photo credit

At times, Department of Eagles' 2008 LP, In Ear Park, sounds like Willy Wonka’s side project; at others, the album feels like Animal Collective, if their parents would just stay on top of their Riddlin. (Which, upon reflection, appear to be analogous comparisons.) I wont bother to describe resemblances between Department of Eagles to Grizzly Bear, since that would simply be boring, but indeed, DoE is Grizzly Bear's songwriter/guitar/vocals/keyboard frontman Daniel Rossman and his old NYU roommate Fred Nicolaus. There’s no doubt that the essence of Grizzly Bear, from Rossman’s contributions, is palatable with In Ear Park. I guess that comparison was inescapable. Pick up In Ear Park from 4AD

Department of Eagles – Classical Records (mp3)

[photo credit]

{{{SUNSET}}} - Zombies (mp3)

Fred's eyelids flutter just before noon, greeted by sunshine tickling his face. A grin spontaneously grows under his nose and he rolls out of bed. Fred puts the coffee on and starts running the shower. A trembling groan of release thunders from his mouth as the warm water washes the stale sleep away. Eventually, he perches next to the window, sipping his coffee while meditatively losing himself in the city’s skyline. Looking forward to approaching the day ahead, he surrenders to this self-indulgent moment. The peculiar thing about Fred is that he has an insatiable appetite for brains. Open your mind; don’t be a component of the structural violence assailing these lovable creatures, the result of a socially-constructed stigma. {{{SUNSET}}} start their North American tour this May. (myspace)

Here We Go Magic - Tunnelvision (mp3)
Regardless of weak reviews from the omnipotent pitchfork, Tunnelvision flings me into paralysis. In a lazy sunny day afternoon nap kinda way. In a nostalgic bicycling down a narrow autumn leaved residential road on 16mm film kinda way. Announced yesterday, their tour with Grizzly Bear in June deserves a look-out for. These guys will be a great backdrop to cool and refreshing patio beverages in the sunshine.

I missed out on one of the best albums of 2008-Some are Lakes by land of Talk. It definitely would have made my top 5 had I known. Liz Powell's voice is so seductive. It's not too different from Applause Cheer Boo Hiss EP (2006). And I like that! In fact, I love it! I would honestly recommend every track. This is proof that girls can rock. Also, she just officially joined the ranks of Broken Social Scene.

Land of Talk-Young Bridge

Also, Now Now Every Children released a full album, Cars somewhat recently. It's kind of a hybrid of two of their EPs which were also released in 2008, with some omitted/added. More proof girls can rock!

Now Now Every Children-Headlights

Photo taken by Kyle Bee.

Sweet Dreams

[Photo: January 15 emergency landing in the Hudson River. Everyone survived. No fatalities? What a waste of air-time.]

To whisk you away from deep-winter blues and the woes of a dark economic outlook, our beloved Animal Collective have released Merriweather Post Pavillion this month on Domino. This album delivers (as some may argue) Animal Collective's first holistically palatable LP. With consistently enchanting and uplifting (in a Slumdog Millionaire kinda way) pieces, MPP is familiar without redundancy, to a devout Animal Collective listener. That being said, although 100% of the album ranks above average, it lacks the conspicuous charms of songs like Grass from Feels, Peacebone from Strawberry Jam, or Water Curses' self-titled track.

Animal Collective - In the Flowers

You know what, In the Flowers comes damn close. This love-induced hallucination, indeed, almost causes you to "leave [your] body for the night", swirling mid-air while watching her smile as she mouth the words "I like this song." A sonically captivating reverie.

Susumu Yokota-Mother

Favourite album of 2009! (So far..)

Calgary and Portland

I think this year was a year of quality rather than quantity. Last year, I found it hard to compile a list of 10 favourite albums because I kept thinking of more possible contenders. However, this one was pretty simple. Perhaps it's because I've been listening to less music in general (thanks Tumblr). Or perhaps this is a reflection of my constant need for hearing something "new" slowing down a tad, and my need for lasting, solid albums is increasing. So, the albums I liked this year, I really really liked and still have them on repeat.

Here y'are:
1. Grouper-Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
The cover art for this album is perfect. The album creates this dark, obscure atmosphere and story which I've never heard or seen or read, but desperately want to know more about. I have a feeling this will be one of my most favourite albums for years to come. I want to say that Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping was my favourite track, but I really don't know anymore. They all kind of slowly unfolded on to me as a whole story.

2. Azeda Booth-In Flesh Tones
I don't even know how to describe this one really. I want to say this album was unique, but that word always sound contrived and to mean the opposite of what it actually means when put in to context. However, I truly believe this band has completely got their own thing going especially considering they are from Calgary. It makes me wonder if there are other Pop/Ambient treasures in the area, but I sort of doubt it. I realize this makes me sound like I'm dissing Calgary, and I'm sorry. Your airport is fabulous.
Anyways, the album itself.. You know that feeling when a song kind of stops you from breathing because you have to fully experience the tension? This album is full of those. The androgynous vocals really do it for me also.
Favourite Tracks: John Cleese, First Little Britches, Big Fists

3. Benoit Pioulard-Temper

It's no Précis, but there were a number of tracks which still left me in awe of how much I love Benoit (more specifically Ahn and Idyll). I think the reason I wasn't completely blown away is partly because I'm so attached to the previous album, and also because there were a lot of short instrumental tracks which could have been omitted in my opinion.
I was talking to someone about how there are certain singer/songwriters who are complete in and of themselves. I find often there's something 'missing' with a number of these type of musicians, but others create these full, whole albums which don't need anyone else, and Benoit is one of them.

4.Now Now Every Children-Cars

So fucking catchy and cute and not that sickly bandwithananimalinthename cute that I can't stand anymore. If I was ever to be an indie pop band, this would be it.

5. Festival-Come Arrow, Come

pretty+girls+harmonized vocals=win

6. The Dodos-Visiter

Instructions: Go see live.

7. Bon Iver-For Emma & Forever Ago/Fleet Foxes-s/t

They tied. I know, what a predictable choice. Whatever.

8.Chad VanGaalen-Soft Airplane

This totally surprised me. I always kind of thought of Chad VanG as this folky boring dude that Canadians mostly promoted because he was Canadian. I am so so sorry. I realized he's actually quite arty and dark. Molten Light kept playing and playing and playing on my itunes a few months ago and I'm afraid I've worn it out. I am now rediscovering his old albums, because I am quite positive I didn't give him enough chance.

9. Lykke Li-Youth Novels

I don't listen to this album anymore. It's good though. I figure it needed to be in this list just based on how stoked I was at first.

10. Ratatat-LP3

Didn't like Ratatat until this album. It is perfect.

Honourable mentions:
I find the drums too shrill on this, but this album slowly grew on me. Perhaps I need even more time with it.
Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire
I love these artists to death and in tandem it is overwhelming. However, I find the songs a little too melancholy at times. I've still listened to it quite a few times (namely flaming home).
The Tallest Man On Earth-Shallow Graves
So this was released in 2007, but it was in mid-November. Some raw twang which deserves a shout-out.

[photo credit]

In yet another attempt to postpone my resented final exam, and in the likes of many radio shows and blogs airing around this time of year, I too, will post my favourite 10 tracks of the year.

Man Man – Easy Eats or Dirty Doctor Galapagos (mp3)

It was hard to pick a favourite from Six Demon Bag as it's an album easy to just throw on and even get the furniture in your room bouncing. The decorative atmosphere, created by songs like "Easy Eats or Dirty Doctor Galapagos", perfectly supplements the chaotic theatrics of these men dressed all in white and face paint leaping around stage at their performances.

Fleet Foxes - Mykonos (mp3)

Mentioned by myself and Camilla, the Sun Giant EP, from Fleet Foxes, is a new beacon shooting from Seattle. With a lot of love and lust to be had a lost this year, "Mykonos" marks another nostalgic moment trapped in time.

Beach House – Gila (mp3)
Also used as a procrastination tool last spring, the vibrations of "Gila"’s eerie swaying beat paints a slow-motion blur of an intoxicated final fuck between two ex-lovers.

The Lord Dog Bird – The Gift of Song in the Lion’s Den (mp3)

Another artist from Baltimore, his sound has been likened to other Jagjaguwar sign-ees, such as Bon Iver and Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug. Colin McCann’s solo project, The Lord Dog Bird organically emotes throughout the self-titled album. The lo-fi production of this track automatically sets of a tone of backwards glancing memories.

Lil Wayne – A Millie (mp3)

Loved by all, this crowd pleaser deserves a spot on my list. Crank your bass and pop puns like Orville Redenbacher.

Animal Collective - Water Curses (mp3)

From their EP, Water Curses, Animal Collective deliver us into another psychedelic dreammare.

Vampire Weekend – Mansard Roof (mp3)

I’m happy for bands that gain success and acclaim for producing palatable and uplifting music. Their debut album undeniably backdrops a portrait of the clouds parting focusing on a cartoon bluebird chirping as the sun cuts through a rainbow to illuminate the bouncing curls of a young girl adorned with yellow rubber boots, splashing a puddle. Check out Vincent Moon's video of these guys on la blogotheque.

Born Ruffians - I Need a Life (mp3)

And if you see a full grown girl with curly hair and yellow rubber boots, stifling dance moves at a bus stop, that's likely me listening to "I Need a Life"

Cold War Kids – Saint John (mp3)

The faltering beat of this song drags a crippled ex-convict limping into the sunset.

Kanye West (ft. Chris Martin) – Homecoming (mp3)

As a throw-back to my love for Coldplay, I must send recognition to Chris Martin’s collaboration with Kanye West. I was introduced to this track when flipping through channels and stopped at the familiar sight of the profile of a buzzed head rhythmically slouching over a piano. But, the awkward silhouette of Martin’s dance moves attempting to be g’d up from the feet up seriously caught my attention. I hope you enter into the new year with the same sense of emancipation and celebration that this song evokes.

Is Shaved Orange a new music blog?
Is Shaved Orange just a blog of "good songs"?
Is Shaved Orange just complicated and/or "consistently inconsistent"?
If a song was posted on Shaved Orange and noone actually listened to it, would it still be an mp3?
Is Shaved Orange that blog your friend has and rarely updates because they're not actually qualified to write a decent music blog?
Is Shaved Orange just lazy/good for nothing?
Is Shaved Orange getting self-reflective because Camilla has been reading hipster runoff again?

Current faves:

Bon Iver-Woods

This is from the new Blood Bank EP. I figured I'd talk about it before it gets overrated. I don't know if I'm as stoked on this as his LP but it's definitely worth listening to. I dig how he digitizes his vocals like a shitty R&B singer would (or Imogen Heap). However, I think if he does it any more it will be gimmicky. I feel like nothing will beat his first release though and it fills me with despair.

Wixel-Outside Your Locked Heart

More pretty instrumental stuff. Wixel sounds a lot like Helios actually. Or maybe Helios sounds a lot like Wixel. I don't know. This will not disappoint when you need it for that certain mood... you know the one I'm talking about. Shut brain off, no voices, just something to provide a nice atmosphere for your overstimulated self.

Builds Character

Tim Fite - Big Mistake (mp3) (myspace)

flying a kite in a storm; lending-out your favourite sweater; glueing the vase back together; placing all bets on that little quiver in your heart; ignoring the expiration date; assassinating Franz Ferdinand; snacking on a pomegranate right before the job interview; forgetting your camera on the bus; letting her walk away; Wings; using the beehive as target practice; that last shot of Jameson

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