Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: Pitchfork Festival

The best picks from Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival, in your very own home.

by Tyler Grisham and Larry Fitzmaurice

Every now and again, Nerve asks the titans of the blogsphere for their music recommendations. This week's picks come straight from the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, which is happening July 13-15. Tyler Grisham and Larry Fitzmaurice are editors at Pitchfork, and they were kind enough to grace us with their picks. You can find more information about Pitchfork Music Festival here.

1. Japandroids, Celebration Rock (2012) (Playing Friday 7/13 at 6:15 on the Blue stage)

Vancouver's Brian King and David Prowse may call themselves Japandroids, but the hard-charging rock they bash out is no joke. The duo's second album, Celebration Rock, is an all-killer-no-filler rush of high-stakes passion, charging riffs, and explosive drum work. Songs like "The House That Heaven Built" build up appropriately bombastic expectations, and then meet them. Play it loud.

Listen: "House That Heaven Built"

 

2. Clams Casino, Instrumental Mixtape 2 (2012) (Playing Friday 7/13 at 7:15 on the Blue stage)

Clams Casino has provided beats for rappers from Lil B to Soulja Boy, A$AP Rocky, and the Weeknd. But it's his own Instrumental Mixtapes that have proven his worth — even in the absence of an MC, his inventive production style remains a uniquely futuristic take on hip-hop that somehow sounds completely of the moment.

Listen: "Wassup"

 

3. Hot Chip, In Our Heads (2012) (Playing Saturday, 7/14 at 7:25 on the Red stage)

Over the past decade, Hot Chip have carved out a unique space in music, somewhere between the borders of dance, R&B, blue-eyed soul, and straight-up pop. Their adventurous electronic compositions and wide-eyed lyrics balance the euphoria of dance music with the emotion and melancholy typically associated with more introspective bedroom composers, making their albums equally suited to jamming alone at home or at the dance club.

Listen: "Night and Day"

 

4. Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan (2012) (Playing Friday 7/13 at 7:20 on the Red stage)

Largely the brainchild of Dave Longstreth, Dirty Projectors' highly intellectual albums combine a diverse strain of musical elements — from Afropop to punk — with knotty harmonies, complex song structures, and above all, a unique tunefulness that sells their left-of-center musical ideas.

Listen: "Gun Has No Trigger"

 

5. Grimes, Visions (2012) (Playing Saturday 7/14 at 8:40 on the Blue stage)

Grimes, the stage name of Montreal-by-way-of-Vancouver artist Claire Boucher, is an internet-era musical polymath, combining sounds as diverse as industrial, medieval music, and '90s R&B into an original aesthetic. Her creativity often spills over the edges of her recorded output, manifesting itself in self-drawn album art and DIY merchandise.

Song: "Genesis"

 

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