New Music Tuesday: 1-24-2012

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Welcome back to another Tuesday of new music y’all. On top of what seems to be a very busy week for great female-fronted releases, I’ve got a special treat for you in the form of a short video of me as a very gay six-year-old. I went through a big suspenders phase for a few years.

Time for some music!

First Aid KitThe Lion’s Roar (Wichita Recordings)

The top spot this week goes to these Swedish sisters who stole many American hearts a few years ago after a video of them covering Fleet FoxesTiger Mountain Peasant Song” appeared on YouTube. In a weird way, I would almost classify their music as folk-pop Americana, even though they are Swedish. While I wouldn’t classify their music as being particularly happy, their harmonies are very much like comfort food to the soul. Bring this album with you on a long road trip and while you’re at it, pick up their earlier releases. Stream the album in its entirety over at NPR.

Laura GibsonLa Grande (Barsuk Records)
In the past few months there have been a few albums released whose vocal quality I can only describe as beautifully distant. I’m not sure if this is a production effect or if this is actually my ears trying to get used to less-processed vocals, but I love it. Laura’s music reminds me very much of Radiation City, whose debut album was, for me, love at first listen.

ElizavetaBeatrix Runs (Universal Republic)

Elizaveta wrote her first song at the age of six and hasn’t stopped since. The debut album from this beautiful, classically trained opera singer and pianist is really quite remarkable.  Some songs combine richly textured orchestral movements with dramatic vocals reminiscent of Florence Welch or Patrick Wolf. On others, such as “Snow in Venice” below, she employs a more minimalist approach similar to Regina Spektor. Watching live footage of her performances clearly shows that this is exactly what she was meant to do. It also makes very exciting to think about the future ahead for such an incredible young artist.

ChairliftSomething (Columbia Records)

Truth be told, my relationship with this band started off on the wrong foot. It wasn’t them, it was me and my inability to get past their song “Evident Utensil.” Listening to Something has me singing a new tune. This album is just so easy to listen to and enjoy. Singer Caroline Polachek‘s voice soothes even as the electronic pulse beneath her words builds up to a more frantic pace. The slower jams, like “Take It Out on Me,” is where the group really shines. Stream the album over at Spinner.

Grace WoodroofeAlways Want (Modular Fontana)

One of the first things that jumped out at me when stumbling upon Aussie singer, Grace Woodroofe, was how much she looks like Effie (Kaya Scodelario) from Skins. More interesting is thinking about how well Woodroofe’s album might play in the overwhelming darkness in Effie’s mind. This, unlike the album above, is not an easy record. There is nothing carefree about it and her songs will break your heart faster than you can say the full title of Fiona Apple‘s When the Pawn…. This is a perfect example of how beautiful sadness can sometimes be once you finally let it out.

Honorable mentions: Graffiti6, Gotye, Foxy Shazam, White Denim, Wiley, Nada Surf, Lamb of God, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Seal, Torgny, Stephie Coplan & the Pedestrians, Justice, Zomes, moe., Lazerbreak and Kelli Pickler.

That’s it for this week, but remember to come back here tomorrow for your Weekly Women to Listen to suggestions. You can also follow me on Facebook and drop me a note to suggest an artist you want me to check out. Stay awesome.

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