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Tuesday, July 4

The 12 and 1/2 best albums of this year, so far.

At first I didn't plan on doing a mid-year review list, but then I thought, "what better way to celebrate your July 4th then to read a music list compiled by me". Then, I thought of about a million better ways to celebrate 4th of July, but I'm doing this all the same. Truth be told, this has been a year has been filled with heaps of fantastic releases and even my honorable mention list would give you nearly a year's worth of good music to listen to. But we're only interested in the best here and this is it (according to me):

These albums are listed in chronological order and only include albums released before July 4.

Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
B&S are a veteran band and they prove with “The Life Pursuit” that they are still very much relevant. What cemented this as one of my favorite CD’s though, was their live performance of the songs, which made for the best concert I’ve been to this year (or ever).

Another Sunny Day

Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
I loved this album when it first came out and it gets better with every new listen. Dan Bejar’s melodies seem like their floating on air and lyrics are absolutely poetic.

MP3 European Oils

Mates of State - Bring It Back
Bring It Back is Mates of State’s best CD to date. The album is danceable and joyous but also at times delicate and pretty. Kori and Jason are indie’s most adorable couple and their chemistry on these songs is undeniable.

Think Long

Band of Horses- Everything All The Time
A breakthrough CD for a Sub Pop newcomers. Probably will be best remembered for the single, The Funeral, which could be the best song of 2006.

MP3 The Funeral

Islands - Return to the Sea
Not many bands can get away with opening a CD with a opus that’s nearly ten minutes in length, but “Swans (Life After Death) is the perfect introduction to the band. The album is inspired by hip-hop, country, synth pop and everything in between, and it makes for a very entertaining listen.

Rough Gem

Beirut - Gulag Orkestrar
A blogger favorite CD from the beginning, Beirut has drawn well-deserved comparisons to Neutral Milk Hotel all across the board and has captivated listeners with its simple but powerful musical numbers featuring the ukulele and the accordion as major players.

MP3 Postcards of Italy

Danielson - Ships
Brother Daniel is a pro at making quirky love-it-or-hate-it CD’s. I choose to love it, and this is his most accessible and complete album to date. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to raise call songs like “Ship The Majestic Suffix” and “Bloodbook On The Half Shell” epic.

MP3 Did I Step On Your Trumpet

Shearwater - Palo Santo
“Palo Santo” is a beautifully constructed southern gothic CD that makes great use of atmosphere and dark melodies. In the past you might have seen Shearwater as a side project to Okkervil River but with this album they’ve become much more.

Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five

Anathallo - Floating World
It seems like I can’t stop talking about this band. Well, that’s because “Floating World” continues to impress me in every way. The band uses complex compositions and large arsenal of instruments to make arrangements that are both chaotic and beautiful.

Hanasakajijii (Four: A Great Wind, More Ash)

Midlake - The Trials of a Van Occupanther
Midlake’s new CD fills the same whole of organic sounding folk music that Andrew Bird filled last year. Drowned In Sound described them best - “This is pop music for isolated log cabins, distant settlements with their own quasi-religions and individuals roaming with no real direction.”

MP3 Roscoe

Sleeping At Last - Keep No Score
A gorgeous CD from a band that are continuously maturing and finding their sound. Mixes influences like Radiohead, U2, and Sunny Day Real Estate with an array of stringed instruments that would make the toughest of men’s heart melt.

MP3 Careful Hands

The Format - Dog Problems
“Dog Problems” came out of nowhere to be one of my favorite CD’s of the year. It’s too good to be considered a guilty pleasure, the band has come out of their punk-pop shell to produce some fantastic compositions that are still as catchy as anything I’ve heard this year.

MP3 She Doesn't Get It

(Note: Although the official release date for the previous album is in July, the band decided to release it online earlier this month).

The Mountain Goats - Babylon Springs EP
This represents the half of in the number since its only 5 songs, and only released in Australia (my current location). It also represents my excitement in going to see the Mountain Goats in less than a month at the P-fork Fest (and Alibi happens to be one of John Darnielle’s catchiest tunes).
MP3 Alibi

Honorable Mention/Needs More Time:
Aloha, Maritime, Cat Power, Jenny Lewis / Watson Twins, Birdmonster,
SOUND Team, Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s Final Fantasy, The Grates,
Half-Handed cloud, Rainer Maria, Snow Patrol, Cold War Kids, Hot Chip

There you have it. Now grab a cigar (but not till the fat lady sings) and have a wonderful Independence Day.


Great list, Taylor!
commented by Blogger jeff, 7/04/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Hehe, I prefer (excepting Belle, The Format, Mates) the ones with an honorable mention (Jenny Lewis, The Grates, Sound Team....).
And what happens with The Chalets?!
Have a nice kangaroo day man!
commented by Anonymous Holden, 7/05/2006 03:27:00 AM  
I am going to second that Grates endorsement, though I am quite happy with plenty of your actual selections as well. "Alibi" is indeed a wonderful song.
commented by Anonymous Nate, 7/05/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Just got the Format disc- great great great!
Very good list

Sad to say but its seems like John Darniell have been listening to much to Belle and Sebastian if you jugde it by Alibi, witch it a great song tho !!!
commented by Anonymous Johann, 7/17/2006 06:28:00 PM  

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