The laptop just may well be this generation’s guitar. Case and point: Flying Lotus and How To Dress Well—artists who released my two favorite albums of 2010 (Cosmogramma and Love Remains, respectively). Both transcend the stigma of the now cliché “lo-fi” aesthetic to push their sounds to a place that expresses each artist’s distinct sensibilities and personality. Where How To Dress Well (aka Tom Krell, a post-Kantian-philosophy research-fellow in Cologne, Germany—huh?) uses heavily distorted, falsetto vocals and piano stabs to evoke nostalgia of early 90’s R&B (like a blurred memory through Krell’s own lens), FlyLo draws on just about every goddamn sound he’s ever heard. From the Jazz horns of his cousin Ravi Coltrane to the crooning voice of Thom Yorke, he simultaneously creates a collage of music history as well as a glimpse of what the future might sound like. I, for one, hope Mr. Lotus is right.
See How To Dress Well live January 28th at the Church of the Messiah (129 Russell Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222)
2010 was definitely the year of Screaming Females. Even though they’ve been around since, like, 2005 or 2006, or something, this was the year that everyone seemed to take note. Great! They are the world’s best band. Everyone should take note. Probably even more notes than one. And their album, Castle Talk, was probably the best album of 2010. It sounds like, I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m supposed to say what it sounds like. But let’s just say it is rock-y and shred-y and cool-y and everything that you like, so you should just listen to it. Screaming Females forever!
See them in real life February 12th at 7pm at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (66th North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211)
Germany’s Hendrik Weber, aka Pantha Du Prince, put out a great electronic album this year: Black Noise. It is consistent in its sound, so when you’re in the mood for it you’ll want to listen to it all the way through, all day. His sound is minimalist, moody, and at times ambient and dark, but it will still get your head bobbing in a trance. Though you may not have heard of Pantha Du Prince, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of some of his guest stars on this album including LCD Soundsystem’s bassist Tyler Pope and Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox.
Check out the album (Favorite tracks: “Lay In A Shimmer” and “A Nomad’s Retreat”)
Front-woman Bethany Cosentino writes sixties inspired songs about summer, laziness, love, emotional confusion, and sunsets. Her ooohs and aaahs sound lovely. She is obsessed with cats. She also has a map of the golden state tattooed on her bicep. What’s not to love?
You can see Best Coast on Feb 3rd at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (66th North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211… remember, from Screaming Females…) with Wavves (they’re good too)! Or if you’re one of those Manhattan nationalists you can see her rock out at Webster Hall (125 E 11th street New York, NY 10003) Feb 2nd.