I'm already ridiculously excited for the rest of 2009 in terms of music. We already know that despite the list I gave for 2008, it was a pretty disappointing year compared to 2007.
But now, I've got my hands on some new albums for this year, and I'm going gaga over them.
Coconut Records -- Davy
I love Jason Schwartzman. Seriously. When Nighttiming came out in 2007, I was so into it. It was also around the time when The Darjeeling Limited was playing, and I had a chance to see Jason and Wes Anderson on Canada's MTV Live show. I remember he passed out gum to everyone and Wes was wearning funny socks. Anyways, Nighttiming was this jem that came out of something nobody remembered: Phantom Planet. Jason went back to his music love, bringing future indie darling Zooey Deschanel into the limelight and even Kirsten Dunst. The songs were cute, simple, and on his sleeve. Now, with Davy, he gets a little deeper. Starting out with "Microphone" you know the rest of the album is going to get good. You are my voice, my microphone, he sings. He's letting you do the interpreting. Now, it's only 9 songs. But it's enough to tide me over with his little guitar strummings and toy piano toilings until maybe another year and a half from now.
Matt & Kim -- Grand
As I was listening to this album yesterday, I thought "wow, their first self-titled was fun and cutesy, made you remind of great childhood times, but this you can tell is the evolution into a more mature version but it's like when the grown-up learns how to find their inner child." And then today, I see two reviews, one in Paste and one in Pitchfork, that basically lay out the same idea. This pair really knows how to work their fans, but you can tell they put a lot of thought into this album and how they were going to beat a sophomore slump. Songs like "Daylight," "Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare," and "Don't Slow Down" are my favourites so far, and definitely on repeat already. (P.S. Want to read a two year old interview I did with the band? Go here. They detail their meaning of fun: Kim: We should make t-shirts that say “pursuit of fun.” Matt: No, that would be cheesy.)
M. Ward -- Hold Time
I can't believe I've been missing out on M. Ward all this time (besides She & Him.) His sleepy voice and intelligent lyrics are too close to too much I can handle. Today I listened to his 2006 album Post-War and it was beautiful. Now onto this album, which I don't believe is out yet, and 20 seconds into the first track I already love it. I loved him since I saw She & Him play and witnessed the way he gazed at Zooey in a friendly loving way. And when he sang one song that night, the crowd went nuts. Now I know why. "Never Had Nobody Like You" will have you swooning.
Franz Ferdinand -- Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
They may have been disappointing in Toronto's concert in December, but this album is promising. "Ulysses" is fun, has a fantastic yet similar beat to my favourite "40'" off of their first album, and opens the album feeling intimate as Alex whispers "come on, let's get hiiiiigh" into a ascending riff. This is similar to their other albums because all the while you're listening to it, you just picture your feet stamping the ground. Maybe even a little fist punch? Or maybe just some hip shaking. Take your pick. (Also, I love they way he says Ulysses... more like U-ly-sees). I find a new way, baaaaby.
Okay. That will feed your music fix for now. But I still have four more albums to asses. They're not 2009, but still good. There's some British talent I'm looking into via Broken Family Band, The Wave Pictures, The Hoosiers, and then there's of course the newest hype-band, Passion Pit.
P.S. For a more in-depth update on what I'm doing in London, check out my Abroad Blog.