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Recommended Listening: January 2010

MusicgenericEnjoy this month's collection of eclectic sounds.






Tegan and Sara

tegan-and-sara-sainthood1Tegan and Sara have once again starred the clichéd break up album in the face and won.

It is not often you find yourself bopping along to a song with lyrics ‘stop crying to the ocean/stop crying over me’.

Yet that’s the brilliance of this duo. Not only can they create music that reaches a wide audience, they do it in a way that doesn’t compromise their song writing.

Produced by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, Sainthood is a clever mixture of quirky tunes, awash with industrial and electronica beats.

It is easily the duo’s strongest work to date.



Devendra Banhart
What Will Be

devendra_banhart_coverDevendra Banhart is indeed the champion of freak folk.

Banhart has conquered the new genre of folk with his whacky lyrics folded into a delightful chorus of acoustic guitars.

Though loopy lyrics aside, Banhart’s musicality is truly exceptional.

The timbre of his voice is so soothing a warning must be given to not operate heavy machinery while listening.

This album was an absolute joy.




The Mess Hall
For The Birds
Ivy League

the_mess_hall_coverThe Mess Hall could well be described as a drunk rattlesnake - somewhat feared, though ultimately respected.

The band’s latest release, For The Birds, proved to live up to the description.

While tracks like My Villain, The Switch, Long Time Death carried the down and dirty sounds of the band’s alternative blues and roots flavour, the band has born a new, at times darker spirit.

The Mess Hall has stripped back the tempo and layers of this release, appearing bare yet not vulnerable, standing happy in their new skin.

Watch where you step, this album has quite a bite.



Go Forth Find Mammoth
Dew Process

whitley_coverWhitley is one of a rare breed of people with more talent in one finger than many of us would have even with the advantage of including fingers on both hands.

The winning indie artist with his heart happily swinging from his shoe-gazing strings, makes a brilliant return with this his second album.

Despite charming the masses with his gentle folk harmonies, Whitley has experimented with his sound on his new record.

Extended intros of slight reverb, electrified guitars, Whitley has stepped it up a gear without loosing the effect to his wonderous vocals.

This album is an absolute must have.




Golden Rule

powderfinger_cover_artPowderfinger return to their best with this, the band’s seventh studio album.

For band purists, Golden Rule, is a kind reminder of the band’s earlier work of Double Allergic and Internationalist, with its soft-rock styles muddled with untamed, beastly guitars.

Though take note, the album is merely a reminder of the “good old days”, not a replication. Golden Rule easily stands on its own.

Front man Bernard Fanning has not lost his touch, still able to lull us back under his spell for yet another sublime sonic journey.

Despite a four-year absence between the band’s 2003 release, Vulture St, and 2007’s Dream Days at the Hotel Existence, things appear to be back on track.

It is only hoped the rumours Golden Rule is the band’s last album together are untrue.




elevenlogo300Music reviews by Kate at Eleven Magazine


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