Tagged: Kimbra

My Top 14 Albums of 2014

I’ve found that with so much of today’s music sound fairly similar to itself, it’s hard to discover something that’s new and really makes you go “Wow – yeah this is good.” For me, these are the albums from 2014 that have done that.

In alphabetical order.

The ArchersThese Wicked Woods – These Victoria natives put out their first full length this year. Their five part harmonies make this stomp-folk worth a listen. 

BADBADNOTGOOD – III – Hiphop, jazz, house – I don’t exactly know what to call it, but it’s got some sweet groove.

The Colourist – The Colourist – A good, fun album. This defines pop-rock for me. You’ve probably already heard this one but can never place it.

Hanz Zimmer – Interstellar Original Soundtrack – Go see this movie, if just for the music.

Hozier – Hozier – Along with Shakey Graves, I think that Hozier is doing the “solo-stomp-folk” right.

Ingrid Michaelson – Lights Out – In the “girls who play piano” category, Michaelson’s album doesn’t venture too far from what you’d expect – but the songwriting and collaborations are on point.

Kimba – The Golden Echo – This record reminded me a lot of Janelle Monae, proving that Kimbra is more than one hit wonder back up singer material (See: “Somebody I Used to Know”)

Little Hurricane Gold Fever – I was lucky enough to see this duo at SXSW this year – and no one else is doing the “boy and girl blues” better than these two.

Lykke Li – I Never Learn – Probably one of my favourites of the year, this song was my anthem for the first six months of 2014. When I talk about songs that “go somewhere” – this is what I mean.

Owen Pallett – In Conflict – Minimalism and arranging at it’s finest. In Conflict is as beautiful as it is haunting.

Reuben and the Dark – Funeral Sky – For the “folk band that swims in reverb” fans – definitely check out these guys. 

Sharon Von Etten – Are We There – Another girl with a piano – but this one is much more heartbreaking than Lights Out. If you’re feeling a little low about your lover – I’d recommend this.

West My Friend – When the Ink Dries – Friends of the blog, West My Friend’s full length has a lot of surprises. See my review for more detail, but listen to this fun one for now.

Honourable Mentions – Kevin Drew – DarlingsPUP – PUP, Taylor Swift – 1989, Arkells – High Noon, St. VincentSt. Vincent, Snarky Puppy – We Like It Here, Gutterbird – Speak Easy, The Antlers – Familiars, Beck – Morning PhaseHey Rosetta – Second SightTokyo Police Club – Forcefield.

Feel free to argue, complain, disagree or hate!

My Top 11 Artists of 2011

This post is going to outline 11 great artists I found in 2011. This does not mean that they had their first hit in 2011 or even their album was released in 2011 – I just discovered them this year. There’s no order – no music is better than the other – it’s just 11 bands I hope you might like!


Childish Gambino: “EP” – AKA the amazingly talented Donald Glover, I discovered Gambino after watching Community. His raps are clever and well delivered. Lots of puns and good lines (“An elephant never forgets, so my dick remembers everything.”) I loved his music so much I did a cover or Freaks and Geeks and did my best to recreate Gambino’s style and flow.

Favourite Songs: Freaks and Geeks, My Shine

Dan Mangan: “Oh Fortune” – Shown to me by a friend, Dan Mangan’s style is the folk/acoustic stuff that I really enjoy. His voice can be calming and haunting all at the same time and his songs incorporate a lot of different musical elements. Definitely worth checking out.

Favourite Songs: Oh Fortune, Post-War Blues

Dance Gavin Dance: “Downtown Battle Mountain” – I found Dance Gavin Dance after searching Alexisonfire on Jango radio (similar to Pandora), the lead singer is part of a new band called Emarosa which I really enjoy. This is a lot heavier than the previous three entrees – but if you like melodic screamo with technical instrumentals, then you will like Dance Gavin Dance. They’ve got a large discography but are no longer a band (I think) so you’ll have lots of music to go through.

Favourite Songs: The Importance of Cocaine, And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman

Jamie T. : “Sticks and Stones EP” – I picked up this CD at a random book and CD sale at school for $1. It’s definitely a stellar find. Jamie is a British artist whose music is light and go lucky. A mix between acoustic and rap, it’s an interesting blend between the genres.

Favourite Songs: St. Christopher

Kimbra: “Vows” – By now, everyone has heard Kimbra in Goyte’s Someone I Used To Know, and after listening to both of their albums, Kimbra was the one that I enjoyed most. Her music is layered and thick, and her voice rises above all the production giving you something to grasp onto all the time. There’s a mix of pop, soul, and RnB on “Vows” – so a little bit of everything for everyone!

Favourite Songs: Cameo Lover, Two Way Street

Klaypex: “Loose Dirt” – I don’t usually listen to dubstep/techno/electronic music. But this free album definitely caught my ears. I dunno really how to review it or whatever. But I enjoyed it!

Favourite Songs: Chinter’s Will, Rain

Macklemore: “The Language of My World” – One of the strengths of Macklemore’s music is his story telling ability. Most of his songs have a linear progression and try to send a message by the end. His flow is impeccable and the songs have you going along with him as he gets angry, sad or in love. He’s embraced his story and is working it.

Favourite Songs: Otherside, White Privilege

Nicole Byblow: “Nicole Byblow Plays All The White Keys” – Hopefully you saw my review earlier of this CD, if not –>link<– . Nicole’s a great musician, singer and pianist, her songs are witty and she’s not afraid to drop an F-bomb or two here and there. She’s definitely worth checking out.

Favourite Songs: Things I Learned When I Worked At The Hospital, About A Lover

Reason: “Fools” – A band I’ve never heard of and randomly bought their CD in HMV, they turned out to be a hidden gem. Straight forward rock and roll

that leaves you with a good feeling when you turn it off. Don’t have to say much more than that.

Favourite songs: Where Do We Go From Here, Run, The Longest Highway Home

Tim Hecker: “Ravedeath, 1972” – Another electronic CD, but more based on the ambient and slow developing side. It’s more a transformation of sounds than typical music. Hecker was nominated for the Polaris prize for his efforts and many in the contemporary music community also enjoy his work. He’s one of the only artists I’ve listened to first, and then found out that the contemporary music world likes him too.

Favourite Songs: In The Fog I, In The Fog II

Watsky: “A New Kind of Sexy Mixtape” – Along the lines of Childish Gambino, Watsky is a rapper with clever rhymes and songs with little to no message. Best known as the “Pale Kid Who Raps Fast” on YouTube, where his video has over 16 million views. He doesn’t rap that fast on the album, but you can definitely see he has the potential to do it. It’s fun music with wit.

Favourite Songs: Kidnap Your Boyfriend, Ten Fingers

Honourable Mentions:

The Rural Alberta Advantage


A Tribe Called Quest

Stars of the Lid

Of Monsters and Men

Somebody That I Used To Know

Video of Good Music == Good.

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
No you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
And I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
And you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

(I used to know)
(Now you’re just somebody that I used to know)

AND – a live version: just for kicks. If tall scrawny dark haired guys like him can make it in music and make it look this good – there’s hope for me somewhere.