New Music Tuesday: 2-7-2012

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We’ve made it to another Tuesday and this week one of my favorite

artists has a new album out and it’s got me amped up. My excitement

level is especially impressive considering my lack of sleep over the

past few days and my having just flown back home to Chicago from New

York during this morning’s early hours.

This is the last week to put in your suggestions for what our AfterEllen Twitter hash tag should be so we can all play “Gay Pocket DJ” for each other. At the end of

this week, I’m going to choose one and run with it so chop chop.

Sharon Van EttenTramp (Jagjaguwar)

What is it about Sharon Van Etten that makes her so

special? Is it the way she can so succinctly put emotions into a

perfect chain of words better than anyone else can? Is it the lilt of

her voice making her seem just fragile enough to make a perfect

stranger comfortable enough to want to put their arms around her? It’s

so difficult because at face value, she is just another guitarist with

a pretty voice. There is nothing about her that should be extraordinary

and yet every time I go back to listen to past albums or past

performances, I am taken aback by how powerful of an effect her music

has on me. So far, Tramp, is

picking up where Epic left

off, which is to say clutching my heartstrings and making a puppet

out of my emotions. If you’re in the mood to be feeling things today,

head on over to NPR and stream the album in its entirety and grab

a free download of the album’s first single, “Serpants.”

Big Sir

Before Gardens After

Gardens
(Rodrigo Lopez Productions)

Singer Lisa

Papineau
and bassist Juan

Alderete
(from The Mars Volta)

have put together a gorgeously dark album in Before Gardens After Gardens.

According to Lisa, much of the album was written while contemplating

mortality and coming to terms with the realization we aren’t on this

earth forever.  Unfortunately, both Lisa and Juan have had to

think about life and death lately, as both of them have been diagnosed

with life-threatening illnesses. As I’m sure you can imagine even

without listening, this is not a feel-good album. The ethereal nature

of Lisa’s voice contrasts sharply with the ominous overtones of each

song’s instrumental or electronic elements and when combined is

hauntingly beautiful. Stream the album over at Spinner.

Silver Swans

Forever (Twentyseven Records)



This is a solid release from indie electronic duo, Silver Swans, and would mingle well

with the likes of Ladytron, Warpaint and a somewhat gloomy day

when you need a cinematic soundtrack to give you inspiration to mope

productively inside or outside of your mind. Stream the album at Spinner.

Rococode

Guns, Sex & Glory (Head in the Sand)

This sugary pop four-piece is one part Guster,one part Controller. Controller. and one part

Tilly and the Wall — not a bad

combo if you ask me. While this isn’t exactly what I would call a

female-fronted album, two of the band’s members, Johnny Roberts and Shaun Huberts, are part of Tegan and Sara’s touring band — making them,

at the very least, lesbros. It’s a sweet album that has a lot of

youthfulness to it, punctuated by singer Laura Smith‘s soft soprano vocals.

Hat tip to Janay for giving me

the head’s up!

Liz GreenO, Devotion! (PIAS)

Combine the Southern bayou horn section

with a jazzy cabaret vocalist, eat a bowl of porridge and you’ve got a

unique recipe for musical success. O,

Devotion!
is just the right amount of uniquely artsy-fartsy

without polarizing the listener. Grab yourself a free download of “Displacement Song.”

Honorable Mentions: Of

Montreal
, Battles, Mux Mool, Ben Kweller, Air, A Place To Bury

Strangers
, The Twilight Sad, Pretty Good Dance Moves and Lindstrøm.

That’s all for this week! As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter,

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or check out what I’m listening to on Spotify.

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