Friday, August 30, 2013

Listening Habits 06-08.13: The Summer Collection

We’re expecting quite a few highly anticipated new releases between now and September (from Factory Floor, Julia Holter, Julie Ruin, Sebadoh, to name a few names), but before we start dealing with the exciting proposals of early fall, let’s have a look and another listen to the best albums and songs that made the summer months just a bit cooler. 

"More Light", Primal Scream’s tenth studio album, comes five years after their last effort (2008’s "Beautiful Future") and it is undoubtedly their most accomplished work since the early '00s period, when the band hit a creative peak with "XTRMNTR" and "Evil Heat". The long gestation period gave Primal Scream the chance to regroup and replenish their creative energy, giving "More Light" an urgency and passion that is truly remarkable. Three decades down the road, this Primal Scream sounds louder and more necessary than ever - a voice of dissent for all of us, the 21st century slaves!

"Trouble Will Find Me", The National’s follow up to "High Violet", their top work in my opinion, might lack the highs of their previous effort (no new song has the immediate punch of "Bloodbuzz Ohio", for example), but, given time, it proves to be just as addictive, creating a melancholic atmosphere that slowly but surely draws you in and keeps you under its spell. I’m expecting it to be an even better listen for the autumn months ahead.

Our summer Top 5 also includes "Cerulean Salt", Katie Crutchfield’s sophomore work as Waxahatchee, a lo-fi gem that follows in the footsteps of '90s songwriters like Liz Phair or Cat Power,  "Personal Record", the excellent second solo effort by Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces, who goes even further back, to her '70s pop idols, to find inspiration, and "Wakin' On A Pretty Daze", the melodic guitar epic by Kurt Vile. Here are the lists with all of our favorites for this summer:

Top 16 Albums

1.   More Light - PRIMAL SCREAM
2.   Trouble Will Find Me - THE NATIONAL
3.   Cerulean Salt - WAXAHATCHEE
4.   Personal Record - ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER
5.   Wakin On A Pretty Daze - KURT VILE
6.   Ghost On Ghost - IRON AND WINE
7.   Strange Pleasures - STILL CORNERS
8.   Desire Lines - CAMERA OBSCURA
9.   …Like Clockwork - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
10. Modern Vampires Of The City - VAMPIRE WEEKEND
11. Vanishing Point - MUDHONEY
12. Run The Jewels - RUN THE JEWELS
13. Yeezus - KANYE WEST
14. Olympia - AUSTRA
15. Monomania - DEERHUNTER
16. Hard Coming Down - GUN OUTFIT

Top 20 Tracks

1.   Culturecide - PRIMAL SCREAM
2.   Stare at the Sun - ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER
3.   Coast to Coast - WAXAHATCHEE
4.   Tiger Tank - SPEEDY ORTIZ
5.   Don’t Swallow the Cap - THE NATIONAL
6.   The Trip - STILL CORNERS
7.   Do It Again - CAMERA OBSCURA
8.   Diane Young - VAMPIRE WEEKEND
9.   My God Is the Sun - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
10. Black Skinhead - KANYE WEST
11. Home - AUSTRA
12. Low Light Buddy of Mine - IRON AND WINE
13. Wakin On a Pretty Day - KURT VILE
14. The Missing - DEERHUNTER
15. Family - HANNI EL KHATIB
16. I Like It Small - MUDHONEY
17. Flyin Low, Maria - GUN OUTFIT
18. Dreambuilding - GOAT
20. Astral Projection - LAWRENCE LINDELL

Primal Scream - Culturecide (studio session)

mp3 links via KEXP blog, Stereogum and Sub Pop (right click to download). You can get a free download of the Run The Jewels album, a collaboration between EL-P and Killer Mike, via the Fool's Gold site.

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