Another year is almost over. The Concordian reviews blog is looking at the Best of 2014. Stay tuned all next week for best movies, music videos, television series, and what we are looking forward to next year.
Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All
The Philadelphia based punk band released their second full-length album February, 2014. I didn’t start listening to the band until last spring but since then, I haven’t gone more than a day or two without listening to You’re Gonna Miss It All. The four college-aged guys sing about what they know, which is what it’s like being in college and they’ve got it down. They’re lyrics are frank, down-right truthful, and highly relatable. Jake Ewald and Brendan Lukens sing about awkward moments, heartbreak, the most enjoyable times you can have being in your early 20s, and well, growing up. They’ve emerged in what some are calling a new-wave of punk, whether or not you want to call it that, just make sure you give them a listen and realize what your life has been missing.
Mac Demarco – Salad Days
When the glam and sparkle of the holiday season begins to fade and it’s January 6th and the snow outside your window has lost its quaint freshness and is beginning to feel malevolent, it may be time for some fresh tunes. Enter Salad Days, the second full-length album from singer-songwriter Mac Demarco. As the title may suggest, it’s an album whose light, carefree tones hearken back to a time when fresh salad greens could be eaten on a back patio. Demarco’s voice has the laid-back grittiness of a beachgoer who just took a sip from a sandy bottle of beer. But the album isn’t the kind of easy-listening acoustic guitar that you may have in mind. Demarco experiments with new sounds; his song “Brother” ends in a squeaky cacophony with ephemeral vocals floating over the top, while “Passing out Pieces” and “Chamber of Reflection” feature warbly synths. If Salad Days was a salad, it would have almonds and mangoes and beets and broccoli, thoroughly tossed. No iceberg lettuce here. Lean back and let Demarco’s soft crooning lull you somewhere warm and sunny.
Mr. Twin Sister – Mr. Twin Sister
Mr. Twin Sister, formerly just Twin Sister, have smoothed all the rough edges off the mix of dream pop, R&B, and indie rock they displayed on their 2011 debut, In Heaven. They were never too lo-fi, but here every element is clear and crisp. The lyrics capture a vibe of androgynously existential malaise. The arrangements display a broad palette of sounds without being overstuffed or jarring – pianos coexist with soft-pulsing Euro-dance beats, and 1980s soap opera synths swoosh into buttoned-up funk grooves. For some reason these songs remind me of the music from those old “White Diamonds” perfume ads with Elizabeth Taylor. Each one feels like a new experiment in evoking a seductive, yet somehow distant, sensuality. It’s a come-hither album, and it was the pleasantest surprise of my 2014.
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