You all can have your new Shins or Radiohead or whoever albums, but one of my most anticipated albums of the year comes from Milwaukee’s Juniper Tar. As far as I can tell there’s still no official release date, but it’s finally got a name, “Since Before”, and its very own teaser trailer. Check it out:
Here’s a fuller song from the band from a couple of years ago:
Fantastic new track from Chicago’s Inspector Owl. Can’t wait to hear the band’s new record, which was recorded with Josh Miller of the dearly-departed Troubled Hubble.**
The band is scheduled to play at The Burlington, 3425 W. Fullerton, on Friday, February 10th with Geronimo! and Deserters. You should join me there.
** Sidenote: Inspector Owl’s Corey Wills is also in the excellent Kid, You’ll Move Mountains, which features two other former members of Troubled Hubble. So if you’re a Troubled Hubble fan and you aren’t listening to either of these bands, well, fix that shit.
Charleston, South Carolina’s The Explorers Club are set to release their second LP, Grand Hotel, on February 14th.
You may remember the band from their excellent 2008 debut, Freedom Wind, but let me be amongst the first to say that that record really won’t prepare you for how good the band’s new album is. It’s fantastic, and includes at least two songs – “Go For You” and “I’ve Been Waiting” – which will almost certainly end up on my Best Songs of 2012 list if I actually do one.
I can’t post either of those songs for you yet, but I can post the still-excellent lead single from the album, “Run Run Run”. Check it out below.
The band will be touring on the East Coast in February, and I’m told we can expect midwestern dates – hopefully including Chicago – in March. Can’t wait.
Oh, and if you click the album cover, it’ll take you to a site where you can pre-order the album. I highly recommend it.
Ireland’s The Frames (remember them?) recently recorded a set for Irish TV’s excellent Other Voices series. The show will air sometime in 2012, but they’ve released video of the band performing the always wonderful “God Bless Mom”. Check it out:
Apparently we can also expect a Glen Hansard solo album sometime this year, though I haven’t heard much in the way of details on it yet. Sure hope there’s new Frames record coming before too long too.
Too lazy to do much in the way of discussion of this list. Besides, you’ve likely already read about 300 top-whatever lists. So I’ll just say a couple of things. First, this list is, of course, entirely subjective, and simply a list of my favorite albums of 2011. Second, if you haven’t heard Quiet Company yet, you’re missing a band that has put out two of my favorite albums of the last few years. I have no idea how they’re not better known at this point (well, lack of touring has something to do with it), but if they can manage one or two more albums at this level, we’re looking (IMO) at one of the great modern American bands. No pressure, guys.
##10-20 (un-ordered): David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, Left by Soft Jason Isbell and the 500 Unit, Here We Rest Maritime, Human Hearts Mind Spiders, Self-Titled Office of Future Plans, Self-Titled The Wrong Words, The Wrong Words The Heavenly States, Oui Camera Oui EP More Humans, Demon Station EP Tereu Tereu, NW EP Wye Oak, Civilian
Honorable Mention The Caribbean, Discontinued Perfume The Cheniers, Drift EP The Dears, Degeneration Street Deleted Scenes, Young People’s Church of the Air Fucked Up, David’s Town J Mascis, Several Shades of Why Low, C’Mon Pangea, Living Dummy The Poison Control Center, Stranger’s Ballet The Rural Alberta Advantage, Departing