Hello one and all. The weather in Chicago is sunny, beautiful and doing absolutely nothing to take my mind off of the fact that South by Southwest is taking place and I am no where near Austin to enjoy it. Next year, I am making it my mission as an honorary Goonie to make it my time. I will even do the Truffle Shuffle if it means someone will take me with them. Now, let’s see what new music we’ll be listening to this week.
The Ting Tings – Sounds from Nowheresville (Sony Music)
I’m pretty sure by the time you have read this sentence, I will have started and stopped writing the intro to this mini review no less than five times. I can’t seem to wrap my words around this album — or around the band itself besides to describe a song or a sound as being very “Ting Tingy.” What works really well on this second album, are the songsthat are equal parts Katie White and Jules de Martino. I really enjoy Katie — but too much of a good thing is, well, too much. Bringing Jules’ voice into the mix reminds me of the times I’ve watched Man Vs. Food and the show’s host asks for something salty to eat in order to break up the sweetness of the fifteen scoops of ice cream he’s being asked to eat.
What’s really interesting to me, is how the album opens up with a song that doesn’t follow the sound I would normally associate with the group — and I really enjoy it. “Silence” has an underlying tonal quality about it that reminds me of Portishead’s “Machine Gun.” Much later, the group goes to their happy New Wave place with “One by One” and it makes me wonder why they aren’t making more songs that sound like these. Test the album out for yourself over at Spinner.
Anya Marina – Felony Flats (Chop Shop Records)
Anya’s sweet indie-pop music is a good listen for ushering in the Spring weather and she’s got enough of an added edgey rock vibe to take the album from day into night. There’s something about her that reminds me of Emily Haines and Metric, particularly the song, “Flinty,” which is a true standout on Felony Flats along with the equally hard-rocking “Body Knows Best.” So far I’ve only had time to give it one spin but with any luck, I think I’ll be using this album to help get me out of my funk today. Unfortunately I can’t embed her Soundcloud player here but here’s a link to stream some of her tunes and if you like what you hear, she’s offering a free download of her song “Flinty” on her Facebook page.
Wallis Bird – Wallis Bird (Rubyworks/Bird Records)
Thanks to @Emily_Duno for the head’s up about Wallis Bird’s latest album which dropped last Friday! Here’s the only rub: Those of us in the U.S. don’t have a way to download it just yet. Please take this time to imagine you are hearing the sounds of a sad trombone coming from my direction. Since I know that many of you are outside of the states, I wanted to include this gem because from the bits and pieces I’ve been able to stream, it sounds like the out singer-songwriter has put together a rich and polished album filled with personality and emotion. If any of you are able and would like to give us your take on the album, please feel free to do so in the comments! For now, heres the one full song I was able to find:
Honorable Mentions: VCMG, Tribes, Fenster, Say Anything, Miike Snow, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Hands Like Houses, Twin Atlantic, One Direction, Shooter Jennings, Lucero, The Delta Spirit, The Decemberists (Live), Meatloaf (this one is killing me because it features guests like Chuck D, Lil Jon and Mark McGrath), Soulfly, Ruben Studdard and Dave Barnes.
That’s it for this week but before I sign off, I wanted to let anyone who didn’t know — The Gossip just released the first single from their upcoming album, A Joyful Noise, and it is hot. Stream it “Perfect World” right here and as always, feel free to follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook and if you’re listening to something tasty or need a recommendation, remember to add the #MyGayDJ tag to your tweets!