Sunday, July 27, 2014

Listening Habits 05-07.14: The Summer Collection

With our summer vacation finally in sight, it's time to collect our favorite albums and tracks of the last couple of months and start packing!

Swans' thirteenth studio album "To Be Kind" is at the top of our album list, an epic two-hour listening experience that manages to take the band's sound even further, in their most satisfying release since their reformation four years ago.

Another, more recent, reformation has also delivered the goods and yielded one of our Top 3 albums of this summer. The Afghan Whigs started their reunion with some mind-blowing shows a couple of years ago, and now, with "Do To The Beast", they have proven they still have that special chemistry that gave us some of the best rock records of the '90s.

Parquet Courts are still quite a new band but their sound is channeling some of our favorite memories from the '80s and '90s. "Sunbathing Animal" brings together the influences of The Fall, Pavement, the Ramones and many others, but the blend they're creating has their own signature and proves to be quite addictive. Give it some time and you won't be able to shake it off.

Our Top 5 also includes the eccentric rhymes of Sleaford Mods in their punk-hop opus "Divide And Exit" as well as the third and perhaps the best full-length by Tune-Yards, "Nikki Nack", another unique patchwork where Merrill Garbus brings together exotic sounds and rhythms to create refreshingly original, soulful songs, unlike anything else you're going to hear in 2014.

And that's not all... check out below our 20 favorite records for the first half of the summer as well as a playlist with some of the best tunes from them. Enjoy the sound waves:

Top 20 Albums

1.   To Be Kind - SWANS
2.   Nikki Nack - TUNE-YARDS
3.   Do To The Beast - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
4.   Sunbathing Animal - PARQUET COURTS
5.   Divide And Exit - SLEAFORD MODS
6.   With Light And With Love - WOODS
7.   Mess - LIARS
8.   Lazaretto - JACK WHITE
9.   Are We There - SHARON VAN ETTEN
10. Lost In The Dream - THE WAR ON DRUGS
11. Held In Splendor - QUILT
14. Indie Cindy - PIXIES
15. Darlings - KEVIN DREW
16. Diploid Love - BRODY DALLE
17. Turn Blue - THE BLACK KEYS
18. Teeth Dreams - THE HOLD STEADY
19. Love Letters - METRONOMY
20. Psychic 9 - 5 Club - HTRK

Top 20 Tracks

1.   The Lottery - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
2.   Screen Shot - SWANS
3.   With Light And With Love - WOODS
4.   Sunbathing Animal - PARQUET COURTS
5.   Water Fountain - TUNE-YARDS
6.   Pro Anti Anti - LIARS
7.   Tied Up In Nottz - SLEAFORD MODS
8.   Lazaretto - JACK WHITE
9.   We Are Floating - ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT
10. Taking Chances - SHARON VAN ETTEN
11. Under The Pressure - THE WAR ON DRUGS
12. I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You - THE HOLD STEADY
13. Don’t Mess With Me - BRODY DALLE
14. Indie Cindy - PIXIES
15. Fever - THE BLACK KEYS
16. I’m Aquarius - METRONOMY
18. Good Sex - KEVIN DREW
19. Tired & Buttered - QUILT
20. Blue Sunshine - HTRK

Bonus track: Here's the latest Afghan Whigs video for another "Do To The Beast" highlight, the super funky "Metamoros":

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