Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Preview :: Favorite New Music of 2009

If you're looking for new music, here's some albums that have been floating around the Mango Nebula that deserve a listen and will probably be reviewed soon.
A track from each artist has been compiled into a playlist above.

Cymbals Eat Guitars

Crazy experimental guitar jazz reminiscent of At the Drive-In, mixed with punk rock and sleazy piano interludes. You can't predict what's going to happen next and there's something hidden everywhere in these songs that take you on a journey.


Since Animal Collective's Sung Tongs I really wouldn't apply the term "freak folk" to any artist, let alone even to Animal Collective anymore. However, Wood's Songs of Shame can get pretty freaky with your ears. It has a mostly folk feel, but there is a lot of wild electric guitar solos and distortion that somehow fits right in. They have some outstandingly catchy songs that will make you croon and howl along.


Chaotic mellow pop that can get merrily noisy, with a female vocalist that can occasionally go flat, but never loses her charm, and with audio clips mixed of children talking and other random goodies mixed in.

The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World to Come

An album based entirely around bible verses sounds like a horrible idea at first. We all remember when Dylan went through his Christianity phase... However this album is some of the Goats' catchiest and best written material. They even get a little angry and evil on Psalms.

...for that matter:

Moon Colony Bloodbath

John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats and John Vanderslice came together to write this happy EP about cannibalistic organ harvesting colonies on the moon. Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds.


No Age is a Mango Nebula favorite and Japandroids have picked up the formula well. Drummer and Guitarist playing warped and sludging guitar riffs with indiscernably distorted vocals. Sometimes its just the release you need. And they're called Japandroids!!! I like to think of the album title as a snub at the pretentious types that prematurely ejaculate over post-modernism.

Cass McCombs

Folk that's a little southern, gets some commentary in there and a voice that just draws you in. It gets playful with silly vocals and sounds too. So well produced that you can almost see the cave he's singing in.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

It is quite painful, isn't it? These guys remind me of Belle & Sebastian if they never put down the electric guitar or turned down the distortion knob. Accents and everything!

Neon Indian

Someone besides Passion Pit proved that they can make digital music without repeating one line and one musical progression over and over and over and over and over again. Synth pop at it's best. (Expect to see a lot more bands like this soon, they just won't do it as well)

The Antlers - Hospice

The piano and soft, slippery vocals whisper right into your brain. Oh, and they know how to make noise too. And you've got to give respect to a band that writes a song about Sylvia Plath. Don't cry, it'll be alright, you little head appendages of various deer species.

Animal Collective - Fall Be Kind

This is an EP you can get lost in. A lot of musical interludes and chaos to sink your teeth into while you're waiting for the next album.

and if you haven't already checked out:

Grizzly Bear,
Dirty Projectors,
Christians and Lions,
St. Vincent,
Volcano Choir,
The XX,
Real Estate,
Nirvana - Live in Reading
No Age - Loosing Feeling
Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years
John Vanderslice - Romanian Names,
M. Ward - Hold Time
David Bazaan - Curse Your Branches,
Owen - New Leaves,
Atlas Sound - Logos,
Brand New - Daisy,
Regina Spektor - Far,
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion,
Islands - Vapours,
Flight of the Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky,
Built to Spill - There Is No Enemy,
Benjamin Gibbard and Jay Farrar - One Fast Move or I'm Gone,
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic,
Dinosaur Jr. - Farm,
or the Where The Wild Things Are Soundtrack,

you should. You really should. It's been a great year for music.

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