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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now

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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now

This week's curator: Jessica Gentile, of So This Is What The Volume Knob's For.

Every two weeks, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Jessica Gentile, of So This Is What The Volume Knob's For.

Girls, Broken Dreams Club EP

1) Girls, Broken Dreams Club EP

With half a dozen songs about heartbreak, Girls aren't exactly saying anything you haven't heard before. The magic is all in their delivery. Christopher Owens' voice is one of the purest, most genuine sounds you'll ever hear. Throw in some mariachi horns and sweet female backing vocals and you've got an EP that begs to be loved more than a puppy who's been kicked down the stairs. (For the record, that's a lot.)

Listen: "Thee Oh So Protective One"

Girls

Peter Peter Hughes, Fangio

2) Peter Peter Hughes, Fangio

Here's a curious concept. Think of Argentina's most beloved race-car driver, Juan Manuel Fangio. (He reigned as worldwide champ in the 1950s, as you know.) Now imagine him in the '80s as an secret agent/assassin who drives across the Andes in a souped-up Saab to overthrow Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship. Then soundtrack it with some New Order-y synths. Nothing about this concept album should work, and yet the narrative is so solid that absolutely everything about it does. Most badass album of the year.

Listen: "My God is An Angry God"

Peter Peter Hughes

Allo Darlin', Allo Darlin'

3) Allo Darlin', Allo Darlin'

Anyone who loves music liberally peppered with sha-la-las, ukulele chords, and adorable girly vocals must listen to Allo Darlin'. These Brits make perfect music to swoon to. Plus they reference Annie Hall and quote Weezer and Johnny Cash. This is how twee should sound in 2010.

Listen: "Kiss Your Lips"

Allo Darlin'

Perfume Genius, Learning

4) Perfume Genius, Learning

This must be the ultimate winter album — stark, intimate, and militantly lo-fi. I'd dare call it pretty, but that might do a disservice to how sad it is. Mike Hadreas plunks away on his piano, spinning alarmingly direct tales of death and angst. "Mr. Peterson" is one of the bleakest songs to hit my ears all year, and yet he has the ability to make you feel better off for sharing in the sorrow.

Listen: "Mr. Peterson"

Perfume Genius

Nana Grizol, Ruth

5) Nana Grizol – "Ruth"

Theo Hilton's witty, stream-of-consciousness lyrics come alive when backed by a marching band's-worth of instruments. Everything — baritone, euphonium, clarinet, harmonica, recorder, and most prominently, the blaring horns (played by former members of Neutral Milk Hotel, no less) — enhances his already considerable knack for melody. This is the most underrated band out of Athens, Georgia, a city bursting with underappreciated talent.

Listen: "For Things That Haven't Come Yet"

Nana Grizol