February, The Month In Music, Pt. 1

At the end of January I ran a look back at the month in music, and damn if it didn’t get off to a fast start. There were about a half dozen notable album releases, and plenty of great tracks as well. This mild Brooklyn winter was made even more bearable with a nice set of ear phones and plenty to listen to.

February slowed things down a little on the music front, and wouldn’t you know it, was dang cold too. But there was still a lot of music to keep warm with. February saw the release of 3 albums that really turned my ear. Each is vastly different in sound than the other two. In fact, the only commonality these 3 albums share, other than my enjoyment, are the cohesive listens provided from start to finish.


The National Lights - The Dead Will Walk, Dear

Jacob Berns has crafted a fine addition to the American folk canon with his band’s debut album, which is being released today (2/27) through Bloodshake Records. His songs are delicate and beautiful, filled with fetching melodies that hide some pretty dark, gothic subject matter. More a collection of thematically linked songs than a concept album, the album takes the idea of Neil Young’s “Down By The River” and spreads it out over the course of 10 songs. It’s the sound of a lazy, secret river, a few traces of regret, and some carefully scattered hearts and bones. Murder ballads have hardly sounded prettier.

MP3 - Midwest Town
MP3 - O, Ohio

The National Lights website, myspace, Bloodshake Records

Read the Pop Headwound album review here, and our exclusive interview with Jacob Berns here.

The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse

Combining the strange bedfellows of 60’s influenced harmony with 70’s influenced prog-rock, The Besnard Lakes released a stunning album on February 20th. There is a strong emphasis on vocal melody running through all 8 songs, but it is also dark, ominous, and fateful. Call it the feel good soundtrack for the end of the world.

The Besnard Lakes website, myspace, Jagjaguwar Records
Read the Pop Headwound album review here.


Deerhunter - Cryptograms

I got on board late with this album, and by late I mean a few weeks. There was early buzz galore among the blogging community, and a great review on Pitchfork, but early tracks didn’t grab me. Still, their name kept popping up, and eventually I decided to give them a good listen. Turns out Cryptograms is worthy of the hype. It’s a dense blur of hypnotic, shoe-gaze noise, not easily penetrable at first (6 of the first 8 tracks don’t really have vocals). The songs do reveal themselves in time, some easier than others, and combine to make a balanced listen, despite stemming from 2 separate recording sessions held months apart.

Deerhunter - myspace


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