On the Goe: Great expectations for new music
Intelligence. Beauty. Ambition. Style. Substance. Honesty. When I’m on the hunt for new music, these are the six traits I look for. It’s the difference between me purchasing an album and streaming it on Spotify.
September is a big month for new releases and the perfect time to add some variety to your record collection.
There are several albums that meet my six traits and are worth a good listen. Unfortunately, to get to the cashews you’ve got to dig through a lot of bad nuts. (Seriously, who out there is demanding new music from Matchbox Twenty and DMX?)
Let’s focus on the good. September is chock-a-block with daft Brits all vying for your attention. Elbow, The Vaccines, Two Door Cinema Club, The XX, new comers Django Django and adopted Colorado sons Mumford & Sons all want your scratch. Every single one of these bands is coming off an excellent album.
Most will probably go for the safest choice, Mumford & Sons. Fresh off its Labor Day Jazz Aspen Snowmass gig, Mumford & Sons surely have legions of new fans waiting for “Babel.”
Personally, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for each of these bands. If Elbow’s song writing is half as good as “One Day Like This,” one of my all-time favorite songs, then “Dead in the Boot,” a collection of B-sides, could be something special.
I love the Vaccines, Two Door Cinema Club and The XX and their new albums do not disappoint.
The wild card in this group is certainly art school quartet Django Django. It’s a band not short on style or ambition and “Default” is one of my favorite tracks of the year.
So what about the Americans? Let’s start with rock.
The American Spirit smoking, PBR drinking crowd can finally rest easy. Represented this month are eagerly awaited new releases from East Coast hipster groups Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear. It’s been a while since both bands released an album and both are in an equally impossible position. Their previous albums “Merriweather Post Pavilion” and “Veckatimest,” respectively, were so good that anything they follow with will be viewed as a step backward. It’s unfair, c’est la vie.
I’m particularly interested in the new Animal Collective album “Centipede Hz.” Animal Collective’s music is so complex and ambitious it’s impossible to know what we are in for. It treed that fine line between stupid and clever. Depending on who you ask, Animal Collective is either the best thing to happen to music or the worst.
The more accessible album and safer bet is Grizzly Bear, but Animal Collective may hit on all six traits of a perfect album, maybe.
On the opposite side of the rock spectrum, there are new releases from No Doubt and Green Day. If this were 1995, I’d be pumped.
It’s 2012. America’s favorite folk heroes, the Avett Brothers, are back with “Carpenter,” another catchy collection of bluegrass infused country rock. This is a no-brainer purchase. This album just sounds like Colorado. If you love Mumford & Sons, then you’ll love the Avett Brothers. While it lacks on ambition, the Avett Brothers’ music feels genuine and honest.
There is reason to get excited about hip-hop again. A$AP Rocky finally releases his debut album, and, in the process, will take another big step toward total hip-hop domination. Speaking of total domination, Deadmau5 solidifies his spot as the king of EDM with “>album title goes here
<." Check out the amazing new video for "Professional Griefers" as proof of his might.
Budget up people. Looking at this list you could easily drop $200 on music this month. That's a good problem. The more good music, the better.