Five Albums You Should Be Listening to Right Now
This week's curator: Gina Pensiero of One Sweet Song.
Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their album recommendations. Gina Pensiero writes the music blog One Sweet Song and plays in the NYC-based band Palmyra. She recently moved to L.A. by train.
1. The So So Glos, Low Back Chain Shift EP
I'm a recent (unwilling) Brooklyn expat, so this band's continuation of the great New York tradition of interesting punk music is a kind of down-home comfort food for me. They've got the attitude down pat — the swagger, the lip curl, the cocky vocals — but they've also got the chops to back it all up. Their songs feature intelligent lyrics, catchy riffs, well thought-out arrangements, and the talent to innovate in a genre that can easily sound stale. Sonically, this second EP picks up just where their previous album leaves off. Bonus: I challenge you to come up with another band that's named an album after an NYC-specific linguistics concept. Now, that's hometown pride.
Listen: Lindy Hop
2. Summer Fiction, Summer Fiction
Pop music: they just don't make it like they used to. If your tastes are like mine (more vibraphone, less vocoder), Summer Fiction's Bill Ricchini is a man whose music you'll want to know. Ricchini crafted what I think is one of the best albums of 2010, with rich instrumentation and pitch-perfect production values. These are songs that will get stuck in your head. And you'll actually want them to stay there.
3. Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas (compilation)
'60s and '70s Brazilian music continues to change my life. Tropicália was a revelation for me in terms of recontexualizing world music and redefining some basic ideas about genre. This comp takes it a step further down the rabbit hole of Brazilian psychedelia. With its warped rhythms, weird rock feeling and, of course, big fuzzy guitars, this collection does not disappoint.
Listen: O Carona by Tony E Som Colorido
4. Grass Widow, Grass Widow
This band's 2010 album, Past Time, contained one of the best songs of the year, "Shadow." That said, this first self-titled release is a better album from start to finish. Grass Widow has succesfully picked up the torch from experimental/riot-grrrl bands like Sleater-Kinney and Electrelane, though they have a weirder sound than the former and a lot more energy than the latter.
Listen: Yellow Balloons
5. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Both Sides of the Brain
Hearing a Gorillaz song in a coffeeshop recently is what reminded me to go check out more of Del's solo work. (He was an early Gorillaz contributor.) I'm really glad I did. Del's all blippy samples and mind-mashing rhymes. This album is really weird and a more than a little bit raunchy, but hey, that's how I like my hip-hop.
Listen: If You Must