Let It Rock: Do You Like Surprises?
The great thing about new music is that you never really know what you’re gonna get. Sorta like life. And a box of chocolates (thanks, Forrest!). Sometimes albums totally and completely surprise you. And sometimes they don’t at all. Sometimes surprises are good, and sometimes they’re a huge letdown. Sometimes all you want is your favorite band just the same as always, and sometimes a little change makes them all the better.
This week, I was incredibly surprised by one much-anticipated album in a perfectly awesome way. Another album held zero surprises for me, which I was thrilled about. And a third surprised me because, well, I just didn’t see what all the fuss was about.
But, as long as someone isn’t popping out from behind a wall to scare the crap out of me, all of these surprises – good and bad – are a-OK with me.
New Moon Soundtrack
This is the freakiest thing ever to me. Yes, freaky. I mean, isn’t Twilight some huge teen sensation thing? I get that practically everyone loves it, but I think it’s main audience is teens who go giddy over Robert Pattinson. OK then, where did this totally amazing soundtrack come from? The New Moon soundtrack is incredibly hipster-ish and indie. And I absolutely love it! I just think it’s kind of crazy; I expected it to be full of pop songs. You know, maybe a little Miley Cyrus. But, no! It has Thom Yorke! Bon Iver! The Killers! Grizzly Bear! The Editors! I can’t stop! Anyway, this soundtrack is one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard. The first single off the album is Death Cab for Cutie’s “Meet me on the Equinox” and it’s the perfect song to get people excited about the soundtrack. Death Cab is indie, while still being very approachable and the song just sounds so Twilight-y. “Meet me on the Equinox /Meet me half way /When the sun is perched at it’s highest peek /In the middle of the day/Oh darling understand /That everything, everything ends.”
And there’s more! I’m a huge Bon Iver fan and was super excited to hear something new from him. “Roslyn” is a beautiful song and exactly what we’ve come to expect from Bon Iver. Another of my favorites off this album is “No Sound But the Wind” from The Editors. The magical thing about this album is that every song just screams Bella and Edward. I have the sudden urge to read New Moon right along to this album. And I think millions of teenagers are suddenly going to become really into some pretty cool indie music. And I guess that’s not really a bad thing. Even if it is because of Twilight.
Kings of Convenience- Declaration of Dependence
Ah, the Kings of Convenience. I honestly don’t know of a group that makes me more peacefully happy than they do. I can’t even describe why, but I just sit back, close my eyes, and smile every time they come on. In fact, when I just heard they were coming out with a new album, I smiled. I couldn’t help it. Then I immediately listened to Riot on an Empty Street a few times in a row. And now that I’ve been able to listen to Declaration of Dependence, I can easily (and happily) say, I’m even deeper in love. Which I didn’t think was possible. The album starts with “24-25,” and was an immediate favorite of mine due to its quiet and beautiful lyrics: “What we build is bigger/Than the sum of two/But somewhere I lost count on my own/And somehow I must find it alone/24 and blooming like the fields of May/25 and yearning for a ticket out/dreams burn but in ashes are gold.” Le swoon.
But then the next song, “Mrs. Cold” came on and I got seriously nervous that the Kings of Convenience were using me in their song: “Hey baby, Mrs. Cold/Acting so tough/Didn’t know you had it in you to be hurt at all…OK I get it/OK I see/You were fronting because/You knew you’d find yourself vulnerable around me/Hey, baby/What’s going on?/You lost control and you lost your tongue/You lost me.” What girl can’t relate a little bit to this song? Feeling vulnerable around a guy and thus acting all cold around him? But honestly, I love all the songs on this album, from “The Power of Not Knowing” to “My Ship Isn’t Pretty.” I’m a very happy girl.
Spiral Stairs- The Real Feel
A friend told me to listen to Spiral Stairs. So, I did. I had never heard of them before but was told I’d probably like them if I liked Atlas Sound, which I do. And then, while listening, I figured out what Spiral Stairs was all about. The group is actually made up of Scott Kannberg of Pavement. I’m a pretty big Pavement fan, so I was thrilled to hear Scott on his own album. But to be honest, it took me a little bit to really get into The Real Feel. The first two songs didn’t do a whole lot for me and didn’t remind me of Pavement much at all (not that they necessarily should have). But by the time I got to “Cold Change,” I was liking them a lot more. The group describes themselves as a “jam band” and I totally get that vibe from them. Until I listened to “A Mighty Mighty Fall,” which kind of sounded country-western-ish to me. It’s a really nice, easy-going song with a definite twang to it. Then “Stolen Pills” completely jolted me awake and felt a whole lot more like rock-and-roll. And I loved it! One thing is for sure, the Spiral Stairs certainly are a versatile group. So, I haven’t been going totally gaga over this album, but I found it enjoyable and will definitely continue listening to it. I just wish Scott Kannberg still sounded just like Pavement. But I know that’s way too much to ask for.