Happy post-Valentine’s day to all of you, who are a sub-section of love to me. I know this probably won’t sound too romantic to you but I spent my Valentine’s night with my boo listening to music, painting our condo and eating Subway footlong subs. To me that is heavenly. Speaking of heavenly, we have some amazing music out this week and for that our hearts are sure to be bursting with love.
PJ Harvey — Let England Shake (Vagrant)
Today’s top pick goes to one of my favorite musicians of all time. It seems as though I’ve been waiting for the next album from Ms. Polly Jean for an eternity and now that it’s finally here, I can say without a doubt, it was well-worth the wait. Not since her 2000 masterpiece Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea has she put out an album I could listen to all the way through and immediately press repeat as soon as the last note was played. Let England Shake is a dark commentary on politics and war. I am going to play the hell out of this album — hold all of my calls for the next month.
Asobi Seksu — Fluorescence (Polyvinyl)
It figures that the week I was going to include Asobi in my Women to Listen to column, she is releasing a new (and fantastic) album. It’s funny that they’ve been listed as “shoegaze” music because that’s the last thing I want to do while listening to them. This is indie rock with rich textured sounds that make me want to play on a playground in the middle of a summer day. Quite simply put, I love this album.
Oh Land — Oh Land EP (Sony Music)
Anyone who knows me in real life has heard me singing the praises of the gorgeous, fashionable and multi-talented Dane, Nanna Oland Fabricius. Seriously, I’ve been telling you guys since October at least! Her voice is from a past era but her sound is from the future. She makes you want to sing, dance, clap your hands and give yourself over to your iPod completely. She’s like the Heidi Klum of music.
Cowboy Junkies — Demons (Cowboy Junkies Inc.)
It’s a family affair of psychedelic singer/songwriter folk-rock and they’ve been doing their thing for close to thirty years. “Sweet Jane” will always be my favorite Cowboy Junkies song, but this new album has got some major jams that could potentially take over that slot. “Wrong Piano” is a killer song packed with emotion in Margo Timmins’s voice. I mean, if you’re looking for a pick-me-up, you’ll likely want to look elsewhere. If you’re looking to wallow in a bit of misery while drinking herbal tea and reading a good book (even sans misery), take a listen!
Clandestine — The Invalid (Nightmare/RED)
I’m not the best go-to source for hard rock, metal or glam but I think I might be doing you a favor if you are a fan of the genre and haven’t heard of Clandestine before. Lead singer June Park has a great voice that is both melodic and can rage. There’s some heavy shredding up in here. (Hey, that would be a great band name).
Sarah Darling — Angels & Devils (Black River Entertainment)
This Iowa farm girl is only 25 years old but she’s already got a couple albums under her belt. In the same way Carrie Underwood makes her music so easy to cross over from country to pop, Darling’s music has me toe-tapping at my desk. Also, she was apparently the live mannequin in Big & Rich’s video for “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy,” which I’m sure she can’t wait to tell her grandkids about one day.
Honorable Mentions: The Twilight Singers (with guest vocals from Ani Difranco and Petra Haden), Gwyneth & Monko, Arbouretum, Mogwai, Gay for Johnny Depp (I am too!), Lifeguards, Telekinesis, Drive By Truckers, Stryper, Bright Eyes, Yuck, Lee Carr and I’m sure you all know you can now purchase Lady Gaga’s
cover of Madonna’s “Express Yourself” with a little bit of TLC’s “Waterfalls” “Born This Way.”