It’s New Music Tuesday, ya’ll, and even though I’m getting over a nasty case of the flu, it’s a glorious day because it’s my niece’s fifth birthday. While she’s too young to read this column I still want to send her a very special birthday shout out because she is fierce. So, happy birthday Lila, may your years be filled with laughter, love, health and great music.
Ellie Goulding — Lights (Cherry Tree/Interscope)
Today’s top spot goes to the pixie-kissed sound of Britain’s Ellie Goulding. Her voice is delicate enough to play Tinkerbell in an off-Broadway production of Peter Pan while the music behind her creates a protective shield of sound. When she sings with desperation in her voice the listener wants nothing else but for her to get whatever it is she pines after. I just hope she’s wanting me on a dance floor. Oh and if you want some serious cuteness, here’s an interview Ellie did with Jessie J. Listening to them makes me hate my boring Midwestern accent.
Avril Lavigne — Goodbye Lullaby (RCA)
I don’t care what anybody says, Avril is hot and has written some jams. (I just found out she co-wrote Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.”) I used to make out with a girl who looked like Avril; definitely one of the top 10 best kissers in my bounty. Anywho, I haven’t heard a lot off of this album, but I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say there will be at least one song I sneak onto my iPod while no one is watching (and it will be a ballad) and then more than a few radio-ready pop-tunes I won’t be as crazed about but will be hits on MTV.
Early Winters — Early Winters EP (Early Winters)
Delicate-tongued chanteuse Carina Round has put her solo act on hold to make music as part of this toe-tapping indie rocking trio. So far, this gets a double thumbs up from me as their songs are helping take the hurt away from my head and get some rhythm back into my hips for easy office chair dancing — complete with hand claps.
RYAT — Avant Gold (Obvious Bandits)
This electronic duo creates music I imagine was made on a sugar high from eating bowl after bowl of Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry cereal. I mean that in the best of ways. It’s a subtle form of experimental sounds with the right amount of bass to allow for the kind of dancing you can only do when you just don’t give a — ahem — care, who is watching. They’ve been nice enough to give everybody a free download of their song, “Superficial Friction.”
Carol Bui — Red Ship (Ex Oh)
This is not going to be everyone’s cup of chai spiced latte but for the folk-punk-minded this should make your ears smile from lobe to lobe. Bui infuses Middle-Eastern elements into her songs, which are as aggressive as they are seductive.
Exene Cervenka — The Excitement of Maybe (Bloodshot)
Exene’s sound is all over the map. Like, seriously, listening to this album compared to some of her other music makes me want her to take a retinal scan just to make sure it’s the same person. In the past she has been a hard rocking punk but this album is filled with singer/songwriter heartache, pop country bliss and a bit of the Indigo Girls (“Closer to Fine” era) folk sound.
Honorable Mentions: R.E.M., Lupe Fiasco, Neil Diamond, Traffic, Raekwon, Daniel Tosh (comedy album from Tosh.0 dude), Rival Schools, Wye Oak, Kurt Vile, Alexi Murdoch, the Norwegian Wood soundtrack, Grails and Buffalo Tom.