Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: Ben Dahl

Pin it

Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now

Great new records chosen by Ben Dahl, of Lost in Concert.

Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Ben Dahl, editor of Lost In Concert, a live concert publication based in Chicago. Ben can frequently be found consuming Red Bull like it's a career choice while writing for Lost In Concert and Cool Material.

1. The Naked And Famous, Passive Me, Aggressive You

As sonically dyslexic as it is downright fun, Passive Me, Aggressive You is a kaleidoscope of synth-laden tracks that takes an almost Napster-esque approach to borrowing from musical influences. Looking for some Nine Inch Nails? "The Source." Radiohead? "The Sun." MGMT? "Young Blood." Is it a musical guilty pleasure that's more pop than anything else? Sure, but I'm too busy enjoying it to give a shit. 

Listen: "The Sun"



2. Young Empires, Demos

This isn't even technically an album, but the Young Empires digital demo tape is too good not to mention. The fusion of tribal with electronic and synth with guitar — all washed over expertly by voices that you will want to fall asleep to — makes this collection of free songs a feel like a time capsule for the last decade of indie music as a whole. Young Empires also provide this collection of their special blend of indie tribal electro fusion for free through their MySpace

Listen: "White Doves (Demo)"



3. Adele, 21

Honestly, with the way every female around was browbeating me about listening to 21, I thought about dismissing this album outright. That would have been a huge mistake. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Adele serves up her revenge with the tumultuous, raucous, gut-wrenchingly beautiful 21. Come for the Wanda Jackson-inspired single "Rolling in the Deep," stay for the ivory-powered ballads "Turning Tables" and "Someone Like You." 

Listen: "Someone Like You"



4. Mansions on the Moon, Benzi & Diplo Present… Paradise Falls Mixtape

Mansions on the Moon is guitar, keyboards, drums, and a collaborator list that includes damn near everyone responsible for a famous remix within the last year. They bring enough indie to the table to keep all the hipsters happy, but then they throw in just the right amount of sampling to keep everyone else from hitting next. Paradise Falls Mixtape is well composed indie club music, without the headache in the morning.  

Listen: "Satellite"



5. Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine: 2010 Remaster

Yes, this is a band you've heard of. Yes, the original release is officially old enough to consume PBR. And yes, it's only a remaster, but it's on the list anyway because there's always going be a place in my gray heart for Nine Inch Nails. And it includes the Nine Inch Nails cover of Queen's "Get Down, Make Love," which many people haven't heard. The remaster is more dynamic, noticeably more nuanced and yes, it's also louder. I've seen the waveforms that show that this remaster is just another victim of the loudness wars, and quite frankly, I don't care. I listened back and forth from original to remaster at the album, song, and sample level, and it just sounds better. Stop trying to boil the album down to math and just enjoy it for what it is — an angsty, lyrically campy, sometimes violent trip down memory lane.

Listen: "Sin (2010 Remaster)"