Once again the Radio Free Silver Lake staff brings you our highly subjective picks for the best of the year so far.
Kathryn Pinto, Editor in Chief
Brass Bed - The Secret Will Keep You
Brass Bed has a phenomenal live show, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love their new album. The guitars are angular and dissonant, they feed back and bleed out, but the melodies swing. The lyrics wonder a moody what next? It’s no surprise that these are guys in their late twenties a point where they have begun to set a course, but nothing has yet gelled in its mold. This contrast of confidence with an undercurrent of uncertainty results in a textured, thoughtful collection of tracks that rocks.
The Hectors - Her Dark Majesty
The common thread of this list is smart, moody guitar music with some pretty melodies and a few pop hooks. The title track has a gorgeous melody and resonates a deep sense of longing. There’s a 90’s northwest vibe with shades of K Records that I find very appealing Her Dark Majesty is among other things an album that showcases front woman Corrine Dinner’s voice, which is not often on given its due at live shows.
Kurt Vile - Waking on a Pretty Daze
Wakin on a Pretty Daze is another languidly paced album from Kurt Vile with laid-back vocals that recede to reveal exquisite guitar playing. Some of the tracks meander past the nine-minute mark, but you don’t even notice except that you’ve finished your coffee. Play it on vinyl for a perfect Sunday morning listen.
Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City
Modern Vampires of the City, their third album, is Vampire Weekend in full bloom. The promise of the earlier albums is proven here in excellent production and layered construction of both music and lyrics that mortality and passing time. “Step” samples Souls of Mischief’s “Step to My Girl” as well as Bread’s “Aubrey.” This digging, editing and building lays to rest any questions of whether Vampire Weekend are too clever for their own good.
The National - Trouble Will Find Me
When the story made the rounds that that The National were going to play the same song over and for six hours straight at MOMA PS1, it sounded like a headline from The Onion, because, hey isn’t that what every National show is like? The National is the low voice, the sad lyrics, and more of the same. I swear up and down that I’m not really a National fan and then they put out a record and I play it nonstop. The writing, the production are top notch. The album is so well made that it seduces you into listening. “I Should Live in Salt” is great lead track and a pretty excellent turn of phrase.
RaRa Riot- Beta Love
The Lonely Wild – The Sun As It Comes
Angela Holtzen, Contributing PhotographerAlbums