the year.
9. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Self-Titled (Slumberland)“Young Adult Friction”Definitely one of the most engaging records of the year, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart’s debut full-length speaks volumes on the immortal spirit of youth. To put it quite simply, this album is full of unfiltered, unabridged, and unprotected love.
8. Cass McCombs – Catacombs (Domino)“Dreams Come True Girl”This album pretty much flew under my radar for a while which is a shame because it’s absolutely incredible. Undoubtedly, Catacombs is McCombs’ strongest effort to date as well as one of the year’s most memorable releases.
7. David Bazan – Curse Your Branches (Barsuk)“Please, Baby, Please”Curse Your Branches is one of the more cathartic records to get released this year. It is a window into the inner struggle of a man questioning the religious foundations of his very own life. This album is Bazan’s pink slip to God.

6. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (V2)“1901”Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix’s fourth full-length, is an absolutely wonderful album. I would go on and on about how each guitar stroke means the world to me but I think it will suffice for me to say that this album is just full of good songs. Listen to it if you don’t believe me. Your ears will thank you.

5. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Why There Are Mountains (Self-Released)“And The Hazy Sea”My first words after listening to this for the first time were “Holy fucking hell!”. For starters, it’s incredibly cohesive. Absolutely everything on this album fits. Every single fill and crescendo. Every bassline, every keystroke, and every brass and string instrument heard on this album plays a key part in this grand ensemble of sounds. Secondly, it’s a remarkable achievement alone that this album was self-released. And lastly, this album has set the bar pretty high for future indie bands that wish to blow people’s minds.

4. Girls – Album (True Panther/Matador)“Lust For Life”This album, simply-yet-aptly-named Album, is a perfect example of what happens when a band does absolutely everything right. The songs are solid, the vocals aren’t clear but they’re not indiscernible which sparks intrigue in the listener, the album isn’t so consistent that it’s boring and it’s not so erratic that it throws you off. In fact, it’s pretty perfect if you count out the fact that it’s almost devoid of new and innovative ideas, although that isn’t as detrimental as it sounds. By using the past to their advantage, the guys in Girls have written one of the most popular albums of the present.

3. Mission of Burma – The Sound, The Speed, The Light (Matador)“1, 2, 3 Partyy!!”This album is a pulsating work of post-punk art. From start to finish, this record has enough attitude to make you squirm in your shoes. It’s the album that makes other albums take a step back and walk in the opposite direction with one glance. I hate to mention it because it shouldn’t be an issue but these guys are in their fucking 40s! One in their 50s! And they’re packing more intensity in this record than people half their age? Fuck the hell off. It’s shameful to see younger bands burn out after an album or two while these guys are kicking even harder than they did when they first formed in the late 70s. Young people! Get your goddamn act together! These wrinkly, old men are putting you to shame!

2. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)“My Girls”Before I begin, allow me to inform you that I really, really, really like this record and the only reason it isn’t slated one slot lower is because creativity and innovation pretty much flow through these men’s bloodstreams which results in their being stripped of their rare value. Now, the album. Of this entire list, Merriweather Post Pavilion was released the earliest. While people have rightfully pointed out that it’s the band’s most accessible album to date, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an easy listen. By expanding on the electronic elements they used on their previous album, Animal Collective has created a new and magical world of mind-bending soundscapes and infectious beats in which you can’t help but be cautious…right before you absolutely immerse yourself.

1. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca (Domino)“Useful Chamber”At last, the number one album on the list, Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca. There are many things I can say about this album and if I had no restraint, I would try my absolute best to type them all out. However, for the sake of organization, I will compile my thoughts as best as I can. To begin with, this album is, for lack of a better word, unique. One could say that this band appeared out of nowhere but they would be dead wrong. This is actually their seventh full-length album but the first with such a refined sound. To the average ear, a majority of the music on here wouldn’t sound like music at all. But if you pay attention and absorb this album for what it is, you’ll find that this is what modern music has been lacking. These songs don’t need traditional songwriting elements to make an impact. They’ve bent and eaten the rules of conventional songwriting and established a higher level of appreciation for music that the world has been asking for. Bitte Orca could easily be the flagship record for the future of modern music. In short, change is not only good but overdue, and this album is the kind of different we need.

FYI: To purchase any album on this list, click on the label links ;)

The Photon God, 2009.