After four or five albums of icy dance tunes, Ladytron put out their most sophisticated album. Still icy, still dancey, but they've added layers and atmospherics that kind of make them sound all grown up.
Their first album showed that these guys were the rightful successors of shoegaze goodness that hit a high 20 years ago with My Bloody Valentine and oozed around the nineties until The Jesus and Mary Chain were done. With their second album, they continue in the tradition of hooky melodies buried under fuzzy bass and guitar feedback. Must listen to loudly and repeatedly.
St. Vincent is Annie Clark, and (forgive the obscurity of the reference) she really could be the kid sister of chanteuse Anne Clark, who had a modicum of success in the 80's with odd, angular synthpop songs with poems for lyrics. St Vincent uses an array of song styles, which makes her brand of indie pop anything but readily accessible. But oh, how cool.
Dreamy electropop. It makes me woozy just to try to describe it. Just listen to "Eyes Be Closed." (I don't know if the motorcycle video helps or detracts.) Tell me you're not moved.
The Ladybug Transistor, Clutching Stems
I wish I'd known this band has been around for fifteen years. I've been missing out. Super great jangle pop.
Little Dragon, Ritual Union
More indie pop from Sweden. What's in the water over there that results in such interesting music?
The Sounds, Something to Die For
If I had more time, this album would probably be up top. I've only had it for a couple of weeks, but I feel like it's been a part of my playlist for years. The Sounds's first records were okay, but this one kicks their up-tempo neo-new-wavey sound into synthy heaven. Not as pure awesome as last year's Head First by Goldfrapp, but it's close. And they're also Swedish.
Vanessa Carlton, Rabbits on the Run
This album sounds so much more like Feist or St Vincent than her initial piano pop hit from ten years ago, "A Thousand Miles." She's come a long way, and it sounds like she's just making interesting music now instead of trying to recapture that lightning. This is so much better.
Tune in once more next Monday to get a load of what some some finely aged performers released this year.