Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 - My Musical Discoveries

As someone who rarely, if ever, listens to the radio expanding my musical horizons to new bands and acts can sometimes be a little tricky. I rely on friends, TV shows that thankfully actively promote their tunage, Soundtracks and word of mouth. Such as discovering Laura Marling late in 2008 when an actor I liked mentioned them.

While I couldn't even conceive of listing my favourite songs or even artists of 2009.... I will leave that to many many others who I am sure are doing an admirable job. My favourite songs of 2009 include songs that have been around for many many years. While I love discovering new musical loves, I tend to go back to what I have known and loved. It's the reliability, you see. However, that is not to say that i have not become enamoured of a few new artists this year. Instead, to keep things interesting (for me as well as you fair reader), I am mixing it up a little.

Below are 5 artists that I discovered this year. To be clear - they are generally not new artists in 2009. Some have been around for years and years. And I am shocked, amazed and frankly a little embarrassed that I was not a fan before now. These are simply acts that came onto my musical radar during the course of the year.

1. Metric Metric Metric.

Okay, so it is just Metric. Hands down my favourite new discovery of the year. I ended up seeing them three times this year. Loved each and every show. Metric is a Canadian indie rock band that have been around since the early-nineties. They have an eclectic sound that for me is firmly anchored by the talent and charisma of their front woman - the amazing Emily Haines. I have already admitted to having quite the girl crush on this chick. Her dance moves kill me. Her clothes, her vibe. I hate using words others use regularly but it is her steeze that gets me. She is beyond cool without trying and an amazingly talented performer. An awesome mix of rock, pop, synthesised Beats - Metric has it all. They totally remind me of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (who I also saw this year a couple of times). Their latest album - Fantasies - is amazing and fantastic on so many levels. I am trying to think of one song that encapsulates their amazingness and can't.

2. Cold War Kids.

This indie rock band from California has been around since 2004. I distinctly recall when I first heard of Cold War Kids. I have a friend who has pretty awesome taste in music and he posted something about them on Facebook. He once told me to buy Dashboard Confessional's - The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most - with a guarantee that if I did not like them he would give me my money back. I think he was also the one that started my DMB love. So I have trust for his musical recommendations.

While they have in no way reinvented the wheel when it comes to a musical style or sound, I love Nathan Willett's voice. They are another band I got to see live this year - Bumbershoot, in Seattle - fantastic. I could and have listened to Hang Me Out To Dry on repeat for hours. So good.

3. Alexi Murdoch

An admission before I go on. I saw Alexi Murdoch in concert late last year. He was opening for Alanis Morrissette and was actually the person that informed me that Obama had won the presidency. While I really enjoyed his set, I didn't know his name and promptly forgot about him. Until I saw the movie - Away We Go. Murdoch was the soundtrack to that film. After I got out of seeing it I immediately went and bought the soundtrack.

His voice is haunting, deep, soulful and amazing. Simple songs, simple tunes. Exactly how I like my musicians - full of angst and talent. Just beautiful.

4. Lady Gaga

Oh Lady Gaga. What a long strange journey we have had this year. At the start of the year, I found you pretty much annoying. Then I came to appreciate the substance, but hate the show. All the crap - the costumes and antics - that is what I disliked. Thankfully - happily - I was able to look past this by the time I saw her in early December. Ninth Row Centre Bitches. And holy mother of Xenu - was it an amazing show. Best show of the Year? I don't know. But it was pretty fricking phenomenal.

Gaga - she of the unfortunate stage name and wacky persona - is undeniably talented. She can sing. And not just sing, she can sing well. She can play the piano. She writes her own music. Yea, it's pop music, but so what? Talent is talent. Although I would still prefer the substance over the styling, I am a convert and am proud to call myself a monster.

5. Miike Snow

This electropop outfit from Swedon were co headlining with Jack Penate at a show at the most ill named venue in Vancity - The Venue. Lame name for a .... um.... venue, right? Gah. Anyways, I have been a fan of Jack Penate for a few years - he toured with the magnificent Adele so I checked him out Anways, teeny little show. 2 acts. Convinced someone to come with me. Fricking awesome.

Different from what I typically listen to. I am more of a boy/girl with a guitar/piano kind of music lover. But this was cool and has now opened me up to a whole new type of music.... which I guess is a good thing right? Live they were a trip, coming out in masks that they kept on for half the show. They are coming back in April - bigger venue. I will be there!

Okay, so that is five acts that I am happy to have discovered in 2009. As I just subscribed to Rolling Stone - Happy early Birthday to me! - I am sure my catalogue of muscial boy/girlfriends will increase even more in 2010. I know I know. I am quite the musical slut. I am fine with that. Who did you discover musically in 2009? Who made your panties drop?


No comments:

Post a Comment